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“Iberostar Cozumel comparison”
Review of Iberostar Cozumel

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Iberostar Cozumel
Ranked #10 of 53 Hotels in Cozumel
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 3 January 2009

We were at the IB* Cozumel from 12/24-1/2, over both holidays. While the resort became more crowded over time, we still had a great stay—it never seemed full. Many of the previous posts hold true (coral on the beach, etc) so for utility sakes, I will try to compare this to previous trips to IB* PDC (Paraiso Maya and Lindo). I had a great time and highly recommend this resort. We were a group of 10 in all, with 6 rooms staggered over 2 weeks. A great time was had by most….can't please them all.

Food: For 9 days, you can only reserve 3 specialty restaurants in advance. However, you can make as many day-of reservations as are available. Here's the catch: while each of the specialty restaurants has two seatings, with two staggered reservations, each table is used only once, so they accommodate about 20 tables per evening (depending on party size, of course). This means there are very limited reservations. This seems to be the capacity that they can handle, so I think they know their limits and play to them. "American" was mediocre with slow service, Steak was very good, and Mexican was very good (but slow service). The buffet was good—comparable to PDC IB* resorts. One snag—we ordered a birthday cake. It turned out they took one of the chocolate cakes that is usually served for dinner and wrote 'Happy Birthday' on it…and charged us $30. Not what we expected.

Rooms: Each building has 4 or 8 rooms. Some have adjoining rooms. The rooms are small compared to the other IB* resorts—more like a traditional hotel or motel with respect to size. There are only 6 "cubbies" for clothes, no dressers. I cannot imagine staying there with more than 2 or 3 people for more than 4 or 5 days. The bathroom is fine. One problem is that the a/c doesn’t really condition the air, so it is a moist cool climate…paper wilts, clothes smell a bit. We had trouble with a non-smoking room that had been previously occupied by smokers. I became hoarse after 2 or 3 minutes in the room. Not sure how this happens without the hotel doing a more thorough cleaning (it was in the ventilation and even a new filter and febreeze couldn't solve the problem). It was then a struggle to keep the group together as we had to change this room to keep the surgeon general happy. The rooms were kept meticulously and the staff was very responsive. Towel art every day, well-stocked fridge. One warning—there is only one extra outlet. If you need to plug in more than one item, then you have to unplug the TV or clock….or bring a power strip????

Beach: Nice sand but as others have said, the coral precludes easy entry—the dock helps, but it seems that the resort might be able to figure a way to improve entry into the Caribbean.

Pool: One pool, where the usual early-morning towel-on-the-chair antics rule. The problem is smokers. It was SO annoying (to me and those in our party) to be surrounded by so many smokers and have to breathe their fumes. This is the first time we have encountered this. It is strange since the majority of guests come for the SCUBA and one would think these guests would be more health-conscious and respectful. There is only one pool, divided by the swim-up bar. Like other IB*'s, the water is cool, so it is refreshing, but this leads to a lack of over-crowding. Never sure if the intentionally chill the water….

The grounds are meticulously kept, as well—as nice as the PDC resorts. The staff is responsive, helpful, and courteous. The woman serving drinks at the pool worked as hard as the groundskeepers. I don’t think we ever tipped her enough. She was extremely polite. Many of the pool chairs are broken: some have broken slats and others have dysfunctional back supports. Every few minutes, you would hear a whack and then a laugh, and see someone shaking their head as they tried to get up with a minor case of whiplash. The chair backs don't stay upright. Time to invest in a new product…. The beach chairs are fine. There is wireless and it is reliable, but costs $10/day. This can be shared on multiple computers, but not simultaneously. The 'Star Friends' do a good job and are not too intrusive. A variety of activities and sports, alike.

I'll add in some comments on the Diving. Like many IB* resorts, this one has a Dressel dive shop. I'm not sure about the link between Dressel and IB*--seems incestuous (LOL). Enough good things cannot be said about this operation. Our 11 year-old son and I took the open water dive certification course (PADI). Wow, what an accomplishment for a child. It would not have been possible, if not for the superior staff there. Patient, kind, helpful, and accommodating are words that come to mind. They know their role and do it as well as humanly possible. I HIGHLY recommend this for someone with the slightest inkling. I have snorkeled for almost 3 decades and now can’t wait to plan another trip to SCUBA. Snorkeling lets you observe the fish; SCUBA lets you interact with the underwater life.

In summary, this is a different resort from the Playa IB*'s. More laid-back, smaller, less choices, but overall, a great place to come and relax. Even the tour operator reps are lower-key than PDC. We had a fantastic time and highly recommend this resort, so long as you know the resort is really a 3.5-4 * resort with respect to the property and amenities, not a 4 or 5 star, as some reviews (and Iberostar) like to suggest. But the experience IS entirely 5 star…..

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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13  Thank hurwitza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 December 2008

The whole family plus two visited IC this past Dec. 13-21. As a mother of three with two extra teenagers on this trip, this was a great place to stay. As you read from other reviews, the beach, entertainment , food etc is great. I will focus on other things that were more important to us... Regarding the rocky beach, we brought water shoes and snorkled all the way down the beach. If you want to see more during your snorkeling, I would recommend the snorkel trip from Alberto's just down the beach. The gent who guides you takes you to great hots spots and will even dive down and find water creatures for you to see and touch! One of our members did the snorkel trip with Iberostar while we went scuba diving, and she was disappointed because they just swam above the coral and didn't see much. Alberto's is cheaper!
We also recommend a trip to Alberto's for their lobster dinner! The tails were huge and delicious! Yes, it does cost money, (not included in the club dinners) but well worth the visit. We also recommend taking the jeep tour, but renting your own jeeps. We had planned for all 7 of us to go on the jeep tour, but at 70.00/person we decided to rent our own jeeps (2) and visit the island with some guidance from the people at the club/Alberto's. The jeeps cost 70.00 each for 24 hours. We went for the day, came back for supper and then used the jeeps to go into town to shop! (It cost us 40.00 one way for 7 to go down town by taxi)
We recommend going downtown to shop. Great bargins if you go past the centre park and into the side streets to shop. Whatever they quote you as a price for anything, cut it in 1/4 and begin to bargin. For example, for a orange opal ring - silver - we were quoted 140.00 US. and we ended up paying 35.00 US. The opals are gorgeous and real! We bought over 7 items for everyone for under 130.00 US. Comparatively, we saved quite a bit. If you want to know where to go exactly, email me. I will give you directions and pictures of the 'guy who likes to deal.'

When we were there, the hotel was at 60% capacity so in the evenings, the disco wasn't hopin'. My kids and husband enjoyed playing pool all night long and enjoyed the attention from the staff. We have stayed at the Reef Club in the past (Wyndam now) and I would say the night life was better given it had more 'partiers.' This club is for serious scuba divers and while they scuba dive all day long, they do retire early! We are NOT serious scuba divers and enjoy a party at night!

Most people will party in the lobby after supper....which is okay for a mature crowd, but we had 5 teenagers! As a group we loved the Iberostar and would come back for the scuba diving...but would party in town next time at Senior Frogs or others.

The scuba diving is great. The reefs and coral are wonderful. We saw sharks, eel and many wonderful coloured fish. The crew are great...except Rich. If you have him as a guide, request someone else. He isn't 'into' it and as novice divers, we were left to our own defenses and it was quite frightening the first time back in the water diving after a year away from it Thankfully, we were blessed with being in a group of professional divers who guided us and gave us some good tips and help.
I did hear other dive masters were wonderful, but we unfortunately had Rich each time....and it got worse with every dive.

I did hear from other divers the diving costs were cheaper with Martin's in town. Martin's will pick you up at the pier as well, and there is only 5 ppl on the trip compared to 20+ that the club dive group has. I also did meet a friend who was 'ripped off'' by another dive club in town. Apparently, they cater to the cruise ships and will do anything and sell you things that aren't functional because they think you are going to leave in the day...as the cruise ships do.

If you are a diver, I recommend a room close to the beach. We rented everything, but the divers who had to carry all their gear through the path were quite pooped after the day!
Don't get the rooms beside the dive club...NOISY! Lots of noise from the oxygen machine and the ppl renting etc.
We had a room a few houses back and loved it.

Oh...we ordered the Spanish wine to our room every afternoon to drink to watch the sunsets....which are gorgeous! It cost an extra 9.00/bottle, but well worth it. The house wine isn't good...! I don't like the fruity/sour drinks. Wine is the only thing I can drink and this wine didn't give me a headache like most wines do.
If you go to any of the resturants they serve the good spanish wine for no extra cost.
Enjoy your stay! We certainly did!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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15  Thank dreyner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2008

I would rank this one of my top vacations. The Iberostar was wonderful. Yes, the rooms are on the small side. (so what) They are clean, nice size shower and love the towel art. We always left a few dollars and prizes on the pillow for the cleaning crew. They don't get paid but about 4 to 6 dollars a day. I always make sure From the time of check in to the time of check out the staff was wonderful. The STAR FRIENDS are the best. Always willing to take the time to stop and talk with you. Gei, Jesse, Oscar and Ronaldo were the BEST!!!!! The food was always very good. The American resturant was not hitting on much. Just wanted to try it. The grounds are so pretty and they are always working on them. If you want to go down town the 4 of us paid $20.00 each way. Took a 5 hour taxi ride with Francisco all over the island. It was a BLAST!!!!!!!!! The spray paint guys that come to the hotel are amazing to watch. Had to buy a few of the paintings to take home to remember the trip. The beer on tap is Sol at the beach bar and Dos Equis at the other bars. Top shelf alcohol, my husband was very happy about that. Make sure that you tell Lucy, who sells the mexican treasures by the pool that her 2 Grandpa's said HELLO. What a sweet girl. Please feel free to ask any questions concerning the Iberostar. I have also stayed at the one in the Mayan Rivera. Happy Travels with the Iberostar in Cozumel.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with friends
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8  Thank tarheelmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2008

My husband and I stayed at the IB from 12/5-12/12/08..
Our experience was wonderful!! If you choose the Iberostar you will not be disappointed. We love all inclusives and we still go to town and do the local restaurants here and there. It's so nice to eat and drink as you please. We always tip and show our respect to everyone and get treated like gold. Let me rephrase that. Everyone always treats us like gold, so to show our thanks and respect, we tip. The grounds are awesome. At night you truly feel as though you are in a jungle, all alone. soooo awesome..The residents of IB, as in the flamingos, birds, igauanas, etc.. just top it off..If you go with a group or another couple, share a rental car and then you can come and go as you please without relying on cabs. Go exploring and have a blast!! The food was great. We loved the buffet even and we are from the land of buffets, Nevada..The steak house is better than the mexican restaurant, sorry. Only our opinion..We stayed in room 8303. We were right on the beach and pool area. One evening while waiting on my hubby to get ready to go to dinner, I watched a wedding right from my patio, so romantic..I would recommend this hotel to families and to couples. It really is a family friendly place so if you want no kiddies around, maybe try just a dive resort..The ONLY thing that bummed me out about the IB was the fact that you cannot walk barefoot into the ocean from the beach. (Iron shore is rough on the feet, so bring water shoes) We stayed at the occidental Allegro in the past and their beach is/was tops, I must say. But, that was the ONLY thing I can say that I did not like about the resort. Bars great, food great, rooms great, staff wonderful, grounds great. Any questions please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help you out. My husband and I have 5 children ages 8-18, every few yrs we go alone somewhere and it takes alot of planning..This was our trip alone, and it was absolutely wonderful!! We put alot of work into picking a new place to try in Coz and if you, yourself, want to get spoiled, then look no further than the Iberostar!!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with friends
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9  Thank fairmaidenof6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2008

Stayed at iberostar from Dec. 7, to Dec 13, 2008. reading what people had said both ways we were ready to make our own judgement about the Hotel. all I can say is that we had a wonderful time and the hotel and staff are excellent!!!. enjoyed all the resturants, and the Bars were great . Hope that mother nature could hepl the beach ,but other than that would stay there again

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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5  Thank rcponcho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2008

This was my best vacation ever!! The grounds were beautiful and very well kept. I have never seen so many people work so hard with a sincere smile. The flamingos, peacocks and iguanas were a treat.

I went diving for my first time and Matt was the best. I don't even swim. If it weren't for him I would never have gone in the water.

The Jeep tour was great and we saw beautiful parts of the island. Israel and Panchito were fabulous.

We fished and caught barracuda. We brought it to Alberto's and what an experience that was. It was by far the best fish I've ever eaten. They should be congratulated.

It was nice that with all the people at the resort, they knew me by name. What a treat. I will be going back and will reccommend any Iberostar resort anywhere. If this is how they normally do business, they have a good thing going and shouldn't change a thing.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank MissMimiBuffalo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2008

My fiance and I stayed at the Iberostar from Nov 29-Dec 6 and had a great time! I have stayed at various resorts in Puerta Vallarta, Mayan Rivieria, Montego Bay, Puerta Plata & Punta Cana and I would say the Iberostar Cozumel is one of my favourite places so far.

HOTEL/GROUNDS:
The Iberostar is very nicely maintained.. the grounds are beautifully landscaped, the flamingos, Iguianas and birds were great and the whole resort has a tropical jungle feel.. All of the two-storey huts look great and it feels like you live in a little village for a week. I was extremely impressed with the overall look of the resort, to me it was a 5 star. Immaculate and beautifully designed. The only downfall, or maybe a plus for some people is the Resort is the last and farthest away from the downtown area.. However, it's only about 20-30min away and costs $17 for a cab into town. We rented a Jeep and another car for a few days though and it was very convenient and worth the money.

ROOMS:
The rooms are tidy and clean (didn't even notice one bug) and we were on the bottom level. Each room has a porch with a hammock.. The room is nice, but nothing fancy.. The design/colors looked a bit old, but it was fine, no complaints here. The only issue we had was that the bed was HARD.. Our backs were hurting by the end of the week. The bathroom was very nice/clean but there was barely any water pressure. No major problems though, I think the rest of the resort makes up for the rooms.

BEACH:
I was very disappointed in the beaches.. I thought Cozumel's beaches would be similar to those in the Mayan Riviera but they weren't... Lots of rocks, washed up seaweed and the water did not look beautiful clear blue.. However, there is the East side of the island that has much nicer beaches, but who wants to drive everyday to the beach in the middle of nowhere.
I heard the coral reefs for snorkling & diving was beautiful though... I have never done either, so I can't give an opinion on that. I would rate the beaches/ocean 3 stars..

POOLS:
The main pool is awesome.. It's almost like 3 pools in one... The pool is divided into two large free form pools separated by a pool bar... There is a smaller circular children's pool attached to a small knee-high pool where everyone put the pool chairs in the water and you could lay/tan half in the water.. I thought that was cool, as long as you don't mind the kids playing next to you, which I didn't mind. The pools were very COLD though.. but I'm a baby, I like my swimming pools like 85 degrees lol.. But no real complaints here, they were great.

SERVICE/STAFF:
The staff was very nice, always polite and offered their services.. The front desk staff was also very helpful and curteous. Our only complaint was the ladies at the Guest Services desk who book the a-la-carte dinner reservations. You are only garunteed 2 dinner reservations (which is fine) but any extra days you are allowed to check-in at 1pm and see if there is availability. We liked having dinners later around 8:30-9pm and noticed they were always empty.. So my fiance checked with Guest Services for the late dinner openings and they said there was nothing available without even checking. A few minutes later I would go separately and ask and they said yes and would book us. Another time we both asked they said nothing was available (without even looking), but a while later we called from our room and someone else said Yes and would book us in. The later dinners at 8:30-9pm were ALWAYS empty..
My fiance also lost his blackberry (it fell off his pouch) and it was never found. The front desk was very helpful and had us fill out a report, but otherwise nothing was found.. No one turned it in, so that was disappointing, but it happens I guess.

ENTERTAINMENT:
The entertainment staff were great.. Always had fun shows to watch and kept the guests busy playing pool games, volleyball, etc. They were wonderful and very friendly even sitting with guests during lunches or breakfast.

COZUMEL ISLAND:
The Island was very nice, you can drive around the whole Island in about 1.5 hours making some stops along the way to some shops or the beach. There is one main road and things are pretty easy to find. The downtown area is pretty basic and easy to find shops and bargain with the locals for deals. The people were friendly and overall the Island seemed very safe.

FOOD/RESTAURANTS:
I thought the food was pretty good... Lots of variety in the buffet, the Steak House had amazing food and the American & Mexican restaurants were pretty good too. There was always somewhere to eat.. I'm glad I gained almost 10 lbs down there lol !


Overall, the Iberostar was great... It is a beautiful resort and I would go back! I do prefer the beaches in the Mayan Rivierera, but it was nice to experience another part of Mexico that I greatly enjoyed.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank staceymck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Iberostar Cozumel

Address: Costera Sur, km. 17,785, Cozumel 77600, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cozumel
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Cozumel
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#6 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range: £108 - £289 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Iberostar Cozumel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 294
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Directly on the beach, in a rocky, coral–filled cove with unspoilt waters. A paradise for diving and snorkelling. Sub-tropical mangrove forest. Bungalows in typical local style. Second-largest reef in the World. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Cozumel Hotel Cozumel
Cozumel Iberostar
Iberostar Cozumel Mexico

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