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“Great family trip!”
Review of Iberostar Cozumel

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Iberostar Cozumel
Ranked #9 of 52 Hotels in Cozumel
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Reviewed February 13, 2009

The Iberostar Cozumel was an excellent place to spend our winter vacation. The service was super and we really enjoyed the beautiful grounds. Stayed at the Cozumeleno last year and we liked Iberostar more. Only draw back was the distance from town - which wasn't a big deal and worth the extra money in cab fares. We enjoyed the quiet resort and our kids (7 and 2) loved the animals and all the activities. Stayed for 8 days and loved the food and enjoyed all there is to do on this wonderful island. We are already looking at spending next Christmas at this resort in paradise.

  • Stayed: December 2008
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9  Thank mbusch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 13, 2009

Charming and lush with a lot of "wildlife" this Iberostar was a lovely destination for an affordable vacation. Best rates are through www.goiberostar.com! It is a little rustic, but that only makes it more adorable and endearing--little round cabana rooms with great wooden spirally staircases and balconies. Multi-colored hammocks, meticulous grounds, great modern bathrooms with beautiful tiled showers and good (even hot) water-pressure too. Best towel art of any resort we've visited!

There were a bazillion kids here.
They seem to respect and take very good care of all of the birds, lizards, kitties, and other critters on the grounds--which I appreciate beyond words! I loved having them all around, seeing and hearing them every day.

The local sea critters were a little disappointing and if you're looking for any reef, you should look elsewhere. But the rocky beach was just as beautiful as a sandy one and there were little fish and hermit crabs in the tide pools. The dock makes and easy ocean entrance to waist-deep water and LOADS of fishies. Dinner-plate sized angel fish, a red-lipped blenny, sgt. majors, grunts, etc and the house baracuda.

The steakhouse was our favorite of the restaurants and they also had the best appertizers. Reservation policy was a bit of a bummer, but very AI typical. Great service at all of the restaurants, even the buffet most of the time. But the bartenders in the lobby bar really shine. They're funny and friendly and talented at making all kinds of crazy beverages. The esspresso machine was a real treat both in the AM and PM!

I'd absolutely visit here again!

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank JillyJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2009

We stayed at the Iberostar Cozumel from Jan 16-23 with a group of 17 people for a wedding.
I'll start by saying the connections from Vancouver (Canada) to Cozumel are not great... our flight including connections and waits took over 12 hours.. when going to Cancun only takes 5! I'll also mention the price of our packages which does impact my review. It was about $1700 for double occupancy and about $2000 for a single. This is my 3rd all-inclusive stay, first at an Iberostar.

Check in was quick, as we were the only van arriving. The welcome drinks were a nice touch. A few of us had requested rooms prior to arriving but didn't get what we were hoping for.

ROOM
I ended up in 2501 which is the bottom floor of a 2 story building. Near the pool, but also has no view and faces the housekeeping room... which ended up being quite noisy. I did request changes, but the only ones offered were at the completely other end of the resort away from our group. (The hotel was at about 60% occupancy the week we were there) The rooms are small, and for what we paid, I was a little surprised at how basic they were. I'm not one to spend a lot of time in the room, but it wasn't super comfortable. We also had issues with the temperature and flow of the showers. It was very clean, and housekeeping was great. Restocking whenever you needed it, leaving cute towel art and flowers on the bed.

RESORT
The grounds are quite beautiful and lush with vegetation and "wildlife". (Iguanas, flamingos, turtles, and cats). It's a bit of a haul from one end of the report to the other.. so keep that in mind if you have mobility issues. The lounge is quite large and comfortable, and seems to be where most people congregate as not much else is open in the evenings..
The beach is beautiful, and made for a gorgeous backdrop for the wedding.
The spa is where the hot tubs are located, make sure to make a reservation! The prices are quite high for services.. which I guess makes sense, since where else are you going to go? We had our hair done for the wedding, which was 980 pesos before tip.. I've never paid that much in my life :)
There is a dive shop located on the grounds, and they were awesome... so friendly and easy going. This is also where you will get your non-motorized water crafts from. Keep in mind there is a $2 charge each time you book something for the Marine tax. We went a couple dives with them, and highly recommend the instructors and the site they go to - Just spectacular!
Gym - much better than I was expecting! Good equipment, fairly new cardio machines.
Internet - bring your laptop if you want to go on. It's $10 for 24 hours (1 day) or $2 for 15 mins on their computers.
POOL
Nice and big, split in half by the pool bar. Lots going on... water polo, volleybar, olympics with the star friends. They closed it at 7pm every night which I thought was very odd, and disappointing. Since it closed early, and the beach bar closes early it seems like they were trying to discourage fun by the water at all... which I haven't experienced before.
LOCATION
The resort is one of the last ones on the island, so it's a bit of a trek into town ($20 cab ride) This is the first resort I've stayed at that didn't have some sort of shuttle into the town (even at night, nothing going to the bars)
The water is gorgeous, but yes the beach is very rocky.. even when you go in off the dock. Some really nice snorkeling right on site due to the rocks and dock though. Go in the morning before the boats start coming in and out and you'll see tons! If you're looking to swim right off the beach, walk about 10 mins down and it will clear up. Or go to one of the beach clubs - lots of fun!

BARS
Lounge bar is the only one open all of the time, it's quite small... but it seems to be one of the only places to get top shelf liquor. the bartenders are great at taking requests though.
The Beach bar closes really early (around 5pm) and has one server for the entire beach area, so if you're thirty make the walk over yourself :)
There is another bar located in the restaurant at the pool which is open in the afternoons, and another bar by the entertainment stage area in the evenings.
Oh! and how could I forget.. there is a swim up bar... great if you're a bit too hot. And a bar in the discotheque which is open from 11pm- I'm not sure if it was because of the occupancy or who the people staying at the hotel were.. but the disco was pretty empty every night. I couldn't figure out where everyone went! This is the quietest resort I've ever stayed at for sure.

FOOD
I thought the buffets were great, nice selection.. tons of fresh fruit, and some tasty mexican options. The hotel advertised 5 restaurants, which I found a little funny since except for dinner you didn't really have a choice on where to go.
Breakfast until 10am was only served in the lobby restaurant. Then the leftovers would be moved to the pool restaurant from about 10-12, then they would put lunch out in the same place until 4 or so. Then at dinner you had the choice of the buffet in the lobby restaurant, the steak place (which was actually the pool restaurant), the mexican place, or American place (which is also the disco)
We dined a la carte 3x during the stay. The steak restaurant was pretty good.. the group was mixed on whether they enjoyed it or not. Beef down there tends to be a bit on the tough side. The Mexican place was fantastic though.. I wish we could have gone more than twice. Amazing salad bar (which is a meal in itself) and lovely menu choices. Super tasty! Also, order the special spanish coffee - really neat to see!
One afternoon they made a huge paella in the afternoon on the beach, delicious with sangria!

SERVICE
The staff was brilliant... very friendly and helpful. The star friends were amazing... just a great group they have working there. Always trying to get people involved and having fun. I thought the shows they put on at night were great compared to the other places I've stayed. They were a bit cheesy, but a lot of effort goes into it for sure! There is also a live band for a bit after the shows who were very good..
The wedding coordinator, and staff were amazing.. they did a fantastic job making sure the bride got what she wanted, and everything was beautiful!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. All and all... a nice, quiet resort with good food. If you're looking to chill on the beach for a week or do some diving.. not a bad option.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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10  Thank Danielle L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2009

This is the first time I have written a review. From reading countless other reviews, I feel that info must be honest and as accurate as possible so that fellow travellers know what to expect. That is what I will attempt to do with this review!
A party of 6 of us travelled to Las Vegas for 5 days before 4 of us continuing on to the Iberostar Cozumel for a family wedding. We flew on US Airways out of Vegas at 6:40am on Jan. 26. Arrived in Cancun at 2:58pm. Airline was great. Clearing customs and immigration in Cancun went very smooth (40min). You are at the mercy of the "green light, red light" checkpoint, and we all got the green light and proceeded out of the terminal. A number of solicitors will ask if you need transportation. If you have yours arranged, such as we did, then proceed outside and you will find your company. There are 3 ways to get to Cozumel from the Cancun airport. 1) public bus (about $8 ea to Playa del Carmen) but can take up to 2 hours with stops. 2) Taxi (good for maybe 3 people with luggage as cars are small!) 3) Booking private or shared transportation through a number of companies.
We booked a "private" van through Cancun Express. They were there to greet us with a 10 passenger van. Prepaid amount for 4 of us was $130.00 USD for the return trip. Loaded up right away and drove directly to Playa. Arranged the correct pickup time for returning and they were there waiting for us at the end of our trip. Was a good way to go! The vans, taxis etc can only get to the closest parking lot to the ferry dock in Playa and you have to lug your bags about a 5 min walk to the dock. Got in line for the ferry and purchased one way tickets to Cozumel for $11 ea. You can buy return cheaper (17.00) but you must then return on same ferry company's boat! (there are 2 different companies) For the extra few dollars in saving, buying one way was the best way to go! 40-45 min crossing to San Miguel. Then grab all your bags again (felt like a mule buy now!) and go to the taxi stand at the main street adjacent to the ferry dock. Had 4 adults and 6 lg pieces of luggage, so crammed into a small station wagon. Flat rate to the Iberostar is 17USD, but with our load, she asked for 20 which wasn't a problem. 20 min drive to hotel. Now, unless you fly directly to Cozumel airport, this is the only way to access the island and get to where you want to go!
Arrived at the front desk about 6:30pm. Was greeted by Geidy who promptly checked us in and made us feel welcome! Also greeted with a welcoming cocktail at the front desk. Bell services took the 4 of us in their "golf cart" and showed us our rooms. They then went back and got our luggage and brought it to us right after. Friendly service and prompt! (worth a $5 tip!) It was dark by this time and even with the map of the grounds, was a little confusing finding your way around for the first day or so! The map of the grounds by the pool shows a dot that says "you are here" but as we later found out, the dot is no way close to where you are and it can only make sense once you have many tequilas is what we deduced! (lol) We made our way to the lobby and met the other 12 or so family and friends that had already arrived for the wedding later that friday.
Now a bit of a breakdown so that this doesn't get to freaking long!

FOOD:
Anyone who says that they cannont find something to satisfy their pallet in the main buffet restaurant either is spoiled royalty or living in another world than ours! Vegetarian choices, main carving station each evening, fresh fruit, desserts and probably a total of 40-50 hot and cold choices. Breakfast was great with fresh pasteries to made to order eggs or omlettes each morning. Dinner had from hot dogs and hamburgers each night through to a variety of chicken, pork, beef and fish. Yes, as some people have said, some food sits for a few hours, as it is a buffet, but all in all, the cold was cold, the hot was hot, and the dishes were replenished constantly. Buffet restaurant by the pool had a great lunch fare. Service staff in each would get drinks for you if you wanted and constantly cleared and kept tables in good condition. (A few dollars tip each meal was appreciated by them and a good value for us!)
Ate in the Steakhouse rest and Mexican rest as well and enjoyed the meal and service. Would just as soon eat at the buffet for the choices. Have been to 3 all inclusives on the Mayan Riviera and would rate the Iberostar an 8 or 9 out of 10 for food!

ROOMS:
Rooms were very adequate. Had a king bed, closet with shelves and hangers, small table with 2 chairs, coffeemaker, tv with lots of channels, small safe, nice marble bathroom with hairdryer. (no tub, just large shower) Shower had dispensers of shampoo and bath gel. Large towels! Fridge in room had a variety of beer, water, sodas that were replenished daily! Most people had some "towel art" each day from their housekeeper. (We had a dude, only had it once!) Some things to note: Rooms seem damp, (yes you are in a tropical climate!) but wasn't a problem. Asked for a mattress foam topper and bed was a lot more comfortable. Rooms have a bit of a musty smell (as all of our previous rooms did...YOU ARE IN MEXICO's CLIMATE!) Brought along a hang up air freshener and an a scented candle and it was great! Also, only one plug where coffeemaker plugs into, so brought along a 3 outlet "cube" tap an worked great for my wife's curling irons, camera charger, etc. Air cond worked great. Hammock on balcony to relax in along with 2 chairs and small table. Rooms and housekeeping-9 out of 10!

GROUNDS:
Immaculate! Lots of friendly grounds staff attending to them daily. Iguanas, flamingos, geckos, a few different birds, peacocks and a few cats! Staff worked very hard in all areas of the resort keeping things clean and in order. 10 out of 10!

BEACH:
Beach itself is sandy and expansive with lots of loungers. The sand has erroded due to storms from the water line out. Long pier that you can walk out on and get easy access into waist deep water. Snorkled within 100 mtrs and found lots to look at!
Dive, snorkle & fishing charters have easy pick up from end of dock. If you like to play in the waves in the ocean as they crest just before the beach, this isn't the beach for you! That being said, we never laid on the beach, we laid around the pool all the time!

POOL AREA:
2 large pools separated by a swim up bar! 4.3ft deep. Cleaned constantly and a little chilly at first, but take the plunge and all is good! Played a number of games...volleyball, polo, basketball, and just hung out! Drink service comes around to your lounge chair (thanks Ruby!) but can be quicker to grab your own from the pool bar or the adjacent restaurant's bar. Brought thermal mugs for drinks as quite often they are on the small side, but didn't even use them here! Drinks were a good size and a great selection. (Adelida anyone?...Mmmmmm)

ANIMATION TEAM:
Here they are known as "Star Friends". They each work 6 days a week (as do most locals) and they start at 9-10 each morning with everything from aerobics in the pool, kids club, dancing lessons, pool sports and games, table tennis, beach volleyball, bikini contests, and whatever other fun things they can come up with. THEN, once the sun sets, they hang around the lobby and gear you up for their nightly show in the main theatre! The shows each night run from some talented numbers, to some hilarious audience participation and some people have claimed that they are too cheesy, but I must say that they have all worked increadibly hard to produce entertainment each evening for us all!
(I got drug up on stage I think 3 times and had a hoot each time!)
LONG LIVE THE BIG BANANA! We sat at breakfast or lunch sometimes with one or two of them and had candid and interesting converstations. They were all great in their own way!
(Christian, you are very talented, but drop the crappy english accent!)

TOURS:
We rented a jeep right at the hotel for a 24hrs and explored the island and did some shopping in San Miguel. (102.00USD+6.70 for gas for the day) Went around the east side, stopped into Coconuts bar and saw the huge array of photo albums with many ladies showing off their `coconuts`! Did some shopping in San Miguel, and even though it isn`t the greatest place in Mexico to buy jewellery because of it being known as `cruise ship central!`they are down about 30% in tourism right now and we got some good deals! (Tanzanite pendant with chain and matching ring from a different shop...both for about a third of what they started at. Started at 450 on one, got it for 175!)
Just be respectful and if you have some shopkeeper who is TOO pushy, just leave! Took a snorkeling trip from our hotel to the Palancar and Columbia reefs for $45USD each. Included gear, drinks and lots of fun. Went on the Manta Catamaran and they were very professional and helpful. 40 min on each reef.
Left at 10am and back at about 2pm.

SUMMARY:
All in all, the Iberostar Cozumel is an excellent, all-inclusive resort. I think I touched the positives above. No real negatives about the Iberostar from us! (Don`t sweat the small things...U ARE IN MEXICO!) I say this because some reviews complain about the few birds flying round in the main buffet, or the rooms seeming damp at first...but this is to be expected! There are things that happen here that don`t happen back in Canada or the States...such as not getting fresh milk daily, or having some restrooms have you use a wastebasket beside the toilet for your paper after you wipe instead of flushing it, or having a cat under your chair in the buffet! If those things bother you,,,STAY HOME!
If we weren`t there for a family wedding (my wife`s niece) we would have rather stayed on the Playa del Carmen side as we have been there before and you have much easier (and cheaper) access to places like Xcaret, Xel-ha, Coba, Tulum and even the town shopping and nightlife of Playa del Carmen.

If anyone wishes any other information or has questions about the Playa area or Cozumel, feel free to drop me an e-mail and I would be happy to tell you what I know. Just so you know, we are just a bunch of crazy Canadians (just turned 50) who don`t take life too seriously, but do like to have what info we can before we travel.

Enjoy your next trip!

coolnorth in Canada!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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16  Thank coolnorth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2009

Great Resort! The food is absolutely fabulous! The only thing is if you want to experience Cozumel, don't go here. There is no reason to leave the resort with so much to do and excellent food! Rooms are clean and convenient. And if you make four dives a day, there is not much time left to do anything else. The diving is amazing. Pretty much at least one nurse shark every dive!

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Guest72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2009

Just got back from 7 days Jan 28th to Febr 4th at the Ibeostar. Excellent valve for the money. The food was excellent at the buffet and they even can make you lattes! The drinks were wonderful and the margaritas were excellent. The scenery and landscaping at the resort was beautiful. The rooms were adequate, smallish but who stays in their rooms much when there is the caribbean to look at. The beach was nice though the entrance to the water was rocky but with the rocks come good snorkelling. We did the snorkelling excursion on the catamaran with Manta Sports and would recommend them to anyone; they did a wonderful job and after all the snorkelling was done served great margaritas on the ride back to the resort (they pick you up on the resort's pier). We also did a horseback riding excursion which was inexpensive and fun. ($35 per person for two to three hours). One afternoon us girls got a taxi and went to San Miguel and had lunch and shopping. It cost 20 dollars each way and the resort staff told us how much and to not tip the driver as the price included that. All the staff at the resort were wonderful, friendly and helpful. Julio through Lomas Travel was very helpful and kind. It was the best vacation I have ever had and would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for moderately priced AI resorts. It is quaint and personable. My husband and I would definitely go back there again.

4  Thank JudiCorbin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2009

This was our first all inclusive trip for my wife and I, and our first trip to Cozumel. Overall our experience was very good. The food, drinks, and service were great. The weather was great although we did get a little rain which only lasted a few hours and then the sun was back. We took the jeep tour but in hindsight next time I'll just rent the jeep and go on our own. This way you're not as rushed and it's very easy to get around. I took the Introductory scuba class at a dive shop in Cozumel called Magic Blue Scuba. The diving experience there was great, the instructor was great, and the staff helped me all they could. The dive shop at the Iberostar resort was great also. This was my first time scuba diving and I can't wait to do it again. The underwater scenery and fish were fantastic! Each night there's a show put on with a different theme, very entertaining. The rooms were very well kept and clean. And the grounds personel were always cleaning and trimming which made the place very neat and tidy. I definitely will return.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank BigDFarmington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Cozumel

Address: Costera Sur, km. 17,785, Cozumel 77600, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cozumel
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Cozumel
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#6 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range: $147 - $405 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Iberostar Cozumel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 294
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Directly on the beach, in a rocky, coral–filled cove with unspoilt waters. A paradise for diving and snorkelling. Sub-tropical mangrove forest. Bungalows in typical local style. Second-largest reef in the World. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Cozumel Hotel Cozumel
Cozumel Iberostar
Iberostar Cozumel Mexico

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