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“Don't Do It!”

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El Cozumeleno Beach Resort
Ranked #24 of 52 Hotels in Cozumel
Libertyville, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Don't Do It!”
Reviewed January 5, 2014

I never thought I'd be one of those people writing a negative review but after our horrible experience with the El Cozumeleno I feel I must.
We were sent to this hotel via the Occidental Grand due to overbooking (another story for another hotel!) It was a though the E.C. did everything in its power to make our stay the worst it could possibly be. I won't go into detail about the "behind the scenes" deal that was to become our new home for more than half our vacation. What I will mention was the refusal of either hotel to upgrade our room to include the amenities of what I had paid for at the Occidental. According to both hotels, I received what the O.G. was willing to compensate the E.C. for our stay.
We were put in the old section of the hotel. Upon entering our room we were overwhelmed by the smell of mildew and our shower had so much mold in it we were not able to use it without some sort of foot protection. Our air conditioner was not working and when I called to ask that someone come to check it out, no one ever came. I called again the next morning and it was determined it was broken. We were unable to use our room for the entire day because the workmen were directly across from our bathroom and there was filth and water (not to mention equipment and ceiling tiles) all over the floor. New room? Not yet, it seems. I was told there weren't any available which turned out to be a bold-faced lie because when it still was not working by bedtime, we were finally moved to another room. We were lucky - I talked to another guest who was going on day 4 without air conditioning. They were given fans!
The buffet served almost the same inedible food for each meal. To "wash" glasses at the bar, the bartenders dipped the used ones in dirty water and reused them. My son had sand and other unidentifiable floaties in his drink! I spent a lot of money taking my family out to dinner in town for all but one night we were there. We ate at the ala carte restaurant for one night. It was comparable to any chain restaurant in the states.
The most disappointing feature of this hotel was management. After reading some other reviews, there were some people who had a different experience than I, but who would want to spend thousands of dollars not knowing whether or not you will be one of those who are deemed worthy of their hospitality? When I looked around and realized the general attitude of most employees is rudeness or indifference, it was easy to conclude not only is this an awful place to stay, it must be an awful place to work, as well.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank sandnsun2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2014

Myself, my husband and 4 friends spent a week at El Cozumeleno from Dec 27th 2013-Jan.3 2014. Our overall experience was very good.
In Sum: Great Snorkelling, Clean rooms, decent food, bad bar experience, no night life, family resort. For more details look below:

The Very Good:
- The Snorkelling was FANTASTIC! If you are facing the ocean, walk down the beach to the left until you pretty much reach the next resort and start snorkelling there - the current will take you right back to the resort and we saw a variety of fantastic coral, tropical fish, even a few yellow rays and an eagle ray!
- The food selection was good. Nothing fancy but a good variety. Typical All inclusive Buffet.
- Our rooms were very clean and spacious. We stayed on the 9th floor. FANTASTIC view of the ocean. All the rooms face the ocean.
- The resort is only 3km from town which was great! $7 one way for four ppl to get to town. $14 for more than 4 ppl.
Could Use Improvement:
- Bar service! We are a group in our mid twenties - we've been to 6 other all inclusive resorts and this had the worst 'bar' experience. They measure every shot of alcohol, won't give out doubles, won't give out shots, and hardly ever smiled. We would wait for a LONG time for a drink while the bartenders avoided eye contact, washed dishes and cups and did everything but serve us drinks. Don't come here for a party.

Tours
- HIGHLY recommend the Jeep Tour!! We booked through Nolitours and the Jeep Tour Rocked! Four per jeep, you drive your own jeep around the island, stopping to snorkel (crappy snorkelling if you are experienced, but the rest of the tour makes up for it), Tequila Tasting, Mayan Ruins, Beach Stop on the other side of the island, Eco Park Tour.
- The boys did deep sea fishing and WOULD NOT recommend it. Didn't catch anything and the boat drivers drove too fast for real fishing. It was an expensive boat ride.
- We are SCUBA certified and the diving was FANTASTIC! - The SCUBA tour through Nolitours was nothing fancy, very basic boat, no toilet, but great diving! Saw Rays, Sea turtles, Reefs and Lots of fish! Two dives cost us about $85.00 each.

Room Tip: 9th floor had very spacious rooms.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tori B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ancaster, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2014

My husband and I spent 7 days from Dec. 7 - Jan 3 rd and we're pleasantly surprised at the El Cozumeleno. We normally stay at Sandals or Hilton hotels. The food was excellent as well as the service. The on Site snorkeling was great, saw manta, barracuda, cuttlefish, and a large array of tropical fish.
Room was clean,bed was comfortable but could use a higher end update including a large flat screen TV instead on a 19 " box TV.
Wi-Fi sucked couldn't face time with our family, limited internet access, texting Ok. Premium liquior selection was not good. Golf course across street was PGA quality.
Overall we had a great time good value for the money!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cleopatra6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We chose to visit El Cozumeleno again because we wanted our family to have the same great experience we had a year and a half previously. The snorkeling right from the beach is about as good as it gets. Walk half a kilometer south of the resort, hop in the water and let the current take you back through beautiful underwater scenery. As with our previous trip, the food at the buffet restaurant is unimaginative and repetitive. (If food is your number one reason for visiting a resort, this is not the place for you.) However, the a la carte restaurant is excellent. We ate there every night and were very impressed with the quality and selection of the menu. The staff are the hardest working people we have ever come across and provide service with a smile at every turn. What was extremely frustrating were the majority of the other clients at the resort who felt it necessary to get up before the sun everyday and reserve all the chairs around the pools by throwing a flipflop or a magazine on them and then only using those chairs for maybe one hour out of the day. I'm hoping the management can find a way to prevent people from doing this. It's a very selfish practice, but not really the fault of the hotel. All that said, if you are looking for an enjoyable, relaxing vacation with the best snorkeling options available, this is the place for you.

Room Tip: We prefer the south tower, higher up for it's spectacular views. My parents were in the north b...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MaryAnne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland
Level Contributor
32 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2014

I am just returning from eight days at the El Coz with my two sons, and wanted to share some thoughts on how to improve your experience there.

1. The important tip one is that, if you usually travel to very high end resorts, or if you are looking for a cozy romantic getaway, this place is not for you. El Coz is a mainstream resort that caters mainly to families (including some large family groups), and for that purpose, I think they do a good job.

2. It is possible to eat well here, but this requires navigating around the ghastly, rehashed casserole-style buffet dishes. These are usually composed of chopped-up bits of yesterday’s buffet dishes, and the ingredients are often so overcooked that even copious amounts of mystery sauce won’t help them. The labels on the dishes are often wrong. Fish becomes pork. Hot dogs become sausages. Pineapple is potato, etc.

3. The fresh fruit and salad bar is a good call. Also, at each meal there is a cook-to-order station, which is the best way to get a good meal. Omelets for breakfast, shrimp and fish tacos for lunch, a dish of the day for dinner. You can also order off a menu, and this requires some experimentation – some dishes are good, some awful. On some days a temporary grill by the pool was making some wonderful chicken.

4. We took extra clothes so we could meet the dress code of the sit-down restaurant (which requires making reservations very early each day). I found the food here to be worse that what was available in the main dining pavilion by several orders of magnitude. But, eating here does earn you the right to wait a very long wait for your food and the serving of marginal wines by hyper waiters wearing Santa hats.

5. Drinks. The reason many of you are coming – unlimited drinks. To get a better quality margarita, specify Cuervo or you will get mystery liquor that may or may not be tequila. For rum drinks, order Bacardi. If you want a stronger drink (or one with perceptible alcohol), order a double. If you are a beer connoisseur, go somewhere else, as the selection of two flavors of Dos Equis only will make you sad. For kids, they will make virgin blender drinks (and there are several serve yourself soda stations), and now and then a menu of fresh fruit smoothies appears (not sure why it is there sometimes and not others). If you want to really stick out as a greedy American, bring a 64-ounce thermos mug and demand that the staff fill it with the drink of your choice.

6. Beach chairs for your family. To make one hundred percent sure that your family of twelve each has a beach chair available at all times, send someone from your party down to the pools at around 5:00 a.m. with a bucket of beach toys, some sandals or some trinkets. Place one on a chair for each person in your family. This, in the view of some, causes these chairs to be reserved for you and you alone. Don’t worry about ever sitting in these chairs; just be confident that they are reserved for only you.

7. If you come from a state where the drinking age is 21 and you have kids between 18-21, they will drink. Sometimes a lot. Get used to it.

8. The best snorkeling can be had by walking down the beach several hundred yards to the south to the little cove just past the abandoned restaurant with the red tile floor. Put in here, then allow yourself to drift with the current back to El Coz. Stick fairly close to shore or you could be run over by a giddy tourist on a jet ski or a parasailing boat. If you forget this and go too far out, a guy from the hotel will come out on the beach and scream at you.

9. If you like to walk on long, sandy abandoned beaches, walk north from the hotel at low tide – you can walk for miles and it is very pretty there.

10. A cab to the main part of downtown is $8, so it is easy to get down there if you want to get out for a meal or some shopping. The cruise ships (you will see them come and go from the hotel) are in port from morning until around 4:00, and this influx of thousands of people makes the character of downtown a little nutty. You may find waiting until later to be more peaceful. For a nice change of pace, check our La Perlita (a good distance from the city center), and we also enjoyed La Mission a few blocks from the zocolo.

Have a great time!

Room Tip: Try to get a room above the 4th floor in the south tower away from the elevator.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Joezone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wykel
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2014

This was our first time at Cozumeleno and we were pleasantly surprised. Overall it's a good resort but it does depend if your room is in the new section. Ours was but was on the ground level and if we return we will get a room higher up cause was noisy on the ground level. The entertainment was not great. The food was good but not fantastic, pretty average for an all inclusive. It's clean and the employees are great!

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for the new section and high up ocean view.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wykel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fergus Falls, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2014

My family and I spent Christmas at the Cozumeleno and had a wonderful time.The resort is located on the north side of the island away from the cruise ship crowds which makes for a less busy and less crowded get away. Cliental have been returning to the resort for decades because they like what they find there. The staff and service are exceptional. The Resort while showing it's age is well maintained, clean with staff that are eager to help make your stay a positive experience. Great beach, and great snorkeling, I always bring my own gear for snorkeling. People from other other resort next door always are amazed at the clarity of the water in front of the Cozumeleno. Yes the pool area at times has loud music which you can get away from by going to one of the other pools or the beach. Food: Breakfast is very good. Eggs made just about anyway you would like them, bacon, sausage, fruits of all kinds, great fresh coffee, juice. french toast, pancakes, cereals etc. Lunch: a variety of food is prepared, american,mexican and italian among others and is served buffet style. However they are also always preparing something fresh to eat that they will cook right in front of you. You can also order off a menu if you do not find something to your liking. Dinner: Try the reservation only restaurant, the food is ok there with a good selection and great presentation. Please applaud the piano player "Peppe" who is a cute little old man who brings charm to your dinning experience. We always spend two nights dinning in town to experience the culture and charm of the island: I would recommend the "La Mission" restaurant for their lobster and steak, their mexican food is great too. Drinks are "weak" but you can ask for "doubles" and get them if you want it stronger. If you are there to get drunk and be obnoxious please go somewhere else.This is not a hotel for spring breakers as they are not allowed. Evenings are quiet around the pools where parents can watch their children swim while enjoying a cocktail or watching the cruise ships leave port all lit up like a christmas tree. You need "night life" a cab will take you to town where you can go clubbing. This is a place where you and your family will feel safe and where you can escape and relax. I can't wait to go back.....

Room Tip: The rooms on the higher floors have the best views and are further away from the noise from the pool...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Frank J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Cozumeleno Beach Resort

Property: El Cozumeleno Beach Resort
Address: Playa Santa Pilar Km 4.5, 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) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Cozumeleno Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 251
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
El Cozumeleno Beach Hotel Cozumel
El Cozumeleno Beach Cozumel
El Cozumeleno Cozumel

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