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Honeymoon in Cozumel: AI or Boutique?


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#1 dan the man

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 09:46 PM

Hi all,

I was hoping to find some good advice about a honeymoon that my soon-to-be wife and I are planning, hopefully in Cozumel. I've only been there briefly on a cruise stop as a child, so I'm coming at this like I've never been there. However, there are a few things that are attractive to us about Cozumel, mainly: proximity, beaches, snorkling, and the seemingly inexpensiveness of it when compared to the Caribbean. That said, I'm having a pretty hard time judging which All Inclusive places on Cozumel are truly the best - the reviews are extremely bi-polar - and I'm starting to wonder if we should go the boutique route and fend for ourselves. The boutique places seems to have very positive reviews overall, but as newbies I don't want to be in over our heads, especially on our honeymoon.

I guess if anyone has any honeymoon experiences to share, that would be awesome. We would love to be very close to a not-ridiculously-crowded beach with minimal kids and calm, snorkalable water. We plan on renting a car to be able to drive around and explore a little (AI or not). I've already made note of Coconuts for food. It would be cool to be somewhat secluded, but not rustic or, conversely, insanely expensive. Trying not to be too picky, though! We are generally very laid back. We are 27 and 29 yrs old.

Any help or advice is greatly, greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much,

Dan
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#2 Carey

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 07:05 AM

I would recommend El Presidente or Playa Azul, two lovely, beachfront boutique hotels both of which are not very far from downtown so you can easily drive or taxi in for some memorable meals. You will not find yourself in over your head at all. The service on this island is amazing (although tips are appreciated, of course.)

You will be made at home no matter where you stay.

A couple of the far south all inclusives have very pretty beaches (although no snorkeling). But a lot of people complain about the loooong distance from town which is where most of the 'action' is in terms of restaurants, shopping, people watching, etc.

Also you might want to check out the restaurant rec.'s on the forums and also on the static section of the website. You mention Coconuts and, while a gorgeous venue for having a drink and fries, it is not particularly known for its food. You'll find a lot of information if you prowl around the site and if you don't see something you're interested in, ask away. We're here to help.
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#3 dan the man

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 07:35 AM

Hi Carey,

Thanks so much for the reply. This is just an awesome website - so many of the websites about Cozumel seem to be run by the hotels themselves and the TripAdvisor reviews are seldom helpful, so this whole website is an amazing resource.

I will definitely check out those two hotels and the dining section of the forum. I found a couple of smaller places that aren't beachfront that look pretty cute, but my goal is to find that beach front place with easy access to snorkling while staying away from the "mobs". :) I guess if we have a rental car, though, it sounds pretty easy to go explore on our own and find some good snorkling.

In your opinion, is it cheaper to go all inclusive for, say, 5 or 6 nights, or to go the boutique route and find meals ourselves?
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#4 Coz2wonder

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 08:17 AM

my all time personal favorite is the Coral Princess.

You can rent a ocean front room, or one of their suites.

The water is about 20 feet, and you just jump in. Nice little coral reef, with tons of fish to spy on.

There is a dive shop Pepe's on site as well.

I just love the place, and that is where we had stayed for a number of years, and where I have family and friends stay when they visit.

It is about 1.5 miles north of town.
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#5 Kandy

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 08:19 AM

I'd also recommend checking out condo rentals. Price would be comparable to some of the AIs and you'd have all the usual perks like maid service daily, a pool, ocean. If you'll go to www.cozumelvillas.com, you'll see listings for 1-BR condos that are oceanfront. I'm also partial to El Cantil which is nicely located in walking distance to town. You can see their rentals at www.elcantilcondos.com. There is even a honeymoon suite (Villa Luna de Miel - 7A-N). We have stayed in several of the units there and were treated like royalty every time.
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#6 dan the man

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 08:39 AM

Thanks Coz2, much appreciated! And interesting idea, Kandy, I'll definitely check that out.
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#7 dan the man

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 08:47 AM

I'd also recommend checking out condo rentals. Price would be comparable to some of the AIs and you'd have all the usual perks like maid service daily, a pool, ocean. If you'll go to www.cozumelvillas.com, you'll see listings for 1-BR condos that are oceanfront. I'm also partial to El Cantil which is nicely located in walking distance to town. You can see their rentals at www.elcantilcondos.com. There is even a honeymoon suite (Villa Luna de Miel - 7A-N). We have stayed in several of the units there and were treated like royalty every time.


Wow, I am finding condos for like $700/week, beach front property! That's pretty darn good, I'd say. Thanks again!
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#8 dan the man

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 09:47 AM

Anyone ever stay at Condumel? This place might be the one. What are the general thoughts on the man-made beaches that seem to be abundant in Cozumel? I assume this is just because much of the shoreline is rocky and "cliffs" off to the ocean, if that makes sense. Man-made or not, it all seems beautiful!
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#9 jennick

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 09:50 AM

Try Cantamar Condos. We stayed last year for 2 weeks. Some of them have a jacuzzi tub too. They are about a 15 minute walk north of town. They have a man made beach area, but not walk into the water type, you just step down off their short peir and there is excellent snorkling. A really nice pool, and a view to die for!
We were so glad last year that we didn't do the all-inclusive. It would be a waste to miss out in all the great restaurants and the amazing atmospere in the downtown area every night. We loved the walk there and back for dinner, or sometimes we would just eat in from the chicken/rib places uptown. We would even walk in some mornings for a great breakfast at The Museum, or to pick up fresh pastry at the bakery.
But - I do understand the AI aspect too. Just glad we didn't do it. Anyway, check VRBO, you will find fabulous deals.
We are going again this September for 2 weeks.
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#10 Kandy

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 10:33 AM

I haven't stayed at Condumel. The big drawback for me was no pool.
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#11 dan the man

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 10:39 AM

Solid point there... I definitely feel like I'm on the right track now, though!
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#12 Coz2wonder

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 11:25 AM

also, if you rent a condo, you can pre-order your "starter kit" of food and drinks prior to your arrival, and it's deliver right when you arrive.

http://www.telolleva...ow-to-order.cfm

Also, you do know that Cozumel is known as the Island of Fertility!

Have a wonderful time, and you couldn't have started a better way to your new life then to come to Cozumel.

Much happiness to you Dan, and your new bride.
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#13 Carey

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 12:02 PM

yah. condos are also a good way to go. You get daily maid service, water brought in. And having a kitchen is very nice as I, personally, get very tired of eating every meal out.

All good suggestions here. I only rec.'d the hotels because you specifically asked about that. A condo is a much better option in my book.

In fact, it's the only way I travel. We live full time on the island so our vacations are all stateside and I always opt for a home setting in a really good location. Been doing it for years. Used to do it here before we bought land and started to build here.
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#14 dan the man

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 12:36 PM

Awesome, everyone has been a huge help. Thanks so much everybody! And thanks for the kind words, Coz2, although I'm not sure how I feel about the "Island of Fertility" thing :o :lol:
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#15 nascarcharchar

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 02:01 PM

We stayed in the honeymoon suite at El Cantil. We were there for 10 days on our honeymoon three years ago and ever since then that has been the condo we rent. It has it's own hot tub out on the balcony. Also a good feature is that there is a place for your rental car in the parking garage. The garage is gated and you have a key to let you come and go. You also have a doorman there at all times. I do not know if they are still doing it, but if you rent online you get breakfast upstairs at Prima's for free in the mornings. Room service from there is a plus too if it is a rainy night and you do not want to venture out. It is right across from the grocery too. When you rent your car you might consider using Margarita at Isis. Her email address is rentadoraisis@prodigy.net.mx Her cars are reliable and she is one of the most honest ladies you will ever meet. There is wireless in the room and a land line to the US free of charge in that room. Hope this helps.
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#16 Carey

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 02:08 PM

El Cantil has a plum location for enjoying restaurants, shopping and people watching in town. And it's close proximity to two giant grocery stores makes it easy to cook a little bit at home if you wish to.

Down side of El Cantil is it's not a good place to snorkel. Lot of boat traffic there. But if you have a car, you can easily cruise on out to any number of good beaches for that.
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#17 ez_stop1

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 06:32 PM

I vote for El Cantil too....stayed at several different places all over the island and once I stayed at El Cantil....never wanted to stay anywhere else! I think every unit has a hot tub on the balcony - every one I've even stayed in has had one. It is the safest, most luxurious, convenient location in town. And very comparable in price to other beachfront locations. Since you're on your honeymoon, I might suggest Ventanas al Mar on the east side of the island. Here's the link: http://www.ventanasalmar.biz/ It would be ideal for a honeymoon - private and isolated for a day or two. Don't know if I'd want to stay there more than that as it is remote with not much to do but.....well.....you would be on your honeymoon! :P Anyway, back to reality....you would need a car to get there, but I would think the stars at night would be breathtaking since there is no electricity/lights on that side of the island. The sunrises are gorgeous too on that side of the island. Just a thought. But for in town - El Cantil can't be beat with anything else.

If you don't want the honeymoon suite, you can also ask the owner, Albert, to rent out only one bedroom of a 4 bedroom unit. The other three bedrooms can be locked off, but you still get the spaciousness of 2500+ square feet of living space and a HUGE 60+ foot balcony at 1/4 of the price. And, the last time we were there, breakfast was definitely included at Prima's restaurant upstairs and it was delish!
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#18 Kandy

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 06:58 PM

ez_stop1 is correct. Breakfast is included in the rental at El Cantil, and I agree with everything she said. I had forgotten about asking about renting one bedroom in a 3- or 4-BR unit. I think, though, when you peruse through the "Display Units" link, it actually pulls up the ones with that option. Albert is likely to be agreeable to asking other owners if they're willing to do this, though. Albert is actually the administrator of the buildings, not the owner. Each unit is individually owned and furnished.

When is the honeymoon dan?
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#19 dan the man

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 07:26 AM

We are hoping to have the honeymoon in September or October of this year. How's the weather during that time? Obviously, this time-frame would have a bit of a hurricane risk, but it would work out with our proposed wedding date and as a bonus, the rentals are cheaper.
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#20 Carey

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 08:51 AM

We are hoping to have the honeymoon in September or October of this year. How's the weather during that time? Obviously, this time-frame would have a bit of a hurricane risk, but it would work out with our proposed wedding date and as a bonus, the rentals are cheaper.


September and October, particularly October, are not the best months here. October is our highest risk month for hurricanes and September it can rain a lot. That said, none of that might happen. You don't need to fear hurricanes. Cozumel has been through the worst hurricane to hit the Atlantic since recorded history. And it SAT on us for 48 hours as a cat 4. No one died. And hotel/condo guests were well taken care of by staff. It would just turn your honeymoon into an adventure story with a happy ending is all. Especially October.

September it CAN rain for days at a pop. But, then again, often it's just beautiful. Do be sure any place your rent as the AC option. You might not need it if you can catch the tradewinds and are up sufficiently high. But on the rare occasions when the wind drops, it's good to have at that time of the year.
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