My wife and I just returned from a 2 week stay at the Hotel Casa Del Mar. I will attempt to write a thorough and honest review of this hotel, to aid others in their search for quality hotels.
We booked this hotel through a cheap ticket type website. We chose not to purchase the meal plan, as we did not want to be tied to the hotel's restaurant for our entire 2 week stay. After being there for 2 days, and accumulating a room charge bill of around $200, we decided to check into purchasing the meal plan. It turns out that, although they break it down to $39 a night per person, one cannot purchase it by the night. You must purchase the meal plan at the time of booking the trip. We did not know this, and the hotel did tell us that we could wait until we only had a few days left of our 2 week stay, then pay our room charge bill, then purchase the meal plan for the remaining nights. I understand that it would make a little nightmare in their accounting department, but wouldn't it also do that near the end of our stay? Their offer rubbed me the wrong way, so I just decided that I would go down to the local "Mega" store and purchase a cheap cooler, my tequila/rum/and mix, some cheese and turkey, along with some crackers and such. Let me make this statement: I am not a cheapskate, at $6.50 a drink and being there for a 2 week period, I am also not stupid. There are times when just a quick snack is all we needed for lunch, and drinking our own liquor was definitely cheaper in the long run. The hotel had no problem with this, and actually told me that "this was your home and do what you want". We are not alcoholics, but can drink quite a bit, and 6 drinks alone would have cost $39. I tried to give my money to the hotel through the meal plan, but was denied, so this was my answer to the problem.
The hotel was expecting us, and check in was quick and easy. The front desk staff spoke English to the point that there was no problem communicating for the most part. The hotel was clean, as were the rooms, and we stayed in a "Superior Room" on the ground floor. We were moved to a different room after 3 days due to an air conditioner failure in our original room. Inside the center of the 3 story hotel is an open triangular shaped garden and fountain. I did see 4 cockroaches that were on their last legs in the garden, due to recent spraying, but I was awakened one night with one crawling up my arm in bed. I notified the front desk the next morning, and requested that the room be sprayed, which they did immediately. Please understand that bugs are at every hotel, and this hotel dealt with the situation professionally, so don't knock them for this. Both rooms that we were in lacked drawer space, and there were only 2 drawers to use under the TV stand. The closet has 3 open shelves, a small closet rod with 7 hangers, and a safe deposit box. The safe deposit box required you to get a lock and key from the front desk to use it. The bathrooms and showers were small, and some of the shower windows had louvers that actually faced an inside hallway, rather than outside. This made for some noisy mornings, as we ended up having to listen to any conversation that took place in these showers and from that room, as our room was at the end of that short hallway. We also were awakened several mornings by these conversations, along with these guest's friend coming and knocking on their doors at 6:15 in the morning yelling "wake up". This had nothing to do with the hotel, but just some very inconsiderate guests that seem to forget that there are other vacationers there that might appreciate a little peace and quiet in the morning. I have read reviews of this hotel stating a lack of hot water, and people need to understand that the hotel does not use hot water heaters. They have large tanks of water on the roof that get heated by the sun during the day, and this provides the hot water to the guests. We always had at least luke warm water out of the hot water faucet, and there were a few times where we actually had to turn on the cold water faucet to cool it down. The best time to get a hot shower was in the late afternoon and evening, but occasionally it would be fairly hot in the morning yet. The air conditioning was quiet and worked well in our second room. There is a tennis court that can only be used during daylight hour. The "game room" was down stairs from the front desk, and consisted of a pool table and a small book shelf with books that had been left from prior guests. There was also a small card table with 2 chairs, but nothing worth mentioning.
The pool was cold, as most of the pools were that we have stepped into in Mexico. It was rare to see someone in the pool, or at the swim up bar, except to get a quick drink or dip, then get out. The hot tub was rarely hot, unless you went to the front desk and requested that they turn on the heater. I don't know why we should have to ask, but maybe they were trying to conserve energy. One problem we experienced with the hot tub was with a few of the divers. Even though the hotel had a rinse area specifically made for the scuba divers, some of them chose to sit and rinse off in the hot tub with there wet suits on. This made for a pretty cloudy and salty hot tub, and made us quit using it all together after a few days of this. Once again, some inconsiderate guests that think only of themselves, but I wish the hotel staff would have said something to them. The hotel, as most in Cozumel, really cater to the divers. I'm sure they didn't want to ruffle any feathers. The divers also regularly had their wet suits hanging on lounge chairs by the pool, but they never interfered with pool use. One thing that the hotel definitely needed was some portable umbrellas that could be moved around the pool. There were 4 umbrellas in the center of tables, but they could not be moved, which made finding shade around the pool sometimes a challenge.
The beach area, which is across a short bridge from the pool area, is a makeshift beach. It was divided into two small sections, and served it's purpose, with nice views of the cruise ships and ocean. Getting waiter service in the area was possible, but you had to let them know you were crossing the bridge and required service. They would check on you occasionally to see if you needed anything.
There are 2 computers in the main lobby for guest use, along with wireless internet. The router is located in the lobby so that is where the signal is best. There is another antenna located on the outside of the building, and happened to be located outside of our second room. This fact conveniently gave us wireless access in our room (#123), and gave access to one side of the pool and part of the restaurant. One nice thing is that there are several wireless signals from neighboring businesses (Atlantis, Ernestos) and once you visited their business and got their access code, you could pick them up at Casa del Mar in spots.
Our package included 2 free tickets to Atlantis submarine ride. We used these tickets, and it was well worth the time as it was quit interesting and enjoyable. We also received a free rental car, which cost us $17 for mandatory liability, and we chose to decline the $24 vehicle insurance. We used the car one day, and it was picked up the following morning without incidents.
The restaurant had good food, and offered a breakfast - lunch- and dinner menus. It shut down for an hour in between meals to prepare for the next. The menu ended up becoming limited after a week, and the all inclusive guests would complain about lack of choices. There was and is no "buffet" type breakfast, nor is there a free breakfast included in any package. Included in the "diver" package is what they call a "continental breakfast" which includes juice, fruit, and cereal. Unfortunately there are vacation packages out there that are being sold by other website that have old advertisements of the past, when they did offer free breakfasts, but these offers are no longer valid. The resort will not honor any old ad from any vacation package sellers that didn't update their ads. I suggest you check out Casa Del Mar's website to see the most recent offers. The bar had a "Happy Hour" from 5 to 6 pm, where drinks were 2 for 1. The non "all inclusive" guests seem to take advantage of the lower drink prices. Service was excellent from the waiters and bartenders, especially "Santos" who seemed to be the main bartender. He was always smiling, happy, and upbeat.
The package included free admission to "Nachi Cocom" beach club, and 20% off food and drink there. We did not go there after hearing that it was expensive and you were constantly hounded by excursion salespeople. We had everything at Casa Del Mar that "Nachi Cocum" offered, except for a sand beach that connected to the ocean. We were content where we were.
Getting a good nights sleep was a challenge at times, due to the restaurant/dance place "Paprikas", which is located about 200 yards from Casa Del Mar. They would start playing their loud, bass booming, music around 1:00 am. until about 3:30 am., which seemed to direct itself right into our corner room. The music actually woke my wife and I up from a sound sleep, with the air conditioning running. Casa Del Mar front desk stated that they couldn't do anything about it (didn't want to ruffle any feathers) and we were left to just accept it. Thank God for ear plugs, as this happened about 6 times in a 2 week period.
All in all we had a great time, and thought that the staff at Casa Del Mar was quite efficient, courteous, and always aimed to please. This hotel isn't the Ritz, but I would rate it a solid 3 star. Any problems we experienced were mainly due to inconsiderate guests, and neighboring businesses, not the hotel.
Choose second or third floor to avoid possible bug issues.
Avoid Northwest corner that faces music...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC