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“Basic Motel, Good Price, Great Location for Diving”

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Villablanca Garden Beach Hotel
Ranked #34 of 53 Hotels in Cozumel
Reviewed 16 April 2009

We booked a week at the Presidente InterContinental (European Plan) in Cancun. Extremely Expensive. Not worth the money UNLESS you like paying thousands of dollars to sit on the beach. Rooms were basic La Quinta style. Beach had plenty of cool places to sit, but you couldn't swim out more than 20 or 30 feet because it was fenced off...

We spent most of our week in Cozumel, Playa and Coba.

After much research on the best outfit to scuba and snorkel with, we chose Scuba Mau which is #1 on TripAdvisor. We couldn't have been happier. We were so happy with our dive and snorkel tour that day that we wanted to spend the night in Cozumel and dive with Mau the next morning at 7:30 am. But, we didn't have a place to stay in Cozumel and coming back from Cancun early the next morning was not possible.

So, Opal of Scuba Mau got us a room next door at the VillaBlanca (VB). We got a Superior (S-4?) for $60. I've seen the reviews that say they don't accept credit. Not sure about that because we paid for our room through Scuba Mau, which accepts credit! Awesome for us!

Check was easy because they were expecting us. They asked how many keys we needed. We needed one. Nothing to note about check in.

The grounds are beautiful and lush, very charming. Our room had a small patio (2 chairs) that opened right out to the pool between two charming trees that formed a canopy.

We checked in around 8pm. It was quiet with a small group sitting under the canopy next to the restaurant chatting (not sure if guests or employees/owners). Two people in hot tub. A couple sitting at the pool relaxing. No noise. No kids running around.

Our room was very large! As described by others, closet on the left and large bathroom on the right. King size bed (hard mattress but we slept fine) with an open divider/shelf space overlooking the living room/sitting area that had what appeared to be a full size futon, coffee table, tv, small to med size fridge (no micro) with sign about ants. This was great bc my husband and I were traveling with our 17 year old son, so he had his own bed and we had some privacy....We LOVED OUR ROOM. No decor on the walls but it was CLEAN and LARGE. We really spread out all of our stuff. Ceiling fan hummed fine and A/C was working ok. I think we were a bit chilly during the night. Plenty of pillows and linens and we asked for more pillows and got them.

Our bathroom was large, marbled and large roman tub. We had PLENTY of hot water. Towels are hard, but what do you expect? No purified water was given to us, so not sure if that is still a problem? We didn't need it. We had our own bottled waters.

After the couple left the hot tub, we went in. The heater was not on. We asked for it to be turned on. They said it would take 15 minutes. It never heated up. I think they just turned the jets on. A group of 3 twenty somethings with cocktails showed up while we were sitting there have an intimate discussion. Of course, they had no sense and hopped right in. After 15 minutes of polite conversation, we got out since it was clear they weren't leaving and the water had not gotten hot. The hot tub never heated up for them, either.

The pool appeared crystal clean and the temp was the same as the hot tub...

We left a deposit at the front desk for 2 beach towels and had no problems upon returning them.

We didn't eat in the restaurant or ask for anything else. We checked out with no problems the next morning and haven't heard a word since.

We are returning in July 2009 to dive for 4 days with Scuba Mau. Opal has made our reservations at Villablanca already. The hotel served our purpose very well and we are quite happy with what we got for the price.

It really depends on what you are looking for. It was quaint, quiet, charming, no frills, but naturally beautiful. It is perfect for a dive trip or just a place to lay your head while you are out all day enjoying the beauty of Cozumel and excursions. We wanted to finally have a hoity-toity vacation at Presidente -- and we paid for it! But, the room was just two hairs better than VillaBlanca. I would rather pay $10 a day to go to another beach during the day while at VillaBlanca than pay several thousand dollars to sit at Presidente's beach. We spent 3 hours at the Presidente beach upon arrival and 1 hour getting a massage on the beach on our departure day. That's it. Our mistake! Now we know not to waste money on an expensive hotel if we don't plan to sit there all day every day. If you want a beautiful view and want to be pampered and relax all day, then don't stay at VillaBlanca. Pay a lot of money and go somewhere exquisite. That is ok! It all depends on what you or I want out of our vacation.

This would be a great location to have a small wedding or family reunion and have ALL of your guests stay there. The grounds are beautiful and there is a tennis court in the back.

We will ALWAYS dive with SCUBA MAU -- they are the best! And, we hope to continue to stay at VillaBlanca. We will definitely write a follow up review after we return from our trip July 2009. We will try the restaurant and bar, try the hot tub again, and see if we can rent some scooters. Hope it goes well! We'll let you know.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank DaveRamseySays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 April 2009

My best friend and I were on a tight budget for our dive trip so we were looking on the travel sites for good deals. I booked this hotel on SkyAuction but found out after our stay that I would have saved even more money if I would have gone through our dive shop and booked a package. Scuba Mau dive shop is offering on their website a 7 night 5 day two tank boat dive package with Villablance for $505/person in a superior ocean view room.

Overall we enjoyed the hotel and would recommend it for other divers who want a good location, clean and comfortable mexican-style no-frills hotel. Our room was a superior room. It was very large with a King Size bed (only king size beds in the superior rooms), sleeper sofa , good sized refrigerator and large bathroom. It had a wonderful view of the ocean and a balcony with two chairs where we spent or mornings and evenings enjoying the sunrise and sunsets.

The hotel has a pool but no beach access. They offer free wireless. I didn't try it but one guest I saw in the office was struggling with the connection. Their parking lot is close to the superior rooms and safely protected our car. We didn't eat in the hotel restaurant because we took advantage of the refrigerator in our room and kept it stocked with food and beverages from the local Chedrauii and Mega grocery stores. We saved a lot of money not going out to eat and since our budgets were tight, this left more money for extra dives in the afternoon and evening.

The garden area has flowering trees and shrubs which attract local birds, hummingbirds and other guests of nature. I enjoyed watching them. There were small ants in the bathoom as other guests have mentioned, but they did not bother us. If you've been to carribean locations before, you know that some bugs are expected. If it really bothers you, bring a little pest control spray as you would iuse n your home or buy some at the store.

I highly recommend this hotel if you are coming to dive and the price can't be beat.

Happy Diving. Linda

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank LindaA99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2009

The Villablanca Garden Beach Hotel has a lot of potential and the people are very nice but we wouldn't stay there again. First - ANTS! They're small but they're always there somewhere. (To be fair, there was a note on the refrigerator not to bring any food in the room EVER for this reason. We took them at their word.)The room we got in no way resembled the picture on the website. It was very spare - no amenities. Not that we need much but "No frills" sums it up in a nutshell. We only received one key - on a lanyard - that opened a lock flimsier than what's on my bathroom door. (This is not a gated or secure property, either. Anyone can walk up to any room.) There are no locked safety deposit boxes in the rooms - you have to rent them in the lobby. The shower head is probably as old as I am and it soaked the whole bathroom every time we took a shower. The one day I was out by the pool, it didn't seem like the bird poo had been cleaned from the lounge chairs in a while. The restaurant was not open the entire time we were there.

On the flip side, the location is good - an easy walk or cab ride into town. Papa Hog's is great next door. Everyone we met was very sweet.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank mrs.thirtysomething
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2009

The hotel is pretty basic but clean. We had a king size bed and for Mexico, it was rather comfortable. Our room was large with high ceilings and windows on 3 sides. The room had a small fridge. We paid $60/night plus tax.

The Villablanca is located on the south end of town. There are several restaurants within walking distance but we opted for a taxi ride into town for most evenings. Great restaurants to try downtown: Casa Denis and Casablanca - they are right next door to each other and we had fabulous meals at both. Most places you can get fairly cheap breakfast. If you are looking for an even cheaper breakfast and trying to make it to the dive shop on time, I suggest going to Mega (the big grocery store) and buying fruit and pastries the night before. We did this on the way back from dinner most nights. We would walk to the Mega and then take a taxi to the hotel from there. We had fun doing this and saved some money.

We used Papa Hogs Dive shop. We never had more than 6 people plus dive master in our group even when we went out on the big boat. Their prices are comparable to other dive shops we have used in town.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Tendi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2009

My boyfriend and I stayed here for 4 nights in March, and it was a nice little buget hotel. The room was clean, except for tiny ants in the bathroom. One of the greatest parts of the stay was the restaurant owner, who was incredibly nice and very knowlegable of the area. He was great to talk to, and the food was good there, but a little pricey. I recommend that if you are staying here, you enjoy breakfast at the place next door called Papa Hogs, where you can get a great breakfast for about $4.50. Also, the oxxo a few doors down sells things like coke and beer for a very good price! :) One thing about the property....in the pictures it looks like there is a beach across the street with a place to get a drink. There is NOT. There is a bit of sand, but there are no chairs to sit on or palm trees. The location was great though, especially for snorkeling or diving...and far enough from the city that you can get away from the party crowd.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sandracathryn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2009

Villa Blanca is a good value. For about $80 you can get a graciously designed, large room that is more of a studio than a room. They have a beautiful garden area and also a villa and tennis court (cracked, but playable for us anyway). The restaurant manager was personable and friendly.

Thank Golf95Lady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2009

I stayed at VB Feb 12-16, 2009. This is our fourth stay at this hotel. We had some concerns after reading some reviews, but we found the hotel to be in excellent shape. The manager, Jorge, is an excellent host and his staff was uniformly helpful. Our room was a Superior room on the second floor with a nice view of the gardens and pool area, and we could see the beach from our balcony. The grounds were lush and well maintained. The room is basic and perhaps some of the previous critical reviews had unreasonable expectations of why you get for this price in Cozumel. In any case, it was clean and had a new A/C and fridge. There were two signs to tell the guests caution guests that if they leave food out and leave the door open they will have bugs in the room. We had no problem with bugs, but did enjoy the 10 or so iguanas that live on the grounds. We also really enjoyed the small restaurant on the grounds, the Nemo. We really enjoyed talking with Nemo's owner, Arturo, and his wife. Their breakfast menu includes a delicious Oaxacan-style egg dish that I highly recommend for those who like an unusual and spicy breakfast entree. The Nemo has a Mexican BBQ on Sunday nights that was a great deal. Arturo says that he makes it like what Mexicans do when they get together with family for grilling. The menu includes cactus with cheese, quesadillas, Spanish chorizo sausage, ham, flank steak, and pineapple - all grilled and delicious.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank drtroppo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villablanca Garden Beach Hotel

Address: Carretera Costera Sur Km 3, Cozumel 77600, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cozumel
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range: £38 - £76 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Villablanca Garden Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villablanca Garden Beach is a beachfront hotel located approximately 5 miles from Cozumel Airport and two miles from town, right in front of Villablanca Reef and Wall (great for snorkeling and diving).Our exclusive property includes 50 rooms and suites, two villas and a Pent-House, all units are equipped with A/C, ceiling fan, refrigerator, satellite TV, telephone and sunken tubs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villablanca Garden Beach Cozumel
Hotel Villablanca Garden Beach

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