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Review of Allegro Cozumel

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Allegro Cozumel
Ranked #22 of 52 Hotels in Cozumel
Reviewed 29 July 2008

We were panic struck to read the reviews prior to flying out from Gatwick on the 12th Aug but.....the hotel was great! Great beach, great service, very nice people - both local, the Americans we met and the Brits. I went with two teenage daughters - lots of activity for them and its a brilliant place for kids too - they had there own splash pool, adventure/activity/assault course.... The Oriental Restaurant was the best restaurant I've ever eaten in and the Mediteranean Restaurant's service is fantastic. Nothing is too much trouble for the hotel staff, who were profressional, friendly & thoughful. Definelty go back!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
9  Thank Debs04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 July 2008

Having followed the reviews and the forums for this hotel for several weeks we were apprehensive about what we were going to.

But let's put things into perspective, we have had all inclusive holidays in Spain, Greece & Cyprus for the last 5 years, mostly with First Choice, so we know what to expect and we know what we like. We booked this holiday in Mexico because it was at a price comparable, if not cheaper than similar AI's in Europe, mainly because I could get child price for my 14 year old.

So what do you expect from a 4 star hotel? There is no set standard for hotel ratings but this what one rating agency states:

4 Star Hotels These superior properties distinguish themselves with a high level of service and hospitality, as well as a wide variety of amenities and upscale facilities. A well-integrated design, stylized room decor, excellent restaurant facilities, and landscaped grounds are all present. The comfort and convenience of the guest is the staff's prevailing concern.

On this rating scheme I think the only thing stopping HVWS being a 4 star is the lack of upscale facilities (whatever that may mean), but remember this is a resort aimed firmly at families with a small area devoted to couples and I would say that with the splash pool, high ropes and childrens clubs they qualify for upscale facilities for families.

The rooms were quirky, we were upstairs and had the thatched roof, which we and especially my daughter thought was great, we never gave a thought to whether there were cobwebs up there, because it was a natural material so obviously it would be likely that something would be living in it, but we didn't bother them and they didn't bother us.

Next the entertainment, I have read grumbles from the US regular clients bemoaning the loss of local shows and the blatant British bias of the entertainment and I have to say I have some sympathy with that, I was at times embarrassed by the Britishness of the questions in the quizzes as I do think they should have tried to involve the other nationalities more, by the end of my fortnight one or two questions were being aimed at the wider audience, but I booked this resort, because I enjoy a quiz around the pool, I like an organised game of water polo and I want to play beach volleyball and so do my kids and we enjoy a good sing song at night. I feel that the daytime and evening entertainment on this holiday was the best we've seen on these types of holidays, I thought the nights they brought in the local performers were the most boring with no audience participation, very little explanation of what was going on and in the case of the local dance troupe a decidedly amateur feeling to it all (that's not the preHispanic troupe who were very professional, but couldn't hold the audience's interest). Whereas the FC staff were professional, varied and put on a great show. Whilst a couple of the singers wouldn't get past Simon Cowell the other two, Ollie in particular, were really good.

Food - Breakfast was excellent, but a limited fruit choice (3 types of melon, pineapple and banana). The omelettes were great, bacon eggs sausages were all available along with US favourites like muffins, pancakes, french toast etc.
Lunch - again excellent, fantastic choice, you could have a three course meal or just pizza, hot dogs or hamburger & chips (just one request please don't take food out of the restaurant as people were eating around the pool and on the beach and whilst the hotel staff were very quick to clean up it is unnecessary)
Dinner - Each night had a different theme, there was always something being grilled in front of you, there is a fresh pasta area where they cook the pasta in front of you in a sauce of your choice. All in all there was always something for everyone.

The hotel staff where excellent, but don't forget to tip, a regular dollar here or there makes all the difference, you don't need to give them a lot just do it regularly (we gave around 350 pesos to the maid for our family interconnecting rooms spread over the two weeks, that's about £18 or less than 0.75p a day per room, we tipped the waiter at the terrace bar $1 each time he brought the drinks to us, we had 2 drinks a day before dinner so he got around £1 a day, there are regular servers at the beach bar and the lobby bar as well, so if you feel they gave good service tip them for the occasional round of drinks $1or 10 pesos is ample, the bell boy should be given $1 if he calls a cab and the guy who brings your cases to your room should get around $1 per bag) I mention all this because we Brits really do not understand this side of things and are always concerned about tipping too much or too little, I think these figures are about right.

The resort is extremely clean and whilst maintenance is going on, especially the relaxation pool, the disruption to guests is kept to a minimum.

A big downside of the hotel is the distance into town, but it's still closer than the Grand or the Iberostar. The island has a strong taxi union and no local transport so the taxi's have a monopoly and they charge $16 to go into town, so when you take into account a tip thats about $1 a kilometer which I felt was high.

In summary:

Book this hotel if you enjoy joining in and want lively organised activities, with excellent kids facilities and on site diving and snorkelling facilities.

Don't book it if you are looking for a feel of the real Mexico, want to get pampered or want a quiet holiday, I'm sure there are much better options available, but you may have to pay a higher price.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
12  Thank gazzaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2008

.I hope this review gives people some facts to enable an opinion to be formed rather than just giving unsupported and perhaps biased thoughts. There were three of us, two adults and a 14 year old boy.

Arrival

If you book through First Choice, once you get through the usual customs procedures, leave the airport and do not be distracted by anyone who approaches you in the building. The First Choice reps are not allowed inside the building to greet arrivals and you will be directed to some perfectly polite people who will try to sell you a trip (we were offered $50 for three of us) which includes a number of free gifts. We were told this was an attempt at time share sales. The offer seemed too good to be true so it probably was.

Transfers from the airport were by taxi as there is no public transport or coaches on the island.

Hotel

Arrival was quick and the check in took about 3-4 minutes. We were greeted with cocktails and soft drinks, and our bags were taken to our rooms.

The room was very clean and tidy. We had two double beds with room to walk round them and between them. The room was smaller than most others I have stayed in but was big enough to cope if you aren't too untidy! There was a tv but no fridge. We did not mention this as we didn't feel it was needed. There was a bathroom and shower, to much the same standard as I have stayed at on other Carribean islands. It was clean, the shower had plenty of water and showergel and shampoo was provided. Also provided were a hairdryer, ironing board and iron. There was sufficient storage space for the three of us. The maids came daily and kept the room clean, and decorated the bed with the delightful towels in various shapes and with flowers.

The beds are on a concrete base (as in other Carribean places) and the mattress is slightly longer than the base. They are at least 6ft long and firm. Although they felt comfortable I did get a bit of a back ache but that happens in most beds that aren’t your own and most people I spoke to said they got used to it.

We were upstairs in the complex next to the splash pool. It is true that due to the nature of the thatched roof you can hear people in the next room if they are noisy, but not if they are just talking. The balcony out the front was about four feet tall, and there was a hammock on every balcony. Contrary to other points made I have seen, this was no more dangerous than a stair case without a stair gate.

The refurb of the hotel is behind schedule. While we were there the activity pool (nearest the beach) was finished and opened, and they closed and started refurbing the relaxtion pool (the middle pool). We did get blue paint on our swim suits and our bodies prior to the refurb but this was resolved by washing with soap.

The splash pool was open and kids loved it, as did the adults. It’s like a pirate ship with a couple of small slides and the ability to squirt water from various devices at people in and around some areas of this pool. There was an intermittent horn warning of a big cascade of water flowing down. The horn was quite loud and woke us up a couple of time at about 9.30 - but who wants to sleep in on holiday? It wasn't all day and although we spent the time relatively near the splash pool the horn did not bother us.

The swim teachers were very good, I saw a lot of success with teaching the kids to swim. The activites around the pool (quiz, water polo, darts, head to head challenge, golf), volley ball) were varied and supervised. There was no bullying to join in if you didn't want to. Even though one of the pools was closed the whole time we were there it never seemed overcrowded or particularly busy. I saw the water being tested regularly and it was cleaned everyday. In fact they came several times throughout the day just to clean out the odd leaf that may have blown in.

There were plenty of sun loungers although not always enough brollies. We often found shade under palm trees. Staff walked around regularly offering drinks and collecting glasses.

There is an ATM, a laundrette, a small shop, internet services ($6 for 30 mins). In San Miguel ATMs give you a choice of peso or USD.

Food

I am fussy; I don't eat pork, beef, lamb, meat on the bone, tomatoes, pasta or mushrooms. or much salad Bearing this in mind, I found something of substance to eat every day except two - because on those days the chicken was in tomato based sauce. On those days I was happy on those days to eat sandwiches (the bread was really nice), The breakfast buffet consisted of cereals, juices, sausages, bacon, eggs, pastries, cakes, bread, fruit, yoghurt, made to order omelettes etc. The lunch buffet varied but usually included 3 types of meat (grilled to order), fish, salads, burgers, chips, fahitas, fruits, grilled fruit, other meats and desserts. There is a lot of pork and beef. Each night in the main buffet restaurant there was a themed night and again there was a selection of meats (prepared and grilled to order) pasta prepared to order, prepared pasta, salads, vegetables, fruit, deserts, (including ice cream). There is an oriental, mexican and seafood restaurant. All offered a selection of food a la carte. The seafood restaurant operates at lunchtime and does not require booking. The food in all of them was of a good standard and served very quickly. The Mexican food was especially good but we found it not as spicy as the "Mexican" food you get in England.

The oriental and a large section of the buffet restaurant were air conditioned. They weren't too fussy about the "long trousers" rule for men in the a la carte restaurants.

The service was good, the waiters polite in all the restaurants. We did hear some people moaning about not getting their drinks immediately but to be frank, these people sounded quite rude.

There were any number of cocktails available the only downside was that there is no cocktail menu and no straws (which made it difficult to drink iced cocktails until they melted a bit). A cocktail in one bar was not necessarily the same as one with the same name in another bar. I recommend that you take a small packet of straws with you!

Entertainment

The entertainment was directed at the UK holiday makers but it was really good to see the US people joining in to. The non-UK makers probably lost out on the quiz held at 12.30 by the Jacuzzi because a number of questions were based on UK television or UK sport. They also will not have known some of the songs sung on the evening entertainment but other than that it was fairly evenly spread. There is bingo every night for fifteen minutes and the entertainment team were very attentive and quite funny. You don’t get entertainment to the standard of a London show but it was enjoyable to watch, and great when the audience participated. The Karaoke machine was still stranded in customs but was expected soon. The Karaoke might have been restricted to the adult only air conditioned bar which will be a shame if it is. They have a mini disco for the kids every night between 8 and 9pm which they seemed to enjoy.

The kids clubs (for ages up to 15) seemed fairly popular. The entertainers always made the effort to say hello to people and to stop and talk and find out about your holiday.

Volleyball was played everyday and there was a great mix of US and UK people mixing. I've seen some reviews criticising the Americans and some the British. Yes there were different behaviours and different levels of loudness but in a multicultural world that is to be expected! People were generally polite and friendly. The complex is very small so you regularly see the same people and most greet each other in a friendly manner. I did not see any of the staff being rude, on the contrary they were all very polite. I did see some holiday makers being incredibly rude to the staff and if they got less than perfect service as a result they only had themselves to blame.

Wildlife

My hubby is really interested in wildlife, so bear that in mind! We saw one tarantula, loads of iguana’s, land crabs, a couple of tiny snakes, birds, frogs, toads and very large moths. Despite extensive searching we could not find any scorpions although one of the guys we met did. The snorkelling directly off the beach was a tad disappointing as there were not great numbers of fish, but then I have been spoiled by Sharm el Sheikh. There was a hurricane two years ago which badly damaged the reefs and they are only just beginning to recover. Nevertheless we saw a number of large stingrays, an eagle ray, box fish, and a barracuda. The dive palancar shop at the end of the beach to the left of the Jacuzzi does trips out to the palancar reef, Columbia and Holywood reefs and we saw more out of here – moray eels (small ones), crabs, star fish and so on. The trips from the dive shop are cheaper than the FC trips. The sea is very clear.

Trips

Chankanaab National Park is just up the road. It costs $10 in a taxi and $16 to get in for adults, $8 for kids. They also do deals which include food and drinks. Average meal price is about $10 – we had a Mexican plate it was lovely, Alcoholic drinks are a bit expensive. The park is not massive. Snorkelling was OK, the reef was quite small and there were lots of people. We did the swimming with dolphins there and the price was the same as the FC trips. It was a really enjoyable experience but as you would expect we caved in to buying the dvd and photos afterwards. Haggle to get the price reduced!!

Parasailing was good, $50 for one, $90 for two of us (although this wasn’t advertised) and $5 just for the boat ride. Once on the boat we were offered a go at parasailing for less money ($20). San Miguel is $15 in the taxi and is quite nice, very touristy. Most stores will haggle and will charge you less if they know you are not from a cruise ship. You can also go swimming with whalesharks, and “snuba” and on a submarine. The whale sharks is a money back trip if you are not successful. A couple of people said that they did not see much on the submarine but we did not try either of these.

Overall

We had a great holiday. The hotel had a village atmosphere and was small enough for everyone to say hello to each other when walking past, or in the bars. As always you get out what you put in and if you are friendly to others they will return the compliment. There weren’t too many mossies (use something containing DEET in the evenings). It rained a tad but not for long. We had one mega downpoor for about 10 minutes which was hilarious as we got soaked and my son said I looked like Alice Cooper. We tipped a bit, but not all the time, and the staff were grateful for tips and smiles. The sun is very hot, even when cloudy. So glad to meet Yorkie and family, Sassy, Andy, Davy, Don and all the others (and families). Saw too weddings, and all seemed very happy! Its not a night clubbing buzzing resort, more quiet and relaxing.

The beach was clean and tidy and the sand was soft and white(ish). The swimming area and boating area are cordoned off with buoys. There are lifeguards on duty at all pools and beach (not 24 hours). Drinks were fine, as usual, sometimes the cordial mix on soft drinks was not quite right but certainly nothing to worry about

I hope this review is more helpful than those that say “so glad we cancelled”. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions! Have a great holiday.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17  Thank missing t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2008

Visited 07 to 21 July 2008 - 2 adults & 2 "over 18" children. 2 Rooms in Royal Suites. British, very well-travelled but our first 'all inclusive'.

THE GOOD:

Everything about the flights was fine - apart from the food perhaps, which was about average for airline food.

Rooms good - always clean, plenty of towels, as cool as you want to be (aircon and fan), big enough, & a free, well-stocked drinks fridge.

Food excellent - if you look around the buffets & restaurants and can't find a choice of great food you really like, you must be one of those whingers who eats nothing but garbage. Even the Burgers / Hot Dogs & such were OK, although why would you bother when there's so much else to enjoy? For example, the main restaurant has a seafood menu every lunchtime - fab octopus, perfectly cooked mahi-mahi etc. - but the place was virtually empty! None of us had a bad stomach or 'food poisoning.' Who are these people claiming food poisoning? Probably the tattooed Brits who spend 12 hours in the sun even on the first day, drink dozens of cocktails & beer (no water), then wonder why they feel poorly! You should see the bright red "boiled lobsters" on the beach & round pools at the start of their holidays!

Mexican staff superb - always cleaning & tidying, very fast & efficient and most of all, friendly. Maybe some Brits should try 'tipping' more often - i.e. small amounts but at every service. Some of the British staff a bit disorganised, but equally some very helpful.

Choice of drinks OK - draught Corona, local spirits + plenty of branded ones. Ask for different cocktails!

Expect some wildlife - you're in the Caribbean! They spray the perimeters daily, but you will see the odd frog / moth / lizard / spider & plenty of birds, ants, bees & iguanas. The only scorpion we saw was one of the staff's pets!

Recommend getting a jeep for a day or two & go to the other side of the island - quieter beaches (go to one with a lifeguard though - currents are stronger). Coconuts bar is great fun. St Miguel is OK for a change of scenery, but stray off the front to find cheaper shops.

THE BAD

The evening entertainment. We didn't bother, but from what we saw & heard, it was pretty ropey!

Not enough tennis racquets (and/or greedy guests who don't return them). We bought 2 Wilson racquets + balls from the supermarket in St Mig for about £25 total. Worth it, coz the courts were always empty!

Would have preferred more of a Mexican feel to the place - i.e. Mexican entertainment & more choice of real Mexican food.

THE UGLY

Some other guests. Sadly, too many LOUD Texans who demand all the attention of the staff (never mind about other guests), and some of the Brits who had obviously escaped from the Spanish Costas. Moan, moan, moan. (well, they couldn't get their pint of bitter and greasy fry-up!).

The new fence separating the Royal Suites from the main pool - see photo (apparently requested by guests on the main pool side who objected to the topless bathers, most of whom I would also class as ugly!!)

SUMMARY
Overall, a great holiday - but it's what you make it. Go with a positive frame of mind and overlook the odd bit of building work etc., and ENJOY - there's plenty enough to smile about!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Sharpie_Artist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2008

The place was immaculate. The food was great with a wide
variety to choose from. The entertainment was fun, especially
the children's hour. The grounds were meticulously kept. The
beach was picture perfect! The staff was friendly and helpful.
I would highly recommend Allegro and would go back again.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank kscales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Allegro Cozumel

Address: Carretera Sur San Francisco Palancar | Km 16.5, Cozumel 77600, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cozumel
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#13 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range: €114 - €302 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Allegro Cozumel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 305
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In Mexico’s Caribbean there is a tiny island just bursting with life – it is Cozumel and the Allegro Cozumel. Right on the famous Sand Francisco Beach, two worlds of adventure co-exist: The Fun-in-the-sun beach and the amazing undersea Palancar Reef. Whatever you choose to pursue, Allegro Cozumel places it right at your fingertips. Beach Volleyball, tropical bars, restaurants, and nightclubs keep life on land exciting, while the on-site dive shop and big-game sport-fishing charters offer a gateway into the dazzling marine sanctuary of Cozumel’s waters. And when you awake the next morning, after a relaxing night’s sleep in your comfortable guest room, you’ll find there’s even more to explore, because the adventure never stops at Allegro. For the young ones, there is plenty to do from building sand castles alongside the beautiful powdery white sand beach, get physical at the amazing kid’s multiplay covered playground, catch some giggles at the water park, or take advantage of the many activities offered by the Kids clubs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Occidental Allegro Cozumel Hotel Cozumel
Occidental Allegro Hotel
Occidental Allegro Resort All Inclusive

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