advertisement

One of Cozumel's earliest and loveliest hotels, the Presidente is by far the best resort on the island, with an attention to so precise that it even has pyramid-shaped refuges for the hoary iguanas who call the place home. A long driveway lined with towering palms leads to the open-air lobby and a corridor to the grounds with endless views of the sea. Three separate beach areas edge lawns around low-rise buildings; the single tower contains just five floors. The resort sits alone on a peaceful cove, with only a small marina to the north. With seven room categories, there's something for everyone, from the least expensive rooms that face quiet gardens and an adults-only pool, to ocean-view rooms and suites (some with whirlpool tubs facing the sea), to beachfront rooms and suites with large terraces equipped with hammocks, lounge chairs, and table. No matter the size of the room, all are both elegant and comfortable, with marble baths, cushy beds with puffy pillows and duvets, flat-screen television, and espresso machines.

Beneath a giant palapa beside the sea, Caribeño restaurant serves a buffet breakfast sure to keep you full long into the day, plus fresh guacamole made tableside at lunch and dinner. The Alfredo di Roma specialty restaurant serves authentic Italian food, and the Napa Grill, which opened in 2013, specializes in grilled lobster, steaks, and imaginative seafood dishes. Tapas and cocktails are served at the lobby bar Bin K’iin (Mayan for sunset), another 2013 addition. The on-site Scuba Du dive shop is one of the island's most reputable, and the full-service Mandara Spa's treatments include a Mayan temazcal steambath ritual.