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Monday, February 23, 2009

Iberostar Cozumel

I thought I'd also throw out a review of our hotel- Iberostar Cozumel. It was only the 2nd time I'd stayed at an AI (All-Inclusive) and we learned some things. Most importantly, we're not a huge AI couple. We like to wander off the resort, see the remote parts, enjoy the local restaurants, venture off the beaten path, and check out hole-in-the-wall restaurants. I love these huge reception/lobby areas on most resort hotels. It was one of 2 places that had WiFi (at $13USD/day), and it was equipped with a bar. My great plan to arrive at noon resulted in us getting there before our room was ready, but we had lunch, drinks, and a tour before getting to our room at around 2PM.

The thing we loved about this property is the landscape and layout. Small little bungalows with a few rooms spread out all over the property, separated by lots of trees and greenery. It was much cozier and more intimate than a gigantic building, and I loved hearing all the birds and wind gently rustling all the trees.

Although beautiful, the thing we didn't care for about the resort were the food options. I'd previously stayed at a Dreams resort, and there was a "burger shack" on the beach and room service around the clock. There were no such options at Iberostar, and the restaurants kept weird hours, especially for divers who are up early and return from a dive trip hungry.

As soon as you arrive, you are greeted by a small flock of flamingos that are fun to watch and add some spunk to the place. One of the other minor irritations was the dinner reservation system, which could only be made for *that* night and had to be made in person. Additionally, if you were staying 3-4 nights, you were only allowed to make a reservation in the morning for 1 night. Not a great system for divers, and really quite a PITA to walk all the way up front from the beach or pool area at 9AM to get a reservation at 6:30 instead of 9PM.

The resort also had some other interesting wildlife- including several large iguanas. Do you see 2 on the roof? In addition to these guys roaming around, there were also a few cats and some neat peacocks, but I never saw them when I had camera in hand! :(

The one nice (best) feature of the hotel (especially for divers) is that it's closest to the dive sites. It was less than a 5 minute boat ride after we were picked up from this dock. You could also snorkel (or kayak or catamaran) right in this area too. The pool was nice enough, except that the baby pool was right next to the area where you could put your chaise lounge in the water. The only day I hung around the pool, there weren't too many screaming kids near me as I dangled my feet from my chair.

The rooms were just fine and dandy, even if the beds were a bit hard. I slept just fine, but H was a little uncomfortable. These hammocks that were on every porch were awesome, and we took full advantage of it. All in all, it's probably just a fine resort, but it didn't fit that great with our needs. If we decided to do AI again, I now know better what to look for in a hotel. If we were to go back to Cozumel, I think I'd rather stay at the Ventanas al Mar on the east side of the island.

GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Refreshed after the weekend and ready for another week.


Delilah and Rocket said...

Yep! That sounds like the Iberostar. We stayed there for the proximity to the dive/snorkel areas too. The fun part was finding one of those iguianas in the shower stall in the morning..... what an eye opener that was!

Nicole said...

We came across your review of the Iberostar and just wanted to say thanks for sharing. Great photography and we're now looking to have our wedding there based on what you and some others have said about the place. Thanks!