19 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"This started out as a great holiday with the thought of the rooms being thatched sounded really good. However at the midway point a fire started in the huge thatched buffet restaurant one afternoon when most holiday makers were down the pool & beach. We had just got back to our room around 4pm when somebody knocked our window and said our rook was on fire!! Running outside we were met with 6 units blazing away and no staff around to help with the hoses. Fortunately a New York fireman guest took charge and we fought the flames for 2 hours. As the restaurant was burnt to the ground and our block was badly damaged, we were given the option to go to another hotel - the Occidental Grand where we stayed for the rest of the holiday. What amazed me when got back to the UK is that First Choice were still sending guests out to the hotel and not informing guests of the fire damage. I've got the fire on DVD and it's amazing that nobody was hurt. We did receive some compensation for damaged clothes and inconvenience, and asked not to show the DVD for 3 years on TV-but time is running out-so look out for it on TV soon. By the way-Cozumel is a lovely island, but we won't be returning to I BURNO STAR!!"
- Travel date: Thu 27th of August 2009
I stayed at the hotel for two weeks and...
"I stayed at the hotel for two weeks and not once was I bored. The staff are a credit to the hotel. The reps were better than what First Choice have ever provided. They made the effort to speak to guests and were very approachable.
I went to this location mainly for the diving and the heat and not once was i let down. Dressel Divers are based at the hotel and I was concerned of being on a boat for a long time as I sometimes get sea sick. however I have never known any company not to fuss on the boat. Most dive locations are within 10 mintutes of the hotel. During the boat journey, your kit is made ready and as soon as the boat stops you literally jump off. This made a nice change to Egypts attitude where they mess around for ages on the boat!
The weather was very hot and humid, straighteners have no effect because of this! There were rainy spells but what do you expect with a tropical climate.
I would recommend the ATV, diving, dolphin swimming and the three reef snorkel. I have been to the dolphin discovery before and I know that they look after the dolphins to the extent that they are breeding. The fencing is also low enough for the dolphins to jump out which I'm sure they would if they were not happy.
The food at the hotel was good for an all inclusive. However the al la cartes were below standard and I certainly think they need to improve on this area.
The hotel grounds were exceptional and we began a habit of feeding the fish off of the pier including "Barry" the barracuda who lives around the area! There is also fantastic snorkellig and if you're lucky you will see turtles, sharks and rays.
Before you travel to Cozumel DO NOT FORGET MOSQUITO REPELLANT!!!! You will need an industrial strength one to stop the mozzies biting as they are immune to the weak solutions.
Overall i had a fantastic time and would consider going back again!"
- Travel date: Tue 30th of September 2008
What a fantastic place for a holiday!...
"What a fantastic place for a holiday!
The Iberostar is a lovely resort. It is large enough to provide all the facilities my husband, my 5 year old son and I could have wished for - yet small enough to be quaint and welcoming. Some people we spoke to had chosen to stay at the Holiday Village on the island or in mainland Mexico and they were not so pleased with the huge resorts full of guests and long walks from their rooms to the beach.
Our room was centrally located and we had a 5 minute walk to the main lobby and buffet restaurant and the same to the beach.
Our room was quite small but as a standard room it was very nice. Two double beds, a safe, wardrobe with mini bar (restocked daily), nice bathroom, air conditioning and a ceiling fan etc. The maid came every day and cleaned the room beautifully. Usually she made an animal shape from some towels and left a couple of chocolates as an added touch. We tipped her if we saw her but we seldom saw her. The reception staff were very reliable if you asked for a wake up call. Don't forget your adapter if you are travelling from the UK, I forgot mine and had to use the hair-dryer in the bathroom. It did the job but wasn't great, it looked like a vacuum hose and got very hot to hold.
All the staff were great. The entertainment staff spoke 4 languages fluently and all the staff we encountered could speak enough English to do their job well. The kids club was very safe and reliable. It was free every day between 10.15am and 5pm. When we were there Coco ran the club. There is a schedule so you can sign your child in for an hour or half hour activity but Coco was very flexible and if (like our son) your child wants to stay longer she will check where you are and just bring them back when they ask. We did keep going to check on our son but there was no need, he was very safe and having a great time. Coco is a lovely lady, she even joins the children every evening at the kids show at 8pm. They play games, dance and hold competitions on stage.
The food was very tasty and there was always a good variety of dishes on offer. Most dishes were buffet style but there was usually a chef or two preparing speciality dishes on request. You could also use the three waiter service restaurants but we didn't find them to be that different to the buffet food. There was always burgers, chips, grilled chicken, or something like that if you are taking a fussy eater with you.
The drinks were lovely, I especially enjoyed the Adelita cocktail but the bar staff were learning new cocktails from the guests every day and would always create something 'special' for you if you asked them to. I wouldn't recommend the theatre bar, the drinks there were never quite cool enough or as expertly prepared. I don't think they had the same bar facilities as the other bars. If we were watching a show we just popped to the lobby bar to get a drink and then carried it back to the theatre. It is only along a small path.
The pools were clean and fresh. The swim up bar was fantastic. A few people cut their feet on loose tiles which were constantly having to be replaced by a group of pool cleaners. None of my family had this trouble and those that did were well attended by a first aid team and the management.
The beach was very rocky but if you walked along the jetty and climbed down the steps the water was lovely. The on-site dive centre had ample facilities and if you borrow a snorkel set have a look under the jetty, there are lots of pretty fishes and you may see a barracuda if you're lucky. Or if you prefer to see fishes from dry land then throw some bread from the jetty and they will swim out of the shade to eat it.
The weather was great, even though we were there in rainy season it only rained on one day and that was for ten minutes in the day and twenty minutes at night. Both times the air remained warm and it didn't bother anyone much at all.
Definitely a place we would return to.
- Travel date: Mon 18th of August 2008
Upon our arrival we went directly to che...
"Upon our arrival we went directly to check-in and were the first in line of the group on our bus (from the airport). We requested adjoining rooms and thought that was what we received until we arrived at our room(s) to discover this did not happen. When we contacted the front desk to again request adjoining rooms, they said they could not accommodate (now). I believe this was a communication issue and would suggest the Iberostar assign employees who are multi-lingual to the front desk. Rooms were very small and old. Water leaked through our bathroom wall everytime the room next to us flushed their toilet. We were very concerned about the health risk which might be associated with this. The issue was reported to the front desk but was never addressed. Beds were extremely hard and it was difficult to get a full nights rest/sleep. The third day I requested a foam mattress top which made it much better. Every day I had to request wash cloths, the maid would only leave one when cleaning each day and we had three women in our room. Food was delicious and the service was excellent. The kitchen staff and servers were willing to accommodate any request. Food was fresh and prepared very well. You have to try a Miami-Vice! Bartenders were friendly, accommodating and always available! Pools were very clean and there was plenty of room for everyone! Plenty of shade available for the fair of skin. Beach was well maintained, but right after sundown, sand fleas came out of nowhere and they were very aggressive. Many guests had reactions to the bites. You could not walk into the ocean without shoes due to the rough coral . . . no sand! The grounds were beautiful and lush with colorful flamingos, birds, peacocks, and iguanas. Never a dull moment! The young people who organize and participate in the activities are fun and full of life! They must have tremendous energy cause they work all day and then perform at night at the theatre. Their shows are very entertaining. Due to a slip and fall accident on my third day, I was not able to participate in any tours . . . in fact, I was not able to leave the facility! On the third day of my vacation, I slipped and fell on the stamped concrete sidewalk which was damp from the morning dew and extremely slippery. I broke my foot, although at the time I did not know it was broken. The resort staff offered no medical attention (due to my old age of 54 was the excuse they offered). They refused to drive me (in their shuttle) to the hospital. The only assistance they offered was the use of a wheelchair. I spoke with the General Manager of this property and he offered nothing. I spoke with another guest who had slipped on the marble floor and broke her arm. Her experience was similar to mine. I was suprised the Iberostar did not offer an opportunity for me to revisit (complimentary). Great place as long as you maintain your health! For the record, I was sober when I fell . . . 7:00 AM on my way to coffee!"
- Travel date: Tue 26th of February 2008
Believe me, this hotel is paradise. The...
"Believe me, this hotel is paradise. The food, accommodation and service is excellent and if you are wanting a romantic getaway then this would be ideal.
But there are disadvantages - Our room had a thatched roof which, although sounds quite romantic, is probably not advised if you hate noisy insects at night.
We woke up a few times with 'things' dropping on to our heads, and they are not small insects either, daddy long legs on steroids - so beware.
The beach is beautiful but you need to wear jelly shoes when you go in to the sea due to the many rocks.
The noise of the entertainment at the pool during the day was sometimes carried down to the beach which is extremely irritating if you just want to lie and bask in the sun listening to the waves.
The accommodation is set out in blocks of Mexican style cottages spread out over a large area. We kept getting lost and ending up at the kitchens!
The steaks by the way are the best I've ever had.
- Travel date: Sat 11th of August 2007
We went to this hotel for a family weddi...
"We went to this hotel for a family wedding. We were very very happy with our holiday.
The rooms are not small, we had 2 double beds in ours, and there was still plenty of room. I liked that you could put the ceiling fan on instead of the air con as during the night you could sometimes get cold with this on.
The rooms are very clean. The bathroom and shower are clean and well stocked with towels. The hammocks on the balcony are great fun.
The beach is brilliant, pure white sands, soft and powdery, the sea is a dream, the fish swim around the pier and if you try snorkelling you will be amazed at what you see....good things.
I loved it and got so carried away I burnt all my back...so be careful and slap on the sun cream. You can walk along the beach and still see the hotel nearby but you will feel like you have the beach to yourself... it is fantastic.
The trees had been all but wiped out due to the hurricane the year before, and were slowly getting back to normal, but it really made no difference as you are just blown away by the peace and beauty of the place.
The food, the Star Friends, the drinks, and all the staff at the hotel were great. One night on the buffet there was even lobster and you can get champagne cocktails....where else can you get this on all inclusive?
Everything on this holiday was first class. I suppose the only thing that would put me off going again is the jetlag on the return...we had a long journey as we flew to Cancun, and then had to get the ferry across to Cozumel, but you soon get back to normal.
If you are getting married out there...even better, its a beautiful setting on the beach...but take a CD with the music on it that you want to have played as I donât think they had a very good choice to pick from. A lot of Americans and Canadians there so its probably more their type of music.
We went to Xel-ha in Cancun, this is an amazing place where you can swim with the dolphins, and lots more, you get a jacket, snorkel and fins when you get there and you
can even see ray fish and rainbow fish in the lagoons. One day here was not enough to see and do everything, time just passes too quickly when you having fun.
Cozumel is a fantastic place and I would go back to The Iberostar anytime, everyone makes you feel so welcome.
The other thing to say is.......get it booked now, and have a brilliant time."
- Travel date: Sun 15th of July 2007
The Iberostar Cozumel is absolute paradi...
"The Iberostar Cozumel is absolute paradise. The hotel grounds are extremely well kept and really beautiful. As you walk around you see iguanas, flamingos, peacocks, parrots and even tortoises.
The hotel room was very comfortable with plenty of wardrobe space, a well stocked mini bar which the maid re-stocked every day (we tipped her us$2 per day).
The bathroom had a lovely walk in shower, shower gel, and shampoo supplied. The room also had a safety deposit box, hairdryer, coffee percolator, and TV.
The balcony had a lovely hammock which was fun trying to get into it!
There was a good choice of food; we had the option to eat in either the steakhouse, Mexican, Rock Star Cafe or buffet restaurant. The food was of a very high standard and not a constantly repeated menu.
The swim up pool bar was great! Nicholas and Ignacio made the best cocktails! The pool was cleaned every evening and you could always get a sunlounger. The beach was beautiful, but you cannot walk into the sea as it is VERY rocky. That was the only down side to the holiday, but so what.....just use the pool.
The staff at the Iberostar are what really made the holiday. We have never met such hard working, happy, enthusiastic, and caring people. The Star Friends worked from early morning to extremely late at night. Their evening entertainment was excellent; they really put their 'all' into it.
Our First Choice rep was also brilliant. Donna could not do enough for you; we would definitely recommend Iberostar and also First Choice.
The island of Cozumel is easy to explore, nothing is too far away. Chankanaab is a must do trip. San Miguel is a good place to shop, eat, and spend a day exploring. One tip though....don't go into San Miguel when all the cruise ships are in as the price of things double.
Cozumel and Hotel Iberostar are definitely on our list to 're-visit'."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of May 2007
We arrived at the Iberostar with our thr...
"We arrived at the Iberostar with our three boys aged 8, 7 and 4. We had never dare travel this far with them before but we are so glad we did. The way that this hotel operates is amazing to think that the hurricane obliterated a lot of it only a few months ago.
The rooms were great - we had two, adjoining with more that enough room in the for the 5 of us. The beds were fine by the way, we didn't find them too hard!
Food was excellent in all of the restaurants. Even at the buffets you were spoilt for choice each evening.
The pool was great and the grounds were kept immaculate by the staff. Folk seem to moan about the beach. I think that the staff will get round to this, they are making such a great job of the hotel I can't see why they wouldn't. We took aqua shoes for the boys, taking the advice of others that had reviewed on this site but they weren't bothered about wearing them. It isn't as bad as people have made out. And if you are swimming or diving in the sea what's the problem anyway!
My husband did the PADI diving course with Paul and Ian. They made it good fun and even though it took four days out his holiday doing it, he loved it. He would definitely recommend it!
Star friends - you are fab! The shows at night were very professional. The dancing was great, even the normal tacky competitions seemed better than at other hotels we have stayed at. All the activities throughout the day were brilliant and kept our boys going!
We will definitely stay at another Iberostar - I just hope that the others are as good as this one!
P.s. Many thanks to Gabriel at the pool bar. All those shots on our last afternoon were fab!
On the whole this place must be visited - it is great!"
- Travel date: Fri 16th of June 2006
We stayed at the Iberostar in June 2006...
"We stayed at the Iberostar in June 2006 just before the hurricane hit and virtually destroyed the island. At the time, there were major renovations being done to the main restaurant which had quite an impact on our stay. Choice was very limited due to the number of guests staying there. Presumably the hotel will now be back up and running with a lovely new large restaurant!
We travelled with First Choice and could not fault their service at all. It's a long flight which is made so much more comfortable by the size of the seats and the wide range of inflight entertainment available. Once landed, the journey to the resort is fairly quick and check-in is simple.
When you arrive at the Iberostar, the beach-side setting and lushness of the tropical plants around you is stunning. The 2 storey thatched roofed "huts" really make you feel as though you're on holiday in a tropical place. Ok, they could be a little larger with more space to hang your clothes but this is a Mexican island. If you're looking for a more traditional hotel with 100's of other guests staying and chips with every meal then the Iberostar may not be for you. When you first arrive, the room may smell a little musty but you soon get used to it and once you've seen your first sun set...you soon forget.
The staff are friendly and very quick to fill your wine glass each evening. Wine was meant to be served only by the glass but we were frequently asked if we would like the bottle leaving on our table. The availability of towels for use around the pool is a great help and leaves more room in your suitcase for other things.
Even if you haven't used a snorkel and face mask before, give it a try. Large fish swim right up to the shore, it's a fantastic experience to be swimming amongst them. You should never set your expectations too high when travelling long haul. Respect the culture and life-style of the country you are visiting and you will not be disappointed. "
- Travel date: Mon 17th of April 2006
"We had the most amazing trip ever..The resort was beautiful...very tropical and lush...the food and drink was awesome and never ending...the people here have to be the most friendly we have ever met...great a la carte restaurants..wonderful buffets..especially the breakfasts!...Will definitely be going back as soon as we can!!"
- Travel date: Sat 1st of February 2003
A neat spot
"We stayed at the Iberostar the week of January 23 - 30. The hotel itself is quite neat in that the rooms are round with palapa style roofs. It's likely one of the neatest we've stayed in. We travel one week per year to a tropical spot and we try to seek out something out of the norm. The hotel itself is the typical all inclusive resort. I'd say the food was above average, and the shows were well done by the staff. The smell everyone talks about is definately evident around the theatre and tennis courts. It certainly didn't ruin our vacation though. Our brochure rated this one as a 4, and I would agree. The crowd is a little older as this is a quiet spot. If you are looking for night life, you may be disappointed unless you go in to town everynight, or are with a group. There is a disco, but it certainly won't keep you entertained every night. It's a little far from town if you like to venture, $20 US one way. It is however close to the 2 reefs for diving, 10 - 15 minute boat ride. As for my Canadian friends, we brought US $$, which is widely accepted, travellers cheques US and CA can be cashed at the hotel. However we did withdraw pesos from a cash machince. I got a 'much' better exchange rate."
- Travel date: Sat 1st of February 2003
"This resort was ausome! My husband and I visited the week of Jan 18 2003. Our room was beautiful and spacious and we loved the hammock. The pool was big although cold but you don't mind once they start making the most wonderful drinks! The food was great and you could eat almost any time of day.The staff was by far the best out of any
resort we have ever been to. If you don't have a good time here it's your own fault. We will go back as soon as we can!"
- Travel date: Thu 30th of January 2003