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Reviewed 26 September 2004

After a great 5 days Yucatan Highlights tour we came to the wonderful Iberostar Cozumel to spend there the remaining 10 days of our honeymoon (5 - 14 September). The place, the Hotel with the little bungalows, the hotel staff (i.e. the room maids nicely decorating the bed) - it was perfect. We had a wonderful time there and we found it more than worthwile to spend 11 hours on a plane to get there.

Especially we loved the quiet beach with these nice palmtrees, to swim in the quite big pools before breakfast (later on the pools were too crowded with too many Americans having sometimes too early too many Margaritas...), the friendly and attentive waiters (thanks Antonio, Angel and all others) and the friendly and professional animateurs (Star Friends) who really do a great job during day and even more admiringly during the shows in the evening (Jerry, Luis, Edwin, Riccardo, Diana, Alicia, Milagros, DJ Paul, Charly, Alex and all the others). It's amazing that they are still able to do such nice and funny performances after such long working days. Thanks also to them for accepting a no when being invited for an activity and wanting to rest!

Diving and snorkling in the area is simply wonderful. I did the open water certificate. However, I decided to not do it at the Iberostar's Dressel diving school but at the Palancar Dive at the neighboring Grand Occidental. Dressel seems to be exaggerating its prices and Dive Palancar not only proved to be less costly but also more flexible. As it was low season I had my own instructor (Thanks Clemente you did a great job!).

The last two days were affected by the Hurricane Ivan, but fortunately much less then feared. (By going to the Carribean during the Hurricane season you should off course also think about accepting a certain risk). My wife, who was a bit scared by what might happen, regreted that the animation activities from the side of the Hotel completely stopped (even though we know that the staff was busy with the equipment safeguarding from the Hurricane). She thought that some distraction might have helped to better overcome some fears. At the end we and the region were lucky and apart from some rain and heavy winds the Iberostar was not very much affected. On our last day at the Iberostar Cozumel (14 September) Hotel life came back to normal.

All in all we had a perfect honeymoon at the Iberostar Cozumel, enjoing nice food, romantic dinners at the Mexican Restaurant and relaxing at the beach. We are still dreaming about these wonderful times we spent there and the beautiful surroundigs with iguanas, flamingos, palm trees, white beaches and wonderfully blue sea.

6  Thank Sightseer16603
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2004

We have just returned from eight days in Cozumel. Wonderful!
Simply gorgeous, Iberostar Cozumel has been carved out of and into the coastal wilderness of the island. It is lush and intimate with rooms in small, one or two story bungalows of a few rooms each.
Flowers abound. Flamingos wade in a pond as parrots and macaws sit in the trees, looking down on the peacocks that wander the grounds. Lighted paths wind all through the resort, weaving around
tress and connecting (eventually) everything to everywhere. Bring comfortable shoes as you are
destined to do a lot of walking here, but you are bound to enjoy the stroll even if it means walking
around an iguana sunning or a turtle sharing the path.
Leave your stateside concepts of five star luxury behind. The pace and the accommodations dance
to the beat of a different drummer here. If you judge things by the friendliness of the staff and the
genuine concern they show for your enjoyment instead of the clock or a AAA checklist, this place
can be a slice of heaven on earth.
There are some drawbacks to the Iberostar, but if you go knowing what to expect many of these
can be remedied, or at the least they will not come as a surprise.
It is a long distance to ‘town’, San Miguel. A taxi will cost $17 or $18 each way. We got a cheap
rental car. It was a beat up VW bug convertible that shifted poorly, stalled occasionally, and cost
us $107.71 for the week. It was a source of frustration, laughs, and worth every dime. Do your
rental car shopping ahead of time. I found my deal by surfing the web. Once you are there, the
same bug goes for closer to $44 a day. ‘Real’ cars go for quite a bit more.
The resort rooms are quite small. There was no dresser, and the only hook to hang wet things up
on in our room was directly above the toilet paper roll in the bathroom.
The beds are hard. We were so blissfully exhausted it never cost us any sleep, but we toyed with the idea of buying inflatable pool mattresses to soften the blow. We never did, and never really needed to.
The beach is rocky after it reaches the water. If you plan to enter the water, bring along water
shoes and you will be fine. Up to the water’s edge it is all bright, smooth sand that was being groomed
every morning at sunrise while we were strolling, picking up shells or playing with the occasional star fish that washed ashore.
Bring along insect repellant. You are in the ‘jungle’ here, and in the early morning or late evening
hours you will want it.
The food quality varies wildly, making rollercoaster sweeps from high school cafeteria fare to
grilled lobster tail and bananas flambe’. There is a lot of recycling. Do not be surprised when you
see last night’s chicken nuggets in the morning buffet lineup. With the large selection, it never
kept us from finding something great for every meal. You are allowed to make one reservation in
either of the specialty restaurants for every three days you stay. We enjoyed them both, but I
recommend you book yours soon after check-in. They can fill up.
Completely on the plus side are the Star Friends entertainment staff. They work all day running
the scheduled resort events and then provide the entertaining shows in the theater at night.
Vibrant, friendly, talented. This may not be Vegas, but then I never felt Sigfreid and Roy actually
cared whether or not I was personally having a good time while I was in town.
A few more recommendations- if you do rent a car you can save some money by booking your
own snorkel, dive, or tour excursions in town. Just steer clear of the time share hucksters.
Likewise, the souvenir prices are much cheaper in town than on the resort, and in town they are
cheaper still a block away from the ocean. You can also save money by converting dollars to
pesos in town. The locals will round in their favor if you pay in dollars, and the resort rounds
virtually the same way on converting your currency at the front desk. In town away from the
shore you can do much better and make your money go further.
Sunday is the only day with no cruise ships docking. If you want to do an excursion or go
shopping without worrying about crowds, make this your big day. Prices and difficulty making reservations fluxuate with the number of ships in port.
For all the tiny wrinkles, Cozumel and the Iberostar in particular are still fabulous gems. Given a chance, the resort staff can overcome any inconvenience and will go above and beyond to make your stay exceptional. They missed a wakeup call we requested, but did what they could to make up for the error (yes, I do know what you did and I thank you!) You get back what you give and more here. They want you to be happy when you leave- not because you leave.
‘All inclusive’ or not we tipped at every turn because, frankly, we would have been embarrassed to have let such superb effort go unappreciated. Tip your housekeeping staff and you will luxuriate in wild displays of what our daughter has dubbed, ‘towelgami.’ A bit of appreciation shown to the bar staff meant that my ‘usual’ was already pouring when they saw me approach the bar. These folks are all genuine, and they will give back tenfold any kindness you show them.
We felt pampered in paradise at the Iberostar and blessed to have seen the underwater treasures of Cozumel in Chankanaab Park and the various reefs. Come here, stay here, get yourself in the water and you will understand. In Cozumel, paradise comes in a different wrapper than it might in New York or Los Angeles. We are pretty modest midwesterners. We found we prefer their version to the saccharine service that comes with the stateside big city creature comforts.
Come for the island, the parks and the spectacular reefs. Come back because you know they honestly want you to. Thank you, Iberostar!

  • Stayed: January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
24  Thank wuv2dive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2004

I stayed at this property and several other Iberostar Mexico properties over the past couple of years. For those of you who have not been to this resort or an all inclusive, remember these facts before deciding where to go: Iberostar Cozumel is a pretty laid back resort. It is very small compared to the resorts on the mainland. There will be some walking to get from the lobby/ restaurant/ bar to the rooms/beach/pool. It depends on what you find more important. The walk is only about 5 minutes so it is no big deal. If you are a diver, ask for a room near the beach and dive center so you don't have to lug your things back and forth. That of course will mean that when it is time for breakfast or dinner you will have the entire walk to consider both ways. If the lobby/restaurant/bar/entertainment/disco area is your thing then try to get a room close to the front of the hotel so you will be close to those things. To me, the food is wonderful. Some nights are better then others but overall very good. This is my opinion. The resort has to try to please everyone, not just us Americans. The German, French, Spanish, Italian, etc. aren't looking for the same things that we are. Some of the things that we look at with wrinkled up noses pleases them a great deal. Fair is fair. They also have to make things that kids will eat and recognize. The nightly buffet has different main courses each night. You will still find the regular offerings each night but some things do change. Also remember that there are only 2 restaurants at this resort besides the buffet and one of those is the pool bar buffet converted each night to a steak house. Very good but no air so be prepared. The other is the Mexican restaurant that I found to be very good. If you are the type that wants a different sit-down dressy place to eat each night, this is probably not your place. There are no waves to speak of on this side of the island. All the resorts face west. You get the sunset here, not the sunrise. If you seeking waves to play in you will either have to visit the East side of the island which will cost you extra or stay on the mainland where the resorts all face East. If you are a diver on the fence about where to go, stop looking! This is the place. This resort is the closest one to Palancar Reef and has a superb dive staff. Dressel Divers. They have a website that you can visit and pre-order dive packages at a reduced rate before you even get to the resort. There are resorts that are pretty much dive only and if that is all you want to do, stay there. For a mix of diving, entertainment, friendly service and fun,fun,fun, stay here. The rooms are on the small side and have a curved wall since the buildings are round. They are separated in to small 4 unit buildings. If you stay on the second floor they have a thatched roof. Nice but not as well air conditioned. The beds are kind of hard but you can ask for extra padding to put under your sheets and that did the trick for me. There are many things to do here and around the resort. Remember that because this is the last resort on the island, it is the furthest from town and the cab is not exactly cheap. Try to share one if possible. The last time I went, I never left the resort. There is plenty to do here. I personally love that this is the last resort because you don't get many people walking by on the beach since there is nothing past us. In conclusion, your trip is what you make of it. Everyone could find something that they don't like or want to complain about at any resort. Someone ultimately will have a bad experience like the previous person did. I assure you that was a fluke. It doesn't make their trip any better but don't think this is a regular occurrence. Most of the posts on this site are favorable, as they should be. Iberostar is a great place if you know what to expect and don't go have huge expectaions about how things will be for you. Just go with the flow and have a great time. If you have already been to this resort, you know what I mean. Still deciding, give it a try. You won't be disappointed. I will be there Nov 27 - Dec 4. If you have any questions about the resort, feel free to e-mail me. I will be honest about everything. I do not work for or have any affiliation to Iberostar. I just happen to love their resorts. Thanks, Steve

12  Thank Steve_Wanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2004

My husband and I stayed at the Iberostar from 9/1/04 until 9/5/04....I used the trip advisor to decide on which resort to visit. Most of the reviews were favorable so I decided on the Iberostar. It was somewhat of a disappointment. First of all, don't be shocked when you walk into the room and it is MUCH smaller than it looks on their website. I will say this...the chamber maids did a great job. Our room was very clean. We didn't mind the beds...we slept very well.

The second day we were there, we took a jeep jungle tour. We had a blast doing this!!! The tour guides were the funniest guys. We actually ate our best meal in Cozumel on the tour. On the way back we came up on a woman that had wrecked her scooter. (Please don't rent those....the roads are not very good and the locals are not very courteous drivers.) Anyway, the woman was badly hurt, so we stopped to help her. To make a long story short, we all gave up our beach towels to help control the bleeding until the ambulance got there......the people at the resort rewarded us for helping this woman by making us pay for the towels!!!!!

My husband and I enjoy snorkeling, but the resort only allows you to keep the equipment for 1 hr a day. The last day we were there, we got our gear and went snorkeling at the resort. We were looking at some fish under the pier when we noticed something floating in the water. The resort had chosen this particular day to stain and retreat the pier, and we had the chemicals all over us because they were using paint rollers to apply it and it was dripping through the cracks. I managed to get the stuff in my eyes and it took me 2 days to get it washed out of my hair!

Even more disappointing was the food...it was okay, but they served the same thing everyday. Also, the main dining area is right next to a pond that houses flamingos, and it stunk....The black birds in the dining area were a nuisance. Every meal that we ate in the Main area, birds were standing all over the fruit bar, and eating the fruit out of the containers.....that is soooo unsanitary. One night I went to dinner without my husband, and while I was trying to find something to eat, a bird pooped on my table!

The best thing about the resort was the margaritas. I also enjoyed seeing all the wildlife that lived at the resort, except the black birds. The iguanas were really neat.

Last but not least, when I go to an all inclusive resort, that is what I intend. If you want anything done at the Iberostar, you better be prepared to tip. I know these people don't have a lot of money, but I don't want to feel obligated to tip in order to enjoy the vacation that I chose because it was "all-inclusive".

We won't be going back to Iberostar....ever. I just hate I wasted my vacation and money on this trip because it wasn't worth it......

17  Thank Sightsee32617
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2004

How do I convince you, the reader, how incredibly perfect our destination wedding was at the Iberostar in early September? From the moment we arrived via van at Iberostar's front entrance to the moment we loaded up and said goodbye, there was not one point of poor performance on behalf of the Iberostar Staff. Lisa Miller, Iberostar's PR contact and wedding planner, went above and beyond to make our stay go smoothly. My fiance and I were married on the beach and she and the staff planned and executed every detail correctly. And the wedding cake? Some of the best I've ever tasted. It is unbelivably stressful planning a destination wedding with 20+ guests in tow, but they all loved the property and the staff, and would return in a heartbeat. ~ I have read reviews on this site that made me a bit aprehensive about booking here. Yes, it was hot, but it's not like you're vacationing in Alaska. Yes, there were iguanas, lizards and crabs abound, but if you want a sterile environment go vacation in a hospital room. Yes, the bed was harder than I'm used too, but my back thanked me for a good straightening out! :) And for those naysayers who criticized the food and lack of variety, I personally enjoyed the choices which included: lamb, roast beef, chicken, beef, hamburgers, enchiladas, tacos, patte', corn, baked potatoes, fish, scallops, crab, shrimp, mellon, oranges, bananas, cereal, bagels... get the point? ~ The bars were awesome, especially the 24-hour one. Loved the swim-up, too. Lots of variety, although I would suggest that Iberostar carry more than one type of beer. ~ The room service was wonderful, the laundry service packed our clothes in sealed, plastic bags upon return. ~ So, if you're reading this and on the fence about where to stay, finish reading this, call your travel agent and book the Iberostar. You'll be glad you did.

7  Thank TrailBlazer31653
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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