My husband and I finally took a vacation without the kids last week at the El Cid. Although for the most part we had an enjoyable time there are some relevant situation at the hotel going on currently that travelers should be made aware of.
Most of Cozumel has recovered quickly from the intense damage brought on by Hurricane Wilma two years ago. However, the El Cid has a cruise ship dock/pier directly in front and to the left side of the hotel that is being rebuilt with crews working day and night. The noise can be very intense, especially during late night hours and very early morning and especially if you are staying in the tower rooms, as opposed to the 3 story section on the other side. We appreciate the dedication of the workers to hustle and get the pier finished, but unfortunately the noise level was hard to deal with and definitely wore on our nerves. Our first night there, crews were working until 2am, starting back up at 6am. Needless to say we got little sleep and were irritated enough to alert the manager to it. Sal, the main manager was very attentive and kind, immediately moving us from the tower to a more appointed room on the other side of the resort. Yes, Sal was kind and sweet and truly showed concern for us. But, if you are looking for a peaceful, quiet getaway, this location is not that at this time. The banging, drilling, etc, went on all day sometimes, making it very hard to snooze on the otherwise lovely beachfront/reef area the hotel offers. I'd say, call and find out what the expectations are for this rebuilding. Book a trip there when the dock is finished.
As far as the 'time share' thing, well, of course we got hit with the pitch immediately upon arrival. But not just there, at the airport, the main ferry pier and Playa Del Carmen as well. It is the same all over Mexico and Hawaii. So, I can't blame the hotel for wanting to sell its vacation packages because you are going to get hit up for it everywhere you go these days. But, don't for a second believe the '90 minute' hook, because it is NEVER 90 minutes. More like two hours in most cases, by the time you are done looking at numbers, brochures, telling stories, making small talk, whatever. Just be prepared that if you go for the perks, you will waste part of your day unless you seriously have interest in buying into it.
Some positive points: The staff was wonderful. The food in the restaurant was beyond what we were expecting (meaning good) with very reasonable prices, if not cheap. The waiters were amazing, attentive and spoke english and we were teary-eyed when we had to say goodbye to them on our last day there. Paulino, the main bartender was so good to us and night after night we chose to have our drinks at the hotel with him as our bartender. The El Cid offers 2 for 1 happy hour EVERY NIGHT for two hours...most nights my husband and I spent no more than $16 usd for several rounds of margaritas. Give him a nice tip and he will be your best friend for intoxication. We were lucky to have other very social and friendly travelers staying the same week as us and spent a few nights hanging out in the jacuzzi (located right next to the bar!) until nearly midnight, chatting away, having fun, sharing life stories (if Peg and Ed from Pennsylvania are reading this, 'it doesn't make you a bad person!' wink wink). So, it is what you make it at the El Cid, for sure. The small reef the hotel is situated on has some interesting snorkeling but the pool was actually too cold to get in, which was a serious bummer. All in all, I'm glad we stayed there, but I'm not sure I would pick the same hotel again.
I also would not suggest this hotel for couples traveling with children as there is simply not enough for them to do there (pick the hotel across the street instead, "the Park Royal") as the crowd is older and more sedate. We wish the best of success to the El Cid and hope that once all the construction is done it will be a more enjoyable place to stay.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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We apologize for the unpleasantness you experienced at our Hotel, however, the noise derived from the construction of the dock, is something that is out of our control since it is a federal site.
As for the time share representatives, they are only doing their jobs, and you are free at any time to say no.
We deeply regret that your experience was not as pleasurable as you would have liked, but we always do our best effort to please our guests, and hopefully, you’ll come again as soon as the renovation of the dock is finished and let us show you how everybody here at El Cid La Ceiba works to make your vacation the best time ever.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.