For the seasoned traveler and novice adventurer alike, this review is for you. If you don't feel like reading the full review, I'll save you the time: book this hotel. For a more in-depth analysis, please read below. First things first! The beauty and layout of this resort is impeccable. As soon as you arrive, you'll notice the beautiful open air lobby complete with live parrots, a plethora of comfortable lounging seats, and a full bar with cocktail waiters at the ready as soon as you sit down. The main dining area is also located just to the left as you first walk in. Check-in is simple thanks to cheapcaribbean.com. Just hand them your hotel voucher and away you go. The only bad thing is that if there is a long line, you will be there for a little bit (thus the numerous comfortable chair and couches). After check-in, you are whisked away in a golf cart to your room. The room we stayed in was quaint and simple. A king bed as you walk in, a small table and chairs, bathroom with a granite and glass shower, and a average size closet with a safe inside. The bed was no dream cloud, but it was fine. The detailed room service was very nice. Each day we received fresh towels that were folded into various jungle animals, birds, and fish. Attention to detail is clearly very important to this staff! We had our room cleaned daily, as well as the all-inclusive mini-fridge restocked. The note left in the room stated that the fridge would be restocked with soda(4-5 cans), water(4 bottles) and beer(4 bottles) every 2 days, but I don't remember a day were it wasn't restocked. They also gave us a two-liter bottle of water daily. But enough with the room. That's the last place you will want to be on this gorgeous island. The resort itself offers great amenities if you want to spend the day on-site. The pool is large and shaped well. Plenty of chairs on the beach, but if you want a spot poolside, get there early! The pool has a swim up bar with, of course, all-inclusive drinks. The bar tenders know their alcohol and can make you pretty much anything (and they have a strong poor). As far as tipping is concerned, I will address that later. The beach is also incredible. The pictures provided by cheapcaribbean.com don't lie! The entrance to the water is rocky for a little way out, but it is still very manageable to traverse with or without water shoes. Just don't fall! The dock is also very convenient for water entry. There are catamarans available (providing you know how to sail), kayaks, snorkeling, scuba rental, and wind-boarding. We had to pay a $2 USD per person "aquatic rental deposit" for each day we wanted to use any of their equipment, but once we paid, we had access to anything we wanted for no fee (with the exception to scuba gear, obviously). The reason for the initial deposit is that the water equipment company on-site is operated separate from Iberostar. For the kids, the staff of the hotel puts on great entertainment at the kids club all day and also does very well at entertaining the adults throughout the day and at night with various activities and shows. Now for tipping. TIPPING IS NOT REQUIRED. However, that being said, if you want to be treated like royalty (and not look like a cheapo), tip $1 USD for every time you are served any drink or food. Every time I ordered a round of drinks, I would tip a dollar and once I did that for a few rounds, we were given number one priority for the rest of the trip. If multiple people came to the bar at once, we were always the ones served first and spoken to by name. It was the same story at dinner, I tipped one dollar per person at our table (generally $2 dollars total per meal) and the waitstaff had eyes on us like hawks. Never was a dirty plate left on the table for more than 30 seconds and the drinks never ran out. I tipped a total of 40 dollars for two people over a 5 night stay and am perfectly content with that. If you can't bring yourself to tip this little, you shouldn't come to this resort! The staff provides way to good of service for no tips. Food at the main restaurant was par. Nothing special yet nothing terrible. Make sure to make reservations at the higher end restaurants on-site to experience some more authentic and taste bud appeasing cuisine. Also ask the staff if there are any restaurants they recommend in town to have a nice dinner at. The hotel was fantastic and great for couples and families alike who are looking for a first class and affordable vacation. It is quite easy to pass the days of you vacation without ever stepping foot off the resort, but I don't recommend staying put to anyone who is up for a little adventure. You can get off the resort by simply renting a scooter or jeep or taking a taxi for roughly $25 USD each way. You can expect to pay around $40 USD per day for a scooter and car rentals fluctuate. Either way, it is well worth your money to rent a vehicle versus taking a cab. If you leave the resort, you must go to a few key places on the island. The first is the general shopping strip in the main part of town. They have great nick-knacks for kids and gifts for family and friends back in the states. Expect to be talked to directly and trust me, these people don't take no for an answer so it's best to simply say, "No thank you" and move along if you don't want something. Don't take it personally if they keep pestering you, it's there job. Also, be sure to bargain and use the walk-away technique if you really want something. NEVER pay them how much they tell you the first time! Second is Ernesto's Restaurant. Best fajitas in town.They have a beautiful view of the port with the massive cruise ships are moored. The restaurant is located on the southern side of town on the right side of the road, after the main shopping strip is over. Third is the beach club San Francisco. This is a fun place to hang out for the afternoon with no cover charge. This is a great beach to have a few drinks, snacks, and smoke some cigars. They have beach-side waiters, blow-up water trampolines/climbing walls, and jet ski's for rent. Prices on food and drinks are a little steep but none-the-less manageable if you watch how much you eat and drink. Once you are done in town, you will certainly want to make your way to the other side of the island. The east side of the island has munch bigger ocean swells the the west side. You don't want to get caught in the undertow if you decide to go swimming. There are no life guards on the open beaches and it is very rare to be within visual, let alone shouting distance of another individual on the beach. Use common sense if you decide to go in the water on this side of the island. It also has beautiful fine grain sand beaches that are great for just throwing down a towel and absorbing the tropical sun. You definitely won't be disturbed by sales people (or anyone really) on the east side. To get to this side, just take the main road south from town and it will wrap it's way along the coast. Be sure and stop at the Rasta Bar on the way out. Great little bar and gift shop. But by far, the best restaurant on the island is Coconuts on the east side. It's a long drive but well worth the 30 minutes through the jungles of paradise. Plan your trip with sunset in mind. You don't want to be on that road too late after dark because the police shut down the road to all traffic. Regardless, you must go to Coconuts. Great food, big drinks, beautiful ocean views atop a cliff and prices that are NOT tourist prices. I will definitely be returning, again, to Cozumel in the near future. I have stayed in quite a few hotels on the island and Iberostar is one of the finest for the money. Great staff, beautiful flamingos, iguanas, parrots, and peacocks roaming freely on the grounds. All-in-all, Iberostar is the place to stay when visiting Cozumel! Well, if you have read this far then I applaud you. If this is your first time to Cozumel, you now have a significant advantage over the average newbie. If you have been to Cozumel before, hopefully you have some new activities to try and places to see!
My husband and two of our friends visited Iberostar Cozumel the week of August 21st and fell in love! It was recommended by one of my coworkers (him and his friends have been going there every year for the past TEN years). We had an amazing time! The resort property is gorgeous. It is nestled in the jungle with mature trees, palm trees and other plants everywhere (beautifully landscaped), very well taken care of. Lots of wild life roaming through; flamingos, peacocks, parrots, iguanas... The hotel is set up in two-story bungalows, so no high-rise! And there aren't any other hotels near it, so it's just you! The pool is great, perfect depth and temperature. We were there during the low season and practically had the place to ourselves. The beach was okay, lots of bugs (remember you are in the tropics). The beach is quite rocky so remember to bring aqua socks. You can enter the ocean via the dock (there is a ladder), there is plenty of sand there. There are so many fish by the dock, you can just stand there and see them everywhere. Our room was wonderful. The size was perfect. There is a closet with lots of hangers, cubbies (in lieu of drawers) and a safe (can fit two Kindles, ipods, camera, wallets). We read some reviews that the beds were hard so we asked to have a foam pad put on our bed when we checked in (it was done right away). We slept like babies all night! Our housekeeper kept our room clean and tidy and we always had clean towels and flowers on our bed. The staff at Iberostar is wonderful (all of them). They really do go out of their way to make sure that you feel welcome and happy at their hotel. The food was okay, not spectacular, but I was quite pleased. I always found lots of options to choose from. We went on several dives with Dressell Divers (they are the on-site dive shop). The Dressell staff was very professional and our dive master was great, always checking on all of the divers in our group and showing us creatures he found underwater. The best part is that all of Cozumel's best reefs are less than 5 minutes from Iberostar's dock (literally), and the reefs are protected, so there is abundant wildlife to observe! Our vacation was amazing, we cannot wait to go back to Iberostar Cozumel! Don't miss out, visit Iberostar Cozumel and see for yourself!
I am big on all inclusive resorts in the Caribbean. I go at least once or twice a year. Iberostar was one of my top three favorite resorts. Usually at an all inclusive the food is 'ehh' it was way better than that here. The steak house, Tex-mex, and Asian fusion restaurants were delicious. The buffets were great too (jalepano poppers- so good!)! Usually the shows the resort puts on are with the staff that is serving you all day and from my expiernece usually half hearted. Not here! It was cirque du soliel status! These people are talented!!!! The air conditioning in our room worked so well we had to turn up the temperate. It was so cold which was great because no one wants a hot room when you are in the sun all day. Bathroom was nice, it looked like they had renovated it. The actual rooms were average. The one downside is you can't really walk from the beach into the water there's a lot of reef and not really any sand in the water. You have to go out into the pier down the stairs to actually swim in the ocean without nicking your feet on reef. The sandy beach part is nice and the pool is huge and was never crowded. We went off the resort a few times and felt safe. I would definitely recommend this place to a friend.
Iberostar Cozumel was a very calm, relaxing, and clean resort. All of the staff were very nice and helpful. Rita the maid was a saint and went above and beyond our expectations. Roger the bartender was our favorite and he even remembered us throughout the trip. It was extremely easy to get around the island. You could walk up to the front desk and get a taxi at any time and it was not far from the airport. Any questions we had about the area were answered by guest services and the front desk. We didn't do any excursions through the hotel but it was easy to find things to do like snorkeling, visiting the Mayan temples, or going to the tequila factors on our own and the transportation was always easy through the hotel. The restaurants had a large variety of food and although the food wasn't worth 5 stars, we always left satisfied. It was better than most all-inclusive buffets! We took advantage of the reservations at the sit down restaurants. The Tex Mex burger at the Tex-Mex restaurant was amazing! We also loved seeing all of the wildlife on the resort. The peacocks, flamingos, and iguanas were always interesting to watch and the cats were all sweet and friendly. Before we booked at this resort we knew that we couldn't walk right into the ocean because of the reef but the dock and stairs down into the water made up for it. The bungalows were so private and spacious. We didn't have any problems with our room except that the towel rack fell down. Before we could even tell the front desk they came and fixed it though (Rita the maid must have seen it). We had a lot of fun and would definitely return to this resort.
We booked through Cheap Carribean when a travel agent could not find any packages to work with the days we needed. We reviewed many packages to suit us, then settled on Iberostar Cozumel because of the good reviews from travelers. From booking over the phone, to calling back with last minute questions, to the flight and hotel, everything went very smoothly. Cheap Carribean did not disappoint, everything was great, especially for the value. Our Delta flights were comfortable and went without problems. Transfer from the airport to the hotel was also easy. Check in took a few minutes and our rooms were ready. I have Celiac Disease, so I need to be gluten free. Guest services immediately printed a letter in Spanish to let staff know of my food allergy. Each time we went to eat, I would show the letter to the staff and they pointed out the things that were safe for me to eat. I did not get sick at all, which is amazing! The resort has a lot of bright colored bungalows that are very beachy and cute. The rooms were standard, not 5 star but clean and comfortable. The room did have a musty smell, but we were not in it except to sleep. The shower was awesome. The pool and beach were nice with plenty of chairs and had waitresses to bring unlimited drinks. Water sports, snorkeling, sailing on a small catamaran among others were great. Staff put on a show every evening, one night was a fire show on the beach. We absolutely loved all of the wildlife that roams the property and is taken care of by the resort. Every day we saw wild pigs, peacocks, flamingos, iguanas, cats and turtles. There was plenty of food 24 hours a day. Breakfast was great with a ton of selections. Lunch was mediocre with mostly the same foods daily. Dinner was great, there were a lot of selections and the menu changes every night. We enjoyed the Mexican restaurant and the Japanese restaurant was very good also. If you can't find food for your taste, you are too picky. I had plenty to eat even though my diet is very restricted. The best part of our stay was the staff. We did not meet a single person that was not friendly or smiling. We have done a lot of traveling and I would say the staff at this resort was the friendliest we have encountered. Thank you Cheap Carribean and Iberostar Cozumel For a wonderful trip, we absolutely would return to this resort. It's well worth the money.
Our first time booking through CheapCaribbean and definitely will do again. Phenomenal value for the price. Superb customer service from the first day booking on the phone through followup phone calls and emails from CheapCaribbean to make sure we had everything we needed and understood the schedule and protocols. The destination "concierge" Amstar assured all went smoothly from pickup at the airport to return to airport. We did not have to worry or stress about anything. Just what a vacation should be! Iberostar Cozumel is a great place to have fun or unwind. The personnel are unfailingly friendly and helpful. The grounds are amazing and full of wildlife. Beach is beautiful. Lots of activities for everyone. Caveats: We were told to make reservations asap for the ala carte restaurants. When we tried to do so, we were told there was only one time available for the steakhouse on the first night (at 6:30), nothing the next night, & only 6:30 for the Mexican restaurant the next night. Upon dining at the steakhouse at 6:30 extending through 7:30 most tables were empty. Oddly, the background music was "Old McDonald had a Farm". Later we learned the hotel was only 50% occupied yet they could not or would not accommodate us for other times and evenings. There is a dive shop on site but in observing most dive boats and snorkel boats were large and accommodated 20+ passengers. Other dive shops with smaller boats will pick you up at the Iberostar pier. Check the Internet before you go.
My husband and i really enjoyed our getaway. we were there for a short trip, arriving on Sunday leaving on Friday. We wanted a stress relieving relaxing trip and that is truly what we got. The island is very laid back, everyone takes there time. We only snorkeled one time and we are not divers, there is a lot of that on the island. The beach is not good for strolling as it is rocky and coral chips are on the beach. Lying on the beach is nice, there were plenty of chairs and the beach bar is fast and friendly. The shows were nice and entertaining. The lobby bar is the best and has the coldest beer. The very best thing about this resort is the service. The service is amazing. We never had to wait for anything and any request was granted fast with a smile. We did get toppers put on out beds and it softened them right up. This place was a bargain and we really liked it. If you do not like cats beware, there are cats on this resort and in the eating areas. they do not go into the buffet area but may rub on your legs wile you eat. we love cats so they were not a problem. People that did not want them would shoe them away and the left them alone.
Just got back from Iberostar Cozumel for April vacation! This is a great resort. The resort grounds are beautiful and it really gives off the small community vibe! Love all the animals. The cats are great and no problem at all! Beach is great! Pool is great! Staff is super nice, who love what they do and are very helpful. Room was comfortable, everything worked, and everything was kept clean. The shows at night were phenomenal! The star friends are talented and put on a different themed show every night! Only thing I would personally change would be to have a better beach bar. One where you can sit and lounge at. But I suppose there are more than enough beach chairs for that. All in all I would def go back to this resort! P.s. If you rent a jeep make sure you physically get out and stand by the person pumping the gas when you fill it at the end of the day. PEMEX especially. They are looking to distract you and cheat you out of money on the pump. Watch the pump the whole time. They will try to reset it at a higher value. DO NOT GIVE YOUR CREDIT CARD TO THEM. Use cash. This was the only hiccup that had nothing to do with the resort, but wanted to give people a heads up.
Had a great time, would recommend this place. But, it was my first “all-inclusive” so I have nothing to compare it to. The room was comfortable, bed was very comfortable, facility was immaculate and beautiful and the beach was great. Thermostat didn’t work properly, we were freezing the whole time which was great for me, but my wife doesn’t like to be cold. BUT, we would definitely stay here again. And they do NOT charge for the water bottles or contents of mini fridge – we didn’t know that until the 3rd day (first timers!). Staff were ALLLL so friendly and helpful. That said, here are the negatives: 1) I am NOT a picky eater but this place made me feel like I was. The food was presented in an elaborate and elegant manner but it was just not all that great. For example: hot fruit compote. Not my thing. Hot fish and shrimp soup, not my thing. Breakfast pancaked and waffles….dry, no taste. Their breakfast sausage links are more like a jerky stick. Their desserts look gorgeous but had no flavor. Very bland. Ice cream and soft serve were good. They had lots of cheeses, breads and spreads that just weren’t my thing. Once I found the hamburger patties and French fries I survived. The morning omelets were good. Breakfast sweet breads, not sweet. My wife enjoyed the morning smoothies.. They always had guacamole – the frozen kind…really? In Mexico? Oh, and the “Tex Mex” restaurant very disappointing (fajita salad was ok); steak house disappointing as well but the salmon there was good. Stuff was either bland or watered down. They cooked “paella” on the beach 3 days…it was soooooo wonderful! By the time we left I felt better about the food, you just have to really look closely to find what suits you. But, as we kept telling ourselves, we are here for the beach, not the food. 2) Cheap Caribbean had a rep. on site. We booked a snorkel excursion thru him, waited on the beach for 30 minutes, only to see the catamaran that was supposed to pick us up just sail on by. The Cheap Caribbean rep said he told the hotel, who told us it was canceled. Problem is, they didn’t “tell us” until after we left to go wait for 30 minutes. When they cancelled the excursion, word went from the operator, to cheap Caribbean rep, to the hotel, THEN to us…so, not very timely. They gave 2 reasons for cancellation: (1) not enough people signed up, AND, (2) the boat booked (a more lucrative?) private party. Cheap Carib did offer us a free upgrade for the next day – he said:“I guarantee the trip won’t cancel!” - but we were trying to get everything in and had our days planned and had already wasted ½ a day with a cheap Caribbean booked tour. After that, they kind of lost credibility, besides they have no control over whether or not a trip is cancelled; they do not operate the excursion so can make no guarantees. Suggestion: try to find the operator and book thru them, bypass the cheap carib middle-man. 4) Rent a jeep! With insurance and taxes it ended up costing twice as much as the daily rate posted, but was worth it. It is so easy to drive up the east coast of the island (deserted) and go see the Mayan ruins and then to “Punta sur” and be sure you GO TO CHANKANAAB! ALL that is so easy to drive to and will save you money from expensive individual excursions. We even drove downtown with no problems. Driving really is quite manageable. 5) Be sure you ask the taxi before you get in the car how much it will cost. We slipped up on the day we were leaving and did not ask in advance. A $20 trip to airport costs $33. The Iberostar staff warned us the taxi drivers will over charge…and they do. Not a big thing I guess but it was still a blight on the trip. There is just something about being taken advantage of that leaves a bad taste in your mouth from an otherwise, wonderful place. Not sure why the hotels keep letting the unscrupulous drivers frequent their place, they know they overcharge. Oh well. 6) Take lots of money. We took $50 in “ones” besides other cash. It was not enough. Everyone wants a tip, even the security guard who watches your car at the Mayan Ruins on the island told us we could “take care of me if you want to.” And, most places don’t take cards….well, when we said all we had was a card there were places that accepted it. They say they can’t get a signal, but some of them could. I am guessing they just don’t want to pay the master card fees. Anyway, take lots of cash and lots of “ones” and be ready to freely give them away.
Never had stayed at an all inclusive, before this trip (February 2010). I wouldn't hesitate to stay here or with any Iberostar in the future. I wasn't sure how good the food would be, and found it to be excellent with a lot of options. The food service manager chatted with us nearly every day asking if there was enough variety for the entre choices, We also ate at the onsite steak house, and had very good meals there too. The staff was friendly, helpful and enjoyable. The rooms were small, but more than adequate, and were very clean. The beds were comfortable too. The TV was older, but worked fine, and who wants to watch TV anyhow. The beach wasn't quite as expansive as the Iberostar in Playa del Carmen, but was still very nice. Alsowith reciprocity we took the ferry over and enjoyed the Iberostar in Playa del Carmen too for no additional fee (except cost of ferry and $5 cab fare). We also dove several days with Dressel Divers, located at the Iberostar in Cozumel. The dive masters were excellent, and we enjoyed every dive. The reefs were as expected (damaged by hurricanes), but we saw a lot of larger than average reef fish, and turtles on each dive.