TRAVELBART http://www.travelbart.com Cut Loose to Travel the World! Tue, 16 Feb 2016 22:51:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.8 25923100 El Cozumeleno Beach Resort Report – Cozumel http://www.travelbart.com/el-cozumeleno-beach-resort-report-cozumel/ http://www.travelbart.com/el-cozumeleno-beach-resort-report-cozumel/#respond Tue, 16 Feb 2016 22:45:23 +0000 http://www.travelbart.com/?p=1948 Read More]]> El Cozumeleno Pool & Beach

El Cozumeleno Beach Resort Pool & Beach

AT THE EL COZUMELENO BEACH RESORT FOR CHRISTMAS

Near the end of December I spent nine days and my Christmas at the El Cozumeleno Beach Resort, alone, and enjoyed myself capitally while catching up on writing and relaxing in the all-inclusive beach resort atmosphere.

Although I’ve been to Cozumel at least a dozen times since 1988, I had never tried an all-inclusive resort. But there is a first time for everything and my stay was great from start to finish. I’ve seen a great deal of what Cozumel has to offer, and Cozumel does offer quite a bit with many activities and attractions throughout the island, so I decided to use the El Cozumeleno as my base..

El Cozumeleno Beach and Snorkle-Swim Area

El Cozumeleno Beach and Snorkle-Swim Area

I decided to get out of my hometown, Newport Beach, California, fast. My girlfriend’s family and in-laws, on short notice, were going to invade like a marauding army — I took that as my cue to get out of town, ASAP. I really needed some R&R, anyway after finishing a book and the fastest way to get out of town with airline and good hotel ressies in hand is to grab a package. The El Cozumeleno seemed worth a shot and I’m glad I did — it worked out great for me, better than I had hoped for. I booked through Apple Vacations (first time) and I must say that they had terrific service. For example, although it’s easy to get a van from the airport to get to your hotel, Apple had someone at the airport waiting for Apple Vacationers and popped me onto a ride to my hotel, pronto and prepaid, as part of the package.

El Cozumeleno Decor and Entry Detail

El Cozumeleno Decor and Entry Detail

El COZUMELENO BEACH RESORT REPORT: The Cozumeleno is located roughly four miles north of the town square, so you can walk into town and get some exercise or hop in a cab to run into town pretty inexpensively for about $7, particularly if you’re sharing the cab with friends. I found this convenient as I do like to get into town and try some of the local restaurants for lunch and occasional dinners, even though all my meals were included in my all-inclusive El Cozumeleno package. I like to poke about when I travel and try new places and eateries.

The grounds and rooms of the El Cozumeleno are kept spotlessly clean and the people are absolutely wonderful and very friendly. The grounds and architecture have a pleasant feel about them and I do like casual. By the time I left I was on a first name basis with most of the servers in the restaurants. I find it pleasant to walk into the restaurant with the waves lapping on the beach twenty feet away and say a pleasant good morning to Martine or Victor or any of the other waiters. A cup of wonderful, dark coffee usually arrives within a minute or two.  Can’t fight that. I made El Cozumeleno’s covered, open air beach restaurant my “office” and place to write, and it worked great with coffee, snacks, a full buffet, or a cold beer close at hand, and all included in my all-inclusive package.

El Cozumeleno Beach Restaurant

El Cozumeleno Beach Restaurant

A note about tipping: although I didn’t see people tipping in the restaurants and beach service, I like to leave a tip just to let the people know who are attending to my requests and needs that I do appreciate their efforts. But that’s just me, because years in Newport Beach and close to where I live Laguna Beach, good service is appreciated and rewarded in this fashion. Old habits die hard.

The El Cozumeleno provides a buffet by the pool area for the kids and pool-lounging adults with simple food like hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and salads. Next to covered outdoor buffet it is the covered, open air restaurant by the beach with its full buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Or you can order from a menu, too; they have you covered. In the morning I often ordered an omelet from the grill person, who made what I wanted right then and there. I would simply say “everything” with a wave of my hand and they always handed me a terrific, fresh omelet a few minutes later. For lunch I often had their fajitas or tacos, your choice or pork, chicken, or beef – always fresh and tasty with a side of black beans. I asked for a hot salsa and they brought me an innocent-looking batch of peppers and salsa that almost took my head off — great! They have a more formal inside restaurant, too, if you want to quiet down and take a longer dinner.

El Cozumeleno - Snorkeling

El Cozumeleno – Snorkeling

Two-Pool Areas – adults and children: The El Cozumeleno has two pool areas, one for the adults and another with additional shallow baby pools for the children and rug rats. There is a beach area, too, next to the pier and main restaurant, which mostly adults liked to use. Waiters were always available in the pool and beach areas and being all inclusive, you could order what you wanted at no additional charge, including beer and wine. I’m a lightweight when it comes to drinking, so I like to stick with the agua minerales – mineral water — basically soda water with a fizz. That way I can get some writing done in the afternoon. Despite the “free wine and beer,” I never saw any sloshy drunks my entire stay, due, I think, to the family atmosphere and the upbeat feeling of the El Cozumeleno.

El Cozumeleno Tacos!

El Cozumeleno Tacos!

All rooms face the ocean, so nobody gets stuck with a room overlooking the parking lot. I was up on the ninth floor in a clean and comfortable room with a sofa, a small table and two chairs, and a small patio. The rooms that I saw all had a nice patio that was pleasant to sit out on late in the day after a good swim. The swimming and snorkeling area is roped off, and the longer pier on the north side of the property acts as a swell and wave break and kept the water calm in front of the hotel. This worked out well for the smaller children and newbie snorkelers, too.

Kid Fishing at the End of the Pier

Kid Fishing at the End of the Pier

I arrived at the tail end of a storm, so the sea on the other side of the pier was a bit rough, but a lot smoother for swimming in the hotel area, which I did a lot of. Of course, in the pool area for families, the parents and kids were going at it all day long, then hopping into the ocean for snorkeling. I noticed that the staff was really great with the kids and guided them through a number of activities, which gave the parents some R&R, too. The parents seemed to be a bit more relaxed; they seemed to enjoy being relieved of having a bit of the burden of watching kids 24/7 taken of their shoulders in the family pool area where the kids played all day long.

I would recommend the El Cozumeleno for anyone, especially if you were bringing children. My stay was relaxing and I had a lot of fun relaxing around the hotel and running into town, often by myself, to revisit old favorites and to sample new places.

Please see the pictures in the album, below, for more views of the El Cozumeleno Beach Resort.

 

 

 

 

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COZUMEL – EL COZUMELENO BEACH RESORT http://www.travelbart.com/cozumel-el-cozumeleno-beach-resort/ http://www.travelbart.com/cozumel-el-cozumeleno-beach-resort/#respond Sat, 12 Dec 2015 16:51:45 +0000 http://www.travelbart.com/?p=1926 Read More]]> El Cozumeleno Beach Resort

El Cozumeleno Beach Resort

One of my favorite places to grab some beach time, scuba dive, write, swim, and indulge my love of good Mexican food — Cozumel

I’m trying something new, this time — staying at an all inclusive beach resort, the El Cozumeleno, located at the north side of the island.  Although all inclusive, I will spend a lot of time in town, too, close by, a short taxi ride down the road. The people of Cozumel have always been wonderful all the times I’ve been to Cozumel, about twelve times since 1988. You can check them out here: http://www.elcozumeleno.com.

I stopped into the El Cozumeleno with my girlfriend for an afternoon on the beach and to take advantage of their bar, and we really did enjoy the time. So, this time I decided to stay there and take advantage of their superb beach for getting in some much needed exercise and  swimming and recharge the batteries time.

I’ll keep you up to date on my doings and the hotel and let you know how my trip goes.

 

 

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Balboa Island Does Halloween Big-Time http://www.travelbart.com/balboa-island-halloween/ http://www.travelbart.com/balboa-island-halloween/#respond Thu, 01 Nov 2012 22:03:46 +0000 http://www.travelbart.com/?p=1845 Read More]]>

Balboa Island Halloween

I’ve been staying with a friend on Balboa Island, set in Newport Bay in Newport Beach, CA. It’s a small jewel where the people know how to do Halloween right.

Balboa Island is both monied and friendly, where the residents go out of their way to celebrate almost any holiday with relish and a sincere desire to impart some happiness to friends and visitors, alike. So, when Halloween arrives, some of the displays are like none you’ll see anywhere and the candy pots are full for all of the visitors for trick or treat night.

One thing I particularly like are all the kids and families from some less affluent parts of town that feel comfortable joining in the festivities on Balboa. I think that says a lot about the good will of the nice people on the island.

Around Balboa is a good two mile walk along a wide walkway surrounding the Island. Attached to Balboa by a short bridge is Little Balboa Island. Main Balboa sports a quaint downtown area to mosey about. You can take a short ferry ride for $1.25 over to Balboa Peninsula to do some sight-seeing, too. That’s another way to get one Balboa, as well as the one road coming on to the Island.

Enjoy the Halloween pictures.

Balboa Island Sunset

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BBQ at El Cid La Ceiba – TravelBart.com Report http://www.travelbart.com/bbq-at-el-cid-la-ceiba/ http://www.travelbart.com/bbq-at-el-cid-la-ceiba/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2011 23:48:37 +0000 http://www.travelbart.com/?p=1807 Read More]]>

Ship off El Cid La Ceiba Beach Hotel, Cozumel

It was going to be a beautiful night. It’s not unusual for me to run into San Miguel, Cozumel’s quaint town, for a bite to eat and to explore, but they dropped off a flyer to my room about a poolside BBQ, tonight. I’d been diving, snorkeling, and writing all day, so I thought, why, not. Relax, mellow out, do some reading, shower, then head down to the BBQ.

I’ve been staying at the El Cid La Ceiba Beach Hotel about 2 ½ miles south of town and enjoying my stay. One thing I like to do when travelling is to try out as many of the local restaurants and eateries as I can. I love to find funky places with great food, unusual food, and friendly service, but tonight was different. Tonight I wanted to take it easy and went for staying close and trying out El Cid’s poolside BBQ.  I’m glad I did.

I wandered out to the pool area about 6:30 as they were finishing setting up. Salvador Meza, El Cid’s manager, was there making sure the final touches were complete. I was in no hurry, so I ordered a glass of chardonnay and sat down on the deck over the water.  A cruise ship was at the dock, all lit up, and it looked so pretty against the darkening sky that I idled away some time with my cell phone taking pictures.

The cooks and servers were finishing laying out the spread and started putting food on the grill. The chicken shish kebabs looked great, and the chorizo sausage smelled even better  – I do have a thing about good chorizo sausage. The salad spread and dressings all were appetizing, too.  I knew at a glance that one pass through the line was not going to do it for me. I want to sample a bit of everything!

So I tried a lot of different salads on my first pass – and sat on the deck over the water, sipped my wine. The breeze cooled the mid-70’s temperature just enough and I took my time grazing and enjoying the evening. Salvador stopped by with a long-time friend from Florida and introduced us, then sat and talked with us for a while. It was all very pleasant.

Then, it was time for the kebabs, chorizo, and a small piece of steak, plus some other goodies that I couldn’t pass up. In case you couldn’t tell, I do enjoy a great meal and will make the experience last. Two hours later at 8:30 in the evening, I finished desert with a strong black coffee kicker and sat there some more just enjoying the evening and the music.

The next time you’re in Cozumel, whether you’re staying at the El Cid La Ceiba, or not, Salvador says you’re always welcome to dine there at any time, or stop by for a day pass to use the beach area, mellow out, and enjoy the sun with a drink. They get a lot of cruise ship guests that take advantage of El Cid La Ceiba’s amenities and good service.

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Diving Cozumel – Babieca Dive Center Report http://www.travelbart.com/diving-cozumel-babieca-dive-center/ http://www.travelbart.com/diving-cozumel-babieca-dive-center/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2011 01:07:10 +0000 http://www.travelbart.com/?p=1788 Read More]]> Babieca Dive Center - Cozumel Nov. 2011

Back to the Boat - diving Cozumel

The water visibility was not the far-seeing Cozumel usual, but considering Hurricane Rena had blown through about a week before, it was a still great day of scuba diving.

I decided to try out the dive operation, Babieca Dive Center, at the El Cid La Ceiba Beach Resort where I’ve been staying. I usually dove with another operation, but being right there at the hotel and noticing the quality of the boats they used and that they didn’t overload them, I thought I would give Babieca a try. It’s located close by at the El Cid hotel dock, so this made it even easier to wander down a few minutes before the scheduled time.

When it comes to diving, I’m comfortable at any depth, even 150 feet or more. If I have air, I don’t care. But, a good dive master has to consider the abilities of everyone on the boat in choosing what reef to dive. I was sitting by the dock filming a vid as Luis, the dive master, sat down. I asked Luis what the plan was and he replied that a few people were new or hadn’t been diving for a while, so we wouldn’t do anything over-challenging.

I really didn’t have a problem with that as just getting in the water is half the fun, anyway. Doing macho to be macho just doesn’t cut it for me. Been there, done that – and you can catch my 240 foot dive post here.

I take the afternoon boat this time, leaving about 1 PM. There are six of us on the boat, Hector, Edger, Jimmy, Antonio, and Sevarina (and one I missed – sorry!) and the other divers all know each other. They live in Southern California, like me, and speak Spanish fluently, all except their friend Jimmy, who’s from Dublin and lives in San Diego. In the boat they decide that Palancar Caves (actually swim-throughs) is going to be the first dive – about 80 to 90 feet. I thought that was a good decision and we had a lot of fun.

The dive was easy-going and all the divers handled themselves well. Palancar Caves is always a fun dive with the swim-throughs and great scenery. You can check out some vids on YouTube. We stopped between dives at Paradise Beach for a snack and to off-gas some nitrogen before doing our second dive, which was shallower and still a lot of fun, too.

The video camera is use is a Kodak Waterproof 2×3 Sport that’s good to about nine feet, so I use it both for land and underwater up to nine feet. Click my link to Amazon.com – I really like the camera, good quality video, and it’s only about $100, give or take.

What was really nice is, I get on a boat by myself, and I get off with a lot of new friends. They were staying at El Cid La Ceiba, too, so we kept bumping into each other and enjoyed our time together.

A final note about the Babieca Dive Center: very professional from top to bottom, good boats, good dive master, no overcrowding, and a pleasure to dive with. Definitely consider them on your next trip in Cozumel. the website is: www.babiecadivecenter.com.mx.

 

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Buying a Bike in Cozumel – a Mini-Adventure http://www.travelbart.com/buying-a-bike-in-cozumel-a-mini-adventure/ http://www.travelbart.com/buying-a-bike-in-cozumel-a-mini-adventure/#comments Sun, 27 Nov 2011 22:58:34 +0000 http://www.travelbart.com/?p=1772 Read More]]>

Angel sells Bart a bike in Cozumel

I arrived in Cozumel a few days ago and plan to stay six weeks, so instead of walking everywhere or taking a cab, I decide to buy a bike and ride all over the island.  For a refresher, Cozumel is an island about twenty miles southeast of Cancun, about 30 miles long by 15 miles wide.  I come for the diving and the food…. and the sun…and the warm water…and the nice people ….and to finish a book and to work on my travel blog. That’s a ton of sitting down computer work, so a bike is just what I need to put 10-15 miles a day on to burn some calories.

About 8 in the morning the day after I arrive in Cozumel I’m standing on the 2nd story balcony of my hotel, the Casa Mexicana, and a guy standing on the street by a motor scooter yells up to me, “You want to rent this scooter?”

‘No, I want to buy a bike.” I yell down.

“Why you want to buy a bike when you can rent this scooter?” he shouts back.

“I can’t run out of gas riding a bike,” I shout back. He thinks about this a moment and laughs, then says, “I’ll be up in thirty minutes.”

Thirty minutes later Victor ambles over to where I’ll sitting, banging away on my laptop on an  article, and introduces himself. That’s how I know his name is Victor. Victor works in front of the Casa Mexicana helping tourists, especially cruise ship tourists, find car rentals, attractions, restaurants, what have you, and he knows the ropes. BTW, if you’re in Cozumel and need help, try to catch Victor in front the Casa Mexicana between, say 8:30 and 3.

Victor tells me he can drive me around to find a bike – and we agree on a price of $40, even if it takes all day. Little did either of us imagine that it was going to take almost five hours, so $40 is still much better than five hours of taxi fares.

Since I was planning to use it for only six weeks, I wanted serviceable bike with fenders. It rains a lot in Coz and I don’t like riding around after a rain with a black rain stripe up my back and down my front.  It’s hard to find an adult bike on Cozumel with fenders. We tried four stores for new bikes and about 8 bike shops for used bikes, and absolutely nothing. Finally, Victor tries one last place, a bike shop way up in the local Mexican part of town, and there is a bike that fits the bill – for 2,200 pesos – about $170. With the basket and lights and a discount, say $200, and I take it.

Victor at the bike shop in Cozumel

But first, Angel has to give me the sales presentation – which I find hysterical – check out the vid. Angel lays out a line of crap about two miles long. He knows it, I know it, he knows that I know, and I know that he knows that I know, and both of us are having a lot of fun selling me the bike. Victor is also having fun watching this unfold, but he really perks up when I tell him I’ll sell him the bike when I leave for $1000 pesos, about $75.

We spend another hour changing the grips, putting on lights and basket, and by the time were done, about 2 PM, the sun and Angel have fried my brain.  So, Victor gives me directions to his local watering hole and I ride my bike over and meet him there.

The beer is ice cold, the food – whatever it is – tasty and cheap, and the décor to die for – check out the vid. After Victor leaves, I relax in the shade for another hour, do some writing, take some vids, and knock back a two more Pacifico’s. I finally toddle out of there about four, hop on my new bike and ride back to my hotel. Just another day in paradise.

 

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Snorkeling Cozumel – El Cid La Ceiba Resort http://www.travelbart.com/snorkeling-cozumel-el-cid-la-ceiba-resort/ http://www.travelbart.com/snorkeling-cozumel-el-cid-la-ceiba-resort/#respond Fri, 11 Nov 2011 22:51:27 +0000 http://www.travelbart.com/?p=1752 Read More]]>

Snorkeling Cozemel off El Cid La Ceiba Beach Resort

Snorkeling is always fun when then fish come up to you to investigate who you are.  They swim right up to your mask, as if to say, are you sure you’re in the right place?

What I really like about Cozumel is the water, and the water temperature – usually it hangs around 78 degree, so it’s very comfortable.  I take a swim every morning and just walk into the ocean on the sand side of El Cid, then snorkel in the late morning and again in the afternoon –  that’s if I’m not diving, zip-lining,  or running around San Miguel sampling the foods around town.

After swimming hard and working off some of the great food down here, I float about, just bobbing on top with my mask and snorkel and hardly moving.  After a while the fish get used to you and they come closer to feed on the algae or whatever they’re eating. They come up to you to check you out, too. It’s fun and very relaxing, too.

Before coming down this time, I bought a Kodak 2×3 HD waterproof video camera (takes 5MB pictures, too) that I can film underwater up to a depth of nine feet.  I need this kind of camera for the taking the shots you see in the video. You even get sound underwater, too.  This vid is a bit off because I’m running out of space on my laptop hard drive, so my software is acting a bit fritzy.

It’s fun to watch the kids in the ocean, here, too. They get really excited with the snorkeling, too. That’s it for now – I’m hopping back into the ocean!



 

 

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COZUMEL ZIP-LINING http://www.travelbart.com/cozumel-zip-lining/ http://www.travelbart.com/cozumel-zip-lining/#respond Tue, 08 Nov 2011 17:06:53 +0000 http://www.travelbart.com/?p=1739 Read More]]> Zip-lining with cruiseships in teh distance

Cozumel Zip-lining

I took two hours off and headed south along the shore this morning to check out the zip-lining at Fly High Adventures. It was a lot of fun. There were families there, too, and the kids were having a ball.

When you arrive, the staff is good at bringing you up to speed on how to zip-line, the equipment,  and all the proper procedures to follow.  It’s really pretty easy to do.  I had done it before in Hawaii, so it was a no-brainer.  They use a double zip-line system, so you’re hooked up to two lines at all times for extra safety.

There are six different towers and you zip from one to another, so there’s almost half a mile of zip-lines. When you get to a tower that is lower, you simply walk up a couple of flights of stairs to gain height and off you go, again. The zip-lining tour consists of doing the circuit twice, so you get twelve jump-offs which is fun and the kids really like it.

I found this short video of the Fly High Adventures zip-lining on YouTube from TheEliteNinja2012, check it out.

There are few runs where you get going pretty fast, but it’s easy to break your speed with the heavy leather-palmed glove you’re provided with, so not to worry.  Plus, every run ends with a staff member to help you stop if you’re going too fast and, as a back-up, a soft, canvas backstop to stop you. So, not to worry, take off and let it rip!

Roberto Cosio, the General Manager, and I had a chance to talk and he mentioned Fly High Adventures was fully accredited. I also learned that Sky High is owned by the El Cid La Ceiba beach resort hotel, where I’m staying, so you can make reservations directly or through El Cid hotel if you’re down this way and want to take a couple of hours off to have some fun. Their website is: www.cozumelflyhighadventures.com.

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El Cid La Ceiba Beach Resort – TravelBart Report http://www.travelbart.com/el-cid-at-la-ceiba/ http://www.travelbart.com/el-cid-at-la-ceiba/#respond Sat, 05 Nov 2011 18:42:53 +0000 http://www.travelbart.com/?p=1707 Read More]]>

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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CASA MEXICANA HOTEL – TRAVELBART REVIEW http://www.travelbart.com/casa-mexicana/ http://www.travelbart.com/casa-mexicana/#respond Tue, 01 Nov 2011 03:25:12 +0000 http://www.travelbart.com/?p=1689 Read More]]>

View from Casa Mexicana

I arrived in Cozumel Friday about noon, right after hurricane Rina blew through the day before with winds at 100 MPH.  Everyone ran like hell outa there, and Cancun, too – I heard 10,000 tourists left the area.  But what’s a hurricane when you’re Cozumel bound, so I  took my chances. I got on my flight in Los Angeles not knowing if my connecting flight would be cancelled.  It wasn’t and landing, I walked across the tarmac in sunny, balmy, 80 degree weather.

Cozumel sure is quiet with everyone gone. It’s Sunday as I write this and the tourists are drifting back in. Cruise ships hit San Miguel, the main town, tomorrow and the locals are taking down the plywood from their windows and getting ready.

I checked into the Casa Mexicana hotel on the south end of San Miguel.  They had a special I couldn’t pass up – $66/night with the 4th night free – with a free buffet breakfast included.  That’s $50 a night for a good hotel on the main drag. And www.tripadvisor.com ranks Casa Mexicana #7 out of 59 hotels on Cozumel, so how can I go wrong? Follow the link through TripAdvisor to check Casa Mexicana out.

Lobby of the Casa Mexicana

The buffet breakfast is laid out nicely, tasty, and more than adequate.  The rooms are good, too, for the money.  The rooms facing the oceanfront are $30 more per night and probably worth it as the “city view” is not much to look at.  But, since I planned to be here at least three weeks, I bought a bike to travel about, so I haven’t really been in the city view room all that much, anyway.

The Casa Mexicana is a good location in the south end of San Miguel and everything is in walking distance – lots of good restaurants and super markets to pick up odds and ends or snacks and drinks for your rooms. The staff is professional and nice to deal with and a nice little plus is the second floor balcony you see in the picture. It’s nice to kick back there after breakfast with a cup of coffee or your laptop, just watching what’s happening on the beautiful blue water out there.

By the way, stay out of eateries on the main drag – gringo cruise ship prices. Guido’s is the only exception. Don’t miss it if you’re in town, at least for a relaxing glass of wine or a cool drink. In town, Parrilla Mission and the Casa Mission should be good, too. Any cab driver should get you there in 5-10 minutes. I haven’t tried it yet, but I was told Taco Rock is the best, and only 1 1/2 blocks up from the beach on Calle Adolpho Rosado, near the main road going inland through the central square. Also try these restaurants: Las Palmas, Las Seres, and Tacos Pique.

San Miguel is safe so you can walk anywhere, so head inland a few street for the real deal, or as close as you’ll get until you make it into the local areas where the food is killer.  I’ll fill you in on some others, too, in my next blog post.

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