Cancun/Cozumel Trip Report

Nov 4th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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Cancun/Cozumel Trip Report

Review and photos of our pre-hurricane Wilma trip (lucky us) to Cozumel (5 nights), Cancun (4 nights) and Hacienda Chichen Resort near the Chichen Itza Ruins (1 night) - June '05.
This was our 2nd trip to Mexico. Last year, we stayed in Riviera Maya for 1 week.
We hope that the East coast of Mexico will get back to its feet soon.

HOTEL: We stayed at the Presidente InterContinental.
BEACH: Small but AMAZING snorkeling right off of it. Truly AMAZING. Clear, calm, beautiful water.
POOL: Average. No real shallow areas for little ones who don't know how to swim yet.
STAFF: Great, very friendly.
RESTAURANTS: There are 2.
-The main and casual one is open-air, housed under an enormous palapas with view of the water. Breakfast is a buffet affair. We thought it was very good. Fruits are fresh and the cook made great eggs. Lunch food was average. We had dinner there only once. We chose the buffet and it was very good. The BIG problem with this open-air restaurant were the FLIES. They got progressively worse each day. Who enjoys eating with one hand and swatting flies with the other?
-The other restaurant (Alfredo's) is Italian and indoor. We dined there one night. My husband had the lasagna and I had the beef tenderloin. Our food was excellent. Alfredo's has big windows with views of the beach/water. There was a guitar player who played songs from Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" to Latin Music. That was very nice.

ISLAND: We rented a car for a couple of days. We went into and walked around San Miguel, saw the San Gervasio Ruins (it was okay, does not obviously compare to Tulum, Coba, Chichen Itza) and drove to the southern and eastern coasts. On the southern tip, there's a Rasta Shanty Town. We thought it was funny to find that in Cozumel of all places (loved it!). The town is really just a place to stop over, sit down for a drink and watch the waves crash onto the shore. The drive was great and we would recommend that to anyone.

GETTING TO COZUMEL/ADVICE: We flew non-stop from the Northeast to Cancun. Caught a van ride to the ferry terminal (at least a 30-minute drive). We were actually dropped off 2-3 blocks away from the ferry terminal (there are no streets for cars to drive right up to the terminal). Walked those blocks in the hot sun with our luggage. Waited an hour for the ferry. Took the 30-minute ferry ride to Cozumel. Grabbed a taxi to the hotel (short ride). My advice: If you're traveling with a small child like we were, I'd advise against doing that. It was a long day and a hassle. Just fly straight into Cozumel. That has got to be easier to do with a child. And after this long travel day, it was just lovely to be asked to listen to the timeshare sales pitch while checking in. Not.

CONCLUSION: We loved Cozumel. We were a bit disappointed in the hotel (we had high expectations after reading rave reviews after rave reviews). We had several problems (all minor) but they all added up. We had to keep the air conditioner on high at all time in our room or condensation would appear on the walls as well as water on the floor (I'm talking about real puddles and drops of water falling from the ceiling). Our son slipped a couple of times. No iron/ironing board in room. No in-room safe. There are safety boxes at the front desk, but that was inconvenient. We had to keep going back and forth with our son's portable DVD player. The drain cover in the shower (no bath tub by the way) was broken exposing a big enough drain hole for my son's foot to get stuck in it (that didn't actually happen). They came to repair it right away but it involved drilling. We expected better of an InterContinental.


CANCUN: Let me say right away that Cancun is not our scene. We knew that before even going. We chose to stay there because we wanted a base to go to Chichen Itza and we wanted to at least experience it so we could say with actual knowledge "It's not our scene". Am I making sense? Anyway, we were right. Too many hotels, too many tourists, just too busy for us.
HOTEL: We stayed at the Omni Cancun. We actually were pleasantly surprised with the hotel (that's what happens when you have low expectations I guess!). We had a room with a GREAT view.
OMNI BEACH: Beautiful blue clear water. We had no idea the water in Cancun was this beautiful (you can see that with our pictures). A bit wavy. Our son got tossed around. He loved it though.
OMNI POOLS: There are 4 big ones, including one with a swim-up bar and a kiddie pool. None have deep ends. Deepest depth was a little over 3 feet.
OMNI FOOD: It was okay. No complaints.

CONCLUSION/ADVICE: The Omni is a family hotel. Do not stay there if you're looking for romance, quiet, etc..., you'll be disappointed. We also noticed quite a few college kids staying there (all behaving), but I think this is probably a hotel to avoid like the plague during spring break if that's not your scene.


HACIENDA CHICHEN RESORT: Wow. The HIGHLIGHT of our trip. EXCEEDED our expectations. This is one of the LOVELIEST places we've ever stayed at. It is intimate, quiet, laid back with beautifully landscaped grounds and a good-sized rectangular pool.
We stayed in a cottage/suite named Erosa Peniche. The inside of the suite was beautifully decorated and spotless. We were impressed that there was not one bug in the room even though we were staying in such a tropical setting. The suite was spacious with a King bed, a sitting area, a mini-fridge, an air-conditioner and a ceiling fan. We had to turn off the air-conditioner during the night because it was loud (the one negative to our suite). The ceiling fan kept us sufficiently cool. No phone and no TV.
The resort's restaurant is in the main building. We had breakfast and dinner on the terrace overlooking the grounds and the fountain. Ahhhhhh.... But it would have been lovelier if it weren't for all the flies...oh well. We thought the food was average.
The resort is a 5-minute leisurely walk to the Chichen Itza ruins. We'd recommend this place for a 1-night to 2-night stay if you're visiting the ruins.
THE RUINS: Wow. Breathtaking. And no, we didn't have our son climb on top El Castillo. My husband did it all by his lonesome.

GETTING THERE: We rented a car and drove from Cancun (about a 3-hour drive). Easy drive. Good roads. There's an $18 toll for crossing into the state of Yucatan from the state of Quintana Roo. Same on the way back. And there's a $4 toll to get onto the road to Chichen Itza and on the way back as well. You can pay those tolls in U.S. dollars if you want.
caribtraveler is offline  
Nov 4th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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Thoroughly enjoyed your trip report! I sure hope those areas get on their feet soon.
Carrybean is offline  
Nov 4th, 2005, 01:15 PM
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Great report, thanks!

How much was suite the Hacienda Chichen Resort?

We drove fron Cancun to Chichen Itza and back in one day ....I would have loved to overnight there!
highflyer is offline  
Nov 5th, 2005, 05:54 AM
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I couldn't help cringing thinking about doing that drive, seeing the ruins and driving back all in one day.
I can't find the hotel bill. I thought we paid $150/night but looking at the hotel website, it says our room was $170/night.
caribtraveler is offline  
Nov 5th, 2005, 02:19 PM
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Thanks for the info.

Yes, it was a long drive and coming back in the dark was pretty scary but overall it was worth it and I'm so glad we saw the ruins. However, next time....guess where we're staying!?
highflyer is offline  
Nov 6th, 2005, 03:07 PM
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beautiful, beautiful pics!
Little_Man is offline  
Nov 6th, 2005, 03:36 PM
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Wow! I loved your trip report and pictures. Your little guy is adorable. Thanks so much for sharing.
MuyLinda is offline  
Nov 7th, 2005, 02:59 AM
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You're welcome.
caribtraveler is offline  

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