My first trip to Mexico was last year, for a wedding in Playa del Carmen, and since then, I’ve been looking forward to going back. While I’ll concede that of the beachy destinations I’ve been to, Hawaii is by far my favorite, Mexico’s resort towns do have their own charm, and the fact that the ones on the Gulf of Mexico side are a very short flight from DFW makes them extra appealing.
Truth be told, I’m more of a cold weather destination kind of gal, probably because I live in Texas where it’s pretty hot for a good five to six months out of the year. I also don’t particularly enjoy getting in the ocean. It’s salty and it messes up my hair and it keeps trying to push you back out and it’s full of creepy crawly things like seaweed and jellyfish and unattended children. But I do enjoy being ocean adjacent, preferably beneath the shelter of a straw hut with a cocktail in one hand and a thick book in the other. So of course I was up for a trip to Cozumel when the opportunity recently presented itself. I mean, who can resist the lure of sun, sand, and a few adult beverages?
First, the cons.
We flew in on a Friday and spent three nights at the Iberostar, an all-inclusive resort that we soon learned caters to a.) families with young children, b.) drunk college kids (and 50-somethings who think they’re still college kids), and c.) Germans. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of those breeds of human, but there weren’t many people there who fell into our particular demographic, “30-ish couples with no children and enough money for a decent drink.”
On the topic of drinks, most tasted watered down, including the beer, which must have had a lower ABV than Bud Light. If you were bent on getting sloshed, you could either throw back 27 piña coladas in as many minutes or drink straight tequilla, neither of which sounded particularly wise to me.
As for the weather, it was very humid. I think the actual temperature was only in the 80s, but the high humidity pretty much ruined any chance my hair had of not looking like something out of a hippie commune.
Okay, I realize as I’m typing this that complaining about a beach vacation must make me sound like a grade A, First World a-hole. So I’ll move on to the the pros.
The grounds of the hotel were impeccable. Impressively impeccable, and the staff works night and day to keep it that way. The one downside of that is that the pool closes at the unspeakably early hour of 7 p.m. so they can clean it and adjust the chemicals, but I did appreciate them being so attentive. You’ll also find lots of critters running around, like flamingos, peacocks, and cats.
The rooms were clean and relatively modern, and when we called the front desk to let them know that our shower wasn’t draining, they sent someone to fix it straightaway. The housekeeping was also prompt and thorough, and I felt like all our stuff was safe while we were away from the room.
The other nice thing about the resort is that there’s a dock right there which acts as a launching point for various outings that you can arrange with the concierge, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and parasailing. Michael and the friends we were with went snorkeling, but given my aforementioned aversion to the ocean and the fact that I’m a pretty lousy swimmer with a major case of death anxiety, I decided to go parasailing with my cousin-in-law instead (that’s a real term, right?), though in retrospect that was probably equally dangerous, if not more. It was a little scary, but it was a blast and I’m so glad I did it—one more thing off the bucket list.
We did manage to get off the resort for a bit on our second day. One of our friends rented an ancient VW Bug (can you still call it a Yank Tank if it isn’t in Cuba?) and we drove around the island for a while. It had neither a top nor air conditioning, and I ended up with a super sexy shorts-line tan that I’m going to be stuck with until at least Christmas. But it was fun and memorable to drop into some of the hole-in-the-wall bars along the water.
TLDNR: All in all, Cozumel is great for a weekend getaway. Do your TripAdvisor research, find a resort that’s exactly your speed, and get on down there.