Cheap/clean/safe lodging? Need reservations or not?
Posted 03 February 2011 - 10:14 PM
Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:07 AM
I'm checking places for friends that are considering Suites Vima, Casona Real and Isla Esmeralda. You can cut the price in half if you only want a bed and a fan, but those are spartan.
Posted 04 February 2011 - 03:51 AM
Posted 04 February 2011 - 08:55 AM
Posted 05 February 2011 - 10:04 AM
Posted 06 February 2011 - 07:18 AM
Also, the Isla Esmerelda referred to is (I believe) on Calle 2 (not 20), between Ave 20 and 25 (about middle of block on the south side). From the street, it looks like a very nice place. I can't find an email for them though. (I've been emailing several of the smaller, less costly places thru using google translate. Appears to be working well.
Regarding the "do I need reservations" - I am finding that these smaller places do not have a 'formal' reservations system. We arrive at a verbal type of agreement though the emails. (I am bring printed copies of these emails with me just in case). Also, this website (CMC) has a 'recommendations for 1-3 people' section. One o the hotels listed there quoted me a higher rate when I contacted them. I pointed out that this website had indicated a lower rate and he agreed to that rate - Yeh Carey! Since I am coming down in May (not high season) I am less concerned about showing up with 'verbal/email reservations' and finding there is no room. Also, I have enough possible places that even if that happens I'm confident that I can go to one of the other places and find a room at the expected rate.
Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:26 AM
Not Hotels rooms though..
Location of the Mari Stell (sea and star)
I haven't been there in Years but I still "hear / read" the same reports year after year . Clean large rooms safe nice rather large pool. Its on the corner , my #s may be wrong, but still close..IIRC but its been awhile. Its was an East street 8th east.. and a North street?? Wooo maybe 25 not 20.... 25 is a north st. isn't it? 5 10 and 15 have changed so many times they should use Velcro on the signs .. But not so that far out..
Posted 06 February 2011 - 09:50 AM
It has been over ten years since I have been inside. For years it seemed that 90% of the limited number of guests were missionaries associated with the Presbyterian church around the corner. Business has been so bad for years in the smaller hotels, long before Wilma or any economic downturn, I can't imagine any more than a skeletal staff and minimum amount of maintenance performed. The most action this hotel saw was when a car crashed into the lobby a few years back. I didn't mention the no-tell-motel on 15 at the corner of 15 that pretends to be in business. Their pool has been empty for years and whomever staffs the place does their laundry and has put clothes lines in the pool area.
There's four or five other small hotels that would be way more spartan and their minimal occupancy might come from an occasional Mexican salesmen or someone with a problem at home. There are five downtown hotels either inside or on the fringe of the pedestrian area that are closed that used to have loyal clientele. Needing reservations in May? Most of these places are lucky to have rates as high as 20-25% on busy weekends and holidays. My opinion, you'll want/need AC in May especially in the older motels built of solid concrete. A newer, non-Legionnaires' Disease AC would be a preferred choice. The places I might suggest are the places that do have steady business however weak and offer convenient locations.
Cozumel desperately needs to reinvent itself and the cost of the ferry crossing and zero air connections domestically has eliminated the domestic tourism market. The big resorts that discount room blocks to brokers are often sold in air/lodging packages at prices even below cheap. My first trip to the area, I took a package of Mexicana and included three nights at the downtown Cancun Holiday Inn which cost $18 more than airfare alone. At $6 dollars a night, "normal posted rates on the door" were $125 to $175 for high season. That served me well being two blocks from the bus station and from the largest grocery store. The package deals here that are dirt cheap, cheaper than downtown economical are distant and taxi fares back and forth will off set any discount pricing.
In the old daze, too long ago to remember, when guide books were sold of "How to Live, Travel on $20 Dollars a Day", I could do that on $10 dollars. In Chiapas the posada I preferred because of their clientele and strictness of security, used to cost $5 pesos a night, about $1.50 USD. When I had a business and travel was deductible, I went more upscale and stayed in swank, more classy places in the $7 to $9 dollar range. Super economy existence doesn't exist anymore that doesn't involve an element of risk. Be selective what you choose on the mainland, I'd regard most anyplace here as being safe, not true in many areas of the country.
Posted 06 February 2011 - 10:31 AM
Nobody has mentioned the Hotel Aguilar.
Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:06 AM
Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:34 AM
Posted 06 February 2011 - 12:58 PM
Posted 06 February 2011 - 02:18 PM
Dive masters will tell you were its cheap to drink , but by in large won't have a clue about hotels, that said the owner or the manager sure will . Hey.. dive a day or two at the shop out of El Cozumeleno (SP) Is Antonio still a manager there? Guys Like Antonio can help you a lot..
Dive Gear? Unless your Tech diving...IMHO dont bother shleping it all down.. Mask for sure and your regs the rest can be rented cheap..
In Fact ..Screw that... Just Your Mask and Your Mouth Piece and a couple dozen Ty-raps .. If they wont rent you the rest for $10 or $15 a DAY? Walk out, kick the sand from your sandals, there are 100 dive shops on the island..
The more I think about it IMHO your best off getting a room within about 1 to 4 blocks of the clock tower..
Puts you close to both worlds .. for cheap seat prices.. J- IMHO.. Have a great trip..
Posted 06 February 2011 - 04:32 PM
I don't know if there is still a website for Suitesvima that exists. One of their guests built one a few years ago for a class project. Just someone who stayed there a few weeks, liked the people and location. She's probably the one that set up the hotmail address. This is a small family run operation, small, simple, not a real sophisticated operation in terms of the Internet era.
I don't dive, in fact I rarely go in the water. My wife got certified in the old days just to prove she could, long before we met. Most all ex-pats were divers then. After her certification, she made one dive down to 100 feet because no one thought she would. That shut people up and she was done. Like a vampire, I prefer to go out at night or when the temperatures are below 75. The Cozumel people and what is left of the functional town is my attraction here. Water temperature is reported to be 78, I don't want to test that to confirm, about four degrees below my limit.
BTW Richard, Antonio is working at the Presidente, still with Scuba-du
Posted 06 February 2011 - 05:38 PM
Posted 06 February 2011 - 06:22 PM
Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:58 AM
It's also in a good location... it's right by Mega and across the street from Hotel Barracuda.
That means you can walk right over to their beach club.
Breakfast at Jeannies or Rock n Java are right down the street too. And it's close enough to town to walk to dinner.
Posted 08 February 2011 - 12:52 AM
I don't know if there is still a website for Suites Vima that exists. One of their guests built one a few years ago for a class project. Just someone who stayed there a few weeks, liked the people and location. She's probably the one that set up the hotmail address. This is a small family run operation, small, simple, not a real sophisticated operation in terms of the Internet era.
It was me with the SV site, and it's still on the college server, sigh... I guess I'll have to come visit again to get that straightened out... oh darn
The very nice family that runs it are not computer/e-mail savvy. You can e-mail a reservation request in English - a young relative has the account and relays the info, but on the phone and when you get there it's all Spanish... good practice for you! Cash only, no credit cards. The pool is small but has been full when I've been there. It's a small hotel and has some avid fans - don't count on getting a room in high season walking in off the street. Off season you have a shot.
My other favorite in-town place is Amigos B&B. Has a pool, AC, frig (kitchenette!) in a lovely garden setting. An even smaller place - 3 rooms. Run by expats Bob & Kathy - great people and very good with e-mail communication. No credit card there either, but if you reserve in advance Kathy will give you the account info in the US to send payment.
Both places are located very centrally and make walking around town a fun part of the trip. I don't like renting/driving cars there, so this is a key requirement for me.
BTW, I've never stayed at the Aguilar but took a look last year. What I noticed was I'd have to keep the curtains in the room closed all the time or I'd feel like I was on display. It has a pool as well as TV, AC and a little frig in the rooms.
I drink to forget, but I eat to remember.... so it all balances out
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