Cozumel, Iberostar, Mexico

2017 Review of Iberostar Cozumel All-Inclusive Resort

2017 Review of Iberostar Cozumel All-Inclusive Resort

During our 5th trip to Iberostar Cozumel, we noted some big changes, both good and bad. No matter the changes, it always feels like coming home.

Iberostar Cozumel

Iberostar is a huge chain of All-Inclusives spread out through Mexico, the Caribbean, South America and Spain. With most of their resorts located in the Riviera Maya area of Mexico, most people who are familiar with the area have either been to one or have heard of them.

Currently, the Iberostar name is getting some negative press involving tainted alcohol. See my post on that topic here. You can also read past reviews here and here.

Arrival

This year we booked through Delta Vacations so our transportation from the airport to the resort was taken care of. We arrived at the resort about 3 pm which was great time considering our flight landed at 1:30.

We arrived at the same time as about 50 other people so we did have a small wait at check in. This was ok with us because a waitress comes around offering drinks fairly often and it’s a great chance to meet other people.

Open air lobby looking at the main desk.

The check in process is simple. They check everyone’s passport and have everyone sign near the room number. This year we technically had 2 rooms or a family suite. More on that later.

After check in, the bell-hop loads all of your bags into a golf cart and whisks you away to your room. This can be a sort of clown car issue when you have 5 people and 6 large bags!

The rooms

Iberostar Cozumel offers several different types of rooms at this resort.

  • Standard room- available in King or 2 queens, perfect for anyone.
  • The deluxe room- same room as the standard, but closer to the beach.
  • Junior Suite- slightly bigger rooms
  • Presidential Suite- large multi-room suites with private pool and cabana
  • Family Suites- A king room and an adjoining double queen room.

We usually get the standard room, but since we were traveling with the kiddos this year, we opted for the family suite.

Our rooms were located very close to the pool, right next to the El Cedral (lunch and steak restaurant). We were close to the beach and dive shop. The only thing we really had a walk for was breakfast and the dinner buffet.

Our room

We had as promised, a king room with a connecting double queen room next door. We had a double set of keys so we could enter through either room. Our room was nicely equipped with an adult mini fridge with some cervezas, waters and sodas. We also had a welcome bottle of champagne and a fruit platter waiting for us.

The kids next door had a mini fridge filled with waters and sodas only. They also had extra toiletries in their room to accommodate the extra people.

Our only complaint with the room is that there are no dressers for clothes. There are closets with shelves and lots of hangers, but no formal dresser.

Mall the beds have mattress toppers and lots of bottled water. They are in the process of remodeling their rooms. We still had the old rooms and I was glad. It was a tradition for us.  We love the Mexican style room and we weren’t ready for the new and improved!!

On a side note, I did take a peek in the newly remodeled rooms and they are beautiful. You really can’t go wrong with either room. (Ps, the new rooms have dressers!!!)

Food

Iberostar Cozumel offers several options for your dining pleasure.

Breakfast- Breakfast is served that the main buffet restaurant from 7 am-10:30 am. Coffee is also available at El Cedral restaurant starting at 6:30 am. On occasion, they will have a continental breakfast there.

Lunch- lunch is at the main lunch restaurant, El Cedral.  This is located in the center of the resort, right next to the pool. They have the same base food every day and mix up their sandwiches and grilled food.

Lunch II- there is a new grill located between El Cedral and the beach bar. They offer burgers, (beef, turkey, and veggie), grilled chicken, nachos and all the fixings. They also have a self-serve soft ice team machine. This is our favorite lunch option.

Dinner

Dinner- dinner can be at the buffet or an al a carte restaurant. Or you can have an early dinner at one place and a late dinner at the other!

Forever being goofy!
Main dining room, the buffet is to the back left.

First the buffet. Good food with a different theme every night. Our favorite nights are Italian, Mexican and international. They offer tons of options to satisfy anyone. We love the pasta bar. Our favorite chef, Carlos was friendly and loved to chat. The first night we were there I spoke with him and found out he had only been speaking English for 1 week! He spoke into better than some Americans!

Al a Carte

Las 2 Marías the Mexican restaurant. Great Mexican food here. Reservations recommended and men must wear long pants (not enforced).

La Pagoda the oriental restaurant. This is personally my favorite. They have options from countries all over Asia. They have an appetizer bar with sushi and lots of other great good. Desserts are just ok here. Reservations are mandatory, the restaurant only has about 10 tables. Men can wear nice shorts. No sandals.

Our ‘Sushi for Two’ appetizer. (There were 3 missing.)

El Cedral the steak house. This is the rest of the families favorite. They have every kind of steak imaginable but we always get the filet. They also have great appetizers and great desserts. Reservations are recommended here but it is the biggest of all the ala carte restaurants and you can sometimes get in without a reservation. Business casual here, shorts are ok.

Bars

There are plenty of bars where you can order alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. There is a bar in the lobby, another by the theatre and another in El Cedral. Of course, there is a swim up bar in the pool and another bar on the beach. The bartenders rotate so there is no bar better than another.

Pools

There are several pools located in the same general area. First, there is a shallow pool for wading. Often there are beach chairs in here for easy sunbathing.

Wading pool and small kiddie pool.

Second, there is a baby pool. It’s a small pool near the wading pool that is only about 6 in deep.

Next is the activities pool. Here, the Starfriends have aqua aerobics, bingo, basketball and pool volleyball. The kids usually congregate here since all the fun stuff is here.

Activities pool

On the other side is the main pool. Every day at 10:30 and 4, the dive center sets up a presentation to try scuba diving. Anyone over 8 can try it, but kids must have an adult try it with them.

Main pool area

Both the activities and main pool have access to the pool bar. Drinks are allowed in the pool, but no food, floaties or toys (not really enforced).

Main pool swim up bar
Main pool, view from the lunch restaurant
View of the main pool from the swim up bar area.

Things to do

Iberostar Cozumel is all-inclusive of all activities except scuba diving. For outdoor things to do you have the option of catamarans, sail boats, kayaking, snorkeling, beach volleyball, aerobics, dance lessons, tennis, archery and much more. Sort of indoor activities are crafts and the theatre. I say sort of because everything is open air.

Kayaks for use
Kayaking in the crystal clear water.
Goofing off with the kayaks.
View of the resort from the kayaks

Alberto’s Beach Bar right next door. They cook the most amazing fresh seafood there. A few nights a week they have live bands that are pretty good! We love getting their seafood platter for 2.

The kids at Albertos
Never serious, lol.

Dressel Divers

I honestly can’t say enough great things about Dressel. The first trip there we went on a Snorkel trip with them. During the winter, we completed our Open Water course and finished our certification with them the second year we were there. The next year my daughter got her Open Water and Advanced Open Water with them. This last year, she completed her Nitrox certification.

Their instructors are top-notch and receive awards year after year. The divemasters are fun and engaging. The staff is safety oriented and always do a thorough brief of the dive site. Every divemaster asks what your level is and make sure everyone is going to be comfortable with the dive. They do reassign buddies as you start to run low on air. This is great for me as I use very little air and my boyfriend goes through pretty fast.

They go to the best reefs on the island. They dive 2 dives at 8 am and 2 dives at 1 pm. 3 nights a week, they also do night dives at 7:30 pm. They also set up Cenote dives, whale shark tours, and sailfish feeding tours.

Blue crab hanging out

Our favorite dive masters are Baptist, Ryan, Scott, and Ricardo- all super fun, great guys.

Beach

We love the beach here but it is not everyone’s cup of tea. Iberostar Cozumel sits on the edge of the second largest Reef in the world, the Meso American Reef. What this means is that the coral comes up to the edge of the water. This is great if you love to snorkel, you can grab your gear and head right out.

Pier

If you like to walk in the ocean, you won’t be able to here. I make my kids wear water shoes, but you do really need to. Also, if you want to swim, you can walk out about 50 yards on the pier and down a set of steps to swim. The coral is pretty light here and there are lots of fish to see.

Resort

The main reason I love Iberostar Cozumel is because of how the resort is set up. I love the bungalow style housing. This makes it feel like you’re in your own private resort when you’re walking around. As you’re walking around, you are surrounded by palm trees, foliage, and cool walking paths.

Side bridge to La Pagoda
Bride to the main part of the resort
Flamingos under the bridge

Activities board
Walking path
Spa

You will encounter peacocks, peahens, iguanas, parrots, and cats. They are allowed to free range around the resort. None really bother you unless you offer them food (which is frowned upon).

Theatre
Theatre Bar
Peacock hanging out
Dinner buffet
Gift shop
Pool at night
Resort Map

Will we go back?

I have to say, most likely. We love Iberostar Cozumel. We love the overall feel of the resort and the friendliness of the staff. Do you know someone who is looking for a romantic or family friendly get away? Share this with them and pin it for future reference!

~M

 

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