Cozy in Cozumel

Iberostar Cozumel charms and delights with a laid-back vibe and emphasis on all-inclusive service and sustainability By: Deanna Ting
Iberostar Cozumel features bungalow-style guestrooms that overlook the ocean. // © 2010 Iberostar Hotels & Resorts
Iberostar Cozumel features bungalow-style guestrooms that overlook the ocean. // © 2010 Iberostar Hotels & Resorts

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The Details

Iberostar Cozumel
www.iberostar.com

Rack rates vary according to season; for the high season (December through April 2011), rates are priced from $301-$372 per person, per night, based on double occupancy and a three-night minimum stay.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see something move, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was.

I was snorkeling with a group of fellow guests from Iberostar Cozumel in the Columbia Shallows reef near the island of Cozumel. Already, from the beginning of our snorkel sail, I had spotted dozens of exotic, colorful fish but there was definitely something different about this one, I thought. Turning my head slightly, I gasped when I saw what it was: a nurse shark.

I’d never seen a nurse shark in the wild before and, I have to admit, I was a little frightened by the thought of spotting a shark, even one that’s known to be non-carnivorous. Eventually, though, I warmed up to the thought of swimming with a shark, and I couldn’t wait for more opportunities for wildlife spotting throughout the rest of my trip.

Snorkeling was just one of many ways that I was able to kick back and relax at Iberostar Cozumel. The 306-room resort, which is located on the southwestern coast of Cozumel, comprises a sprawling, yet intimate enclave of cozy, terra-colored bungalow-style guestrooms and all of the amenities your clients have come to expect from an all-inclusive beach resort.

My standard room was located on the second level of one such bungalow-style building. What I loved most about it was the ability to sit back and read a book on my very own hammock on my private balcony. Inside, clients will find either one king-size or two twin-size beds, an en-suite bathroom, cable television, air conditioning, a ceiling fan, a coffeemaker, a complimentary minibar and a room safe. Thirty of the hotel’s standard rooms can connect for larger groups or families, and there are also six luxury suites to choose from — four Junior Suites and two Presidential Suites, all with terraces and views of the crystal-blue seas.

What the standard rooms might lack in terms of frills, the resort itself more than makes up for with its service, entertainment and dining options.

Room service is not available at this property, however. Most often, I would dine at the poolside buffet restaurant, El Cedral, which doubles as a steakhouse at dinnertime. The food was always fresh and catered to a wide range of tastes and preferences. If clients prefer to access Wi-Fi during their stay, I would also suggest they head to El Cedral or the main lobby as there is no Internet access available from the guestrooms; a business center is also provided in the main lobby. Other on-site restaurants include El Sarape, which serves Mexican cuisine, and the Cozumel International Buffet, which was undergoing renovations during my stay.

As an all-inclusive resort, the Iberostar Cozumel meets the challenges of trying to offer something for everyone — not an easy feat, but something this property does exceedingly well. Whether your clients are couples or families, this resort will have something that is sure to appeal to them.

For recreation, guests can choose to, like I did, take a snorkel or scuba sail with the on-site Dressel Divers International for an extra cost. Non-motorized watersports are included in each guests’ stay, and guests can also play basketball, tennis and beach volleyball on the hotel grounds. The property also houses a fully equipped fitness center and an intimate spa. At night, many guests gathered at the on-site theater for nightly performances and revues staged by the talented entertainment staff. The resort also caters to little ones with its Lucy’s Club kids’ program for younger guests ages 4 to 12. 

Another aspect of Iberostar Cozumel that truly appealed to me was its commitment to sustainability — something that is not only difficult to achieve for any property but especially for an all-inclusive resort of its size. In April, the hotel earned Green Globe Certification, making it the first hotel in Cozumel — and the Iberostar chain as a whole — to do so. To make the resort eco-friendly, all staff members undergo extensive and continuous sustainability training and hotel management makes a concerted effort to involve itself in local community development. Members of the staff are currently helping Iberostar’s sister properties in Playa del Carmen — Iberostar Tucan and Iberostar Quetzal — achieve the same certification.

So, if your clients are seeking an intimate respite in the Mexican Caribbean that’s also easy on their eco-conscience, they should look no further than Iberostar Cozumel.
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