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Choices... Grand , Iberostar, Presidente

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austin, texas
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Choices... Grand , Iberostar, Presidente

We are planning a dive trip to Cozumel and are looking for the "best" place to stay on the Island.

Our research and exploring these forums have led us down to three choices. The Occidental Grand, Iberostar, and Presidente Intercontinental.

Obviously "best" is a relative term as each resort has its pluses and minuses and all three of these resorts appear to have great onsite diving facilities.

Price-wise all three of these choices are pretty much in the same price-range, but with the Presidente the pricetag does not include food and drink.

My previous experience with all-inclusive / all you can eat type places does not lend to the best quality of food and drink, which lends some concerns with the AI resorts.

Our personal preference is that we would rather pay extra for the opportunity to get exactly what we like vs getting served all the mixed drinks I can swallow but made with old crow whiskey.

In the end we are looking for personal opinions or experiences between these three choices and more specifically any experiences with the cost and quality of food and drinks at the Presidente.

Our thought this point is that we are leaning toward the Presidente as we figure if we only get two weeks off a year, we would rather overspend and be better safe than sorry.

Thanks in advance for the advice.


Austin, Texas

Minneapolis, MN
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28 posts
8 reviews
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1. Re: Choices... Grand , Iberostar, Presidente

Without a doubt you should stay at the Presidente. In my opinion, it is the best place to stay on the island (unless you are loaded and get rent your own house). I've stayed there once, but have friends that also loved it. I've also stayed at Fiesta Americana, which is also nice, but Presidente is nicer. The dive facility is first-class all the way. Very friendly guides, great boats, etc. It also has the nicest beach/sand area in my opinion. Maybe it was the time of year I went, but it didn't seem like one of those super over-crowded, wake up early to get a beach chair kind of places. I also agree with you on all-inclusive. I've never been one for all-inclusives because you end up not experiencing much of the place you are visiting and it can be pretty corny sometimes. Unless you have young kids, it is so much more fun to go into town each night and experience different places to eat. Presidente does have a nice place to eat, but I would recommend just having a little breakfast there a la carte, have a snack for lunch, and then go into town for dinner. For dinner, go to La Veranda. It has good food, not that expensive, and you get to sit out on this really nice and quite patio. http://www.islacozumel.net/food/la_veranda/. Have fun....I'm jealous. Oh, one more thing. Make sure to check all around for rates for the hotel. I found big differences sometimes between calling up directly, expedia, travelocity, etc. Just make sure you check around before you book.

Cozumel Mexico
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142 posts
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2. Re: Choices... Grand , Iberostar, Presidente

My vote gets the Presidente! Yes, it will cost you, but some pluses are that you are closer to town and able to get your own 'special supplies', this will save you some $. You are also closer to other dining opportunties, a 10-15 minute cab ride as opposed to 30-40 each way!

I've heard the service is outstanding!



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59 posts
1 review
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3. Re: Choices... Grand , Iberostar, Presidente

We stayed at the Iberostar a couple years ago and have stayed at the Presidente at least ten times. We are going back on Wed. for our second time this winter.

There really is no comparison. Like others have written, if you have kids and are worried about feeding them around the clock, go to an AI. The water access at the Pres. is much superior to the Iberostar. I've been past the Grand on scuba trips and the beach there looks better than the Iberostar, but the beach itself and the snorkeling at the Pres. is outstanding.

One of the things we look forward to the most (besides doing absolutely nothing on the beach at our palapa and happy hour sunsets) is going out to eat dinner in town. The forum is full of suggestions as for places to go. We like La Choza, Prima, etc. This time we will also visit La Veranda, Sonora Grill, Cafe Denis, Tony Rome, etc.

The on-site dive operation, Scuba-du cannot be beat. It is incredibly convenient, professional, nice boats (not too big) and the dive masters are great. I dove thru other good dive shops, but none better than Scuba-du. In fact when we stayed at the Iberostar we had Scuba-du pick us up at the Iberostar. The operation at the Iberostar had much larger boat(s) which I don't care for.

Trust your feelings, tho you may pay a little more for food and drink, you only live once.


Puerto Escondido...
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117 posts
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4. Re: Choices... Grand , Iberostar, Presidente

If you don't want All-Inclusive and money is not a problem, stay at the Presidente. The Iberostar and the Grand are probably the two nicest AI resorts on the island. The Presidente is the nicest (and most expensive) hotel.

Seattle, Washington
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21 posts
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5. Re: Choices... Grand , Iberostar, Presidente

We stayed at the Presidente last year and plan to stay there again in March. The breakfast buffet is beyond belief as well as the guacamole and chips I enjoyed by the pool almost every afternoon. The bar is wonderful, people very friendly and I hear they have a lovely, new spa this year. The extra money you spend on an ocean view room is definitely worth it, too, in my opinion. We had dinner in their indoor restaurant one evening and had the BEST lobster I've ever eaten. And, there was a fabulous flamenco guitarist playing all evening. We sat near him and enjoyed the music with our after dinner coffee and dessert!

If you dive, there's a great dive group right on the premises, or you can even snorkel right off the beach, just steps from your room.

Lebanon, OR
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31 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: Choices... Grand , Iberostar, Presidente

Did you stay in a "superior" room? That's the same as the oceanview room right?