by Candyce H. Stapen
A green parrot, that lives at the resort, welcomes guests with an “hola” upon arrival in the lobby, as Iberostar Cozumel conjures the feel of the lush Caribbean. Just beyond the lobby is a pond with flamingos and a path lined with palms, crotons and other shrubs and trees. From the lobby, a series of one- or two-story thatched-roof bungalows, each containing no more than eight units, dot either side of a gently curving path that leads to the pool and the beach. The round lobby with its high, conical roof and rattan and wood furnishings evokes the feel of a giant palapa — a native, umbrella-shaped structure.
The resort kept the thatched-roof buildings (after Hurricane Wilma renovations) with their rounded outer walls and updated the bathrooms. The gardens and the low-rise buildings combine to create a more intimate, 306-room resort.
In the IBEROSTAR pyramid of resorts, the Cozumel property is one of the more basic ones, but the resort is much loved by IBEROSTAR staff and frequent visitors for its native ambiance. Cozumel, an island situated 12 miles offshore of Playa del Carmen, is known for its diving and snorkeling. A stay here puts the second largest barrier reef system in the world within easy an boat trip from the beach.
Our Editor Loves
- Lushly landscaped property
- Easy access to nearby reefs
- Bubblemaker diving sessions for kids
- All Inclusive Rates
- Children Programs
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Cozy is a good word for the rooms. You access the room from the patio or balcony. One section of the sliding glass doors serves as an entry. The rounded corners of the outer walls of some buildings create a sense of more space. Still, the rooms are small. Even though cribs and cots are available, it would be difficult to fit either in the room and still feel comfortable. Families with older children should book a separate room for them.
Ochre, turquoise, blue and green striped drapes and bedspreads add color, while coffee makers and stocked refrigerators offer convenience. The bathrooms feature marble showers and stone floors.
by Sheldon K
This was our first visit to Cozumel and Iberostar resort is an excellent pick. Maria at the front desk was great to talk to and top marks to Edgar with the entertainment staff for the great hospitality! Food selection was fantastic. We will be sure to return.
by Jennifer C
Thanks For a wonderful vacation will book at Iberostar again soon great food and entertainment. Sunny and Angelo with all the others are a great asset for the resort. I give a big 5 star. Very clean and amazing beach.
Beaches and Pools
Thatched palapas provide shade on the cafe au lait-colored beach. An ample number of thatched palapas dot the beach; however, at full capacity, there may be a scramble for spots here as well as by the pool. At the beach, kids who like to play in the sand are happy. However, those who enjoy wading in the water may have a problem: Clusters of rocks stretch from the water's edge to about 15 feet offshore. The rocks may make it hard for kids to play in the waves. Activities available at no extra fee include windsurfing, kayaking and snorkeling.
The best way to get into the sea requires walking along the resort's dock, climbing down the wooden ladder and then jumping. For older kids and teens who know how to swim, that could be fun, but for younger children, especially non-swimmers, jumping into deep water is more likely to be frightening.
For families who would rather view the sea than get in it, but still want to get wet, the resort offers two pools and a kiddie pool. One pool is designated as a quiet pool, while the other is where the Star Friends -- the chain's name for the recreation staff -- host water aerobics, pool volleyball and other activities. For parents who want to be in the hub of the action, the kiddie pool adjoins the activity pool.
For ages 4 to 12, the resort hosts Lucy's Club from 10:15 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily. Although the main playroom is small, it is air-conditioned. It also opens to a good-sized, sandy play area with swings and climbing equipment surrounded by a fence. Kids do crafts, get their faces painted, play beach games and splash in the kiddie pool. Like many programs that group young kids with older ones, this one seems best for kids ages 4 to 10.
For wanna-be scuba divers, IBEROSTAR Cozumel's on site vendor, Dressel Divers, can introduce your children ages 8 and older to scuba through the PADI-sanctioned Bubblemaker. This is an introductory dive program that takes place in the pool for an extra fee.
Easy access to the spectacular reef system just off-shore is one of the main reasons people choose Cozumel for a vacation. The legendary Palancar site, with its large coral heads, big barrel sponges and sea fans, is just a 10-minute boat ride away from the resort. Paradise Reef, known for star coral and brain coral, is also nearby. Dressel Divers offers twice daily excursions to the nearby reefs.
You won't starve at IBEROSTAR Cozumel, but for the most part, the food is average. The three specialty restaurants offer table service, serving Mexican, steak and international cuisine. The number of specialty restaurant dinners you are guaranteed depends upon the length of your stay. At this property, a seven night booking gets you two specialty restaurant dinners and a five night booking, one. When space is available, you can request more sittings. Thoughtfully, the specialty restaurants offer a children's menu of hamburgers, chicken fingers and other such items. Room service is not offered.
The main dining area, although large, is pleasantly decorated with rattan chairs and netted to keep out the birds. The best bets at the brunch and dinner buffets are the freshly grilled items such as burgers, hot dogs, chicken and fish. Salads and appetizers are always offered. The buffet is open for breakfast and dinner, from 6 to 10 a.m. and from 6:30 to 10 p.m.
El Cedral Palapa Grill
A diverse continental breakfast buffet is open for about two hours starting at 10 a.m. at El Cedral Beach. Guests choose from a variety of fresh fruit and seafood dishes. Kids will appreciate the deserts and sweet, breakfast favorites. Lunch runs from noon to 4 p.m. and dinner runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. In the evening, the poolside buffet restaurant turns into El Cedral, the Steak House. You help yourself to such cold appetizers as salad, crab, and mushrooms and a waiter brings your entree. Choices include sirloin, rib eye and tenderloin steak as well as pork chops, grilled chicken and a fish of the day. The waiters try hard and after days of buffets, table service feels like a luxury. El Cedral also serves snacks from mid-morning until dinnertime.
Cantina Las Dos MariÃƒÆ'Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âas
The casual, American and Mexican fusion restaurant features "free seating" but reservations are recommended for dinner. This a la carte restaurant offers a range of meat and veggie dishes. A variety of appetizers are also on the menu. The restaurant is open for dinner only and starts serving at 6 p.m. The restaurant turns into a disco and keeps guests dancing late into the night.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort.
The resort is happy to provide babysitting services for an additional charge and a reservation is required.
The gym remains open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Art of Smart Timing
High season starts around mid-December and through mid-April. The low season runs from September to mid December. Shoulder season is from mid-April through August.
The Cozumel International Airport is about 30 minutes from the resort, while the Cancun International Airport is about two hours and 30 minutes from the resort. In addition, you can fly into Cancun International Airport and connect to Cozumel via an air shuttle flight. You can also take the ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel (about a 30-minute ride).
Families can easily walk around the resort.
For Mom and Dad
The spa offers massages and has a garden hot tub that you can use at no charge as long as you make a reservation.
In the evening, the resorts staff puts on shows that typically features music and dancing. At the disco, you can dance until 2 a.m.