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Reviewed 6 August 2012

Just got back from 15 night stay at El Coz. The staff and service make this one of the best places we have ever visited! The people are what make Cozumel and El Cozumeleno an extraordinary vacation destination. Great beach, great snorkeling, you can arrange for the restaurante (El Terraza?) to cook your fish if you catch any, any boat excursions will pick you up at the El Coz pier, Mexican Night, live music, the poolside entertainment and lots of other reasons to stay here. The property is not 5 stars, but, the staff and service absolutely are that and more!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Kimberly M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2012

Are a miserable person in everyday life.
Let us start by introducing ourselves…well, we are a lovely super active couple that with average money and the luck of working for a hotel chain are able to stay in those super fancy 5 star resorts for very little money…our favorite past time besides being together is to watch and admire peoples actions and behavior…that said, we had the chance to “score” a stay in this wonderful resort via a discounted website…this was our first time on the island therefore we were a little concerned about the bad reviews on trip advisor. You see in life, miserable people will never be happy. Here is our scale from 1 to 10 of the hotel:
Bell service: 8
As soon as we arrived we were greeted with a smile by 2 well-dressed employees who were very helpful with our luggage and escorted us to the lobby .
Front desk: 8
Always there for any need… fast and pleasant with a smile. Don’t be cheap, upgrade to ocean view only $10 per person more…but you wake up every morning with the sound of the sea. Extra brownie point? Bartender waits there with some fruit juice on ice while you wait …Four Seasons or Ritz doesn’t even have that!!!(I know ;) )
Lobby:8
Always clean and close to the first bar which can start up your day with a smile…always present in the lobby… are coffee and ice tea and little sweets.
Rednecks in the lobby: 2
Some things never change…while waiting to go to town, why would you eat Doritos, candy, and soda and leave all the junk on those coffee table even though you know there is no server in the lobby…those are the people who should only be allowed to do a staycation in their own town.
Internet: 7
It is free but doesn’t always work but then again you are in vacation so step away from the email!!!!
Rooms: 7
If you are used to Ritz, JW Marriott, and Four Seasons they may be basic and old style…otherwise as good as any decent hotel in US.(what do you say? The smell? Actually if you are a traveler you should know that any hotel by the beach will always have that scent(even the most elegant ones...they only have a better ac units but as soon as you open the windows there it comes again).The room was cleaned daily and Guadalupe never missed a spot(tip the housekeeper…it is a very hard job). Because of our active lifestyle we required more bottled water for our runs and bike rides and it was always provided for us.
Beds: 7
Ahhh the beds...so many complaints, I was expecting to sleep on a wood board like St Francis of Assisi…everyone is different on this, they are good beds hard but not unbearable ..but the majority of you if you have fun the whole day will not even notice it!
TV in the room N/A
Here you are in paradise and you are thinking about the TV?? No wonder your woman is reading 50 Shades of Grey by herself downstairs….(and we saw a few...at night when the hubby was too tired to do something fun)
Activities: 10 plus
We don’t want to mention any names because it would not be fair for the one behind the scene…they work tirelessly to make it happen from morning to night if there would a word to describe them: FUN! Not to be miss Live Music on Tuesdays and Mexican Night on Thursdays… great show, very entertaining and what do the majority of people do? They eat their food and go to bed…pathetic! Dance …pathetic people.
Bars: 8
Once a server told me “don’t ever trust a person that doesn’t drink!!” so true…plenty of drinks to get drunk or just enjoy life. The drinks are good and not watered down…they have any kind of drink you want from mixed drinks, to decent beer and wine. Staff are always smiling and don’t expect a tip…your drink will always be there…but don’t be a cheapo, bring some dollars to tip the staff. It is an all-inclusive resort but karma comes back to you! Bees in the soda machine… what do you expect from pure sugar left out in the open so you can have all you want( I bet in the United States you would have bees too).
Pool service:10
An all-inclusive resort with a pool server? Now thats what I call service…here there is a special mention Alma our favorite server don’t forget to tip her she always know your drink is low…and also what you drink. Never had to wait for drinks at the pool.
Towels and equipment: 10
The reason you need a towel card is because hotels lose lots of towels because people take them as souvenirs. Once you start traveling you will understand, El Cozumeleno did not invent this policy. You have to sign out snorkeling equipment and use your ID, what a shocker! If this wasn’t the case not everyone would be able to enjoy the equipment because people would take the equipment off property or even home.
Food :8
Food is great...if you don’t like it, it is clearly you…no offense but if McDonald or BK is your kind of meal…you may find it hard to have a personal chef who can cook you eggs in the morning or a nice fajita for lunch. Not to mention the elegant restaurant with a dress code…yes for once you may look presentable! Food over there is really gourmet(believe me I know about gourmet ;). Also there is a great selection of healthy items on buffet(such as granola, yogurt, a fresh fruit smoothies for breakfast and salads for lunch). If you prefer junk food, the burgers by the bar are very tasty. Yes, there are birds outside that like to eat off the buffet but what do you expect, it would be the same no matter where you are. If you don’t like the birds eat inside or at the restaurant. Let’s not forget that room service is available all day.
Beaches: 10
How blue is blue? El cozumeleño rocks(maybe isn’t the right word…) plenty of fish to feed, super blue water, super clean sand…hammocks to relax…beach chairs and palapas. You can get bread from the restaurant to feed the fish and they will eat out of your hands. The best snorkeling is right in front of the hotel. We saw sting rays, all kinds of colorful fish, and barracudas.
Teenagers:4
(some not all) they think it is cool to get drunk so sometimes you just want to make them shark bait.
Parents of teenagers:2
if they are not allowed to drink at home why would you allow them to drink here????
Donatello : 7
by night most of the people are self-medicated so it is fun to see the karaoke…but not much in terms of dancing. It’s the customers not the resort…since not many people did karaoke or danced because they are miserable or sleeping.

Room Tip: The higher the floor the better and don't be cheap upgrade to an ocean view room.
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
43  Thank travelingliberals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2012

This is the second time my wife and I have visited El Cozumeleno and we still love it. We went the last week of July for 4 nights and 5 days. It is probably are favorite place to go in Mexico. We wanted to go someplace where we could relax on the beach before we start back for the school year. Moreover, this was our “baby moon”. We are expecting our first child in October and we could think of no other place we wanted to go.

However, there are some things you need to know before you go. I think the most important piece of advice I can offer is this IS NOT a 5 star resort. If you can understand and accept that, your vacation will be much more enjoyable. The food and drinks are NOT 5 star quality but neither is the price. You cannot get a 5 star resort for a 3 star price. I think the appropriate saying would be “you can’t have champagne taste on a beer budget”.

I really enjoyed the desk front manager Francisco Mundo Hernández. Before we left, I emailed him and requested a few things. When we arrived, everything I requested was ready! I was very surprised but he made it happen!

ROOMS- The room was very nice. We had a garden view on the 2nd floor (1209). The room was nice, clean, and roomy. There are 2 parts to the hotel the “old” and “new”. The “new” part of the hotel is on the south side and the “old” part of the hotel is on the north side. Both times we stayed in the “new” part. I have heard the “old” part has much larger rooms.

I noticed many travelers stated there was rust and mold all over the room. This is somewhat true. I did notice some metal had a little rust; I even noticed a few places of mold. However, this is almost to be expected. The humidity is around 80% and the rooms are 200 yards from the ocean. High Humidity + Ocean= rust and mold. It was not bad though and certainly was not going to ruin our vacation.

The bed was equipped with a king size bed. The beds are pretty firm but it is a little better with an egg crate on the mattress. But we still slept well every night (all the beds we’ve slept on in Mexico have been firm). If it is still too firm, drink more!

A lot of travelers stated the floor had sand on it and felt like the bed did as well. This is a true statement. Every morning house cleaning thoroughly cleans the room. However, at some point, all occupants return to their room from the pool area or the beach. They will have sand ALL OVER their clothes, feet, or shoes (this is how sand gets into the room). When it is time for bed, many people will walk barefooted across the room and the sand THEY bought in, and get into bed. They will then start to complain about the sand in the sheets. If you think the room is not up to your standards ask to be moved.

FOOD- The food was good but not great. However, I never went hungry. Had I have not stayed in a 5 star resort last summer I would think the food is great. There is a buffet for every meal. Breakfast is pretty good. Fresh made to order. My favorite meal was lunch. They made steak or pork quesadillas and fajitas with guacamole.

However, there is a restaurant that requires reservations and dress code for dinner. Many people complained about the dress code. I would recommend those people to pay better attention. It CLEARLY states on the El Cozumeleno website that a dress code is required. In addition, it CLEARLY states on the menu outside the restaurant that a dress code IS NOT required if you want to eat at a later time usually after 9:30. The restaurant food is good and the service is very good. They try very hard to please you.

Furthermore, if you do not like buffet food or making reservations, then you should try their room service. They will bring 3 meals a day to your room if you would like (at no extra cost). The menu is not as broad but still good. There is nothing better than French toast and an omelet in bed or a club sandwich after hours!

DRINKS- This was our 4th trip to all inclusive resorts in Mexico and they all have been the same (concerning drinks). I am not sure why people complain about the cups. Every other resort we have stayed at used the same cups. Some of the drinks were better than the others. Here is a little secret: if you want Bacardi and coke you have to ask for Bacardi and coke. If you ask for rum and coke they will give you cheap rum and coke. If you ask for the “higher end” spirits they will give it to you (Bacardi, Crown, José Cuervo, etc). If you want a stronger drink, ask for a double or even triple. The only beer they serve is Dos Equis. If you have aspirations of sipping a cold Corona by the beach then you had better get a taxi into town. If they bartenders tell you they don’t have the “higher end” spirits at their bar this may be true. However, they always have the good stuff at the bar inside the lobby next to the restaurant.

POOL- Many people complained about the pool and how it was “murky”. I personally do not go into pools at all inclusive resorts. I am kind of disgusted by them. People sit at the swim up bar for hours and never leave. Yes, they are peeing in the pool! This is not the fault of the hotel; just lazy people. Moreover, when I am at the beach, I am in the ocean! The water is cool and wonderful on the beach. There is great snorkeling especially between the two piers.

SERVICE- The service was very good. The people try very hard to please you. We were there 5 days and tipped between $15-20 a day (usually $5 for the person who took care of our room and some for people who brought and food and drinks). They had people who would actually bring you a drink while you were on the beach!

OVERALL- I’m not sure how people didn’t have a good time. I think a lot of the problem is people want to receive 5 star service, food, and drinks but only pay for a 3 star service. That is not how it works. You get what you pay for. Last summer we stayed at a 5 star resort and I had to pay a 5 star resort price. Even though this is not a 5 star resort, it is my favorite place to go.

I am sorry this is a long post but I hope you find it useful. I was angry when I read all the negative posts. This is great place to go for a vacation; especially for the cost. We paid $620/person for 4 nights and 5 days on last minute deals through Applevacations.com.

I noticed I can be contacted about this trip. I do not know how, but if you have any questions please feel free to do so.

Room Tip: Rooms to the north are quieter Rooms to the south are newer Ask for an egg crate for bed
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
18  Thank AGM73110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2012

Spent 5 nights in late July, celebrating our anniversary and my birthday. Had requested rooms up high and we were put on the 9th floor. Very quiet, comfortable location with incrediible view. Also had asked for extra padding for the bed, and it was all ready for us. Room was large and clean. When I requested more bottles of water, the maid accommodated my request each day. The beach was wonderful and great snorkeling with tons of friendly fish! The pier keeps the water calm and turquiose, simply beautiful. As mentioned on other reviews, some of the chairs are broken and there are not many huts for shade, so we had to reserve ours early in the morning. There seemed to be a shortage of towels as well, and we never got to exchange for dry towels except first thing each morning. The pool was ok, but there was a strong offensive odor at the swim up bar so we mainly stayed at the beach or hot tub. Buffet was satisfactory. We ordered lunch off the menu, it was fresher that way. Had all our evening meals at the nice restaurant and service was good except for one night. The piano player was delightful! Dinners were very good! They also gave me birthday cake on my birthday, and a plate with some treats in our room on our anniversary! Cozumel is very safe, and we went running 3 mornings for a few miles and never felt uncomfortable. Service was good at all the bars except the snack bar area. Had trouble getting internet from the room, so we used the hotel computers most of the time. Best employee at the hotel was Alma, at the pool. Always smiling and friendly!! We will definitely return to this hotel. Our third hotel to visit in Cozumel, and the best so far!

Room Tip: email hotel in advance for bed padding, floor requests, etc. All rooms have balconies, but the view is better the higher you go!
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank DebT55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2012

Pros:
1. Helpful, friendly staff
2. Attractive, well-maintained facilities
3. Decent food
4. Spacious rooms in good repair
5. Very nice beach and ocean area
6. Moderate price
7. Pretty quiet (with one exception)
8. No stupid, loud drunks to be found
9. Good wi-fi
10. Plenty of hot water with good pressure
11. Everything seemed to work

Cons:
1. Many of the beach chairs had broken plastic seat slats. Perhaps some of the guests need a diet. Until that happens the hotel really should replace or repair the broken chairs
2. On our last night they closed one of the dining areas and set up a VERY bad and VERY loud band on the beach. Since they had closed the dining room we normally would use we were forced to sit in front of the band using temporary tables which had been set up for the occasion. The only thing worse than the band was the ridiculous idiot whom was acting as master of ceremonies. I would have paid extra just to lose the band and have the moron M.C. escorted off the premises.

Note: I recommend you bring your own insulated cups if you plan on drinking on the beach. The hotel-provided cups are very small (maybe 8-10 oz.) and not insulated. A couple of sips of beer and it's already getting warm (and your cup is getting empty).

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank PhrixusPrime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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