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“El Coz the good and the not so good”

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El Cozumeleno Beach Resort
Ranked #24 of 51 Hotels in Cozumel
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“El Coz the good and the not so good”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2014

My husband and I just returned from a really nice, relaxing trip to Cozumel. I want to preface this review by saying that #1 I've NEVER been to an all-inclusive resort before, #2 I had never been to Mexico before and #3 I'm not a super picky person. We knew that staying at El Coz was going to be an affordable vacation and I had read dozens of reviews before-hand, so I knew what to expect.

We stayed in room 1311 which had a breathtaking view of both the "fun pool" and the sea. Honestly, the view and the balcony were so good, it might have been the most memorable part of the trip. In past reviews, I had read that you needed a room 4th floor or higher. This is only really true if you're staying closer to the ends of the South Tower. Room 1311 is smack in the middle, by the elevators. Perfect view.

The room:
BIG! Much bigger than I expected and very, very clean. A/C was cold and quiet. The shower was big enough for two. The bathroom had a separate vanity and there was a nice, but small, wall safe. Flat screen TV with about 100 channels, most of them in Spanish. There was one channel, AXN (I think) that played your typical night-time dramas in English. The king-sized bed was covered with a very thick egg-crate (which we didn't have to request and it made the bed quite comfortable.) The pillows were HORRIBLE. Bring your own! We could hear the pool/bar area until about 10pm and could occasionally hear noises in the hall. Never heard our next door neighbors though. Tile floors and the housekeepers replenished our water daily. (We tipped VERY well ($5 a day) and we're oftentimes gifted with little towel animals, toilet paper flowers and extra towels.) The balcony was awesome.

The pools:
We spent the majority of our time in the pool with the "swim up bar". I say that in quotes because it was really more of a walk up bar as the water gets really shallow by the bar area. We really didn't like this and felt that it could have been designed way better. That being said, the service around the bar is AMAZING, so we never really felt like we needed to go to the bar anyway. Again, we tipped about $1 a drink and got lots of attention. The pools aren't really connected and it's actually kind of difficult to get from one to another. It didn't really matter though, they were all wet and fun. The "activities" pool was deeper and another place we spent most of our time. I had a great time doing the water aerobics and the pool trivia games were pretty fun. The covered pool was pretty quiet. The "quiet side" pools were nice, especially right after doing some snorkeling or swimming in the sea. There are several showers. There's also a bar right by the quiet pool. (We had the quiet pool to ourselves most times we used it.)

The hot tubs:
One word: Ick. There are two of them. Apparently they get cleaned every two days. Neither was ever more than "warm". They were both pretty gross, but hot tubs aren't really my thing so I'm probably judging harshly.

The sea:
AMAZING! The water is crystal clear and the snorkeling right off the shore is really fantastic. You can rent equipment from the dive shop up until about 6pm daily. You need to leave your ID and they only loan it out for about an hour, but they didn't seem to mind that we brought it back late. For the first few days we were there, they had some inflated water toys, hours of entertainment.

The beach:
Eh? The beach is fairly nonexistent these days. Apparently they had a bad storm that took all their sand. They have sand bags all over to hold the remaining sand in place. Not great for laying out except on the man-made area with the chairs and the little huts. (BTW the chairs are NOT comfortable there, the blue ones by the pool are much better.) You need water shoes to get to the water, it's pretty rocky. The pictures on the website are old. That being said, the resort just next door has a really nice beach area. The water over there is not as awesome though, lots of reeds and really murky. I guess you give some to get some.

The resort itself:
Everyone, I repeat every staff person is helpful and friendly and awesome. The bellhops are the best. Don't ask the front desk for recommendations, ask the bellhops. The whole place is really clean and pretty. Be careful though if it rains, it gets really SLICK! Everything is tile. The elevators stopped working because of the rain one day we were there and the stairs get covered with water. I cannot say this enough, it's REALLY SLIPPERY! My husband used the gym treadmill once, pretty standard. No A/C in the gym. We only saw one "show" while we were there. We saw the band play...pretty entertaining. Every other night they played movies, some in spanish, some english. We would really have liked it if the resort had had more nightly entertainment. :-( But, we were in Cozumel...so we just went out a lot. The interior bar is in the lobby and isn't great for sitting and socializing. They didn't really have a nice bar-bar for drinking, it's all by the pool or in the lobby. The discotheque/karaoke has been CLOSED. They need to take it off the website. There is minigolf on site, but we never played. It looked fun though. The biggest complaint I had about the resort was that they had NO ATM on site. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me. They actually suggested we take a cab to the resort next door to use theirs. Cabs cost exactly $8 or $80 pesos into town. We typically gave $1 tip, never had a bad cab experience.

Check in/out:
Seamless. Our room wasn't ready when we arrived, so we took the opportunity to explore the resort. Our bags were brought up for us and we were offered a welcome drink. Check out was easy...make sure you DO NOT LOSE the keys (real room keys), the towel cards or the safety deposit box key. They are sticklers. We had to make a call to the US from our room, it was $5 a minute...ugh, but they had a credit card reader.

The Food:
Ok, so this is the one place where we were pretty disappointed. The food ranged from "just ok to really terrible." The breakfast was probably the best meal, with the omelette being the best choice. We got the to the point by the end of the week we were only eating in La Veranda for breakfast/lunch and avoiding the buffet all together. The birds are pretty bad, but not a total turnoff. Really the food was the turn off. I'm not a super picky eater, but even I had trouble with it. I will give them credit though, neither one of us ever got "sick" from eating their food. We think the issue was freshness. There was a distinct difference in the made to order food and the stuff that was obviously several days old and reheated. The hamburgers are HILARIOUS. We called them "meat pancakes". The eggs were runny. More than at least 3 times the "bread area" or the "fruit area" would be over-run by ants. We ended up eating at several restaurants in town towards the middle and end of our trip. (BTW guys need long pants for La Veranda for dinner. We never got to eat dinner in their bc my hubby forgot his pants!) We also heard that there was a change in management in the last year and that may have had something to do with the poor quality of the food. Also, it's really hard to complain because the service was so awesome. The one day we did complain, Arturo the dinner buffet manager, came over and brought us ice cream. It was a nice gesture.

I'll do separate reviews for the restaurants we ate at in town, but just a quick mention: both Abuelo Gerardo & Fogo de Brasil were AWESOME.

I'll review the excursions separately, but just to note we took the Fury Snorkel tour. It was pretty fantastic...we booked from the hotel lobby and the boat picked us up from the pier on the El Coz beach and then brought us right back. Probably the best part of the trip was having the boat practically to ourselves!!

Overall, El Coz was a great place. It lost significant "points" because of the food, the pillows and the lack of ATM. The only real deterrent for going back would be the food. But, the location is awesome, the snorkeling and clear blue water are amazing and the pools are great. I also cannot say enough about the staff and the service. Feel free to ask me any more questions and I'll try to remember to link this to the other reviews I do (restaurants, excursions and in-town.)

Room Tip: If you're staying on a lower floor, try to stay in the "middle" near the elevators. W...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank downeyek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Crested Butte, Colorado
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

Met here with my 2 Besties, we had an amazing time! Everyone at the hotel was wonderful, especially our happy waitress Lourdes, our darling and helpful housekeeper Teresa, and our super fun activities director Pilar! We can't wait to go back!!!!

Room Tip: The higher the better the view.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank patw21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heflin, Louisiana
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

We had a great stay. The staff is wonderful and the property is beautiful. As a plus, the property was not full when we were there...so it was amazing. No lines, no problem with beach chairs or towels. The food has improved, and the dinner shows are great. We have stayed 4 times over the past 10 years. I could see the improvements being made. There are going to be people who complain no matter the experience. For Cozumel, this is a 4 to 5 star hotel. I say "for Cozumel", because honestly...if you are coming to Cozumel for the plush resort...you will be disappointed no matter where you stay. If you are coming for beautiful white sand beaches and beautiful accommodations... go to Cancun or Playa de Carmen...Cozumel is not the place for you. That being said, I've been to the plush resorts in Cancun & Playa, and I hands down would pick Cozumel any day and time over Cancun & Playa. As to why I pick the El Cozumeleno over the other hotels on the island. #1 Location. It is in the North Hotel zone. You are far away enough from town that it is quite. It is in the safest area on the island. It is an $8 cab ride to town from the hotel.( For the Southern end hotels it's $20 or more to town) #2 The water. You have direct beach access from the hotel "beach".. Yes it is rocky, but is not totally iron shore. Most hotels in town, the "beach is across the street from the hotel and is complete iron shore". The hotel has a long concrete pier that keeps most of the sea weed yuck away. The Melia Hotel is next door, and the water in front of it was so bad that you couldn't swim in it. (because of a storm that washed the yuck in)... the pier protected it at the Cozumeleno. The snorkeling is amazing at the El Cozumeleno. There is always a TON of fish. #3 It has a Beautiful Property. The pool is very pretty. the beach area is very nice. There are nice bonuses like mini golf, free snorkel rental, games etc.... good amenities. Okay,and to the things I hear people complain about. #1 the food.... If you are not too picky, you will not starve. you will be able to find things there that you can eat. It is not the best, but it is acceptable. But if you are going for the food at a resort, you are not going to be happy at any of them. #2 the drinks. They do not make them strong because they do not want a bunch of slobbery drunks. You are hanging in the pool all day ...drinking....if they were too strong, you would be passed out by 10 am. If you want a stronger drink, or a better quality drink.... tell the bartender. They will make it exactly how you ask. Even better,.... tip him when you ask..... It will not be a problem. #3 the staff. I don't understand this complaint. They have a wonderful staff. I stayed 8 days and NEVER had an issue with staff. Don't make unreasonable requests....don't treat them rude, they are NOT your servants... some guests can be so obnoxious! ... #4 the rooms. I have stayed in the old and new parts. First... Garden view.... All the rooms face the ocean and you will face the ocean even in a garden view room. Garden view will be a room on the first 2 - 3 floors. Old V/s New..... Old rooms are HUGE....like really HUGE... They are much less noisy. Yes, the decorations are a little dated. They are further away from the main pool. (that's why less noise) That's the only draw back... at least for me. The new rooms...are plenty big enough....more noise.. newer stuff. A deluxe room v/s a regular room....... you get a bathtub. The showers in the regular rooms are big enough for 2. If you have to have a tub.... pay the extra money...but it would be a waste in my opinion. Any room 4th floor or higher is an amazing ocean view. (the higher up, the less noise...like BIRDS in the morning and noisy guest that party late at the pool) The beds and pillows are hard. The air is not Ice cold..... BUT, we were never too hot (this is Mexico) and if you have a problem with hard beds and pillows....well, I can't help you there. A Some things are out of anyone's control.... this is a vacation... be glad you are on vacation, realize that some things are out of your, and their control, and make the best out of what ever situation may arise. We LOVE this place and will continue to be repeat customers.

Room Tip: the higher the better for quite...for really quite, pick the old side...but be aware that it is the...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank girlzgonecruzin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gilmer, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

This being our second trip to the El Cozumeleno, we knew what to expect. Our stay was made much better with the help of the whole staff, who are VERY friendly and accommodating. Our favorites were Angel in the buffett and Lourdes at the beach bar (our cups were never empty and she would even bring food).....they both went above and beyond. The grounds crew never stopped working. The best dinner meals are in the inside restaurant, always excellent. The buffett meals are about what you would expect in an all-inclusive, but we never went hungry! Snorkeling from the beach here is FANTASTIC, we snorkeled for many hours here! I would recommend this resort.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Jon W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014

I've stay here 6 yrs in a row. I love this resort. The food wasn't as good as last year. But I didn't go hungry. If you can't find nothing on the buffet you can always order off the menu. You won't be disappointed with the fish tacos. The beds are nice and hard. If I had to change one thing it would have to be the beds. They are slowly making some changes with management and do hopefully beds will b the next change. Wonderful place and wonderful staff!

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank BronsonWolfgang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roanoke
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014

I have to say that overall this Resort is excellent. The service was great. At the beach we were received by Lourdes, she really takes care of the customers. At the restaurant the staff was very nice....including Moises. The beach side buffet needs some improvements. Very limited selection. Definitely will go again. Loved it.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Eagleprosat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Longview, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014

This was our third stay at El Cozumeleno,and will be be back as soon as we can.The staff were extremely friendly and very helpful.A big thank you to Lourdes,our waitress on the beach.She was a pleasure to talk with and always had a smile on her face and always kept our drinks refilled.The snorkeling at the resort was great.We would like to see more entertainment at night for adults. We really love this resort,it is great for rest and relaxation,,and this is why we keep coming back.The view from our room(1806) was awesome.Thank you to all the staff but especially Lourdes and Jose.Hope to see all of you again very soon.

Room Tip: Each time we have stayed here we have been in the south tower and each room had an incredible ocean...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Arlyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Cozumeleno Beach Resort

Property: El Cozumeleno Beach Resort
Address: Playa Santa Pilar Km 4.5, Cozumel 77600, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cozumel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#13 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Cozumeleno Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 251
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
El Cozumeleno Beach Hotel Cozumel
El Cozumeleno Beach Cozumel
El Cozumeleno Cozumel

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