This review is long overdue as we (two couples, late 40's) travelled to Melia in February of 2011. We had a great time and enjoyed our stay very much.
One thing that should be obvious to anyone who has travelled all inclusives before - this is a VERY small resort. Only about 150 rooms, which would translate to roughly 300 guests at capacity. The guest's age will range from very young kids to very senior adults, so finding a group of energetic adult individuals to get a game of volleyball going or take part in the animation teams organized games, if that is your thing, is going to be a hit or miss at best.
Further, it is a very small resort that isn't billing itself as a 'boutique' or adult only luxury location. If you come here looking for all the excitement, energy or high-end perks that you might get at either larger or boutique resorts, you will definitely feel the lack.
With that reality check in mind ...the staff's attention to their guests was second to none. From the doormen and bellhops at the hotel entrance to the reception desk to the many dining and bar servers, everyone was working hard and with a smile.
The beach here was one of the best in the area, as far as we could tell from the walks we took up and down the shoreline. Yes, you will find coral and rocks in the water; bring water shoes and you will have no problem. Just keep an eye out as you're walking out to swimming depth. Down the beach by the pier, as many have already said, is a good spot for snorkelling if that is what you like to do.
We didn't really use either of the two pools. One is right in front of the lobby, with a bar (the bar we DID use) and the other in a courtyard between the two different sections of buildings & the restaurants. That one seemed to be used mostly by families or people wanting to sun away from any possible action on the beach.
There was the usual evening performances. We only caught one, and I do agree that the theatre is rather dark, dank and musty. The entertainment staff did try very hard, though. On two other nights there were outside events on the stone terrace overlooking the beach. Those nights were wonderful, under the moon and stars, dancing outside to a live Mexican band one night and a DJ on another occasion. Aside from that, evenings had not much going on. There was a small lobby bar where people hung out, and sometimes there would be a piano player - that's about it. Best if you have a few people to keep you company.
Rooms: We aren't tower/elevator people, not on vacation. In our emails to the hotel prior to arrival, we'd asked for two rooms near each other, on an upper floor of any building except the tower. The tower we opted out of actually has the upgraded room with extra amenities.
The rooms we were given were on the 4th (top) floor of the older building at the back end of the courtyard, and they were amazing! The view from there is spectacular; I would highly recommend this location in the resort. Because the grounds are small, we had a view below us of the pool, buffet and al a cart restaurants and then over the top of the beach front building was nothing but ocean, looking all the way across to Playa del Carmen on the opposite shore. With the drapes thrown open we watched the cruise ships sailing into Cozumel every morning, and then watched the lights of the ships as they cruised out every evening. Gorgeous!
The rooms were quite large, bed was comfortable, bathrooms were clean, nicely appointed and very functional. Housekeeping was excellent. No coffee makers provided in this grade of room, but our over-pack-much?(ha!) friends had actually brought their own with them in their carry on. We enjoyed coffee on their balcony in the morning pre-breakfast. We also entertained on the balconies in our rooms before dinner each evening, as we got lucky and received rooms with mini-fridges so there were always drinks on hand.
Re Dining: again, putting in perspective with the size of the resort, we found the main buffet to be more than adequate. We almost always managed to grab one of the few tables outside on the terrace, at beach level. Perfect view! Breakfast was always a relaxing, leisurely experience with excellent table service. The food was very fresh all day and the French toast at breakfast was some of the best I've ever had anywhere. At any meal there was always enough variety of very well prepared foods to satisfy. Lots of trays of hot foods and usually a station or two of specialities being served up as well. If you had room left for dessert, you had a good selection to choose from.
There were only two al a carts, one of which we didn't try (the indoor restaurant, I forget what that is called!). We did eat a couple of evenings at the Grill/beach side restaurant. A special thank you has to go out to Fernando, the manager there. He set us up with a couple of lovely dinners on the grill patio, even getting us a table there when we wanted to grab food from the buffet to eat. We always prefer eating outside when south. The patio grill (night time al a cart, day time for lunch) was perfect for that, right at the beach. The food there for evening was quite good, various grill selections, and the service was wonderful. Much laughter and many smiles, which always makes a meal go down better!
Best part of staying at this Meila was the location - a 5 minute, $7 cab ride into San Miguel. Because we had gotten this trip at an amazing price (about half what we would normally have spent on a high-season vacation) we had no qualms about going off resort and exploring. We spent one afternoon and evening exploring San Miguel, stopping from drinks at one location, having dinner on the patio of an Italian (!) restaurant before finally tracking down this bar called Wet Wendy's we had been reading about. It's off a side street back from the main drag but was worth the effort. World's largest margaritas! If you go there I would recommend sharing one - they are huge, but tasty!
Another afternoon we cut a deal through the door men with one of the taxi drivers ($80 for 3 hours) and had him bar-hop us around the island. First stop - Coconuts. Wonderful views off one of the only cliffs on the island. Very commercial and a bit pricey for drinks, maybe, but worth it for the views and the vibe.
Next stop was a Reggae bar, where we grabbed some cold beers, sat at a table on the beach and eventually re-enacted the famous Corona commercials. Good times. :)
Final stop was The Money Bar - and here we sent our driver home without us. This is back on the inside of the island, facing towards the mainland. The sun was setting, a live band was playing lots of Santanna, the food was excellent and cheap, AND it was 2-for-1 happy hour. Need I say more? This is a modern up-dated restaurant/bar, outside on the waters edge and would HIGHLY recommend this as a place to step out to while on the island. It was only an additional $17 to cab back to the front doors of the Melia. Split between four people, that is a bargain for the kind of fun we had.
Our other excursion was a day trip into Playa del Carmen, to meet up with our friend's sister and her group who were staying at a resort on the Mayan. We took the ferry over to Playa del Carmen (about $50 - $60 return, I think?). Spent the whole day over there, wondering around 5th Avenue, eating at a beach front grill, shopping, bar hopping. One word of warning - Senor Frog's at the ferry dock is kind of a most-do, but it is very commercial and VERY expensive. Be careful when ordering drinks. We thought we were ordering the $4 bottles of beer but they brought us the $8 mugs instead. Crazy fun, but make your way up to 5th Avenue in short order; many other places to choose from with much better bang-for-your-buck.
Sorry for the long-winded review. Just keep in mind if you choose the Melia at a good price for great service, relaxation and as a perfect jumping off point to explore all Cozumel has to offer, you will not be disappointed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to one of the most charming all-inclusive hideaways in the Mexican Caribbean, featuring a long, shallow sugar sand beach perfect for wading or swimming, four restaurants, five bars, and unlimited amounts of fun. This beautiful beachfront resort is directly across the street from the island's premium golf course, Cozumel Country Club, featuring an 18-hole, par 72 championship course designed by the Nicklaus Design Group. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Melia Cozumel All Inclusive Golf & Beach Hotel Cozumel
- Melia Cozumel All Inclusive Golf And Beach Resort
- Sol Melia Cozumel
- Cozumel Sol Melia
- Resort Melia Cozumel