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Wanna Know!

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Ontario, Canada
6 posts
1 review
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Wanna Know!

Ok...a few families are getting together to travel to cozumel or playa de carmen in January 2006.

First...we are having a difficult time deciding on a Hotel. We have been away the past couple of times, and been disappointed in accomodations. Can anyone recommend a good all inclusive hotel. It is getting too confusing going through all of them.

Second...can anyone recommend a good place that also has snorkling?

Your help is greatly appreciated.

1. Re: Wanna Know!

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Removed on: 8:33 am, August 07, 2005
Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Wanna Know!

First & foremost I would like to see a list of the things that are important to your group, but you won't always satisfy everyone, all of the time. Cozumel has several resorts on the beach, but the beach is a soft sand beach, unlike many of the popular beaches found in Florida or at other locations along the Mexican coast. Snorkeling is best where there is coral, not sand, eleminating all the beach front resorts as having really good snorkeling. Also the bottom areas of a lot of the beach have sharp formations of either worn limestone, which is what makes up most of the base that Cozumel sits on, but there may also be bits of dead coral. The only AI resort in the southern zone that has the great snorkeling all around it is the Fiesta Americanna, but it has no beach. From personal experience & talking to guests of the resorts I have not stayed at the most I can say is that each has it's good, & each has upset some travellers. I read many of the reviews posted here, and sometimes wonder how some people are so easily satisfied, myself included, and how some had the worst trip of their lives according to their review.

The other thing I regularily read is "not a 5 star resort" which it most definately was not. The review will be on the forum page which has the star rating clearly shown. In Canada the star ratings used by the trip providers pretty much are the same as on this forum, so where they got 5 star ratings from I don't know, but I see many reviews from people expecting a lot more than they paid for. An example is Hotel Cozumel which is rated as a 2 star here, and I stayed there last trip & felt it a very good bargain. It uses 4 stars on it's logo, but I have never seen any claim that it is a 4 star resort, BUT there are reviews argueing that it is not the 5 star resort they thought they were going to.

Cozumel is an island, with very limited resources. All that food they feed us must come in by boat or plane from elsewhere. This plus the fact there are a few hundred hungry people all from different cultures and with different tastes makes it near impossable for each meal to be perfect for all the guests. Before I went to my first all inclusive I never really thought it out, but I had it in my hear it woulb be like going to a restaurant where you just chose whatever you wanted from a menu, except I wouldn't need to pay nor worry how much it cost. Well it of coarse isn't that way, the more expensive resorts have bigger & more varied buffets, and the cheaper places have less variety, or more basic foods on the buffet table.

3. Re: Wanna Know!

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Removed on: 1:59 pm, August 08, 2005
Ontario, Canada
6 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Wanna Know!

THANK YOU for all the responces! Definitely "food for thought".

We will take all your recommendations into consideration.

Thanks again for your time,

Julinator

Oklahoma City
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215 posts
223 reviews
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5. Re: Wanna Know!

I went to Cozumel for my first time at the end of July. Emily had already done her stuff; I was a little skeptical. But, I stayed at the El Cozumeleno and didn't have a thing interrupt my vacation. They were wonderful about everything. Yes there was some construction going on, but they worked around the guests, and I just moved past them wherever I wanted to go. Whether your group wants to see a lot of things or just rest on the beach or near the pool, I think you will be pleased with El Cozumeleno. Antonio in the Dive Shop can guide you on adventures or things to do. I was a first time snorkeler and he suggested the Manta and the guys were great. They had lots of patience, and we're concerned that I had a good time. Antonio set it all up. We went to 4 different locations and spent almost 4 hours on the water. It was wonderful.

The only thing I did not get to do was see the lighthouse on the southern tip of the island, so I will definitely have to go again and I will stay at the El Cozumeleno.

lighthouse lady

Tulum, Mexico
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1,516 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: Wanna Know!

There are several all inclusive hotels that went nearly unscathed by Emily and opened as soon as power was restored. The all inclusives with the most damage are scheduled for openin Nov. 1, so I would think that by January, you will be safe. There's lots to do on the mainland for a large group, but I would never choose Playa del Carmen over Cozumel if snorkeling played even a minimal part. The snorkeling on the island is far and away better than what you will find at a hotel in Playa del Carmen. They are known for their nice sandy beaches. Marine life is scarce in areas of nice sandy beaches.

Since the snorkeling is good on the island, you can assume that there are lots of areas without nice sandy beaches. For this reason, oceanside hotels truck in sand so that their guests still have a nice sandy beach. That would include Fiesta Americana, El Presidente, La Ceiba (El Cid), Casa del Mar...etc. That doesn't make the beach less enjoyable. The resorts south of Chankanaab Park have natural sandy beaches and therefore...lousy snorkeling.

On the north end of the island there are some rough beaches and some sandy beaches. I snorkeled at Coral Princess and was pleasantly surprised. There is a rock wall with lots to see and I saw several spotted drums, one huge, and for the first time saw red-lipped blennies. These were special to me because they normally are on the bottom under rocks and I am too...fluffy...to get off the surface and go down to see them.

I have also heard that the snorkeling is decent at Sol Cabanas del Caribe.

I really don't know about the snorkeling at El Cozumeleno, but it is a lovely hotel...seen from the outside. I have never entered, but I've heard good things. Know Antonio, and a good friend used to work there as a server. So I would consider it a good choice from what they have told me.

Fiesta Americana and El Presidente have good snorkeling, but I would think that Dzul Ha (beach club only) has better than both. Dzul Ha is right between the two hotels.

My first stay on the island was Fiesta Americana all inclusive and I thoroughly enjoyed it. El Presidente does not have an all inclusive package, but gets rave reviews.

There is a villa...Villa Dzul Ha, right next to the beach club where I hang out. I have not met the owner, but I know there was a link to it on...maybe...cozumelinsider. I forget. Peacock is the owner's name. Nice location and I know they have a website. Try a search.

I believe the quality of your trip corresponds positively to your attitude. If you plan to have a good time, you will!

Ashville, New York
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68 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: Wanna Know!

If having a nice beach is one of your number #1 requirements, then I would suggest staying in PDC instead of Cozumel.

Last year a group of us stayed at the Riu Yucatan and the beach was absolutely beautiful! We thought the resort was very nice and the staff outstanding. They closed the last day were were there for renovations so it has to be top notch now!!!

If snorkeling and diving is of utmost importance, then Cozumel would make you happy.