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All reviews scuba du outdoor shower reef room alfredo di roma el caribeno le cap ocean suite fish best hotel on the island dive shop main restaurant breakfast buffet adult pool tennis courts outdoor restaurant ocean front private beach
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Reviewed 3 July 2005

Just came back (7/2) from 5 nights four full days at the hotel. We had a great time. There are five of us, my children are 14, 18 and 21 and all boys. The snorkeling was fantastic and the best I have had since my honeymoon 22 years ago at Isla Mujeres. Much better than Costa Rica. The wonderful thing about the snorkeling is that it was right off the beach, in the reefs ringing the hotel. My husband bought snorkel gear from home, and at his leisure went in to look at the fish multiple times a day. We rented gear for $10/day. We took a snorkel trip to Palancar, Colombia and Cielo 5 hours with lunch which was a lot of fun, but did not see as much fish as around the hotel. The highlight of my trip was the scuba diving. We had never done that and I and my four boys took a lesson with Eric who was excellent. We went off the beach initially and my youngest son who could not equalize his ears was able to accompany us by swimming above us, holding on to the rope that travelled with us. My two oldest boys and myself then went on two off the boat trips which were amazing to Paradise and then Chankenaab reef. By the third trip I had conquered my fears and was able to relax and enjoy everything. Eric helped me with my panic the second trip when I had gotten water in my mask when I jumped off the boat and took off my aerator, which I shouldn't have done. Instead of just putting me back on the boat which I asked for, he talked me through it and now I can really say I can't wait to go scuba diving again. It was a great thing to do with my older sons and they said it was the best experience ever, just like the discovery channel.

The pool was lovely and large, the water gets very warm by the end of the day. The hotel was very very clean. I suggest getting a garden room. I had asked for the least expensive rooms and we stayed in 1212 and 1211 and they were great. Very, very large and no big deal walking down the ramp to the beach. With five people it certainly did not make sense to pay more just to walk onto the beach from the room.

The food in the main restaurant was very good and Alfredos was excellent. My husband is a gourmet cook and the food even satisfied him. The only negative were the flies in the open air restaurant. We ate at night at Panchos backyard, very good with good ambience, and Casa Mission the same. Chozos was good food but poor ambience. Taxi for the five of us ranged from 7-10 dollars each way depending on the driver.
Bring moquito spray for the night, lots of bites.
Bring lots of cash, dive shop gives you off 10% if you pay in cash. We checked Olympus tours not much difference in price and for the luxury of leaving right from the pier we stuck with Scube Do. (Also I had faith in the dive masters there). The pitch for time share in the beginning was annoying but a firm not interested was all we had to say and that was it. One other thing, one day the plumbing had to be fixed and no shower for one hour, they let me use another room to shower and in the end for that inconvenience they credited each of my rooms $50.00 which I though was more than reasonable. My husband just waited the hour. The people working there were all nice, pleasant and had very good attitudes. The only criticism I have is that they would do well to have one inside room with a pool table, or board games, when asked for any games they gave us a chess set and an old backgammon set which was incomplete. Pingpong is out in the sun without shade. It would have been nice to have one activity area out of the sun for a few hours to keep the kids busy. This is not really a kid place as major activities are snorkeling, swimming, scuba. Would definitely recommend this place it has its own magic. Any questions feel free to email me.

Stayed: June 2005
9  Thank pamela02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2005

Just returned from a week at this hotel (late June 05) feeling generally quite positive about our stay there. Having read many reviews in advance from previous guests there, we came prepared to upgrade from the Superior Oceanview room we had booked through an online wholesaler, to a Deluxe Oceanview room. I don't know in retrospect that I would take the chance of getting stuck having to pay for a two or three category upgrade because those rooms were all they had to offer. We got our upgrade, but only saved about forty dollars total for the week over the price offered upfront by the wholesaler for that category room. And that was after bargaining. I'd book it upfront next time and not worry.

We loved our room, Deluxe Oceanview #5214. It was on the second floor of the two-story wing of this hotel. We thought the rooms in this wing had decided advantages over those in the area of the hotel's five-story tower so you might think to ask for one of them. They appear to be better taken care of, or more updated, and they definitely are quieter after hours. Friends who stayed on the fifth floor of the tower had multiple complaints about their room, especially about the noise. None of the rooms are very soundproofed, but we only heard noise from the next room, not from downstairs at all.

Our second floor room was quite spacious with vaulted ceilings, travertine floors, a very comfortable king-size bed and large picture windows with a beach/Caribbean/sunset view. There was a fairly large balcony with two chairs and a table. Bathroom had a shower/toilet room and separate sink and dressing area. Plenty of closets and drawers, ironing board and iron, and hairdryer. Service in our area was very good, daily cleaning plus turn down and towels replaced morning and evening. Friends staying in the tower room said there were days when they got no maid service at all.

The Oceanfront rooms below ours appeared to be largely the same as ours, but had an entrance directly out onto the beach while we had to walk completely around the building to get into our room. Theirs had a large patio in front (overlooking the beach like ours) and a smaller patio in back, each with a hammock. That said, when it rained (and it did) our balcony was under cover and dry and their patios were exposed to the elements. Did I mention the mosquitos? After it rains, you had better be prepared with bug spray with DEET.

Food was very good in both the open-air terrace restaurant and Alfredo's and prices were pretty consistent with the prices in town of the "better" restaurants. The snack bar, near the dive shack on the smaller beach, never seemed open while we were there. The terrace restaurant serves meals all day, but Alfredo's is only open for dinner. We did not bother to leave 'the campus' for either breakfast or lunch but did not spend the $17 to $18 for the daily breakfast buffet. It is delicious, but really...$17? You may have to ask for a menu as they want you to do the more expensive buffet. We ordered off the menu instead, opting for less food at a much more reasonable price. Cappucinos great there as well.

Lunch can be had in your bathing suit with a wrap or shirt in the same terrace restaurant. Its only a short stroll from the beach or pool and a decided plus for staying on campus. Heartily recommend the Black Angus bacon burger (awesome) and the Tropical Salad (cold baby shrimp with chopped mango, papaya and onion in a delicate vinegar-based dressing). Every lunch is preceeded by chips, pico de gallo, and a bean of the day. We never had a bad meal there.

The bar adjacent to the terrace restaurant is a great gathering place beginning at Happy Hour (daily from 5 to 7). Two for one, but you'll probably drink twice as much, as the bartenders there are very saavy. Beer is actually cheaper from your own room's mini-bar, but then you'd miss all the fun. Both staff and guests seemed happy and very friendly.

The resort is very much oriented around dive enthusiasts, which we are not. We do like to snorkel, but enjoyed doing little more than reading on the beach under a palapa umbrella. The beach is not the greatest swimming beach in the world, but certainly is a wonderful spot for snorkelling and everyone seemed to be enjoying it, whatever their tastes. Pull a yellow flag from the roof of your beachfront palapa and stick it in the sand. A waiter arrives within minutes from the nearby terrace restaurant and will bring lunch, a drink or chips or whatever.

Ate off campus most nights. Some nights we didn't eat at all, having enjoyed a huge late lunch at the terrace restaurant. Heartily recommend The Lobster House (or Hut?) up north across from the Plaza Azul Hotel, The Veranda, and Casa Mission (not the one on the main drag!). All were just superb and very reasonably priced ($50 to $75 for two with drinks). Bellman sent us to e Cavi Navegante Restaurant in town one night. I had deja vu later that night, i.e. saw that meal all over again. Don't do it.

Don't think a car is really necessary, as cabs are readily available. It depends on the person I guess. We did the Jungle Tour by 4x4 to the other side of the island with a guide and a sunset cruise our last night (four people for $200!). Both booked through Cozumel Insider online and we liked both. The sunset cruise was a great thing to do just before leaving the island. What a memory.

Biggest bummer of the week was the high pressure come-on for the inhouse "Presidente Club". This is nothing more than a timeshare scheme under a different cloak. This is really not something you want to do. I think they have an agreement with management at the hotel that they can initially approach you at check in (and they will) but that they cannot contact you again if you sit through a presentation and ultimately say no. But the front desk does give them your room number. If you opt to accept their offer of free breakfast and $80 in credits, they will gather whatever personal information they can get from you, by hook or by crook. DH had to cross off his date of birth which they had taken from his driver's license when they asked to see a verification of his identity before we got the freebies. They will also try to gather personal information about you in the context of friendly conversation over the free breakfast, like your birthday, anniversary and such. Alarm! We felt pretty stupid for giving in to the lure of the free stuff. When we began to say no, they passed us onto another closer until we finally had to get rude. The hotel should stop this situation. It really put a damper on the start to our week.

We got over it, and all in all we had great fun and a very relaxing week. It did, however, end up costing us a bit more than we had anticipated with all the add ons. We enjoyed good service, very friendly people all over the island, beautiful clear water at the beach, super tropical fish you can see right from the dock, wonderful food, the best massage and spa treatments I've ever had right there in the hotel spa, many pluses!

Minuses: the timeshare come on, the little bits adding up to a lot, the lack of an in-room safe and a $125 charge if you lose the key to the "free" safety deposit box at the reception desk, the card exchange system for pool and beach towels ($45 if you lose a towel card) and a perennially wet bathroom floor because the shower curtain didn't keep water from flooding the rest of the bathroom.

Word to the wise, take very casual clothing and no more than a couple of moderately smart-casual outfits. Leave the jewelry, the makeup and the serious shoes at home. Buy good sun protection products in advance, especially those with a bug repellant in them. Take a can of bug spray containing DEET!

Heads Up Advice: Not every service provider or restaurant takes credit cards because they don't all have phone service for authorizations. Take travelers checks which can be kept in the safe deposit box at reception and exchanged for cash. Travelers checks are accepted in more places than credit cards but discounts (up to 15%) are frequently given for cash.
Enjoy.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16  Thank SaltWaterDiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2005

Our family just returned on Sunday, June 19th. We had an overall great trip. We had booked the gardenview room, which means they are on the first floor and do not have view of the ocean. Upon check in they try to upgrade you but I was too cheap to bite. After his sales pitch I asked for a complimentary upgrade. He obliged and asked us not to tell. This moved us up to the third floor which allows you to see over the single level row of rooms that are right on the beach. It was nice to be able to see the cruise ships and the ocean from our room but I missed the convenience of the first floor. On our last day we heard a couple request a foam pad for their bed.(All matresses are rock hard in Mexico, no matter where you stay) So we requested one and they brought it right up and put it on. What a difference! Highly recommended, and no charge.

My 15 year old son and I did several dives. I heard good things about ScubaDu, the group at the presidente. His cost is $125 for two days of two tank dives.(four total dives) He charges $18 a day for equipments rental. ie. BCD, tanks, weights. I called Dive with Martin who was also $125, but equipment is no charge and he throws in one night dive at no charge. He picks you up at the presidente dock at 7:30 each morning so you are first group to the reef. I called him after talking to ScubaDu and he just said bring your money to the dock the next day. (Above is cash price, credit card is about $20 higher) Can't go wrong with either, but I like to save $.
Columbia Wall was my favorite dive, yes evan better than Palancar Caves!
My wife and 12 year old did discover scuba with ScubaDu. $70 each includes one hour private lesson and their first dive. They tought them in their beach area which was perfect for learning. My wife is a huge chicken and enjoyed it. Highly recommend trying scuba!!! They will let you try for free in the pool each day at 12:00.

Food was pricey but was good. Nachos, enough for two were $12.00. Kids burger w/ fries, $9.00. Iced tea, $4.50. Pina Colada, $6.50. You get the picture. Happy hour from 5-7 was two for one drinks if thats your thing.
We ate at Panchos back yard and Palmerros in town. Both were excellent and in the town square area. We enjoyed walking around the square after dinner and seeing the sights. Don't miss the kids painting with aerosol cans on the square.

Snorkleing and beach area were fantastic. Plenty of white sand and easy entry into ocean, either from beach or nice stairs if entry around rocky areas. Save some chips from lunch and feed the fish right out of your hand. Pretty cool! Huge beach towells available at pool but don't loose them because of $40 charge, which is standard at any resort I have been to.

Please e-mail with any specific questions. Glad to oblige.
travishunt@cox-internet.com
Cozumel is awesome, our fourth trip.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
21  Thank familydives
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2005

My husband, our 3-year-old son and I just returned from a 5-night stay at the InterContinental Cozumel (June 2005).

We really only found 2 big positives with this hotel.
1. Even though the beach is small, the snorkeling off of it is truly AMAZING.
2. The staff is very friendly and most helpful.

OUR ROOM:
-3rd floor with enjoyable sunset views over the water.
-The room size was a little bigger than average.
-There was no in-room safe. But there are safety boxes available near the front desk. This was a bit inconvenient for us. We had to keep carrying our son's portable DVD player back and forth, etc...
-There was no iron nor ironing board. We had to ask for one.
-We had to keep the air conditioner on high all the time or condensation would appear on the walls as well as water on the floor. Our son slipped a couple of times.
-Small bathroom with a shower only, no tub. It was fine for us but it would be inconvenient for parents who have smaller kids. While taking a shower, the water would go from hot to cold.
-The mini-bar is not in any type of nook, but on the floor against the wall, sort of right there. Mini-bar keys are not given out so we had to have them lock it because our toddler would go into it to grab things.

POOL: Small. No real shallow areas or kiddie pool.

RESTAURANTS/FOOD: There are 2 restaurants at the hotel.
1. The main and casual one is open-air, housed under an enormous palapas with view of the water...a really nice setting.
-Breakfast: is a buffet affair. We thought it was pretty good. Fruits are fresh and the cook made great eggs.
-Lunch: We thought the food was average.
-Dinner: We had dinner there only once. We chose the buffet and it was very good.
The BIG problem with this open-air restaurant were the FLIES. There were lots of them. We thought they were getting worse by the day. Who enjoys eating with one hand and swatting flies with the other? The hotel needs to figure out a way to get rid of them.

2. The other restaurant is indoor and called Alfredo's (obviously Italian). We dined there one night. My husband had the lasagna and I had the beef tenderloin. Our food was EXCELLENT. It's a nicer restaurant with big windows with views of the beach/water. There was a guitar player who played songs from Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" to Latin Music. Very nice.

WEATHER: It was hot and humid. We had one afternoon of heavy rains due to Tropical Storm Arlene.

We'd recommend renting a car for a couple of days to see the island. We went to the town of San Miguel, the San Gervasio Ruins (it was okay, does not compare of course to Tulum, Coba nor Chichen Itza) and drove to the southern and eastern coasts. On the southern tip, there's a Bob Marley Shanty Town. Yes, in Cozumel! Who knew?? Totally worth the drive (the town is really just a place to stop over, sit down for a drink and view the waves crashing onto the shoreline).
We really enjoyed the drive down and up the coasts.

The hotel grew on us after a couple of days, but we had much higher expectations. Overall, we were disappointed in this InterContinental as the little things added up.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
19  Thank MrsTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2005

We were married in September 2004 in Cozumel. We stayed at the Presidente Intercontinental. We have been to lots of beach destinations, but this one was by far the best. First of all the resort is immaculate. There is constant upkeep of this place. The staff is very polite and professional, especially Martha Paredes, who helped with the flowers, music, location, and dinner reservations for our ceremony. The manager also upgraded us to the honeymoon suite for 2 weeks! Which was absolutely stunning. Martha really made our wedding the most beautiful and memorable day of our lives and seven of our closets friends. Everyone that attended loved the resort and the service. They all want to go back, and we are definitely going back soon. The snorkeling was amazing and right in front of the resort. The food at the Alfredo Di Roma restaurant, was great. I highly recommend the homemade ravioli, best i've ever had. I had it 4 nights in a row. This is the best vacation my husband and I have ever taken and we have been to many places. You will not be disappointed.

11  Thank sandiego7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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