Mexico’s largest Caribbean island is a tropical paradise located on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. With swaying palms and warm azure waters, it is also one of the premier diving locations in the world, due to its vast and colorful coral reef and excellent underwater visibility. No wonder, then, that resorts lining its coast put the activity at the heart of their offerings.
InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort and Spa
Courtesy of InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort and Spa / Expedia
Here’s the definitive all-inclusive luxury resort, with turquoise waters and white sands. Even standard rooms are bigger than certain hotel suites we could mention, all with simple, fresh, modern decor that lets nature beyond the window take center stage. You’ll get access to four varied restaurants, including the al fresco El Caribeño, an oversized thatched palapa. Regional dishes make the most of the island’s seafood. The resort is also walkable to the town’s cafés.
What a refreshing alternative to ordinary Caribbean “resort’”offerings. Buildings in a jungle setting pair wood with other natural materials – no TVs. The open-sided restaurant and bar merge with lush tropical surrounds, so you switch from frantic to romantic, watching wildlife in the trees. It’s owned by Fiesta Americana, which has a livelier, family-focused resort just a two-minute walk away, so you can dine at any of the restaurants and use all the facilities.
This adults-only, 266-room all-inclusive lies on the livelier west coast of the island. Check in and you can expect to be entertained royally – there are organized theme nights and beach parties as well as regular gala shows. The spacious rooms are refuges of pared-back luxury – many of them with mesmerizing ocean views. Ground-floor suites edge onto the pool – you step directly from your terrace into refreshing waters that elegantly wrap around the resort.
All 169 luxurious suites at Cozumel Palace look out onto the kind of azure waters that define Caribbean holidays. But the two-level loft suites are special: a king-size bed, double whirlpool tub and private bath with shower on one; upstairs is a second bedroom with its own private bathroom and shower. There’s a balcony with a hammock for enjoying the sea breezes. The all-in package even gets you snorkel gear to explore the vibrant reef the island is known for.
The Spanish hotel giant Barceló makes its stylish mark on Cozumel with this all-inclusive, set in front of powdery sands. Rooms are spare, white and Med-feel – although furnishings are more plantation-house (dark wood, big sofas) in the suites. Add five restaurants, including a top Japanese spot with a teppanyaki grill; five drinking spaces, including a Disco Bar; and five pools, featuring a children’s water park with sea-facing hot tubs for the parents. Result!
Families are in heaven at this great resort. The Star Camp – Iberostar’s fun activity program for 4-17 year olds – lays on cooking classes, treasure hunts and outings in filmmaking. For younger guests, there’s a kids’ pool and special menu at the international buffet. Book one of the fresh, simply furnished bungalow suites: you’ll get easy access to pools, spa and beach. And don’t forget to use the excellent babysitting service.
The simply decorated rooms are decent enough – the focus, at this multi-level 348-room colossus, is on what takes place outside. Grand by name and grand by nature, this is a winner with families. The all-inclusive package includes hourly activities hosted by the staff: choose yoga, water aerobics, dance lessons or guided snorkeling. The open-air amphitheater at the heart of the resort is the focal point for entertainment nightly.
This resort is right next to the Cozumel Country Club and Golf Course, which is suitable for both pros and amateurs. It’s also right on the brochure-beautiful beach, so it’s a win-win for all members of your party. The rooms are standard fare, simply furnished, and guests can add the “golf package” to the larger rooms to receive unlimited green fees. There’s also an 18-hole mini-golf course for kids, a children’s driving course, an Xbox zone and a teen games room.