As some of y’all know, we just got back from a long trip to Cozumel. Due to the crazy winter storm in the DFW area, our holiday went from 8 days to 12 (thanks for keeping the kids mom and dad!) This was our third time to Cozumel, and our second at the Melia. We really wanted to go somewhere different this time to celebrate our anniversary, but have you seen the price of travel lately?! So, we found a good deal at this hotel, we knew it’s story, and we have a Companion Pass (working on a post to share how you can get one too) on Southwest that allows Kevin to fly for just the price of taxes. So, overall the vacation was a steal compared to the other options we considered.
We have not stayed in two different room types at the Meliá- the family suite in the tower and the beach front room with the hottub. Each of them have pros and cons
The Level Grand Premium Room (stayed in July 2022)
This was a family friendly room on the next to top floor. The views were absolutely amazing and I loved sipping coffee on the balcony. The room was large with a desk, and there was good-sized closet space with a spot for me to do my hair and makeup. This was very helpful as the actual bath, toilet, sink area was a bit cramped…especially with a toddler. They did bring us a crib which fit nicely in the closet/vanity hallway area and Jack slept well with his noise machine nearby. They stock your mini fridge with snacks and drinks, and they provide 4 Nespresso pods for in room coffee. The con of this room is that it felt further away from everything we were doing on the daily- the restaurants, the kid friendly pool, the quieter part of the beach we liked.
The Level Royal Suite
Obviously, this time around we didn’t need a family friendly room so we opted for a room that opened right onto the beach. Well, almost. First you have a green patch with hammocks, and then you hit the beach. This room also offers a small deck with a whirlpool tub but not that much privacy until it’s dark. The room felt smaller to me than the premium room, and the bathroom was small…as in you need to close the bathroom door or straddle it to pee.
However, we did like that we could quickly run to our own bathroom and/or get things from the room that we forgot. This room also includes a stocked fridge, and Nespresso Pods just like the other. Overall, I am not sure which room I actually liked better…
This is probably the most disappointing part of the trip, but it wasn’t unexpected at this price point and because we’ve been before. This hotel offers 3 restaurants and I can’t remember all the names, but if you go, you’ll know by the description. I will say here, your kids will be very happy with the food choices- desserts, donuts, pastas, all very kid friendly foods.
Breakfast is probably the best overall meal of the day as there is anything you could possibly want including a Mexican breakfast feature, cappuccinos, and made to order omelettes with ingredients presented at the grill.
Lunch and dinner were pretty basic with many of the same things being served again and again, or just a twist added each day. Let’s just say, I was never excited by anything in there and I’m not that hard to win over when it comes to food.
The Fish House
The hotel and the restaurant hostess say you need a reservation, and always act like they can’t accommodate you if you don’t have one, but then they do. I am not sure if they’re trying to create exclusivity or what, but we ate there most nights and never had a reservation. I really liked the starters, two taco options (baja and a shrimp one I can’t remember the name of). The pulpo (octopus) can be really good, but is also sometimes rubbery. I guess it depends on who’s cooking.
One night I was really craving a seafood pasta and they made me a yummy spicy marinara shrimp dish and it was awesome! It’s not on the menu but it was truly delicious. Also, if you’re celebrating something, be sure to tell them. Our waiter Jorge went out of his way to make us a dessert that wasn’t on the menu and made quite a spectacle of it for us.
The restaurant itself is very cool, a hexagonal room with large windows sitting over a water feature and feeling quite jungly which I loved. I told Kevin I want my next living room to look like the Fish House.
We ate there a lot for lunch-mostly because I could wear a swimsuit and not put on a coverup-ha! The food reminded me of my old school cafeteria- watery nacho cheese, Caesar salad swimming in dressing, McDonald’s quality burgers etc. The ceviche and quesadillas were decent and filled us up. They also had some mildly spicy chicken wings that aren’t on the menu but I highly recommend
Best thing to eat in the entire hotel is here, and it’s the poblano cream soup! Never would’ve guessed it. I also had the arrachera tacos which had nice flavor, but was a little rubbery for my liking (I hate chewy meat). Kevin didn’t complain about his but he didn’t rave about it either. Neither of us can remember what he ate.
Two different pools-one for adults only with swim up bar and one for everyone but geared towards kids. These were kept clean but I came for the beach so I never even got in them. The pools were never packed and there are also covered Bali style beds around both pools that you can stay in if you prefer that to the beach chairs. I will say the family pool is not going to be a relaxing experience because a lot of the water activities and classes take place in or near this pool. So, if you need a break from the crazy, I would head over to the adult pool for a short amount of time OR down to the beach to hear the waves.
The beach is an actual beach with sand which can be hard to find in Cozumel. There are several different spots to hang out in on the beach too: near the adult pool, near the bar, in hammocks, platform beds you can reserve. We never had a hard time finding a spot to sunbathe. There are also several chairs under palapas if you need to avoid the sun for a bit (hello skin cancer running in my family). On the whole, I noticed the water seems to be clearer in the morning, but sometimes the beach and water gets overrun by seaweed. When this happens, the hotel staff do work hard to clear it but the water turns brown. Not to despair, if you walk over to the hotel next door, they have a concrete pier that keeps the seaweed at bay. The water there is crystal clear and has wonderful snorkeling. We walked over often and got up close and personal with the fishes. If you have snorkel gear, I recommend you bring it!
Melia has plenty to keep you and the kiddos busy. The resort offers options for kids 4 and up and has a game room for rainy days. There’s live music, karaoke, poker nights, Zumba classes, archery, etc. They also offer some nice spa services that Kevin and I indulged in a few times. The masseuses will come down to the beach and offer you special deals; I would say wait to book and see what kind of offer you can get.
Of course, you can also rent kayaks, SUPs, jet skis, etc., and they do have an excursion desk available that provides you tons of info on outings.
All of the wait staff were very helpful-especially Jorge and Adrian. They have positive attitudes and seem to genuinely enjoy waiting on the guests. We also had the LEVEL upgrade that comes with a butler, but both times we’ve found this service completely useless. They seem really eager and give you their what’s app number to text, but the butlers rotate in and out and/or don’t respond so I would say this service is fairly pointless. We’d sent texts asking for dinner reservations or water bottles. We could see they’d been read but we’d never get a response. I’d say the only real benefit of the LEVEL experience is you do get premium booze that’s hidden away…we didn’t even know about it until one of our lasts night sitting at the bar when the bartender mentioned it…then we had to ask for it each time even though our bracelets were the color to show our “level” membership. So, is the LEVEL really worth it? I guess it depends on how much you care about better liquors. I did get a free tote bag out of it!
PROXIMITY & SAFETY
The Melia is well located in the hotel zone; it’s a 10 minute cab ride to the airport or to town. The cab ride into downtown Cozumel is about $8 USD and to the airport it’s about $16 USD. There were always taxis available when you needed them, and you can even rent cars at the hotel. There are a few places you can walk to quickly for dinner, and some smaller beaches if you head out and down towards town. I felt very safe in Cozumel, although I always suggest to be aware of your surroundings.
For an overall rating, I’d give the Melia 3/5 stars. It’s not my typical kind of place to stay, it just happened to be convenient and we knew what we were getting ourselves into. I think it’s a great, easy, fun place to stay for the whole family and just a quick jaunt from DFW. One of my favorite things about this hotel? Your bracelet is also your room key so it’s one less thing for you to have to think about. And who couldn’t love that?
Tell me, have you stayed there, or at any other Melia hotel? What did you think of my rating?