10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Just ok, but not for the price
"I love Cozumel, and have twice, but I didnât like the Cozumel Palace. The AC in our room was broken for the first four days of our trip. During the day, it seemed to work fine, averaging around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. However, at night, usually between 2:00 am and 4:00 am, it would shoot up to 80+ degrees Fahrenheit. Each night and the following morning I would complain, politely, and each morning I was assured the problem would be fixed. (Every time I talked with the staff, I asked about moving to another room, and if the hotel were full, then another hotel. Each time that request, as well as my request to speak with the manager was rebuffed.) On the fourth night, I lost me temper. As I told the staff, the first night my family and I were uncomfortable and unhappy. The next night we were upset. The next night we were angry. Finally, the last night, we were furious. Only on the fourth night were we even given a fan after my wife demanded one. On our fifth day there, we were moved to a new room. The customer representative and many of the front desk staff looked confused and irritated by my complaints. The hotelsâ customer representative was only offered a very weak apology after I became angry. On the seventh night, the AC in the new room started acting up. It sounded as if somebody was pouring water through the vents. At first I was told this was normal, but later I was told that there was a major problem with the main AC in the hotel. This was very self-evident. Talking with the other guests some complained that their rooms were too cold, but most complained that their rooms were too hot at night. The hallways were often very hot. There were also water spots around many of the AC vents, and water dripping on the floors beneath. On our last day there, there were wet floor signs in several places around the hotel, and there were maintenance workers everywhere with their heads stuck up in the ceilings. I wasnât going to ask for any sort of compensation or partial reimbursement for the miserable conditions of the room, because I assumed the hotel would automatically try to accommodate me and my family for the problems. However, nothing of the sort was offered, so I asked. I got a plate of fruit and a bottle of house wine, both of which were readily available any time of the day or night through room service. To me, this was an insult. Finally I talked with the âowners representativeâ (the nice lady who tried to sell us a âtime-share-likeâ vacation package), and she got me a meeting with the sub-manager of the hotel. Again, this woman looked at me as if I was insane to complain. She felt no sympathy for our problems, despite the fact that we paid more for this hotel/resort than some of the other hotels available, and the despite the fact they claimed to be a five-star facility. (The only thing five star was the price.) The food was mediocre at best. Many of the deserts were still icy from being frozen. Some of the âchefsâ and a few of the waiters spoke no English, so giving them your requests was frustrating and futile. Every single person I spoke with said that they did not like the food. I have to agree. Between my family and I, we tried just about everything on very limited menus of three restaurants, the snack bar, and room service over the course of the week. There were only a handful of items that I would recommend. The resort only had one restaurant open for breakfast, and it was often a disorganized mess. Room service was spotty at best, and two out of three times, they did not show up at all, even after a second and third call. The pool was very small, and the âentertainmentâ was completely lame. The common areas around the pool were in disrepair. The railings along the end of the hotel were only bolted in with 2-inch screws, and at least two people fell over them while trying to look as the water and reefs below. One of the people appeared to be seriously injured when he went head first into the reef. The stainless steel ladders going down to the water were very slippery. I saw several people slip and fall, and on my last day there, I fell and cracked my tailbone and seriously bruised my left foot. Some of the staff were nice, but just as many were rude. The elevators often stopped violently 6-inches or so above or below the floor. Another common complaint that I heard everyone mention was that the beds were too hard. Even after moving to a room with a working AC, my family and I slept on top of the comforters and blankets because the beds were so darn hard. Furthermore, the door to our closet was broken and we couldnât open it. For four days I requested that it be fixed, yet I was told it was only fixed after we moved to a new room. In the new room, the mini-fridge was busted and would shake violently when the compressor cycled. When I reported it the hotel staff, I was told this was normal. It woke us up every 30 minutes or so during the night. On the sixth day, after more complaints, it was finally replaced. I enjoyed snorkeling and playing with my wife and children at the beach. I enjoyed the excursions we took away from the hotel. I enjoyed being away from work. My kids loved the hot-tub. I think that my family and I would have had a much better time at the hotel if they would have moved us to a cooler room much sooner, and we probably could have overlooked some of its shortcomings. However, after the way we were treated, especially when the hotel refused to try to make amends by offering some type of compensation, all of the problems there came right to the forefront. The only nice things about the resort was the free included excursions and the lobby bar. The bartender there was excellent. Besides that, I had a much better time at the El Cozumelino, which in my opinion was a much nicer hotel with a much nicer staff, and the food was actually better and fresher. I will never go to another Palace resort."
- Travel date: 9th March 2006
Can't wait to go back!
"My husband and I went to the Cozumel Palace to celebrate my 40th birthday the week of October 17-21. For this review, I am going to IGNORE the fact that a category 5 hurricane (Wilma) came to celebrate my birthday with me. This is a BEAUTIFUL hotel. You will be treated like royalty by every staff member from the front desk, to guest services, to the bar staff, to the restaurant staff to the cleaning staff. If you want to be pampered on your vacation - GO HERE. The rooms are immaculate and beautiful. They have everything you need to enjoy your stay - just bring your clothes. You will even find toothbrushes with toothpaste and every type of cream and soap, even massage oil and bubble bath for your jacuzzi. They provide BioSilk shampoo, conditioner and lotion, in LARGE bottles. Very nice. The food is excellent, the staff is fun (we tipped dollar bills), the pool is great. We did not have a complaint at all, except the doggone hurricane that forced us to evacuate to the Aventura Spa Palace to stay in a shelter. We did not get to snorkel from the Cozumel Palace because the water was too rough and the black flags were up. It looked awesome though. We plan to return in 2006, right BEFORE hurricane season starts. You may contact me with specific questions about the hotel, but I do not have any information post-hurricane as I have not been back since I was evacuated and do not know the present condition."
- Travel date: 29th November 2005
Palace staff during hurricaine Wilma
"We arrived in Cozumel on Sunday October 16, 2005 and unfortunately only have a couple of days to enjoy the Cozumel Palace before mandatory evacuation to the Moon Palace because of Hurricaine Wilma. During the few days we stayed there the hotel was fabelous. The staff, food, rooms, pools, amenities were terrific. We survived the hurriciane in the conference center at the Moon Palace. The Moon Palace staff that remained with us in the refuge shelter were all volunteers and they worked continuously for our health and safety. The employees were just wonderful. They disregared their own safety and the concerns of their families to do what ever they could for our health and safety. They ensured that we had safe water and adequate nutrition. The labored to keep the bathrooms operating using rain water that was coming through the roof to flush the toilets. Even one of the brothers who own the Palace resorts road out the hurriciane with us in the shelter looking after his employees and guests. He allowed people to use his cell phone until it became exhausted. For us personally, we were evacuated from Cozumel with a charter ferry and a chartered bus from Playa Del Carman to the Moon Palace. I will return to the region as my family owes these people a great debt of gratitude. I will only stay at the Palace Resorts as they put their guests ahead of their own safety and selves. I can only say God bless the Mexican people in general and the Palace employees in particular for their helpl, assistance, and strength. Please write me if you were also a survivor at the Moon Palace or in Cancun at the same time. We lost tract of many great people who went through this ordeal. William Caput MD [email protected]"
- Travel date: 1st November 2005
Cozumel Palace is Incredible!
"We stayed in Cozumel from August 5 to August 12, 2005... and the Cozumel Palace was INCREDIBLE!!! My wife and I have traveled abroad a pretty good bit, and have been blessed to stay in several very nice resorts, but none were finer than the Cozumel Palace! We were originally booked at the Grand Cozumel (pre-Emily), and had to make some very quick decisions two weeks before we left, as Emily's eyewall passed directly over the Grand Coz 22 days before we were scheduled to depart. Even though the folks at Grand Coz were saying they would be reopened by the time of our trip, we decided to opt for another resort. We are very fond of the beach, and were very sorry that the Grand was so badly damaged; so when we looked at the online pics of Coz Palace, and we didn't see a wide beach area, we were skeptical. But the pool was so beautiful, the snorkeling so unbelievable and the rooms so luxurious, we truly didn't miss the beach (Coz Palace has no beach, just a couple areas with white sand and loungers; these areas are above the water level, separated by a retaining wall- kinda hard to explain...the online photos are very accurate). The resort staff was extraordinary, and this was a truly ALL-INCLUSIVE resort - I put my billfold in the safe when we arrived, and did not get it out (except when we ferried over to Playa and Cancun) til we left!! And our 'Worry-Free Vacations' rep was terrific! I could go on for a week, so let me just share with you a few things about our trip which may be helpful: Resort - right on the main drag of San Miquel, Cozumel. Only 5 blocks (easy walk) from the downtown area (shopping, eats, ferry, etc). When the taxi dropped us off at the resort, we walked off the street through the door and were transported into the opulence of the Palace! it was spectacular, and they greeted us like royalty; we were treated like that our entire stay! we saw no nudity, and there was no riff-raff during our whole stay! the place is small, but I cannot imagine a more beautiful resort! Accomodations - the rooms (renovated 2005, when Palace Resorts bought the place) were spectacular! Ours is a family of 5 (me, my wife, and 3 daughters - 16, 13, and 7), and almost every resort room (anywhere in the world) is set up for 4, so we had to get two rooms. (Keep in mind - we asked and asked and asked for any type of accomodations to suit 5 people, and were told we HAD to get two rooms). This meant a much greater expense, and posed a challenge: we needed the rooms to be adjoining; we were assured they would be, but learned upon our arrival that the resort did not even HAVE adjoining rooms (not our travel agent's fault, she was being told this by the tour company - Worry-Free)... so our rooms were a few doors down from each other, but that was OK; we requested to be relocated as soon as feasible, and the staff was very understanding and very accomodating. The second day we were there, we met two families whose grown kids were staying in a 'mezzanine' room - a two story sort of Townhouse which would suit our family perfectly!!! So we asked and were moved to one of these rooms (no extra cost), and it was wonderful!!! The thing is, the front desk folks would never have thought of this had I not asked directly about it! (my point by saying this is not to complain, but to tell you that you are responsible for your own vacation, so be curious and ask!) Anyhow, it is a small resort (170 rooms?) and very very nice; every room has the full ocean view, and it is simply breathtaking! This was our first intl trip as a family, and we felt very very safe! Restaurants - there are three (Mexican, Italian, and Chinese), and all are very very good! We were there 7 nights and ate at each one twice (went to Cancun one day and ate there); there is no limit to the number of times you can dine at each, as is the case at some resorts, and there is not a tired, repetitive buffet; the dress code is very casual - we wore cargo shorts and t-shirts, mostly (no bathing suits), but it is FINE dining! the service is impeccable, and the food is very good. They don't take reservations, and the Mexican restaurant is too small, so there was a pretty good wait to be seated there. The poolside snack bar was very good, and their nachos and cheeseburgers were incredible! unlimited drinks! (we don't drink alcohol, but we wore them out on the virgin drinks!!!) Breakfast was excellent, with a buffet AND a grill area where they would make whatever you wanted while you watched (eggs, waffles, omellettes extraordinaire!) Pool - beautiful multilevel pool with activities all day and plenty of loungers (tip: go down at 9 am and check out pool towels and place them on the loungers you want, if you want a particular area - like, with an umbrella!). the towels are big and fluffy, the snorkeling gear is checked out free! Snorkeling - there are two places just off the pool deck - where you just descend the stairs into the beautiful Caribbean Sea to snorkel (a family we met paid to go on a snorkeling excursion, and came back to say the free snorkeling just off the pool deck was better than what they paid for!) It was the highlight of our trip! My 7-year old and I snorkeled two or three times every day! Excursions - we did not take any 'organized' excursions, but we did a couple things on our own. We took the ferry ($9 US per person one way) across to Playa, and a bus to Cancun ($3 US per person one way) to eat at the big Hard Rock Cafe, which was awesome! It was a long hot day, but worth it... note: the bus ride is about an hour, and the cab to downtown in Cancun (from the bus station) is about $8 and 12 minutes... but all worth it! Point is, it's an all day deal, and can be tiring for younger children! We also rented one of those silly looking electric powered 4 seater golf carts, and the kids loved it! (I was a little concerned because the batteries did not last very long, and we had to recharge a couple times during the half day rental); but we rode around the island and had a great time seeing the other sites, and we saw a lot of damage! We drove by the Grand Coz (where we were originally booked), and were very very glad we had rebooked! I could not believe it when the guy at the gate told me they were receiving guests! Worry-Free - I would probably feel pretty good about traveliing without using a 'vacation-booking' company if it were just me and my wife, but I really enjoyed using one with the kids along! Worry-Free was wonderful! they took all the stress out of the travel! At the airport as we were preparing to depart, we discovered my wife had forgotten her birth certificate, and the worry-free guy took her to a notary (at the airport) and got the proper documentation so we could continue (just before my wife was about to pass out :-)); we did not even lose our place in line!!! note: after december, 2005, birth certificates will not suffice - you must have a passport! anyhow, they were lifesavers! and they were simply terrific throughout the whole trip! Recommendation: Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend the Cozumel Palace! It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our family, though I hope to take them again sometime!"
- Travel date: 26th September 2005
Cozumel Palace: The Only Place to Stay
"My girlfriend and I usually stay at the Iberostar when diving in Cozumel, but it was closed due to hurricane damage. Our travel agent suggested the Palace and we don't think we will be staying anywhere else when we are on the island. Walking into the hotel, you are greeted with a cold champagne and a cool, moist towel. They sit you down to go over details of the hotel. They do try to interest you in a "package", something like a timeshare, but once you say "I'm not interested" they never bother you again. Then, off to your room where your luggage has been delievered. The rooms are beautiful, clean, well-maintained, with a jacuzzi in every suite, mini-bar, stocked fridge, cable TV, ocean view and the softest beds you'll find on the island. The pool was always clean, warm and not smelling of chlorine. The food was excellent, plenty of variety, well prepared and served with a smile. The drinks were always strong and top shelf. Don't miss trying the Mayan coffee. The Palace is about service...and they deliver. Although we didn't use the on-site dive shop, Dive Paradise picked us up at the hotel dock every morning. Over the course of seven days, we got in eleven dives, including a night dive. As usual, very beautiful and relaxing. A walk to downtown will take you about 10-15 minutes. Didn't eat out even once. Even though it is an all-inclusive, I still prefer to tip. By the second night, the Head Chef was coming out to our table every night to check on the meal, wondering what we would like in the way of a special meal for the next night. All in all, one of the best places we have stayed in all our travels. We will return."
- Travel date: 19th September 2005
Beautiful Rooms but very unorganized
"We too were orginally supposed to be at the Adventura Palace but due to the hurricane we were moved to Cozumel. We totally understood that with this move there would be some challenges but what we experienced was chaos. We confirmed our reservations 3 times before arriving and we were told that everything was fine. We flew into cancun and were told by our transportation driver that there were no rooms. We explained our situation and that we were members and he called back and they said they had a room for us. We took a 45 minute van ride, walked 5 blocks with our luggage, waited an hour then took a ferry ride and finished it off with a cab ride to the palace. By now it was 6 pm and we had been traveling all day. We were told that they did not have a room for us and that they were sending us all the way back to Cancun. You can imagine our anger. Basically they gave people the rooms as they came in and by the time we got there they were all gone even though we were members and had reservations. This happened to many other people there also. It became a nightly event there. After refusing to take no for an answer they gave us a TINY room that overlooked the street and it was really bad. The next afternoon after many trips to the front desk, we were given a room. They really just tell you what they think you want to hear, even if they cannot make it happen. The hotel was beautiful, the restaurants were good and we ended up having a fun time but to start off your vacation in tears and seeing so many other people there like that all week was a bummer. I would suggest rescheduling your trip until the other resorts open back up."
- Travel date: 11th September 2005
"We stayed at this Hotel Aug. 15-22 and loved every minute of it. Having stayed at larger AI resorts in the past, this was a wonderful change. The resort is small enough that the staff remembers you, engage you (and children) to have a wonderful time. While the resort has no beach, you can literally get into the ocean to snorkle from a several locations next to the pool. We got to the point that we'd literally throw a piece of bread in the Ocean, then get in and be surrounded by fish eating the bread we'd thrown in. It was fantastic - our kids loved it. The pool was beautiful and the staff has fun activities everyday - they are really fun, hard working young adults that are there 12 HOURS 6 DAYS A WEEK!! I found the food very good & beatifully presented. It takes a LONG time to get your meal, but guess what - they are preparing each meal individually. It's NOT fast food!!! I have never had such lovely presentation (and I've been to Europe!) I don't know who's trained these chiefs, but they are top notch. It is not always what "we Americans" are used to!! Their "fajitas" are not like the ones at ChiChis! So, please remember this when ordering and have an open mind. Things move slower in Mexico and they are much more laid back than we are. Just remember this & have an open mind and you'll have the vacation of a lifetime at this resort! p.s. try the Mayan coffee!!"
- Travel date: 28th August 2005
"My girlfriend and I stayed at the Cozumel Palace from August 10th to 14th. When we arrived at about 2:30pm they said our room would be ready in an hour. After hearing reports about others getting moved to other Palace resorts we were happy to have a room. After having some drinks by the pool we went back to get our room. We were given room 116 which was just down an open hallway from the lobby. The room was just as pictured, but due to it being on the first floor there wasn't really a balcony. Outside the sliding doors there was just about a foot of space that looked right at the hot tub. Due to the foot traffic there we realized we could never really have our curtains open. Due to this we went back to request a new room. We were told they were totally booked and to check back the next day. That night we realized another bigger problem with the room. Due to its proximity to the lobby we could hear and feel the band playing in our room. It would have been very difficult to sleep before the band finished at midnight. While this probably would be fine for some people we weren't looking to party all night. After a few trips to the front desk the next day we were given a new room around 1pm. We agreed to take a room with double beds in order to move. We were given room 406. It was like being in a completely different hotel. We had a great balcony with a amazing view. We could barely hear the music and activities at the pool during the day. The pool area was very nice. Even though the hotel was full there was always plenty of chairs available. There was no need to get there early to save a chair for the day. My complaint with the pool area was the atmosphere. It seemed like parents were just letting their kids run wild. You couldn't relax in the pool as there were always kids jumping in and splashing around. Unfortunately the pool probably isn't big enough to make an adults-only area. The drink service was hit or miss. Sometimes we would get offered fresh drinks right as we were finishing sometimes we would need to go to the bar after not having anyone come by for a while. The restaurants were okay. The presentation of all of the dinners was very nice, but the food often didn't live up to the presentation. The Italian restaurant couldn't seem to decide if it was Italian or seafood. We ony ate there one night. It wasn't that great. The Oriential restaurant was better. I don't eat sushi much, but what we had was good. I liked my main dish there where as my girlfriend wasn't impressed with hers. The Mexican place was hit or miss. The fajitas were good, other dishes were disappointing. The service was very hit or miss. Some waiters were great, others were bad. It took us about 5 requests to get bottles of water at the Italian place and they never asked if we wanted more wine. For lunch and dinner the buffet was fine, nothing too exciting. They say they have a dress code for dinner, but it was never enforced. One night I heard someone ask the host about it, but I couldn't hear his response. I would have preferred they actually enforce this. The service in the lobby bar, especially at night was bad. The bartenders just didn't seem to care. The bands in the lobby at night were ok, nothing too great. We ordered dessert off the room service menu once and it took almost 45 minutes. We tried to call to cancel it so we could go to bed and they said it was already on its way. When it finally arrived my chocolate cake had a divot in the top where someone's finger had pressed into it through the hole on the cover. Overall the rooms were very nice, just as advertized (except for the bad rooms on the first floor with no balcony.) The pool area could be very nice if the kids were more in control. The drinks and food were about what I expected for an AI. I would give this a 3.5 if it were an option, but I decided to round down."
- Travel date: 23rd August 2005
Great new hotel!
"Cozumel Palace is a quaint 175 room "diamond in the sand". Senior Aguilar, Operations Manager and his team have done a fabulous job and are to be commended having only been open a couple of months! We just returned from a week at Cozumel Palace and we had a great time and look forward to returning many times. It is a credit to the hard working hotel team that went from 25% occupancy to 100% occupancy overnight due to the hurricane that damaged so many other hotels. The rooms are beautiful complete w/jacuzzi tub in the room, wet bar and the staff was very friendly. Some of the nice features that I have not experienced in my 3 Aventura-Spa and 2 Moon Palace visits was the Chef serving appetizers on certain mornings to guests around the pool; the sushi preparation demonstration and the fruit carving also at the pool. It would be nice if they made the upper pool an adults only pool. Avoid rooms on the 1st and 2nd floor due to noise and try to be as far from the elevators as possible so you are not disturbed by loud voices in the hallway. The town is literally w/i walking distance and we ate at some very good restaurants--Caupi Navagante and Prima's for a change of pace from the all-inclusive. Pepe's is over priced. A suggestion would be for the hotel to get menus from some of the better restaurants in town and have a book of these menus available at the front desk for guests to review. You can snorkle right from the hotel deck area and the deep sea fishing, parasail, scuba, and glass bottom boats pick you up right from the hotel dock. Fly into Cozumel airport and you are only 10 minutes to the hotel. You gain a 1/2 day on the front and a 1/2 day on the back vs flying into Cancun and taking vans and ferry's. Don't wait for Chaza Travel to pick you up, they do not have their act together and will "stroke" you to death about reimbursing you. I hope that you find this information useful. We cannot wait to go back and bring friends! In June 2004 we had a terrible experience at Adventura-Spa, it was really cheapened and poorly run (that was out 3rd visit there so we could really see the difference). COZUMEL PALACE IS GREAT! Thank you Senior Aguilar."
- Travel date: 7th August 2005
Enjoyed Cozumel Palace
"My husband and I just returned from 3 nights at Cozumel Palace, our room was located on the fifth floor and offered a stunning view. Overall, the resort was very nice and the recent renovation must have been very much needed because we did notice a few "rough edges" in the common areas that could have been easily corrected but obviously have not yet been addresed. Our room was exactly as described on the website and the view was spectacular. The pool area was very nice and bar service was good, we especially enjoyed the lobby bar entertainment in the evenings. The food was average but service was somewhat slow, although we do find it very easy to be forgiving while in Mexico because things just move at a different pace. The staff was very helpful, gracious and eager to please. The in-room bar facility and fridge was always stocked and housekeeping did a nice job on our room each day. Checking in and out was very efficient. While the resort does not have a true beach area, we found the infinity pool and chaise lounge area to be exceptionally lovely and relaxing, great snorkeling as well. We will return to Cozumel Palace and overall, I would recommend the resort if you are looking for a relaxing getaway."
- Travel date: 1st August 2005
Cozumel Palace is also called
- cozumel palace resort
- Plaza Las Glorias Cozumel Hotel
- palace hotel cozumel