The journey from the airport was quick and we were welcomed at the Iberostar with welcome drinks and the absolutely lovely bell-boy 'David' took us in a golf cart to our room which was just behind the pool. David was also the one who got us our taxis when we went out - he seemed always be one duty! The children loved the hammocks. Every single member of staff we met was lovely. Look out for 'Jesus' in the restaurant by the pool (which is a steakhouse in the evening) as he is wonderful. 'Janeth' came round the pool every 15 mins to see if anyone wanted a drink and she was great and 'Nicholas' in the pool bar is a lovely man who made my 2.5yr old cocktails by colour code. My little one would say "green one please", "red one please" and Nicholas would make him something wonderful. There were plenty of sunbeds around the pool and on the beach and there are plenty of towels - we never had to wait.
I had a massage on the beach which I would highly recommend as it was wonderful. I also took advantage of the hotel babysitting service and took my little one back to the room for a 3hr sleep every afternoon with 'Crystal' who he loved - if you have very small children I can't recommend this enough. The one day I didn't book my sitter in time he fell asleep at the dinner table and was a grump all night!
The entertainment team were funny - Guga was great as was Paulina. Watch out for Christian, the entertainment manager, who does his signature twirl/bow at the end of every show. It isn't great but I didn't go to Mexico for the staff entertainment, I went for the resort/location. It was good and they worked hard but you won't be giving them a standing ovation any time. It was as expected for evening entertainment. The children loved it.
The only downside is the beach which is not the hotel's fault. As you know Cozumel has the 2nd largest coral reef in the world so, as expected, some parts of the Island are a little bit rocky. The sand was white and clean but you couldn't walk directly into the sea because of the rocks. If you had pool shoes or jellies on you could do it but it was impossible otherwise (I did try, but it hurt and then I fell over - which my friend found really funny). There is a small jetty which you walk along and climb down the stairs into the sea which is crystal clear and has lots of fish (which the children fed every day). The sea also churns up a fair bit of seaweed onto the shore but early every morning the hotel sends out someone with a rake to clear it away - you would never even know it existed to be honest, I only knew because I saw the man. For safety reasons it was brilliant for me because it meant that the children couldn't just run into the sea without you being present which I much preferred. We took boats out (remember to take a $2 fee down per person for the boats) which was great fun - do this if you can.
We went to Dolphin Discovery which was a short taxi ride away and it was a wonderful day - I can't recommend it enough. I got the photo package/DVD as well which cost $94 which is well worth it.
We also did the Monster Truck trip which took in the crocodiles (which stank) and a 10 minute Mayan ruin experience (which when you are travelling with 2x 7yr olds and a 2yr old is plenty of time)and then takes you to the most beautiful beach for snorkeling/swimming. Take note that the current is quite strong for little people.
The third trip we did was the Pirate Cruise, you can book this at reception (not with the First Choice rep but with the hotel itself) and it was hilarious and a really good night. The 1st half of the entertainment was geared to adults and went entirely over the children's heads and they didn't realise it was rude at all, the steak/lobster dinner was great and the 2nd half of the show was a pirate sword fight which the kids loved. After this trip we we walked into the main square in town and a band were playing and local families (grandparents/parents/children) were all sitting around and dancing - it was a lovely atmosphere and it was nice that it wasn't heaving with tourists (even though I was one!). If you go shopping remember to show your Iberostar wrist band as apparently if the shop-assistants think you are off of one of the cruise ships you are charged more.
Lastly we met lovely people (Chis & Claire, Donita & Steve, Debbie & Gareth, Karen & Steve and all their respective children) and they managed to make a brilliant holiday even better - hello to you all from Caroline, Suzy, Harvey, Daisy and Teddy if you read this.
I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone, we had a wonderful time and I'm sure you will too.
Travel operator: Eclipse Direct/First Choice
Room was cleaned everyday first class every part of the room was cleaned sheets changed everyday with decorative sculptures made out of flannels on the bed, different ones everyday.
Food was outstanding, so much choice buffet style with a Mexican restaurant a la carte and steak house restaurant. Most days food was served on the beach with dishes like paella.
Taxi a ride away to main shops and golf course, the dolphins short taxi ride away is an absolute must swimming with them was an experience of a life time.
Hotel staff I have never met such lovely staff from the reception area all the way to the cleaners everybody always had a smile on their face and so willing to make your holiday fantastic.
Entertainment staff worked so hard all through the day and still had energy to perform different shows every night to keep everybody entertained.
This hotel is by far the best hotel and holiday we have ever had and I would definitely recommend this hotel to anybody who would enjoy luxury with massive smile on your face.
So sad to leave my children didn't want to go home and they are 14 and 13 years. A must.
Travel operator: first choice
Food is of a high standard rooms are cleaned almost every day the staff could not do enough for you and the hotel location was fabulous.
The kids were kept occupied all day by the tireless entertainment staff and we were still rewarded with a brilliant show later in the evening.
All in all a fantastic holiday was had by all and we would definitley book again.
Travel operator: First Choice
Also the pool area was dirty with a lot of flies and cigarette buts in the pool. The hotel was very badly hit in the hurricane so I don't know when it will re-open again.
The entertainment didn't start until 10.30pm so you had to hang around with nothing else to do in the meantime.
I would not rate this hotel as a 4+ but only a 2* at most. The beach was not very nice either a lot of dirt and debri from the sea. The rooms smelt of damp but were clean.
I wouldn't recommend the hotel to anyone.
Travel operator: First Choice
Hotel is located on rocky beach about 20 mins taxi ride from San Miguel tourist area.Reception area also has main bar and small seating area and leads off to main restaurant and theatre through well tended gardens and ponds with flamingo's in.
Rooms are either small 2 storey blocks or semi detached bungalows and all rooms with a roof are thatched and many leak when raining as happened with us and friends.Rooms tended to have a musty smell and are small but very clean with a shower and mini bar, a sea view is not really available as trees on beach and lack of height of rooms prevent this and the rooms are scattered through out the gardens.
Food is maimly buffet and of decent to good quality, the a-la carte restaurants are nothing special though.Drinks are served at the swim up bars and restaurant in good measures and quality although vending cups in the main bar was very annoying along with the lack of seating.
The entertainment was good and the Dressel dive school excellent, the 1pm snorkel excursion is to be recommended and diving training extremely thorough.
The main problem with the place is how it looks, it comes across as tired and not a patch on other Iberostars that we have visited , its lack of seating and poolside beds which need grabbing by 8am and on occasions dirty pool area along with unnattractive beach swimming area are not outweighed by mostly good food and very friendly and helpful staff and we would'nt reommend it to anyone except watersport lovers and divers who only want a base .
We rate this place as 2+ stars and no way is it 4stars.
Travel operator: first choice
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