By Nina Gass
One day very soon, you will be able to say that you survived the whole ordeal of dress shopping, invitation ordering, menu planning, relative entertaining and all the other heavy lifting that needs to be done before walking down the aisle. Until then, enjoy the best part: planning your honeymoon. With its year-round balmy weather, pristine beaches and idyllic island locale, Cozumel is a breathtaking place to start the next era as Mr. and Mrs. Whichever one you choose, many Cozumel hotels sit on precious real estate by private, untouched beaches, secret lagoons and hidden jungle-like forests–the perfect scenes for romance.
Adventurous couples take advantage of the area’s greatest gem: Palancar Reef, which offers incredible opportunities for snorkeling and diving. If one of your wedding gifts was an underwater camera, this would be the place to bust it out. The six-mile long mountainous underwater formation is teeming with coral and fish. For leisurely strolls, flock to the solitary beaches, quaint waterfront shopping districts and intimate restaurants in the region.
To ease the planning, we’ve come up with four stellar hotels for the ultimate Mexico vacation. From all-inclusive resorts to charming boutique hotels, the properties might make you wonder why you just didn’t fast-forward to the honeymoon in the first place.
- InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort & Spa: This AAA Four-Diamond resort exudes elegance. The haven has it all for the couple who expects high value from their travel experience, from incredible dining to enhanced free amenities and activities. Located on the beach in front of one of the best coral reefs, this is the place for snorkeling and diving. Years from now, you might return for a second honeymoon or getaway with the kids.
- Cozumel Palace All Inclusive: There’s nothing more romantic than having your own double Jacuzzi and hammock to enjoy each other’s company while soaking up the serenity of the Caribbean Sea. This resort has an oceanfront location with food and drinks, land sports and some non-motorized sports included in the price. Kids are also welcome.
- Aura Cozumel Wyndham Grand Bay: If you are considering all-inclusive resorts and want to escape to a more private and sensuous locale, this adults-only hideaway provides peace and privacy. The couples’ vibe is accentuated by such delights as swim-up rooms (actually, you can snorkel and kayak up to your room as well!), horseback riding, and spacious suites (averaging between 750 and 1,500 feet!).
- Occidental Grand Cozumel: Another all-inclusive choice that boosts the value level from that of similar Cozumel hotels, this romantic locale is located on San Francisco Beach and near Palancar Reef, making it ideal for divers who have recently taken the “plunge.” It’s also the ideal spot for those who enjoy sports fishing or simply want to relax in their private beach bungalows or spacious room. With so much included like a full open bar, sports, Scuba classes, kayaking, sailing and windsurfing, and meals, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect choice. Be sure to ask about the exclusive Royal Club as well as destination wedding and honeymoon packages this hotel offers for an additional fee.
An important tip about honeymoon planning: When booking a trip for after the wedding to Cozumel hotels or any other destination, be sure to start research at least six months in advance. Although there can be last-minute deals available, it makes sense to book as soon as possible to lock in your dates and check one more thing off your wedding to-do list.
Nina Gass is a freelance travel and business writer who lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and two boys. An avid traveler and dreamer, Nina makes the most of her international family connections throughout the U.S., Australia, England, and Mexico.