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Where to Stay in Cozumel
Virtually all of the hotels and resorts in Cozumel are located along the sheltered West Coast, where the beaches are wide and the waters are best for diving. This long strip is segmented into three sections: Zona Hotelera Norte, the town of San Miguel and Zona Hotelera Sur.
Zona Hotelera Norte, or the northern hotel zone, is a fairly compact cluster of hotels lined along the beach just north of the airport. South of the airport is San Miguel, the most action-packed area on the island and the best place to look for cheap hotel deals in Cozumel. A huge variety of restaurants, bars, shops and other points of interest are within walking distance of the hotels in San Miguel. Zona Hotelera Sur, the southern hotel zone, starts just south of San Miguel and extends until the coastline breaks to the east. Most of these hotels are at least five miles from town, whereas those at the north end are within two miles.
Cozumel Hotel Tips
Cozumel has the right room for every traveler, whether you want to be lavished with service at an upscale luxury resort or you’d rather save a tidy sum by staying in a budget-friendly motel. The range of accommodations on the island is very diverse, but there is one feature that most hotels have in common. As the diving capital of the Western Hemisphere, almost all of Cozumel’s hotels and resorts offer some type of dive package; at all-inclusives and the most expensive resorts, guided dives may be included in the nightly rate, whereas other hotels may just offer a discount with one of the local dive companies. But no matter where you stay, if you’ve come to dive, you’re likely to get help from your hotel when making arrangements.
Luxury and all-inclusive resorts are more common at the south end of the island than elsewhere. Both the north and south hotel zones have direct access to the beach, but the water’s edge near the San Miguel hotels is lined with a pedestrian promenade rather than sand.
Cozumel Hotel Recommendations
The premier resort in Cozumel is the Presidente InterContinental Cozumel Resort & Spa, located on one of the largest private expanses of beachfront in Zona Hotelera Sur. The rooms and hotel grounds are modern and tropical throughout, and the huge roster of amenities includes two swimming pools with a separate wading pool, a golf course, a health and beauty spa, tennis courts, a dive shop, three restaurants and four cocktail lounges.
In Zona Hotelera Norte, Playa Azul is a popular resort choice with one of the best deals on the island for golfers; guests get free, unlimited access to the on-site Cozumel Country Club and its 18-hole, Nicklaus-designed golf course. There’s a fully stocked dive shop on site and hotel staffers standing by to help arrange dives and fishing excursions.
If you’re considering a few nights in San Miguel, look into the Vista del Mar, a small, quiet hotel with a charming landscaped pool area and several oceanfront balcony rooms. You may also like Vista del Mar’s sister property, Hacienda San Miguel, where some rooms are large enough to comfortably accommodate eight guests, and all rooms have fully equipped kitchens.
Cozumel is a relatively small island and getting around is cheap and easy. A few international car rental agencies operate at the airport, so you can rent a car right after your flight to Cozumel touches down. If you’d rather not drive during your stay, you can catch a taxi right outside the terminal and rely on cheap cab rides to get around throughout your trip. Cozumel’s taxis do not use meters, but charge fixed rates based on zones of travel. You can often find taxis waiting outside of the larger hotels, but if you’re ever in need, ask the staff at your hotel, restaurant or lounge to call a cab for you.
A limited public bus system patrols San Miguel, but the town is very safe and pedestrian-friendly. With a good pair of walking shoes, it’s best seen on foot.
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