Where to stay in Cozumel?

Question: I am trying to plan a trip to Cozumel with the wife and a few other couples. We are in our late 20’s. Does anyone recommend anywhere to stay? We like to booze it up and hang out on the beach. Would prefer better than avg food also. Thanks in advance.

Answer 1: We stayed at the Iberostar on our Honeymoon 2 years go. It’s an all-inclusive and I thought the food was pretty good. It seemed reasonably priced as well. There is also a pool-bar. Great beach, if you dive right near dive sites.

Answer 2: For Riviera Maya I would recommend the Royal Playa del Carmen. It’s a little less than an hour from Cancun airport. Nice beach although a bit small (probably 100 or so feet to the water although it’s pretty wide.) All-inclusive, adults only with very nice rooms and comfortable beds (have heard ultra-hard beds are common in Mexico; these are not.)

Pretty good food and you also have access to restaurants at the sister resort next door. Large pool with swim-up bar. Not a ton of night life but great if you just want to booze and hang out. Get out early and claim a cushioned covered beach bed. The cover and side curtains make it easier to spend a lot of time on the beach without getting roasted. They also have waitress service on the beach which was great.

Answer 3: We have stayed at two all-inclusives in that area. Neither was on Cozumel (which is an island off the coast of Riviera Maya) but both were very good and offered different expreiences.

1) The Occidental Grand Xcaret

This one is an all-inclusive located directly next to Xcaret, which is one of the biggest attractions in the Riviera Maya. It’s a cross between a water park, a beach, a zoo, and a Mexican Disney World (more in terms of shows and presentations than rides). If you are travelling with kids I’d say spending a day or two in Xcaret is highly recommended (another eco-park named Xel-Ha is nearby too), but even for a couple (my wife and I) it was well worth a visit. I will say that the hotel was predominantly families though, so that might affect your view on staying there.

Food was very good – on the level of a very nice cruise, but not on the level of a four-star restaurant. But lots of local flavors, which I enjoy.

2) The Royal Hideaway Playacar

This place is MUCH more oriented towards couples – it has a lovely beach, beautiful pools, and gorgeous rooms. Plus, the food was the best I’ve ever had at an all-inclusive. Really top restaurants, and a much more “elegant” feel than the Xcaret hotel. Plus, you are right next to other bigger hotels on the beach, so you can take advantage of water sports and the like offered there. But you will definitely feel like you treated yourself if you stay there.

Answer 4: For Playa Del Carmen check out the Secrets resorts. We stayed at one in-between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen and loved it. They recently opened a couple new ones down that way as well.

Answer 5: You can booze it up and hang at the beach in a million places. If you go to Cozumel, you go for the scuba diving. Iberostar in Playa Del Carmen near the ferry to Cozumel. We are thinking of going there even though diving does not compare with Cozumel.

If you take ferry(either way) you can spend day at any Iberostar and use facilities , eg restaurants and bars. If you are not diving then staying on mainland would be a better choice.

Answer 6: I’ve been to Cozumel about 6 times and I would never stay in an all-inclusive resort. There are so many great places to eat in town and many bars and clubs so you would really want to go into town. All-inclusive resorts usually have pretty boring restaurants and watered down drinks.

A few previous blog entries that could be helpful:

Riviera Maya tips

Adult only resorts in Mexico

Hidden Beach Resort insists on nudity

Playa Del Carmen honeymoon experience

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  1. Randy says:

    Don’t waste your time with that all-inclusive stuff. If you dive all day and drink all night, you’re paying for lots of stuff you’ll never get.

    Cozumel is diving and partying; right on the island. And there is plenty of both.

    Check out Cozumel Dive Getaways. Rent the apts or get the house. Ask to have one of the ladies cook meals for you. They’ll shop, cook real Mexican/ Yucatan meals, and cleanup. Ask one of the guys to pickup some beer. He’ll go pick up enough beer to stock all the fridges; just for the actual price of the beer and a decent tip.

    They have a nice pool, fresh water cleanup area for your dive gear, and a walled compound for unlimited activities of “whatever” you want to do.

    You can rent a taxi into town for about $3.00 when a cruise ship from France or somewhere docks for the night and party your butt off. During the day use the free bicycles to check out the neighborhood. You can stop at any store and get a beer along the way. Rent a driver, pack some food, and go check out the places where islanders dive, drink, and make love on the beach.

    Go to the National Park for the day, etc.

    Cozumel has some of the best diving in the world. Don’t waste your time sitting in some swim-up pool with drunk fat people staring at your wife. Get on that local fast boat with a small group (or just your group)and EXPERIENCE under water Cozumel.

    NIGHT DIVE! Octopus, lobsters, star fish, FISH, eels…

    DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME while on Cozumel with tourists. Get on the water and spend time with your friends.

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