We stayed at El Cozumeleno Beach Resort April 23rd-30th, 2012 and had an amazing stay. This was our 10th trip to the island and in the past we have stayed at hotels such as El Presidente and the Cozumel Palace. While this resort doesn't live up to the quality of the others, as long as you go in with your expectations in check, you'll have a great time at El Coz. After reading hundreds of reviews, it seems like people are expecting the quality of 5-star resorts at half the price, which isn't going to happen.
Taking our first steps through the front doors of the hotel, we knew it was going to be a great place to stay. We were greeted by the bellman, who took our luggage right away and then we were offered delicious refreshments while we waited our turn to check in. Check in was a breeze, with no hassle and friendly staff. We preceeded to our room (1805) in the new tower and noticed right away that the rooms were huge and very well kept. Our maid service (Carmen) was always very good and our room was left very very clean. If you tip a few dollars, they tend to go above and beyond to keep you happy and give you extra bottles of water. Yes, some of the furniture was a little worn, but still usable. Yes, the beds are hard, but we slept great every night. The bathroom had a well lit vanity with a chair (a girls dream) for getting ready! The view from our room was breath-taking. Waking up in the morning to the crystal clear waters right next to you is unbelievable. We never heard much noise from down at the pool, but did hear a little noise from the room above us-it sounded like a heard of buffalo was running across their floor! The only other thing that some may not like is how outdated the doors and locks are on each room as well as the size of the security safe in each room, but they are managable. We did have a wifi connection in our room that we were able to use at times (okay speed), but at other times it would say it was out of range and not work. The grounds of the hotel are absolutely beautiful and also very well kept. Someone is always working on something to ensure the beauty of the hotel. Just a heads up: look out for falling coconuts on palm tree trimming day! :)
We've never been anywhere else in Mexico for two reasons; we love Cozumel and the ocean is crystal clear and absolutely beautiful. The beaches are awesome and well kept thanks to super Mario!-a little rocky on shore, but it's typical of Cozumel due to the many reefs. The hotel has two piers on each side of the property and they make the water very clear and great for snorkeling/swimming. The water in between the piers is a million times more clean then outside of the pier where it was very dirty and jellyfish were spotted, too. The snorkeling was exceptional. We saw a great variety of fish and sea creatures including: stingrays, puffer fish, and needle fish. Ask the buffet and they will give you a bag of dried bread to feed the fish and you will literaly have thousands of fish around you-AMAZING! We had no problem getting one of the 10 tiki huts on the beach in the morning (before 7am), but there were numerous days that you could still get one after 9am. This resort has many pools for people of every age, but the pool water was very cold but refreshing! (much colder than the ocean) There were many times we were the only ones in the pool and felt like we had it all to ourselves! The resort does also have 2 hottubs, but the water seemed very hot, so we didn't use them much. One downfall about the beach/pool area are the beach chairs. They are very hard and some of them were broken. Also, drink service on the beach was rather slow (but when Laura, Circe and Jose come around they are great!), so you might be better off walking to the closest bar for something to drink.
We could always find something to eat, but overall this is one thing the hotel could work on. We only snacked at the buffet one time. The food was mediocre at best and you felt like you were going to be attacked by the birds at any second! They have the walls of the buffet closed so birds can't get inside, but the doors on each end are wide open and birds are constantly in and out attempting to get food off people's plates or the actual buffet itself (high success rate!). The snackbar was very low end and the food was somewhat edible. It mostly consisted of chips/cheese, chicken nuggets and french fries. The best food you will find at this resort will be found at the La Veranda restaurant-breakfast, lunch and dinner! Not many people eat here for breakfast and lunch (you don't need reservations for those times and no dress code is enforced), but the food is very fresh and very good! For dinner (you do need reservations), but they were always easy to get and half the time we waited til mid afternoon to make them. The menu for dinner changes every day to every two days and they offer a selection of high end dishes with a chef's special that changes every day. Some of the dishes included: salmon over pasta, steak, different pasta dishes, chicken and rice, pizzas, etc along with many appetizers and salads to choose from. Dinner started with different breads usually served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and ended with amazing desserts! The staff in this restaurant are amazing and work very hard to please you-especially Santiago, Angel, Roger, Sylvia, and Ceasar! After dinner one night, we had delicious baked alaska and mexican coffee(fire coffee) for dessert made by Angel that was amazing!! The baked alaska needs to be requested the day before, so they have time to prepare it. The resort has 4 bars and it seems like no two bars make a drink the same. Most drinks tasted okay, but it is fairly obvious that they use low end alcohol. Some of the bartenders don't seem to know how to mix drinks and we even had one bartender ask us if we knew the amount of ingredients that went into a certain drink. The non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiris were very good and refreshing!
The resort offers many fun activities for the whole family to enjoy! These include: minigolf, scuba lessons in the pool, water aerobics, bingo, tennis and billiards/ping pong. The hotel does have a disco that stays open late and is located up the stairs from the lobby on the second floor. It offers music and also has a bar inside. We did rent a 4-door Jeep from the hotel for $80 per 24hrs and went around the other side of the island, which was gorgeous and felt very safe! The Jeep was only 2 years old, but in pretty rough shape and every light on the dash was on, but it made our trip just fine!
*During our stay in late April, the hotel stated that they were only at 37% occupancy which may have made it easier to grab tiki huts/chairs in the morning and always have open reservation times.
*A cab ride to town was about $8 ($10 for a van) which makes for a fun shopping trip. While in town, we would highly recommend eating at La Terraza (located in the old Prima building). They offer amazing pastas and steaks at very reasonable prices. EXCELLENT!
*For a good view of sunsets, we would recommend going upstairs above the scuba store. It was an amazing view and noone or anything was in our way.
*The rooms didn't have any clocks. We recommend bringing an alarm clock with you.
*The hotel does not have electronic key cards. Two rooms keys are given to you around strings and if you happen to lose them you will be charged a large fee.
*Towel cards are given to you to receive towels and IDs are needed to receive snorkel equipment.
Overall, even with all the things we'd change, it wouldn't take much for this resort to be a 5-star-as the grounds and staff are some of the best we've seen on the island. We had a wonderful vacation and a truly relaxing one at that! Thank you El Cozumeleno for a great trip in a great paradise! We look forward to coming and visiting you again!
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- Also Known As:
- El Cozumeleno Beach Hotel Cozumel
- El Cozumeleno Beach Cozumel
- El Cozumeleno Cozumel