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If you could... would you stay at Iberostar, El Coz or FA?

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Rockford, Michigan
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191 posts
25 reviews
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If you could... would you stay at Iberostar, El Coz or FA?

Took me a while to narrow down my list for a trip to Coz in early November to celebrate my 40th b-day, with my husband. After a lot of research and help from many of you, I've finally narrowed & CHANGED my list to the following, due to wanting a relaxing AI beach vacation with decent snorkeling/good pools. (Seriously considered the Palace - decided zero beach was a deal breaker.) Not that price is an issue but for those of you who have stayed at these places, Iberostar & El Coz are VERY close in price with FA slightly higher for an ocean view room. IMO all are great prices!

1. Iberostar

2. El Cozumeleno

3. Fiesta Americana

Background: We are not divers - just snorkelers. Stayed at El Coz 10 yrs ago and enjoyed it. Originally thought to try someplace "new" but won't be disappointed if we end up at El Coz again. We plan on renting a car for the week to eat out some nights/visit the East side of the island.

The Iberostar really intrigues me but there have been some strange & mixed reviews about theft (not sure if they're legit) and the place going down hill. Has anyone recently stayed there - I always take the reviews with major typos with a grain of salt. The grounds look so pretty & yes, I realize there is a rocky entry to the ocean.

We want to relax by the ocean/pools and snorkel from time to time - this is our first trip alone without our 5 and 6 year olds with us! Aside from wanting a clean room & clean pools (I'm a big pool person), we aren't very picky/high maintenance. We don't need to be entertained or have to have gourmet food. (You can't go wrong with a beer/book on the beach!) Since we've only stayed at El Coz we don't have anything to compare it to - is that our best bet for what we want or does one of the others fit just as well or better?

Thank you for your help/advice!!!

Olathe, Kansas
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1,755 posts
82 reviews
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1. Re: If you could... would you stay at Iberostar, El Coz or FA?

We stayed at Iberostar over a year ago and really enjoyed the place. Never had any issues with theft, but always use the inroom safe at any resort we travel to. I will share something that happened on our second to last day at the resort with you to show how we were treated. We had returned from a late dinner and received a note from the front desk that our youngest son had called and my mother-in-law was in the hospital. Not knowing if I could get cell phone reception, we went up to the pool deck area and tried to use my cell phone. Got through but had some problems. When we got back to the room we received a call from the front desk verifying that we had received the message. I went back in the room and a few minutes later there was a knock on the door. It was the security telling me that I had left my cell phone on the deck. The employees at this resort were thoughtful and considerate of our plight and went the extra mile to help us.

We enjoyed the resort and have recommended it to friends. Hope this will help alleviate some of your fears.

Also stayed at El Presidente some years back and really liked it.

Edmond, Oklahoma
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225 posts
15 reviews
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2. Re: If you could... would you stay at Iberostar, El Coz or FA?

Just got back from El Coz on Sunday and it was great. We had a little mixup on our room (King size bed for 3 adults) and had quite an argument getting that straightened out. But went on to have a great week. Wherever you go, make sure on your room requests!!

Wiz

Montrose Colorado
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300 posts
18 reviews
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3. Re: If you could... would you stay at Iberostar, El Coz or FA?

Iberostar has my vote. Have been there four times since 2001, most recently October 2010 and are returning in March of next year for our 25th wedding anniversary. Every visit has been excellent!! The grounds are beautiful. Pool is nice and clean. The service has been excellent every time. Have NEVER had a problem with theft or staff being rude. Beach is great with lots of shade and yes, has a very rocky enterance to water. Snorkeling there can be hit or miss, depending on the winds. Walk a little to the north (1/4 mile??) towards the Occidental and past Albertos, and you have a nice sandy enterance to ocean. If you're renting a car for the week, IMO you have it made staying there. Lots of beach bars to visit on each side, places to snorkel (Playa Corona, Playa Palancar, etc)and can leave the resort without worrying about taxi fares. Check out my reviews and PM me if you would like.

Longview, TX
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21 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: If you could... would you stay at Iberostar, El Coz or FA?

We are staying 2 weeks at the FA. Leaving July 5. I will let you know how it is. I too had to decide between FA and El Coz. I decided on FA because of the great snorkeling reviews and the price. Iberostar was out due to the snorkeling. Our biggest requirement was great snorkeling right off the beach. However, I am sure the Iberostar is a wonderful resort.

Burleson, TX
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1,635 posts
4 reviews
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5. Re: If you could... would you stay at Iberostar, El Coz or FA?

Done both - FA just a couple of weeks ago, and El Coz on many occasions. For just diving, I would choose FA. For snorkeling, relaxing, and just goofin' around it is El Coz.

Ontario
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5,155 posts
65 reviews
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6. Re: If you could... would you stay at Iberostar, El Coz or FA?

Of those listed, I'd choose Iberostar. The beach is lovely, the snorkeling good, and I like the huts as opposed to high-rise hotels. Also the food looks like it's pretty good.

Waterloo, Iowa
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21 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: If you could... would you stay at Iberostar, El Coz or FA?

I would choose Iberostar from those considering. The beach is awesome and the snorkling too. I too like the huts instead of the other resorts since it gives me the sensation of being in Mexico/tropical feel.

MaconMO
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211 posts
23 reviews
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8. Re: If you could... would you stay at Iberostar, El Coz or FA?

Some of the best snorkel activity we had was starting at the Money Bar which is in view of FA. If you start there at Money Bar you could snorkel back to your place.... or go past it for a longer trip and stop at Corona.

In for a looooooong day of excellent snorkel? Head from FA cleeeear down Playa Uvas... hop a cab there and head home again for like $5.00.

Side note - Playa Uvas food is not so hot- Money Bar is excellent.

Denver
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1,613 posts
5 reviews
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9. Re: If you could... would you stay at Iberostar, El Coz or FA?

In all fairness you really do have 3 different levels of "resorts".

Iberostar is far and away the nicest, don't think too many would argue with that.

El Coz is 2nd-again don't think that will get a lot of arguement.

For me it comes down to the Beach area, food, service, and location. I somewhat prefer the South end of the island bc my days are usually spent on the wild side, and head into town at night for dinners. Having said that I would choose Iberostar over El Coz, and I really wouldn't even consider the FA as it doesn't really have that much to offer (Stayed 1 time for a week bc it was $400 w/air from DIA so you could imagine why)it's not a bad resort, it is just pretty plain and average. Oh and the "beach" is pretty awful and right on the road. Between IB and El Coz, if you absolutely want to be a short drive from Downtown then I don't think you would be disappointed in your choice at all as they have an ok beach and decent food, although admittedly I only stayed there for 2 days and did not try the ala carte. In terms of overall service and food you really do have to put IB up there with Coz Palace, and personally I think the sit down restaurants were as good and a little better. The beach is fantastic, the water a little rocky but easily navigated from the pier or using water shoes. Beach service is included, and the Grounds are hands down the nicest you will find on the island, yes the rooms are small, but I could care less, just sleep there.

Littleton, Colorado
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903 posts
6 reviews
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10. Re: If you could... would you stay at Iberostar, El Coz or FA?

I've never stayed at Iberostar, but have stayed at FA and El Coz. Personally, I preferred FA over El Coz due to the nicer selection of food, the snorkeling and also because there are more sunloungers and no towel wars. FA does not blast the PA all day at the pool either, so very relaxing by the swim-up bar. I also thought the food was a 10x better than El Coz, not gourmet or 5* but tasted very good and was well presented. Since you will have a car it should not be a problem staying south.

I wrote a trip report with photos for our vacation two months ago, you can view it here.

Part1

…blogspot.com/2011/04/cozumel-spring-trip-re…

Part2

…blogspot.com/2011/05/cozumel-spring-trip-re…

Part 3

…blogspot.com/2011/05/week-2-part-2.html