El Cid La Ceiba Beach Resort – TravelBart Report

Early morning at the El Cid hotel in Cozumel

I missed getting up early and taking a swim first thing in the morning, so I moved on down the coast in Cozumel to stay at the El Cid la Ceiba hotel. I’ve stayed here a number of times and my last time in Cozumel,six or seven years ago. I enjoyed it, so here I am again.

Since I’d stayed here a number of times over the years and this is a slow time of the year for Cozumel, el Cid was kind enough to upgrade my room to a one-bedroom suite. I’m not complaining and I can use the dining table in the family room area to spread out a bit since I’m finishing my book  that I’ll soon be submitting to Kindle and Amazon.com.

What I like about El Cid is that it’s the first reasonably-priced oceanfront hotel south of town – where the diving is – sporting a large sand lounge area, pool, and a full service, sit down, open air restaurant.  It’s really pleasant to have breakfast (or lunch or dinner) ten feet from beautiful blue water. El Cid’s restaurant is a nice place to take a break and get out of the sun, snag a cerveza (beer), and read a book or do emails from my laptop – a really nice place to work!

El Cid restaurant early in the morning

El Cid also has its own dive operation and dive shop that I’m going to try out soon. They also own the island’s zip-lining operation, too. Gotta give that a go just for the fun of it.

Here’s the thing about Cozumel you need to know if you plan on diving: the dive operators don’t like to go way out of their way north of the town, San Miguel, to pick up people, so most of the divers stay in town or south of town.  Also, the airport is just north of town, so I stay south of town for less aircraft noise.

Here are your options if you want to stay right on the water south of town but close enough to walk into town. You have only three choices:

Closest to Town: Cozumel Palace: about ¾ mile south of town, extensively remodeled, and very high end, all inclusive, and about $240 plus/night.  I used to stay there, too, when it was the Plaza las Glorias for about $80-$100 per night.  As a side note, I stopped by and introduced myself and asked them if I could check out their amenities and take pictures for TravelBart. They wanted to charge me $88 for a day pass to sit on their lounge chairs by the ocean. Thanks, but no thanks

One mile from town: the Barracuda hotel: Long known to be a small, but reasonably priced diver’s hotel.  I’ve never stayed there and it’s nothing fancy, but quite adequate if you’re on a budget.  I stopped by while staying earlier at Casa Mexicana (no oceanfront lounge area with direct access) to take advantage of the Barracuda’s small lounge and pool area on the water and to take a swim. They told me their rates were $79/night.

2-2 ½ miles south of town: el Cid at la Ceiba: I decided to stay at el Cid for the balance of my trip, eighteen days, for the location and the amenities – and for the great deal they have – $79/night. That was only $30 more per night than I was paying for the Casa Mexicana, which doesn’t have near the amenities. El Cid is right on the ocean, a pleasant restaurant on the water open from 7 AM to 11 PM, an in-house dive operation (that I haven’t tried yet), free beach towels, pool, sandy outdoor lounge areas with shade if you want it, and close enough to town if I feel like walking, or I can take a relatively inexpensive taxi to and from town.

Check out the specials for el Cid on www.tripadvisor.com.  And by the way, the staff has been very pleasant, professional, and friendly. If you’re coming to Cozumel, definitely check out el Cid before you make reservations.

If you come into Cozumel on one of the cruise ships that dock nearby, el Cid has an inexpensive day pass for only $12 that will allow you to take advantage of all their amenities, including snorkeling and the restaurant. It’s a value.

El Cid 1 Bedroom Suite

El Cid 1 Bedroom Suite

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