Iberostar vs Occidental Cozumel – Which is Better?

This guide explores the unique features of Iberostar Cozumel and Occidental Cozumel, two all-inclusive resorts in Cozumel, Mexico, offering a serene island atmosphere and breathtaking underwater escapades.

It helps travelers choose the perfect resort for their travel preferences, whether they’re family seeking a rejuvenating retreat or friends seeking vibrant nightlife. The ultimate goal is to make your Cozumel getaway unforgettable.

Quick Comparison of Iberostar Cozumel vs Occidental Cozumel

FeatureIberostar CozumelOccidental Cozumel
LocationSouthwestern coast, closer to San Miguel (main town)Southwestern coast, slightly more secluded
Overall VibeFamily-friendly, relaxed, all-inclusive focusLively, caters to couples and groups, offers all-inclusive and non-all-inclusive options
Room OptionsVariety of rooms and suites, some with swim-up access and ocean viewsMostly standard hotel rooms, some with ocean views
Restaurants & BarsMultiple on-site restaurants with international and local cuisine, bars with various themesSeveral on-site restaurants and bars, focus on international cuisine
PoolsMultiple swimming pools, including a children’s poolSeveral swimming pools, one potentially with a swim-up bar
Activities & EntertainmentKids club, non-motorized water sports rentals, daily activities program, evening showsFitness center, spa services, occasional theme nights, potential access to non-motorized water sports
NightlifeLimited on-site options, focus on relaxationPotential theme nights, more social atmosphere
Price PointGenerally more expensiveGenerally more affordable
ReviewsGenerally positive, scores higher for cleanliness, service, and value (especially for families)Generally positive, but might score slightly lower than Iberostar Cozumel
Best forFamilies with children, those seeking a relaxing all-inclusive experienceCouples, groups of friends, budget-conscious travelers

Additional Considerations:

  • All-inclusive vs. Non-inclusive
    • Consider your budget and preferred dining style.
    • Iberostar Cozumel leans heavily towards all-inclusive, while Occidental Cozumel offers more flexibility.
  • Travel Style:
    • If relaxation is your priority, Iberostar Cozumel might be a better fit.
    • If you crave a livelier atmosphere, Occidental Cozumel could be more suitable.

Let’s compare the locations of Iberostar and Occidental Cozumel

locations of Iberostar vs Occidental Cozumel

Iberostar Cozumel:

  • Pros:
    1. Iberostar Cozumel is located along the western coast of Cozumel, offering stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.
    2. The resort is surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, creating a serene and picturesque environment.
    3. Snorkeling and diving spots are easily accessible from the resort, allowing guests to explore the colorful reefs and marine life.
    4. The secluded location provides a sense of privacy and tranquility, perfect for those seeking a peaceful getaway.
  • Cons:
    1. Due to its remote location, Iberostar Cozumel may be a bit far from the main town of San Miguel and other attractions on the island.
    2. Limited dining and entertainment options outside of the resort may require guests to rely on on-site amenities for their needs.

Occidental Cozumel:

  • Pros:
    1. Occidental Cozumel is situated on the southwestern coast of Cozumel, offering direct access to a beautiful sandy beach.
    2. The resort is close to popular dive sites like Palancar Reef, making it an ideal choice for diving enthusiasts.
    3. Guests can enjoy stunning sunset views over the Caribbean Sea from the resort’s beachfront location.
    4. Occidental Cozumel is within driving distance of San Miguel and other attractions, allowing guests to explore the island with ease.
  • Cons:
    1. The proximity to popular dive sites may attract larger crowds to the area, potentially leading to crowded beaches and dive spots.
    2. Being closer to town means guests may experience more noise and activity compared to more secluded resorts on the island.

Vibes at Iberostar and Occidental Cozumel

Iberostar Cozumel:

  • Pros:
    1. The overall vibe at Iberostar Cozumel is relaxed and family-friendly.
    2. The resort has a laid-back atmosphere with plenty of activities for all ages.
    3. Guests praise the attentive staff and welcoming ambiance.
    4. The beachfront location offers stunning views and easy access to the ocean.
    5. There are multiple pools, restaurants, and bars to enjoy throughout the day.
  • Cons:
    1. Some visitors note that the resort can get crowded during peak seasons.
    2. While the vibe is generally tranquil, noise from activities and entertainment may disturb those seeking total relaxation.
    3. The resort’s size may make it feel overwhelming for guests looking for a more intimate experience.

Occidental Cozumel:

  • Pros:
    1. Occidental Cozumel boasts a lively and energetic atmosphere.
    2. The resort offers a wide range of activities and entertainment options, perfect for guests seeking excitement.
    3. Guests appreciate the variety of dining choices and the quality of the food and drinks.
    4. The resort’s spacious layout provides ample room for exploration and relaxation.
    5. The vibrant nightlife scene ensures there’s always something fun happening after dark.
  • Cons:
    1. Some visitors find the resort’s bustling atmosphere overwhelming, especially for those seeking peace and quiet.
    2. While the lively vibe may appeal to some, others may find it too noisy or crowded.
    3. Occidental Cozumel’s expansive size can make navigation challenging for guests looking for a more compact resort experience.

Comparing Iberostar and Occidental Cozumel rooms

rooms of Iberostar vs Occidental Cozumel

Iberostar Cozumel:

  • At Iberostar Cozumel, you can choose from various room types, including standard rooms, suites, and bungalows.
  • Standard rooms are cozy and comfortable, with amenities like air conditioning, minibars, and satellite TVs.
  • Suites offer more space and luxury, with separate living areas and private balconies or terraces.
  • Bungalows are nestled in the lush tropical gardens, providing a secluded and tranquil retreat.
  • Pros:
    • The rooms at Iberostar Cozumel are well-maintained and offer a range of options to suit different preferences and budgets.
  • Cons:
    • Some guests may find the standard rooms to be a bit basic compared to the suites and bungalows.

Occidental Cozumel:

  • Occidental Cozumel also offers a variety of room options, including standard rooms, deluxe rooms, and suites.
  • Standard rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated, with modern amenities like flat-screen TVs and minibars.
  • Deluxe rooms offer additional perks like ocean views and access to exclusive lounges or pools.
  • Suites provide the ultimate luxury experience, with separate living areas, Jacuzzis, and private balconies.
  • Pros:
    • The rooms at Occidental Cozumel are stylish and comfortable, with options available for both budget-conscious travelers and those seeking luxury.
  • Cons:
    • Some guests may find the deluxe rooms and suites to be more expensive than standard rooms, and availability can vary depending on the season.

Iberostar vs Occidental Cozumel’s restaurants and bars

dining of Iberostar vs Occidental Cozumel

Iberostar Cozumel:

  • Pros:
    1. Variety: They have several restaurants offering different cuisines like Mexican, Italian, and seafood.
    2. Quality: The food is often praised for its taste and freshness.
    3. Buffet Options: The buffet restaurant offers a wide selection of dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
    4. Bars: There are multiple bars serving a range of drinks, including cocktails and tropical juices.
  • Cons:
    1. Reservation Required: Some of the specialty restaurants may require reservations, which can be inconvenient.
    2. Limited Options: While the food is tasty, some guests find the menu options repetitive after a few days.
    3. Crowded: During peak times, the restaurants and bars can get crowded, leading to longer wait times.

Occidental Cozumel:

  • Pros:
    1. Ocean Views: Many of the restaurants and bars offer stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.
    2. All-Inclusive: The resort offers all-inclusive dining options, meaning you can enjoy unlimited food and drinks.
    3. International Cuisine: They offer a variety of international cuisines, including Mexican, Asian, and Italian.
    4. Snack Bars: There are snack bars located near the pool and beach, making it convenient to grab a bite between swims.
  • Cons:
    1. Service: Some guests have reported slow service at the restaurants, especially during busy times.
    2. Limited Reservations: Like Iberostar, certain specialty restaurants may require reservations, which can be difficult to secure.
    3. Price: While the all-inclusive option is convenient, the overall cost of dining at Occidental Cozumel may be higher compared to other resorts.

Iberostar and Occidental Cozumel pools

pools of Iberostar vs Occidental Cozumel

Iberostar Cozumel:

  • Pros:
    1. Expansive Pools: Iberostar Cozumel boasts large, inviting pools that are perfect for swimming and lounging.
    2. Scenic Views: The pool area offers beautiful views of the ocean and surrounding tropical landscape.
    3. Poolside Service: Guests can enjoy drinks and snacks served right to their lounge chairs, making for a relaxing pool experience.
    4. Activities: The resort offers activities like water aerobics and pool games to keep guests entertained throughout the day.
    5. Family-Friendly: The pools are suitable for families with children, with shallow areas and designated kids’ sections.
  • Cons:
    1. Crowded at Times: During peak seasons, the pools can get crowded, making it challenging to find a quiet spot to relax.
    2. Limited Shade: There may be limited shaded areas around the pools, so guests should remember to bring sunscreen and hats.
    3. Maintenance Issues: Occasionally, there may be maintenance issues with the pools, such as closures for cleaning or repairs.

Occidental Cozumel:

  • Pros:
    1. Multiple Pools: Occidental Cozumel features several pools, including a large main pool and smaller, more secluded ones.
    2. Infinity Pool: The resort’s infinity pool offers stunning views of the ocean, creating a picturesque backdrop for swimming.
    3. Quiet Atmosphere: Some of the pools at Occidental Cozumel are tucked away in peaceful settings, providing a tranquil environment for relaxation.
    4. Poolside Bars: Guests can enjoy refreshing drinks from poolside bars, adding to the overall vacation experience.
    5. Adults-Only Option: The resort offers an adults-only pool area for guests seeking a more serene and adult-oriented atmosphere.
  • Cons:
    1. Limited Poolside Seating: Depending on the time of day, finding available lounge chairs near the pools may be challenging.
    2. Distance from Rooms: Some pools may be a bit of a walk from guest rooms, requiring guests to plan accordingly when bringing belongings to the pool.
    3. Pool Temperature: While generally comfortable, some guests may find the pool water temperature to be slightly cooler than expected.

Activities & Entertainment Comparison of Iberostar and Occidental Cozumel

activities of Iberostar vs Occidental Cozumel

Iberostar Cozumel:

  • Pros:
    1. Snorkeling: The resort has its own private beach and reef, perfect for snorkeling adventures.
    2. Diving: Dive enthusiasts can explore the nearby Palancar Reef, one of the world’s top dive sites.
    3. Entertainment: Enjoy nightly shows, live music, and themed parties for some evening fun.
    4. Kids’ Club: Little ones can stay entertained with supervised activities at the kids’ club.
    5. Sports: Stay active with activities like beach volleyball, tennis, and kayaking.
  • Cons:
    1. Limited Dining Options: While the resort offers several dining venues, some guests may find the options limited compared to larger resorts.
    2. Remote Location: Iberostar Cozumel is situated away from the main town of San Miguel, which may be inconvenient for those looking to explore beyond the resort.

Occidental Cozumel:

  • Pros:
    1. All-Inclusive Activities: From snorkeling and kayaking to beach volleyball and yoga, there’s no shortage of activities included in your stay.
    2. On-Site Dive Center: Dive right into the adventure with the resort’s own dive center offering guided dives and certification courses.
    3. Entertainment: Enjoy nightly shows, live music, and themed parties for some evening entertainment.
    4. Spa and Wellness: Relax and rejuvenate with a variety of spa treatments and wellness activities available on-site.
    5. Family-Friendly: With a kids’ club, children’s pool, and family-friendly activities, Occidental Cozumel is perfect for family vacations.
  • Cons:
    1. Beach Quality: While the resort has a beautiful beach, some guests may find the sand and water quality better at other locations on the island.
    2. Distance from Town: Occidental Cozumel is located away from the main town of San Miguel, which may not be ideal for guests looking to explore local attractions and dining options.

Explore the nightlife at Iberostar and Occidental Cozumel

Iberostar Cozumel:

  • Pros:
    1. The resort offers nightly entertainment shows, including live music and performances.
    2. There are several bars on-site where you can enjoy cocktails and socialize with other guests.
    3. The resort’s discotheque provides a lively atmosphere for dancing and partying into the night.
  • Cons:
    1. The nightlife options may be limited compared to larger resorts in more bustling areas.
    2. Some guests have reported that the discotheque can get crowded during peak times, making it difficult to move around comfortably.
    3. The resort’s location away from the main town means there are fewer off-site nightlife options within walking distance.

Occidental Cozumel:

  • Pros:
    1. The resort hosts themed parties and events throughout the week, offering guests a variety of entertainment options.
    2. There are multiple bars and lounges on-site, each with its own unique ambiance and drink menu.
    3. The resort’s beachfront location provides a picturesque setting for evening strolls or drinks by the ocean.
  • Cons:
    • While the resort offers nightlife activities, some guests have found them to be more subdued compared to larger resorts in busier areas.
    • The remote location of the resort may make it challenging for guests to venture off-site for additional nightlife options.
    • The resort’s bars and lounges may close earlier than expected, limiting late-night socializing opportunities for guests.

Prices of Iberostar and Occidental Cozumel

Price PointIberostar CozumelOccidental Cozumel

Iberostar Cozumel:

  • The price for a stay at Iberostar Cozumel tends to be higher compared to some other resorts on the island.
  • Pros:
    • You get access to amenities like multiple pools, restaurants, and activities, making it a great value for families or couples looking for an all-inclusive experience.
  • Cons:
    • The higher price point may not fit everyone’s budget, and some guests find the resort to be crowded during peak seasons.

Occidental Cozumel:

  • The price for a stay at Occidental Cozumel is generally lower compared to Iberostar and other upscale resorts.
  • Pros:
    • You can enjoy a beachfront location, comfortable accommodations, and various dining options at a more budget-friendly rate.
  • Cons:
    • While the price may be lower, some guests find that the overall quality of amenities and services at Occidental Cozumel is not as high as at more expensive resorts.

Reviews of Iberostar Cozumel and Occidental Cozumel

AspectIberostar CozumelOccidental Cozumel
🌟 Pros🏖️ Beautiful beachfront location🍹 All-inclusive dining options
🏊‍♂️ Excellent snorkeling spots🌴 Lush tropical gardens
🎉 Fun activities for families🏖️ Direct access to the beach
🍹 Delicious cocktails at bars🎉 Entertainment for all ages
🏝️ Well-maintained resort grounds🌅 Spectacular sunset views
🚫 Cons🍽️ Limited dining choices🚫 Some rooms may need updating
🍹 Occasional slow service🏊‍♂️ Beach may be crowded
🏊‍♂️ Pools can be crowded🛏️ Some beds may be uncomfortable
🚫 Wi-Fi connection can be spotty🚫 Some noise from nearby activities
🛎️ Check-in process can be slow🚫 Limited on-site amenities

Ultimately, the choice between Iberostar Cozumel and Occidental Cozumel will depend on your budget and preferences for amenities and services.

FAQs about Iberostar vs Occidental Cozumel

  • Which resort has better amenities, Iberostar Cozumel or Occidental Cozumel?

    Iberostar Cozumel offers a wide range of amenities, including multiple pools, restaurants, and a spa. Occidental Cozumel also has several amenities, but some guests feel that Iberostar’s facilities are more extensive.

  • Are the beaches nicer at Iberostar Cozumel or Occidental Cozumel?

    Both resorts have beautiful beaches, but some visitors prefer the beach at Iberostar Cozumel for its calm waters and pristine sand. However, Occidental Cozumel’s beach is also popular for snorkeling and water sports.

  • Which resort has better dining options, Iberostar Cozumel or Occidental Cozumel?

    Iberostar Cozumel boasts a variety of dining options, including buffet-style restaurants and à la carte eateries serving international cuisine. While Occidental Cozumel also offers diverse dining choices, some guests feel that Iberostar’s food quality is superior.

  • Is the entertainment better at Iberostar Cozumel or Occidental Cozumel?

    Both resorts provide nightly entertainment and activities, such as live music, dance performances, and themed parties. Some guests find the entertainment at Iberostar Cozumel more engaging, while others prefer the relaxed atmosphere at Occidental Cozumel.

  • Which resort offers better value for money, Iberostar Cozumel or Occidental Cozumel?

    The value for money depends on individual preferences and budget. Iberostar Cozumel may be perceived as offering better value due to its extensive amenities and higher-end accommodations, while Occidental Cozumel may appeal to budget-conscious travelers with its competitive pricing and comfortable facilities.

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