|El Cozumeleno Resort||Darrell and Brenda ~ Halifax, NS|
My husband and I have just returned from our vacation in Cozumel. We stayed at the El Cozumeleno Nov 7-14/08. This was our first trip to Cozumel but I don’t think it will be our last. Would we go back to the El Cozumeleno? Yes we would. This is our fourth trip to Mexico; we have also been to Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
We flew out of Halifax to Toronto, we had about an hour wait and then on to Cozumel directly. On return, we took the same route but had a three-hour wait in Toronto. The departure tax was included in our AI package.
It was really nice just having a 10-minute drive to the hotel from the airport. The flight down was pretty smooth. On the way home we did have a couple of spells of turbulence. We flew via Air Canada Vacations. We landed at the airport and on our heels was an American Airlines plane.
The passengers from the AA plane got to Immigration before anyone from our plane so we had to wait for them to go through before we could clear immigration and customs. It took about 1 ½ hrs from the time we landed until we arrived at the hotel. Don’t forget to walk past the people on the inside of the airport that try to be very helpful (Time-Share Sharks) and send you in the wrong direction. Keep walking out the door and your tour reps will be waiting for you. They usually mention this on the plane but people still get tricked. There is also a time-share desk in the lobby at the El Coz. Some people we spoke to took them up on their offer of a free ferry to and from the island, free tickets to attractions, free car rental, free T-shirt and tequila and free breakfast. They said they had no problems and after the presentation they just went on their way. We had a briefing with our AC rep the day we arrived. One of the front desk managers also outlined some of the services and amenities of the resort.
Check in was quick and we found the front desk staff to be very friendly and professional, our room was ready when we arrived at 3:30.
We were also greeted with a welcome drink. We were given room 1801, the first room to the far right on the 8th floor. If you look at pictures of the hotel, our balcony was on the left and was not attached to any other balcony. The room was large and well kept. We had a king-sized bed and a pull out sofa. The mattress was firm, just the way I like it. There was a mattress pad and we both slept very comfortably. The beds are just fine. The room was clean, no mold, no bugs, no bad smells, no worries, plenty of hot water and the shower pressure was perfect. The view was beautiful. The resort is small and everything is easily accessible.
There is an in room safe (key), double closet, hair dryer, two phones (one on bedside table and one beside the toilet), table with two chairs, armoire with three drawers, TV and bedside tables, no clock, great air conditioning. The furniture was very nice and all was in good shape. We did not need our converter for the plugs. There are several English TV channels, including movies. Bottled water supplied to the room. Beach towels were supplied, if you loose your towel it will cost you $25, they are really nice and large.
As for weather, the days were simply gorgeous. We had one 10-minute shower on the first afternoon. The rest of the week was sunny with the odd clouds passing by.
The El Coz has a pretty good-sized sandy area. The actual beach area is not that large. The first day we were at the El Coz there was quite a bit of sea grass washed up on the shore. Once that was removed the beach was great. The workers kept the beach very clean. There are spots where you can enter the water pretty easily. Watch for a couple of rocks. The snorkelling is amazing immediately in front of the resort. I saw rays, barracuda, sergeant majors, trumpet fish, little fish, big fish, silver fish, all kinds of fish. I really have to get myself a fish book!
Snorkel between the two piers and also between the dive shop and the pier. The water on the right side of the striped pier was murky. The piers are great for diving from.
There are two pools; the smaller pool was being repainted while we were there. It looked like it would be ready for water this week. The pool that was being used was very clean and in good repair. The larger pool has a swim up bar. The pool is separated in different sections and levels. There was music by the pool daily. There are also two Jacuzzis, one by each pool.
There is a place to serve your own ice cream and soft drinks/juices.
There are drink waiters that circulate around the pool and the beach areas all day.
We played Bingo in the afternoon and one day they played a game where one of the activity staff dressed up like a pink rabbit and stood in a kayak. People were all around the pool with water filled balloons. It was called "Hunt the Rabbit". You had to try to knock him off the kayak with the balloon. It was great fun. I don’t know what else they did in the afternoons because we were usually by the beach around the palapa area. We never had a problem to get a palapa or a lounge chair at the pool. There are also two areas with four hammocks in each.
Nightly entertainment * Three nights a week they had live entertainment. Monday, Wednesday and Friday weather permitting tables were set up outside for a Fiesta atmosphere for dinner. Friday * Caribbean night with a live show. Monday * International night with a live show and Wednesday * Mexican night with a live band. Tuesday and Thursday nights they put a large movie screen up in the stage area and show family movies. There are also two popcorn machines at the resort. Either Saturday or Sunday night (can’t remember which) they have a mock casino night. Blackjack and Roulette, it was a lot of fun.
The drinks were very good at the El Coz. Excellent brands, choice, service, it’s all good. Bar shots, beer, frothy, blender drinks. The Dirty Monkey was good. El Coz has them all. The beer on tap was fine, no Corona.
Food-we had no problem finding food. Breakfast was great, lots to choose from. Bacon, sausages, egg station, pastries, fruit, yogurt, cereal, etc etc. Lunch was good also. There was always something in chicken, pork and fish, vegetables, rice, salads, fruit, deserts, breads and rolls. They were making fajitas and other Mexican food at the grill station. Supper * Fish, Chicken, Pork, beef, vegetables, rice, pasta, salads, fruit, etc. Great deserts. Lots of selection, we never got tired of it. If you did not want to eat at the buffet, you had other choices.
Room service was also included at the El Coz. At lunch there was a menu you could order from in the buffet. The snack bar always had hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, French fries, salads, nacho chips, salsa, and guac. There was a refrigerated case that had plastic take away containers with fruit and sandwiches. You could book the restaurant every night of the week if you wanted to. You booked in the lobby on the morning of the night you wanted to go. I saw three different menus posted. I think they repeated the menu for two nights then changed it.
We ate at the restaurant two nights. We did not take advantage of the room service or order from the lunch menu. We did speak to people who tried both and were very happy with it.
There are computers (no charge) in the lobby and the Internet connection was great. If it was busy they requested you limit your time to 15 minutes.
There were kayaks and wave runners ($). Parasailing was also available ($).There is a dive shop. The activities staff activities include introductory scuba lesson in the pool, Spanish lessons, snorkel tour, bicycle tour, water aerobics, stretching. Can’t remember the rest.
San Miguel is a $5 cab ride each way. We shopped a little in town. We found the prices to be very reasonable. Necklaces for $1, 6 t-shirts $20. We bought a bottle of Tequila at the Mega store for US $10.60. It was a couple of dollars more at the airport Duty Free, but, I bought a 1 ltr bottle Baileys for US$22, in town it costs $18 for a 750 ml bottle. I think you could get two governor General rum for around US$22.
We did two excursions, the Island Tour and the Catamaran Snorkelling Tour and Sunset Cruise. The island tour included a stop at El Cedre, the first village on Cozumel, a stop at spot on the East side of the island, a Tequila factory tour and time to shop in San Miguel. Lots of taste testing at the tequila factory. The catamaran tour was fun, but the snorkelling was better at the resort. We went to two different spots, the first has poor visibility, and the second was not bad. A couple of people got stung my tiny jellyfish. The lunch was really pretty good, huge Angus beef burgers and salad. Beer and Margaritas were also being served on shore and on the catamaran.
The resort fogged for mozzies in the late afternoon. The first few nights we had a nice breeze and had no problems with them. The last three or four nights the breeze dropped off right around sunset and boy where they hungry. Make sure you take bug repellant and remember to use it.
Overall, we had a great vacation. The El Cozumeleno is a great place and we have no complaints about the resort.
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