The 252-room Occidental Grand Cozumel Hotel, of the Allegro Hotel
& Resort chain, opened its colonial-style doors last month.
Ensconced on the southwest part of the island on San Francisco
Beach, the hotel is only a short ride from San Miguel, the island’s
only town, and minutes away from some of the world’s finest
Besides its location, the hotel offers numerous amenities. There
are 252 rooms (220 deluxe) spread among 11 tile-roof colonial-style
buildings, each with either a balcony or a terrace. Rooms include
minirefrigerators, hair dryers, irons and safes.
The all-inclusive package includes a welcome cocktail, a weekly
cocktail party, all meals and snacks, unlimited alcoholic beverages
and soft drinks, and wine with dinner.
Plenty for Kids
The Occidental Grand makes it easy for parents to keep their
children busy. The daily activities program by the pool or beach
includes an aerobics workout, a volleyball game or water polo. More
independent offspring can test their skills sailing or windsurfing
in the offshore breeze.
Kids can hop into a kayak, snorkel until they are water logged
and be challenged by a daily beginner’s scuba clinic in the pool.
An on-property dive shop is manned by experienced islanders who
know their coral reefs.
The Kids Club, designed for children 4 to 12, has adult
supervision from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Baby-sitting services can be
arranged with 24-hour advance notice for parents who desire a
little nightlife. The cost is approximately $10 an hour.
There are three swimming pools, one for the kiddies, one for
water play for older kids and one for grown-ups.
For exercise on land, a gym with extensive workout equipment and
two illuminated, hard- surface tennis courts are available.
Kids aside, clients who desire some exclusivity can be booked
into the 32-room Royal Club (a special key permits entry) and
offered VIP amenities such as premium beverages, a private
breakfast and 24-hour room service.
Clients can lounge in Jacuzzi-style bathtubs, with concierge and
business services close at hand.
The Royal Club rooms come with dataports, minibars, DVDs and
coffee makers. Six junior suites have living rooms, while one
two-room master suite offers two bathrooms, a living room, a
dressing area and a Jacuzzi.
Dining choices at the hotel are extensive and diverse. La
Posada, the main restaurant, offers an international buffet for
breakfast, lunch and dinner, which is ideal for kids on the run who
don’t want to sit through a lingering meal with their parents.
The Sonora Grill is a dinner-only room, featuring steak and
other meat dishes.
Los Olivos serves Mediterranean cuisine, while La Hacienda
offers Mexican fare.
Reservations are required for all three dinner rooms, and a
dress code applies (no beachwear allowed and long pants for men are
Other dining choices are Pizzeria La Fontana, a snack bar, a
lobby bar and a pool bar for cocktails and soft drinks, and La
Mision, a popular bar and disco. There is a boutique, a beauty
salon and a full-service spa offering a variety of massages.
Numerous treatments, including wraps, facials and hot-stone
treatments, are designed for men.
The setting is a major selling point. Cozumel, Mexico’s largest
island at 30 miles long and 10 miles wide, hovers off the northeast
tip of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, separated from Cancun by a
12-mile wide channel that is crisscrossed by famous coral
Another important selling feature is the array of nearby
attractions for clients who dive or snorkel. The hotel has 18 dive
boats that carry clients on five-minute rides from the hotel to the
legendary Palancar Reef. Beneath the sea’s surface are a variety of
sea fauna, crevices, caves and multihued coral embellished with
thousands of fish. Clients also can snorkel in Cozumel’s Chankannab
Park, a large lagoon and natural saltwater pool, teeming with
hundreds of swarming tropical fish.
Land attractions include tours to ancient Mayan ruins on the
mainland such as Tulum, the only coastal ceremonial center that the
Maya are known to have constructed; Xcaret, an eco-archaeological
park; Chichen Itza and Xel-ha, a water park built around an ancient
Mayan lagoon. Cozumel also has some reconstructed Mayan ruins and
ceremonial areas in the center of the island that make an easy
morning outing even with a stop in San Miguel for shopping.
Rates for the all-inclusive plan, per person, double, are $149
to $203 for deluxe rooms, $180 to $234 for Club Royal rooms, $211
to $265 for junior suites and $442 to $495 for the master suite.
The rates for children 2 to 12 are $54 to $146.
Rack rate commission of 15% applies. A special introductory rate
for agents at $30 per night is valid until Jan 15, 2003, excluding
the holiday season, Dec. 22 to Jan 1, 2003.
Web site: www.grand cozumel.com.
Other all-inclusives in Cozumel: Iberostar Cozumel Hotel
(011-52-987-29900), Web site: www.iberostar. com; and Paradisus
Cozumel All-Inclusive Beach Resort & Country Club
(800-336-3542), Web site: www. solmelia.com.