Since Cozumel is advertised as a divers' destination, the hotel is full of divers. So, if you are uncomfortable with lots of folks walking around in wet dive clothing and gear this may not be your ideal hotel. My observation is that the clientele here, even during "Spring Break" is more 50+ than college kids, so the bar is not on the list of places to go if you are interested in partying the night away.
The rooms are clean, if a bit on the rustic side. The shower in our room was very large but the water pressure was very low. This may be a factor of being on the third floor, perhaps water pressure is better on the first floor. There is free WiFi at the hotel and I was able to get 2 bars in my room on the third floor. However, it is slow and spotty. I wouldn't plan on "tele-commuting" from Hotel del Mar. Despite being on the main road along the sea shore, it is fairly quiet at the hotel day or night.
The food in the restaurant is fair with some flashes of inspiration. For instance, I was never disappointed with the fish fillet or ceviche. However, by the end of a week you will have eaten just about everything on the menu at least once.
There is a game room for kids, but it is located behind the public bathrooms in the lobby which you reach by a very small, narrow flight of steps. The game room has a pool table and some paperback books, so its attraction to teens and "tweens" may pale quickly. However, there is effectively no drinking age in Cozumel, or if there is one no one enforces it. So, teens can get served in the hotel bar and buy alcohol (or drugs) within a few steps of the hotel.
The dive shop associated with the hotel, Del Mar Aquatics is a mid-level dive shop with what I would consider "adequate" facilities, but nothing particularly special. The rental gear I used (buoyancy compensator) was far from new although the shop did have some newer gear. The shop does not have its own compressor but instead relies on some sort of central tank refilling plant that apparently many, if not all, of the similar dive operations use. I had taken the training to use Nitrox before I came to Cozumel but after seeing how Nitrox was handled decided not to use Nitrox here. I did not see any gear or anything else to buy at the "shop" which looks more like a public swimming pool dressing room. There are "lockers" which are nothing more than overgrown milk crates in concrete "cubbies" with some plastic chain that you can put a lock on. Other than the rental BC and my weights I preferred to take my gear to my room at the end of diving each day.
The dives here tend to be deep (80 - 100 feet) and the second "shallow" dive may be as deep as 60 feet. Although the shop's web sight indicates that they have their own dive boats, the boats we went out on were clearly not owned by the shop and were hired by the day or trip. The boats tend to take large groups and are somewhat too small (some are way too small) for getting your gear on aboard and stowing towels and etc. for post-dive. Due to the push to get maximum dives in each day, I felt that the dive masters pushed the edge on safety by taking newly qualified divers on deep dives, and diving in very high currents. On one dive the current was so fast, and visibility was so poor, that we found ourselves having to surface before the scheduled dive end time in order to be pulled away from cruise ships getting underway from the cruise ship pier. There were several minutes of confusion as we counted noses and found we were two noses short. The dive master quickly found the missing divers under the cruise ship pier and brought them aboard.
My bottom line here is that the hotel is fine, but you may want to look at another dive operation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Casa del Mar Cozumel is a charming Mexican hideaway facing the magnificent Caribbean Sea. Situated across the main boulevard with 98 comfortable rooms and eight recently restored Deluxe Cabanas, the property is surrounded by beautiful and exotic garden area with a Mexican town feeling. Casa del Mar Cozumel is located two and a half miles south of downtown, less than five minutes away from the famous "Paraiso" reef. Our hotel is ideal for vacation, business, honeymooners and divers. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Casa Del Mar Hotel Cozumel
- Casa Del Mar Cozumel
- Casa Del Mar Resort Cozumel