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“Very nice, secluded getaway” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Presidente Inter-Continental Cozumel Resort & Spa

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Presidente Inter-Continental Cozumel Resort & Spa
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Carretera a Chankanaab km 6.5, Cozumel 77600, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #5 of 57 Hotels in Cozumel
Certificate of Excellence 2014
College Station, Texas
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Very nice, secluded getaway”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2008

The Presidente is very nice. The pool is great--and has been used in at least one motion picture. The rooms are very clean, spacious. It's a bit pricey, but you do experience seclusion ... distance from the madness of Cozumel downtown.

The beach was quite nice. The snorkeling out front was quite good. The restaurants were OK. The restaurant/bar near the ocean has a great location and view.

Perhaps, the worst aspect of the Presidente is that, as with some other resorts, it always seems that the staff are waiting and hinting for tips. I am a tipper and understand the place of tips in the hotel culture there, but it becomes a little too oppressive at the Presidente.

  • Liked — Great beach/pool experiene
  • Disliked — Pricey and tip-crazy culture
  • Stayed August 2003, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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1,279 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (367)
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English first
San Diego, CA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2008

My husband and I recently returned from our first trip to Cozumel Mexico, where we stayed at the Presidente for an unprecedented 8-night stay. We had an amazing time at this beautiful hotel, one of the “Leading Hotels of the World.” We chose the hotel because we did not want an all-inclusive, and the reviews posted here. We were not disappointed, and actually, it exceeded our expectations. We had an “ocean view suite” on the 5th (top) floor, and it was gorgeous! Large bedroom/sitting area and walk-in closet. I especially loved the huge bathroom with double sinks, standing shower, and the large 2-person tub with the view. The room had an amazing view with floor to ceiling windows and a large balcony. We loved the large swivel flat screen TV that had a good amount of English channels. We were able to keep up on the conventions that were going on at the time. The room was clean, well maintained, and felt like home. We loved the flowers that were left every day. It also had a single-serving coffee maker, and a refrigerator/mini-bar.

The hotel has 3 separate beach areas and 2 pools, and we snorkeled nearly every day off their little piers. It was quite excellent snorkeling; we saw many fish including squid and even a sea snake! Arrangements for snorkeling trips were easily made through the very friendly staff at Scuba Du. Arrangements for other activities were just as easy through the concierge service. We rented a car through the hotel for a day trip, driving around the island, and we also booked a tour to Tulum. There are many activities available to choose from. My husband played at the golf course and said it was nicer than he expected. Neither of us used the spa services, but they were remodeling anyway, so services were limited. I did check out the spa building and it was really nice.

We ate mainly at the outdoor El Caribeno restaurant, with excellent food and staff. Everything was really good. I thought that the prices were consistent with other restaurants on the island. Every staff member was so genuinely friendly and attentive that it really made us feel special. They all spoke English, too. We tried Alfredo’s, the Italian restaurant, and that was equally as good. We also stayed in 2 nights and had room service, good and efficient. Happy Hour at the pool bar was from 5:00 – 7:00 every day and included 2 for 1 drinks. Taxis were easily obtained, they were often waiting at the hotel, and the cost to downtown was $5 and $10 to the airport. One thing that we were not expecting was at the airport, where we could not take individual taxis, instead, there were only shuttles, which they crammed full, and cost $9 per person.

What was really nice also, was that there was a minimum of guests at the hotel. It was nice to have almost the run of the place. We were there the first week of September, and I guess due to the time of year, the hotel was less than half-full. Hurricane/Storm Gustav completely by-passed Cozumel, so we had perfect hot weather, with about 1 hour of rain one day. The beach and pool area had plenty of lounge chairs and palapas for shade, and we felt like we had enough space for privacy.

For a great dinner outside of the hotel, I’d recommend Casa Mision downtown, especially their lobster dinner. For a great price we had one of the best meals of our stay. There is also a newer Italian restaurant that we really enjoyed, Sorrisi, – fairly authentic.

  • Liked — Great views from our room, friendly service
  • Disliked — That we had to leave!
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rancho mirage
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2008

This is our favorite trip and favorite place to stay. If you're a diver, honeymooner, or just want a great place to relax and be treated very well, this is the place for you. If you want to party, go elsewhere.
Before you book, join the Priority/Ambassador club. You'll get a free upgrade and a weekend night free.
We're looking forward to our next trip. Say Hi to Theo for us.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Sugar Land, Texas
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2008

My wife and I stayed at the Presidente Intercontinental in Cozumel from 8/17-8/24. We haved stayed in Playa del Carmen and Cancun probably ten or more times over the last six years and wanted to give Cozumel a try.

LOBBY / LOUNGE

Really not a plus. No real lounge area. No piano, no music, no cigar girl -- no place to hang out with a cocktail and listen to some music before dinner.

ROOM

We stayed in 3111, a reef room on the north side of the property. It was always immaculate, but the walls were paper-thin. The shower was the smallest shower I have ever seen in my life. Overall, the room was small was well-decorated.

They had a nice LCD T.V., but the PPV did not work, which was no big deal except that it would have been nice to rent movies at night, given that there was no nightlife AT ALL at the hotel.

Bed was comfy with big pillows. The view of the Carribean and the sunsets over it from the room and from the porch, which led directly onto to beach, was the most consistently amazing view I have ever seen in my life.

Regarding the freebies in the room, the only one is the one big bottle of water they give you every morning. Everything else, especially those items in the minbar, are a total hijack by the hotel. We went from the airport upon arrival to a local Wal-Mart type store called Cedraui (sp?) where we bought beer and water to last us for the trip. We brought those out onto the beach with us in a cooler backpack I had brought to avoid the exorbitant prices for beverages.

Everthing else about the room was fine, except that it seemed like for our particular room, there was only one girl who cleaned it; she took forever to do so, and she was always there cleaning it right when we got back from breakfast and needed the room to get ready to go to the beach. It would have been nice to have been able to schedule a cleaning time, such as is the case with other hotels.

BEACH

Amazing. Although a man-made beach, it is man-made from the same white sand of Playa del Carmen. The only difference is that when you are walking, your legs don't sink down to your knees, which I viewed as a plus. It was also the cleanest beach I have ever seen in that area of the world -- no cigarette butts, littered plastic cups, etc.

BEACH DRINK / FOOD SERVICE

Very unreliable, unless you are under a palapa near the pool or dive center. If you want to have drinks on the beach, bring your own in a cooler or be prepared to wait all day for the waiter or to walk a mile to the bar. When we were waited on, however, the service was prompt and courteous.

SNORKELING FROM THE BEACH.

Pretty cool. Would have liked to have seen it before Wilma, as many say it was better back then. I have snorkeled a good deal, and I still thought it was impressice.

Three things: (1) watch the late afternoon long shore current, and figure out which way it is going before your get it [it was north to south when we were there]; (2) bring water shoes or risk slicing your feet apart on the rocks if you want to get out somewhere other than the ladder; (3) if your main objective on your trip is snorkeling from the beach, as was mine, ask for a room on the south side of the property -- that's where the best snorkeling is (sunken barge, boilers, etc.)

FISHING FROM THE BEACH

Not allowed but you can get away with it at the far northern end of the property where there is a buoy protected marina. I brought a collapsable spinning rod with reel and some lures. I nearly snagged from barracudas late in the day, but they always got spooked at the last second. The water is so clear that you can see the whole encounter, which is pretty cool.

A fishing guide who I later hired told me I would have had better luck fishing with dead bait, such as ballyhoo.

For those who do want to try your hand at fishing from the property, please be discreet and don't screw it up for me. I'm planning on catching the big one the next time I go.

FOOD AT THE HOTEL

Outrageously expensive. Just X-rated, obscene expensive. But you will have do do it at times unless you want to go to town for every meal.

By the way, buy the breakfast plan or you will be screwed, either by paying $41 for two buffets or by having to drag your [--] into town for breakfast.

CAR RENTAL AT THE HOTEL

We rented a white standard jeep. The gas guage did not work. Watch out.

MISC

Bring hard-care bug spray for at night. I have been back two days, and I am still ripping my skin apart, and I used bug spray 90% of the time.

There is alot of noise from the marina at the north end of the beach. Because of that and the better snorkeling at the south end, try to get a room at the south end of the property.


As I have mentionmed, prevent your own rape by buying all of your beverages in town and then bringing them to the beach or keeing them in your room in the soft cooler of your choice.

THE END

I have stayed at more decadent all-inclusive hotels where the food was better and the beach service was at least existent. If you are used to all inlcusive, as I was, this hotel will be a big adjustment. In the end, the views, the accessibility of the water, and the relative quiet (STILL A FREAKING LOT OF SNORKELING AND DIVE BOATS WHIRRING RIGHT PAST YOU ALL THE TIME), won me over.

  • Liked — the view of the water
  • Disliked — thin walls, lots of random contruction noise, kill-me expensive food and drinks that were not great
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spartanburg, SC
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2008

We stayed at the Presidente August 15-19th, 2008. We booked through Orbitz and got a fantastic rate at the hotel and even got some discount benefits to apply to our food and bev. We stayed in an Ocean Suite on the top floor which had a wonderful view. The suite was in fantastic shape and the staff did a great job at leaving flowers and towel animals (love those!) every day in our room.

I thought the food prices were in line with everywhere else we ate at in Cozumel so I have no complaints there. We had breakfast a couple mornings in the restaurant right on the water and it was always fantastic.

The staff was wonderful, the rooms were gorgeous, and the snorkeling right off the hotel beach was the best we had on the island. We will definitely be back!

I highly recommend this hotel for newlyweds.

  • Liked — I loved our room and the view.
  • Disliked — It took a while to walk down to the lobby but it was not a biggie.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2008

We stayed in a Beachfront Suite with doors right to beach, an awesome outdooor shower and a patio with hammack. The room was lovely. It had a comfortable bed and a little sofa which was just perfect for our 3 year old. Housekeeping each day set it up for him with linens and he loved it. The staff was very friendly and the restauraut near the pool was great. On the beach, you just put your flag in the sand and they come by to take your drink order! The beach is just the right size for lounging around especially with a small child. The pools were also nice. We will be back in the near future. Regarding the timeshare, we were able to avoid this by walking through the right side and not through the lobby which is where they hang out.

Tips: If you have been to Cozumel before, you should just rent a car and avoid the whole cab thing. We enjoyed dinner at Primo's downtown. I thought Saturday night in the town square was fine unlike the previous posting. We didn't find the vendors a problems. Having lived in New Orleans, this is nothing like the Fench Quarter- trust me. It is pretty much families hanging out with music and eating from little food stands; you really get a good sense of the culture.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mullica Hill, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2008

Pros:

Rooms were as pictured and glamorous. 1501 Ocean Suite ocean view on both sides, immaculately clean. Wonderful housekeeping, linens were a bit starchy for my taste, but the bed was comfortable.

The adult pool was a DREAM. Warm but still refreshing, lovely and quiet. TIP: the iguanas hang here big time. try giving them a hibiscus bloom, they'll love you for it.

The bathrooms in this resort are worth the price of the room, alone. Gorgeous floors, views from the giant tub, glass enclosed mega shower, dual sink, water closet. I could have packed this room in my suitcase and brought it home with me, I was so sad to leave it.

Towels were wonderful in room and at beach; especially the fresh towels by the pools.

Snorkeling -- wonderful fish everywhere. The beaches were clean, the beach furniture abundant and well kept.

Alfredo Di Roma was not only the best meal we had on the island, but also the most affordable.

Gift shop has a nice selection of necessities (bug spray, meds, etc.) as well as gifts, etc. Pricing was inflated (duh) but in line with the rest of the island.

Caribena, while expensive, provided consistently great service and food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner – all were very delicious and the waiters were genuinely nice people.

Cons:

Biggest BIGGEST no no -- CONSTANT concierge sales pitches of the time share aspect of the property. I don't know what it was about US but it was constant pressure - no one else on here really mentioned this but they were heavy on us even after hearing several NO answers. The concierge staff rotated in an attempt to get us to attend a 60 minute info session and a breakfast -- something about return trips being discounted...we said no and the requests just kept on coming. It was off putting. And you have to pass the concierge desk to get anywhere quickly, so it made me uncomfortable.

Service charges on EVERYTHING. "Cover Charge" - not much but it adds up. And we're paying to stay here and to eat here! Don't make it so overtly like a rip off, please. Makes me feel used…

Concierge recommended El Capi Navegante for an upscale seafood dinner in town. Um, upscale it was not. The lobster was good but the side dishes abysmal and the wine overpriced. The atmosphere was downright scary and location shady. The only other guests in the restaurant were also guests at Intercontinental. I guess one of the concierge's brothers in law owns it? :) I also got sick after eating here, sans water or ice. It was my husband’s 30th and we really wanted something special. It was definitely memorable but…not exactly what you’d expect. And the concierge knew our expectation level – I mean, look at the hotel we’re staying at!!!

Bring MOSQUITO SPRAY. Once darkness falls -- or if you're at ruins or in town -- mosquitoes are all over you (if you're as sweet as me, anyway ;) I bought some from the gift shop and it was a lifesaver, although completely powerless against the swarm at the San Gervasio ruins, honestly. I had to run to keep from being bitten.

If you're going to give preferential treatment to some guests (fruit baskets, etc.) at least do it covertly. Our special occasion (husband's 30th, which I notified them of beforehand and at check in, etc.) was unrecognized. But we passed many comp gifts like fruit baskets, small wine bottles, etc. with guest welcome notes on them. I was offered roses at a ridiculous price for purchase but didn’t buy them – we got no special treatment, or even recognition of his birthday. It was okay but …

Taxi ride to town: $5
Taxi ride to San Gervasio: $50
A matter of a few minutes translated into $45 difference. Note that the taxi driver that dropped us at the resort and the concierge who "orientated" us told us that taxis were $5 most anywhere on the island up on the northern end where we were. When the bill came for our trip to the ruins (price wasn't given before hand) it was $60 (!!!) and not $10 (or even $30) which we expected and we called the hotel in to translate -- it turned out that the $60 driver was claiming should actually only be $50, which was the final price we paid -- but still, WAY more than we expected. We felt like the hotel wasn't straight forward with us, since we told them we planned on going there and they never mentioned the price of the cab would be different, even though we inquired about this specifically. After the disagreement with the driver, we spoke with a different concierge about the miscommunication and all they would say was to verify the $60 price -- which wasn't even the actual price! Once I told them it was only actually $50 (according to the bellman that translated, who was honest), then they all started parroting the $50 price. I got no help at all and we were obviously very upset. It would have been easy for them apologize and offer $20 towards dinner or lunch the next day just to smooth things over. It left a bad taste in our mouths.

Spa -- was wonderful but WAY more expensive than other resorts in tropical locations. Couples massage (80 min) was nearly $400. We've had that massage in two other countries at luxury resorts as well as near home (in a pricey part of the country outside Philadelphia) and they are NEVER that much.

There was a bit of sound bleed through between bathrooms, just so you're aware. I could hear kids in the bath next door when I was taking my bath with my husband :) Just a heads up!!!

Scuba Du -- We forgot ours snorkels at home and tried to rent; Scuba Du ran out of snorkel masks by 9:30 am (no one was even snorkeling, but okay…) one day; they told us 1:30 to check back, and we spoke to another couple while swimming -- they went to SD after us and were told to come at 12:30! We didn't rent after all, bought just goggles for $5 at the gift shop and that did well enough.

Saturday night in the square – festival – was really like Bourbon Street in NOLA…a little much on the pushing to buy this, participate in time share that…




I guess, in summary, while the island, beach, hotel grounds, rooms, etc. were beautiful and breathtaking, overall I was just a bit disheartened by the feeling that most people had their hand out – in town, in cabs, at the resort – they all wanted you to spend, spend, spend. I mean, a cover charge for a dinner restaurant where you’re spending $150 for two guests? I don’t think you really need that extra $4 or whatever it was. I would return to a more genuinely friendly location next time, although Cozumel was very special in its own way. I just didn’t feel like people were really caring there, just out to get more money.

Maybe I'm a huge snob but that's the fact, jack, from our point of view. Loved the hotel, beach, some of the warm and friendly people at Caribena and in housekeeping...:)

  • Liked — Beach, luxurious accomodations, onsite restaurants
  • Disliked — time share sales pitch
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Presidente Inter-Continental Cozumel Resort & Spa

Address: Carretera a Chankanaab km 6.5, Cozumel 77600, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cozumel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cozumel
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Presidente Inter-Continental Cozumel Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 220
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Presidente InterContinental Cozumel Resort & Spa is the perfect balance of energy and ease. Adventurers love the scuba centre and nearby Chankanaab Park. Bringing the kids? The resort s Chiqui Club will keep them busy all day. When you want a slightly slower pace, you can head for our stretch of white sand, the exotic Mandara Spa or Cozumel s shops.After a 25 million dollar investment, this resort offers upgraded facilities and a unique vacation experience for the discerning traveler. The place to discover three experiences: great Dive, unique Spa treatments and Golf. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Presidente Intercontinental Cozumel Resort And Spa
Presidente Intercontinental Cozumel Hotel Cozumel
Intercontinental Cozumel
El Presidente Cozumel
Cozumel Presidente

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