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“Met Our Expectations Beautifully - What are yours?”

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El Cozumeleno Beach Resort
Ranked #20 of 53 Hotels in Cozumel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 13, 2014

I won’t bore you with yet another detailed opinion of this resort. Isn’t part of the problem that there are so many opinions? Who can you trust when you are on the verge of spending a large chunk of hard-earned money? At least you've hopefully figured out that many of the harshly negative reviews on this site are at best exaggerations, and at worst out-and-out lies. You know that person who seems to enjoy finding fault in absolutely everything? Well, they take vacations, too! We DID get bottled water every day and our beds were NOT "rock hard". (In fact, this was our first Mexican hotel bed that came with a foam mattress topper!)

What are you looking for in your vacation? If you’re reading this review, you’re at least leaning toward Cozumel - good choice! El Cozumeleno can be a good choice as well depending on the goals for your trip. Do you want a party atmosphere? Younger crowd? A pulsing nightlife? El Coz is not for you. Are you a foodie who values great dining experiences in your travels? Then you won’t choose a budget all-inclusive. Do you need a wide variety of activities everyday? There are better options for you. So what do you want?

Our choice was driven first by our budget: A 7-day all inclusive Caribbean getaway for 2 with airfare for around $2000 total. That certainly limits the destination, the hotel, and the time of year. A Sandals resort in the Caymans? No chance for us. Early December in the Riviera Maya is a great option. We’d been to Cozumel before and fell in love with its laid-back island vibe. We added more qualifiers: all-inclusive, good shore snorkeling, away from downtown (quieter). That really narrows the field. El Cozumeleno checked all of our boxes. At the end of the day we got an ocean-view room and all we could eat and drink in a relaxing Caribbean paradise with great snorkeling for around $90 per person per day. Pretty amazing.

We don’t go to Mexico for the great food, fine hotels, shopping, and nightlife. We have that at home. We choose Mexico because it gives us what we can’t get: ocean-view rooms, tropical sunsets, incredible sea life, and a chance to completely unwind. If your needs are pointing you to El Cozumeleno, just go for it! If you have even a smidge of an open mind you’ll have a great time! We met lots of guests who come back year after year. That says something. Now we understand. Lovely setting, incredible staff, good value.

Just a note for you snorkel buffs: Immediately in front of the hotel within the buoys it’s fun but not that spectacular - a lot of fish but no coral. The real joy is walking South down the beach and putting in at the small sandy cove and drifting back with the current to the hotel. The walk takes you across rougher beach and rocks so you will probably want to wear flip-flops or water shoes that you can tie on or stuff into your swimsuit. Don’t stop at the rock cove! Keep going past the abandoned buildings to the sandy cove. You can’t miss it. Floating back you’ll find much more interesting structure, more developed corals and a greater diversity of other sea life. We did the “Drift” almost every day and saw something different each time. Of course it can’t compare with the island’s stunning offshore reefs so if you’re at all serious about snorkeling you have to take a boat tour to see some of these marvels.

Room Tip: Higher floors offer better views
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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16  Thank SnorklinBadger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 13, 2014

While the weather the first week of January was not ideal, our family had a great time on the island. The staff was very accommodating and our rooms were clean. We would recommend adding a dessert and coffee bar to the resort. We enjoyed the tennis court-but suggest you bring your own tennis balls. Make dinner reservations early in the day and enjoy a great meal each night with a changing menu. Buffet was usually well stocked but fresh items off the grill were wonderful.We also rented a car and got to see the island in our own time frame, but it was a little confusing when we realized the rental car company was not at the airport-Funjet was a great help with this. Resort was nice-lots to do and staff was awesome. We would return:)

Room Tip: Corner rooms are very large and ours was on the 4th floor-great height to see the cruise ships and o...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank Stephanie1369
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Our Background: Married and in our 50's. Been to 12 all-inclusive resorts over 33 years at many island locations.
Rooms: Very large and very, very clean. The resort is older and you can tell as it has many coats of paint. The furniture looks weary and has also been painted over. The King bed is a hard as a rock. We have a very firm mattress back home and both of us complained of restless sleeps. My hips even felt like they had been bruised. We had an oceanfront balcony which was beautiful. No U.S. TV channels but several have English-speaking movies with sub-titles. The bathroom was tiled and clean with no towel availability issues. Hair dryer availability but no refrigerator unless you rent one for $5.00 per day. Plenty of storage for clothes. Maids did a great job cleaning the room. Summary rating: slightly less than average.
Hotel Facilities: Once again, this older hotel shows its age but is kept immaculate. No nightly entertainment. There are daily movies for the kids on the second floor. Some canoe and snorkeling equipment rental is on-site with para-boarding and para-sailing next door. The lobby and common area, while large, is not very tall like the newer resorts at Riviera Maya. They have an 18-hole Putt Putt area near the pool. The grounds are clean but not expansive. The two pools are not as large as newer facilities but adequate and kept pristine. The resort is only ten minutes from town. Summary rating: Average
The Beach: It's a man-made beach and not very deep or wide. There are some palapas for shade but you need to get there early in the morning. A storm from the previous night washed away at least half the beach exposing harsh looking limestone. But workers began immediately moving a huge pile of sand back into the beach area: Apparently this happens quite frequently. Beyond the beach is the beautiful Caribbean sea with Riviera Maya in the distance. About 20 feet from the edge is still a bit rocky with the water getting gradually and predictably deeper. Summary rate: Slightly below average
Service: People are cleaning everywhere. The people were very friendly and went out of their way to may your stay enjoyable. Dining room service for all three meals was great. The front desk personnel were also attentive. The bartenders seemed actually happy to serve you and were very quick (a rarity at many all-inclusives). This resort seems to be aware of its liabilities and shows a lot of effort to overcome them. Summary rating: Well above other all-inclusives
Beverage Quality: The Cokes and Coke Light tasted exactly as Coca-Cola intended them to be (another rarity at other resorts). The mixed drinks were great and the bartenders produced many exotic concoctions at our request. Margaritas were awesome. They didn't have the bar stocked with the kind of liquor you'd find at a high quality bar but they they had more than enough variety to satisfy most people. There are five bars on site with the primary ones on the beach and in the Lobby. Summary rating: Well above other all-inclusives
Food Quality: The variety was Poor and the Meat quality was also poor. There are two restaurants, a sit down one that needs reservations for dinner and an outdoor oceanfront buffet that servers all three meals. There is also a snack bar. Breakfast was great with lots of variety along with an on site chef to make any eggs or omelets you desire. Lots of fresh fruit as well. But that is the only highlight. The snack bar that operates day and night served hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, pizza and the like that tasted bland, at best, with low quality ingredients. The meat (Beef, Fish, Chicken, Pork) was tough, riddled with fat, and tasteless. While the presentation of entrees was excellent (sit down formal restaurant) the description in the menu rarely fit what you actually got. The chef made a number of weird choices in seasoning, color and ingredients that just did not work for an appetizing experience. One example was gazpacho that was green with an overpowering strawberry taste. Another example was rigatoni with a red sauce that was watery and covered in white tasteless cheese. We ended up ordering fresh fruit plates for dinner by the end of the week (which were excellent, by the way).
Summary rating: Very poor.

So it was a disappointing trip. The excellent service and beverages were completely offset by the poor food quality and chef choices. Everything else was slightly below average. We would not come back. It hurts me to say that because the people working there try so hard but some changes have to be made at this resort and some much needed investment to update the public areas and beach to current modern standards.

Room Tip: The "Deluxe" rooms are huge (for a hotel room) and have an oceanfront view. The refrigera...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Lawrence Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Cozumeleno Beach Resort was more then expected ! My room was large with a fantastic view over the waterfront. The various water activities offered was the reason I went to Cozumel, and it didn't disappoint. The various menus catered to most appetites . However, it is the resort's staff that has made a lasting and positive impression on me. Staff always had a smile on their face and were eager to please in all ways ! I personally think the staff to be the resort's finest asset, and has greatly influenced me in returning to the resort in the future. I found all staff to be courteous and eager to meet any demand in assuring the guests have a memorable vacation and should be recognized. Though I don't know the names of every employee, Sergio ( assistant reception), Santiago and Alberto ( waiters ) Lourdes ( beach server ) and Alfonso (dive shop ) come to mind ! They're the best !!!

Room Tip: Higher floors, close to the elevators have a magnificent view !
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank 978judy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

My wife and I chose this resort based on other reviews and we wanted to try something different. We have traveled to Mexico multiple times and have stayed at the Grand Palladium in Akumal which is a great resort. I have several examples of why not to ever return to El Cozumeleno.
Beach Resort?--Very misleading...there is about 40 yards of beach which is really sand covering a rocky shoreline they have disguised as a beach. While we were there we had terrible weather which I don't hold against the hotel. The result of high winds was the beach washing away and we were able to watch a tractor drive on the "Beach" removing seaweed and replacing sand. All that was left was rocks and sandbags that were in place to hold the "Beach" in place. If the water level would have not risen and washed away the sand it would have appeared to have been a sandy beach area. If you wanted a chair at the pool or on the beach you had to be out there by about 7 to claim your spot due to the limited number of chairs.
All Inclusive-as long as you have a dollar in your hand. As I mentioned we experienced bad weather while we were there which resulted in the lobby being packed with about 50 people trying to figure out what to do. The bartenders in the lobby were quick to fill your beer or other drink as long as you had a dollar in your hand. I watched them tell people they wouldn't make certain drinks for them and for half the time we were there they were out of the Dos Equis Amber beer. No mini bar in my room and I was on the seventh floor therefore I would have to go to the lobby to get a beer or soda. I had two bottles of water in the room that were restocked if we drank them.
Food - The buffet is your typical all inclusive buffet with a few items that were really good and then the rest was pretty average. Omelet station in the morning was good and the taco station at lunch was good as well. The a la carte restaraunt had good food but it was a joke getting reservations. Once again you had to be up at the crack of dawn to get in line to reserve a slot which was either 5 or 9 pm if you weren't one of the lucky few in the front of the line. We only ate there two nights out of 8 due to this issue.

Rooms - They are an average hotel room. Ours however was special. As the rain and the wind began we had towels under both doors to the room to keep the water out. The slider to the balcony leaked and the water that was forming outside the door to the room was leaking under it. The door to our room was horrible and didn't look secure. The safe in the room is a joke and all you can fit in there is maybe a wallet and a small camera.
Bottom line - I will never return to this hotel. It is not a resort as it professes, it is a hotel. There were very limited activities with one entertainment show that was on certain nights. The poor weather truly put this place to the test which left us playing cards in the lobby or our room and begging for drinks. I was thoroughly disgusted that we spent the money we did traveling to this place looking for something different than we normally do. I wish I could get my money and my time back!! I would definitely look elsewhere if you are looking for an all inclusive with entertainment, a beach, and friendly staff. The front desk staff was rude and I found very few friendly workers at the resort. Lourdes was a great server in the lobby and we had a great maid but other than that it was very few smiles and the rare "hola".

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms don't have mini bars and the chance of being a long ways away from any drinks i...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank shootin68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

We read lots of reviews on this place and were warned about the food. No it is not the best, but it is decent. There is one buffet restaurant that you can go to any time. There is one "fancy" restaurant you can go to for lunch or breakfast but need reservations for dinner. To get reservations for dinner you have to get to the lobby by 7:30 am and wait in line. The fancy restaurant is very nice, however: each meal take about 2 hours! Yes, even breakfast. They are understaffed and very slow, but the food is EXCELLENT in the restaurant. Beach is wonderful. Snorkeling right off the shore. Walk up and there's sandy beach and walk down and there's rocky beach with snorkeling. We took a couple Scuba excursions which were great. However, it is a long and expensive taxi ride to where all the Scuba departs. We went to Tulum which was excellent. Also took a long excursion to Chichen Itza which was definitely worth it. The Cenotes are amazing and I highly recommend booking a swim in one. You have to go to the mainland for all of these activities. We booked a baby sitter for a day but the front desk receptionist failed to tell us that if we didn't confirm (again!) by the morning prior, she would cancel. We confirmed the evening before and she had cancelled the babysitting. She blamed us. Customer service was horrible. I said it was a misunderstanding and let's fix it. Asked to talk to the manager. She called the manager on the phone and in Spanish started telling him it was my fault, I didn't follow her instructions and now I was causing problems trying to get exceptions. She didn't realize I could understand her! How rude! In any case, the manager, Frank Corrione came and personally called the head of the child care center who came the next morning to watch my daughter. Her name was Alexandra and my daughter had the time of her life with her! The child care team is excellent. Overall, despite the rain, we had a wonderful vacation.

Room Tip: All rooms have an ocean view. Just be sure you aren't on the ground floor.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Maria B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Staff was friendly and accommodating. Buffets were good I could always find something to eat. But better was the indoor upscale where reservations had to be made at 8am the day you wanted to dine there. Very good food, desserts and a wait staff -- Ricardo, Fernando, & Yanetha made sure the service was superb!! I shall return and hopefully not have it rain as often but that was not the fault of the El Cozumeleno,

  • Stayed: January 2014
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1  Thank Rascott0930
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

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:
#12 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range: $129 - $497 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Cozumeleno Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 251
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Also Known As:
El Cozumeleno Beach Hotel Cozumel
El Cozumeleno Beach Cozumel
El Cozumeleno Cozumel

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