Intimate, Elegant Island Experience-Cozumel
A vibrant land steeped in rich Mayan history with artifacts and ruins that date to the first millennium; an island boasting beautiful beaches that bedazzle, charm that dives deep into the blue waters and floats magically among the second largest coral reef in the world; a tranquil oasis, abundant with warm hospitality, lavish luxury and astounding adventure around every corner; an island full of moments you’ve never experienced elsewhere. Just a 90-minute flight from Houston, Cozumel is unlike any other destination. And Presidente InterContinental Cozumel is unlike any other resort and spa.
Set facing Paradise Reef, part of the Marine National Park, Presidente InterContinental Cozumel Resort and Spa is a unique hideaway, secluded and surrounded by lush vegetation and turquoise waters, situated on a half-mile stretch of private white sand beach. Stephan Coudon, resort manager, says, “The entire experience here exudes an atmosphere of calm, tranquility and elegance.”
InterContinental Cozumel combines luxury accommodations with contemporary, yet timeless, design, blending modern elements with classic Mexican accents. The fabrics and artwork complement the lush outdoor environment, emphasizing the innate harmony between indoor and outdoor spaces. With 220 exceedingly comfortable rooms offering balconies or terraces with individual hammocks, guests easily relax in a privileged setting. Beach Front Superior rooms boast oversized terraces with direct access to the beach and fascinating views of the water- front. The 753-square-foot Ocean Suites feature generous and comfortable accommodations with unequalled views of the Caribbean. For those seeking exclusivity and pampering, the resort’s Ocean Suites, Reef Suites and Presidential Suites offer the best in accommodations and services, including 24-hour personalized butler service.
All rooms offer king-size or double beds featuring Egyptian cotton duvets, bathrobes, flat screen TVs, wireless Internet connections, well-assorted mini-bars, complimentary water and more. Services include twice-daily maid service.
InterContinental Cozumel offers a world of unique culinary experiences, created to satisfy even the most discerning palates. A wide variety of dining options are available including regional flavors, specialty dining and the acclaimed Alfredo DiRoma, which combines the tastes of Northern Italy with fresh seafood delicacies and boasts one of the Carribean’s largest and finest wine cellars. Together, the unparalleled service and incredible views of the white sandy beaches and Caribbean Sea make this restaurant the perfect venue for evening dining.
El Caribeno is an ocean-front palapa restaurant offering international cuisine with a selection of Mexican and regional specialties. The restaurant is home to the resort’s main bar, which offers an impressive selection of cocktails and a comprehensive Tequila menu, along with the island’s best sunset views. Guests to Caribeno can enjoy Panuchos, Cochinita, Motulenos eggs and dishes prepared with chaya (a vegetable similar to spinach) that can be served as juice or scrambled with eggs.
The dining isn’t the only stellar experience at InterContinental. Mandara Spa, named for a legend of Gods in search of the elixir of immortality and eternal youth, is a refreshing refuge offering a full menu of unique and exotic treatments designed to reflect the true beauty of Mayan culture. This upscale spa incorporates the elements of the island with unique features, such as the private outdoor soaking tub with its waterfall and traditional Mayan Temazcal.
The Temazcal, or “house of sweat,” consists of heating volcanic stones with firewood in order to return them to their original, almost liquid state. Medicinal herbs are placed on the stones, producing steam and causing the skin to sweat. The body relaxes and detoxifies, the respiratory system is purified and the nervous system is invigorated. Resort manager, Coudon, notes, “First-time guests love the experience and repeat guests swear by it.”
If outdoor activity is more your elixir of choice, then explore exciting adventures while diving and snorkeling in the world’s second largest reef system just outside the terrace of InterContinental Cozumel. Scuba Du, the island’s most qualified dive center, offers a world of underwater discoveries and is ideal for first time and advanced certifications. The reefs additionally offer sensational snorkeling for those who don’t want to dive so deep.
Enjoy golf at the Nicklaus-designed Cozumel Country Club, an 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course. Guests at the resort enjoy preferential rates for golf on a masterpiece course that winds its way through the jungle and around the native mangroves to offer a challenging experience for the serious golfer, while allowing an enjoyable round for the intermediate and beginner in a unique, natural setting. In fact, Golf Digest named the Cozumel Country Club course one of the Best Places to Play (2008/2009). Let the hotel concierge book your tee time.
The resort also houses a 24-hour fitness center and on-property tennis courts, with racquets available at concierge.
Guests with children quickly discover Chiqui Club, where kids participate in daily activities including nature walks, searching for iguanas and fish feeding, as well as games and arts and crafts designed to teach children the history and culture of Mexico.
World-renowned upscale duty-free shopping and arts and craft shopping are available just minutes from the resort. Cozumel’s most concentrated shopping area centers around San Miguel’s zocalo (Plaza del Sol) and extends for about eight blocks along the waterfront and several blocks back into town. Downtown Cozumel is safe and has everything from high-toned waterfront jewelry stores like Van Cleef & Arpels to little holes-in-the- wall crammed with hand-painted batik hangings, carved wood crafts and papier-mâche animals.
While downtown, make a point to visit Pepé’s Grill for a great local dining experience. Since it opened in 1965, Pepé’s has been known for its quality and has been a favorite for locals and visitors alike.
The specialties of the house are the fresh lobster and prime rib, yet the menu also offers several cuts of beef, fresh seafood, as well as an excellent selection of appetizers , salads, drinks, desserts and make sure you hear the El Trio Imperial Mariachi band.
Without a doubt, the Presidente InterContinental Cozumel Resort and Spa is an idyllic safe vacation destination with convenient access to all the amenities and activities Cozumel has to offer. A dedicated staff and some of the finest facilities in the Mexican Caribbean give this luxurious resort a unique point of difference and a memorable experience for each guest. For more information, call 1-800-327-0200 or visit www.InterContinentalCozumel.com.
As the Mayans say, “Ma’alob k’iin.” Good day. Good sun.
By Elizabeth Alexander