Carretera Costera Norte, Km 1.5
Costera Norte , Cozumel
Tel: 52 987 872 0892
There's something about swinging in a hammock in your own living room that perfectly fulfills fantasies of living in the tropics—especially when you're gazing through sliding glass doors straight out to sea. Rent one of these ten one-bedroom apartments for a week, and you just might consider spending a lifetime peeling papayas in the kitchen, snorkeling off the terrace, and soaking in the bathtub. Condumel looks like a modest Maya temple with its carved gray walls beside the blue water, but the bedrooms, sunken living rooms, and fully equipped kitchens are all modern. Sure it's a hassle going out to eat (there's no restaurant on site), but you'll feel like an islander shopping in produce markets and catching your own dorado for dinner. Bill Horn, Condumel's creator, owns the excellent Aqua Safari dive shop and puts together surprisingly reasonable dive packages.
Avenida Melgar, Km 1.5
San Miguel , Cozumel
Tel: 52 987 872 9430
After two sweeping makeovers (one before Hurricane Wilma and one after), the former Plaza las Glorias almost deserves its grand name. It's certainly a fortress—outsiders are banned from the all-inclusive property, and security is intense (no gawkers scarfing up free drinks by the infinity pool or bellying up to the breakfast buffet). Romance reigns in the 175 suites, most of which have hammocks on ocean-facing balconies and bubbling hot tubs by beds draped in gauzy fabric. The on-site dive shop is excellent, and tropical fish gather right off the rocky coast (transport to sandier spots is available for beach-lovers). The hotel is one of several Palace Resorts in the Mexican Caribbean, and many guests are members of the company's vacation ownership program. Families, take note: Though there is a children's program here, the vibe is overwhelmingly coupley.
Carretera Costera Norte, Km 4
Costera Norte , Cozumel
Tel: 52 987 869 5160
It doesn't take long to get to know waiters and guests by name at this cozy retreat on the island's north shore. Smooching couples and adventuresome kids all feel at home in the calm waters beside the hotel and on the small beach. Mellow ivory walls and dreamy blue fabrics, wicker furnishings, and plenty of windows give the 50 rooms an airy, clean feeling. You won't find Frette and Bulgari here, but you'll get tangy margaritas by the pool, free access to the nearby golf course, and a complete break from crowds and noise. An added bonus: Spa packages offer discounts on aroma stone massages and other services at the serene on-site Savia Spa.
Carretera a Chankanaab, Km 6.5
Costera Sur , Cozumel
Tel: 52 987 872 9500
The Presidente has long been the most luxurious resort on Cozumel, buried in thick palms and flowering shrubs beside a prime snorkeling and swimming beach. After Hurricane Wilma devastated its '70s-style open-air architecture in 2005, designer Bryan W. Tarrant came to the rescue with a redesign that injected modern sophistication while retaining its endearing character. The facade and open-air corridors remain much the same, as do the blooming bougainvillea and hibiscus. But beds were shifted to face the sea in the 220 enlarged rooms and suites, and many of those were tricked out with ocean-view bathtubs, outdoor rain showers, iPod docks, and plasma-screen TVs. A peaceful adults-only pool replaced a patch of stripped-down jungle. Find further peace and quiet in the ultraprivate Reef Suite terraces or the Mandara Spa. A session in the temazcal (Mayan steam bath) inspires liquidity in mind and bodyas do a few margaritas on the mango-colored couches at the seaside Caribeño restaurant.
Carretera Costera Oriente, Km. 43.5
Windward Coast , Cozumel
Tel: 52 987 105 2684
Though guests at Ventanas tend to turn in early, those awake around midnight can watch meteor showers flash through the sky or witness the heart-wrenching labors of a pregnant sea turtle digging her nest deep in the sand. This place is all about natureit is the only hotel on Cozumel's windward coast, and it uses wind turbines and natural wells to provide electricity and water. Isolationists bring groceries and set up housekeeping in large suites with tiled kitchenettes; breakfast is served on the courtyard patio, and there's a restaurant (closed at dark) next door. Otherwise, it's pretty much you and the sand and the sea. And with only 12 rooms and two suites, you'll feel almost like you have the place to yourself.