Thursday, April 23, 2015

Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel

Hotel Details
Hotel: Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel
Dates: April 21-23, 2015
Rate Paid: Free Night Awards
Regular Cost: $321 per night
Upgrade: Ocean View Room
Redemption: N/A

Our first few nights in Mexico were important for us to really unwind, especially after a busy few months for both my parents. So instead of trying to do too much, we wanted instead to just relax and literally do nothing.

And we found THE PERFECT PLACE for that. Reading the reviews, we were almost setting ourselves up to be disappointed given how many people raved about the high level of service at "the Presidente." But from the moment we stepped through the welcoming front entrance, we knew this place was legit.

The resort is about a 10 minute drive from the downtown area and is a fixed taxi fare of 90 Mexican pesos (just under $7 USD). We arrived around 6PM and we were the only ones waiting in line to check in.

Immediately, they recognized our IHG Platinum status (thank you Chase and Visa) and informed us we've been upgraded to an Ocean View room (#5219) from our original booking of a Pool View room. We were also able to combine the separate 1 night reservations that each of my parents had booked so that we wouldn't have to switch rooms.

We were asked if we wanted the welcome amenity of 600 IHG points or a snack. Normally, we'd opt for the points (worth about $6), but we opted for the snack given we had more than enough IHG points but were a bit hungry after a long day of traveling.

Our room was on the southern wing of the property on the 2nd floor (far left on the property map below). Had we not been upgraded, our room would have been facing the interior pool on the right side of the map.

If we were to pick again, however, we'd definitely ask for a room on the 1st floor of the same wing we were placed in. The way the building is laid out, we had a long walk down the view-less hallway to get to the stairs, whereas the 1st floor rooms had a view of the tennis courts, spa and playground as well as direct patio access to the beach and pool areas.

The room itself was pretty spacious for a hotel room with a small foyer when you enter. The bedroom area had enough space for a small table that was full of welcome fruits (guava, apple, mango, banana and kiwi) for us and a small bottle of tequila. It was a perfect surprise for my family who just spent the past 12 hours in transit.

You had plenty of closet space and and a very generous bathroom area with separate doors for the shower and toilet. I personally couldn't get over the towel animals they had made for my arrival!

The room had a balcony as well, so we were able to enjoy our ocean view from a swinging "hammock-chair" that the 2nd floor balconies had. The first floors had larger patios and a full hammock.

But we didn't travel all this way to spend time in our hotel room. The property had a wonderfully simple but well thought out set up. There were several sand beaches for the guests to spread out without being on top of one another, including a small cove that was perfect for young children.

Visiting during shoulder season, the property had full staffing but very few guests. This being one of the final years my family won't be restricted to the public school vacation calendar, we were able to visit after the "spring break" madness during mid-April, so rates and crowds were much less than a few weeks ago.

The service levels were PERFECT. Every single employee we encountered was delightful to interact with and anticipated your needs. They spoke amazing English and struck the perfect balance between being available without being too bothersome. Everything was done with a smile and we felt like royalty.

The property itself was somewhat dated, but amazingly maintained. It was not going to compete with any luxury properties in Bora Bora for Instrgram stats, but it was ideal for people who just wanted to enjoy the wonderful island scenery at a leisurely, relaxing pace. Since there was not much nightlife in Cozumel, the crowds that came to the Presidente were much more aligned with the restful atmosphere, and we were so thankful for the great staff that made our brief 2 night stay so amazing.

We enjoyed our stay so much that the next time we want a long weekend getaway in Mexico, we're definitely coming to the Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel.

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