More about Villablanca Garden Beach Hotel
A Great Hotel For All
In May of 2005 we stayed at the Villablanca Garden Beach Hotel in Cozumel. The regular rooms are for the budget traveler who is only going to sleep there. The suites, especially for their price, are fantastic!!! They have marble tile throughout and are kept immaculate by the staff. Everyone was friendly. The manager gave me an upgrade at no charge due to a hard mattress in my standard room. I highly reccommend this locale if you are going to Cozumel. There is a beach and great snorkeling 20 yards form the front door. Close to everything and very affordable. The landscaping was also beautiful. Thanks to Jorge Escamilla and his staff for a great stay. K. Gates San Antonio
My husband and I stayed at the Villa Blanca last December and it was amazing. I think we paid about $120.00 for a two bedroom suite, and what it turned out to be is a two level apartment, complete with kitchenette and it must have been about 900 square feet. More than enough room to be comfortable for the four nights we were there. Played a lot of tennis on the court (needs work -- note to hotel), swimming in the pool and exploring the different beaches up the coast. The snorkeling across the street was very good -- just be sure to wear your beach shoes. We ate just about every night at the little dive shop restaurant across the street - from huevos rancheros to lobster. Big hole in the roof/rain coming down ... who cares? The staff at VB were very accommodating and friendly. I would stay again but I've heard that the tennis court net is now missing. Need to check it out.
Dive package hotel
Stayed at the Villablanca on 25-29 July 2005 for a dive package with Pap Hogs just one week after Hurricane Emily swept into town. It was amazing that the hotel was actually up and running, although on the first day the pool was still being re-filled and after the third day, the algae had been cleaned up! Lots of downed vegetation but they were in the process of tidying up while we were there.
Dive shop and snorkelling reef just across the road
2 small bars/restaurants next door/across the street
Hot tub and tennis court in the grounds
lousy A/C - just blows warm air into the room - we changed rooms twice but it was no better (phew it was very very hot in there!)
Small bar area did not ever seem to be open
4 dollar taxi ride into town to get to the restaurants (no buses)
Cold water showers
One fuzzy channel on the TV
One thing to note also is that we had to get the early (5 am) ferry back to Playa when we checked out. The evening before, we checked with the reception staff who assured us that, yes, there would be someone at the desk at 4:15 am and that, yes, they would phone a taxi for us in the morning "no need to phone for a taxi tonight, wait until the morning". Well, there was not a soul (or taxi) to be seen. We had to basically jog along the road hauling 2 heavy diving gear cases at 4:15 am in 90% humidity in an attempt to catch our ferry. The ferry was 1.5 miles away from the hotel. After 25 minutes of this (and passing several tarantulas also on the road!) we were extremely lucky to see a passing taxi that stopped for us! You have been warned!
It was Fair
First time at this hotel.
Remember, you are in Mexico not the US.
We had a superior room which is larger than the standard room. Price was very reasonable.
Our AC was very cold. We had hot water all the time. They give you a 5 gal bottle of purified water in the room. We had a small refrigerator. We stayed on the 2d floor so there was a small balcony to dry your dive gear on. We did not have anything stolen. Everyone there was very nice.
The pool- first few days it looked OK. But the last two days it was starting to turn green so we passed on that.
There was no one at the bar area around the pool. But we just got our own drinks from the store in town and still had a great time around the pool .
There is a restaurant called Temptations across the street that opens at 6:30am so you can eat before you catch the dive boat. We ate there several times and the staff is very friendly. The food was very good.
You could spend more money to stay at a nicer place. It's up to you.
Not quite back from Wilma
Booked and prepaid w/ Villablanca after our original hotel was shut down from hurricane damage, and VBG was one of few non-downtown open.
On arrival we found restaurant and bar were closed, to open "next week". (Never opened the entire 2 wks we were there). We ate breakfast and occasionally lunch at Papa Hog's next door -- we were diving with them -- but the fare was simple and limited, and they close 4-5pm after diving is done. We wound up taking cabs to town for dinner, sundries, moneychanging, etc. when I had been assured we could stay onsite, even an all-inclusive plan was available.
The place was still being painted and repaired, but my wife had to nag for a week to get the jacuzzi cleaned; it was never the remaining week. Phones were dead, cable TV was out, hot(warm, actually water)water took 10 minutes, etc. and the door wouldn't even lock. The (slightly) poisonous tarantulas came at no extra charge.
I think many problems were already there, like qntiquated, intermittent wiring (the microwave I cajoled from him died immediately, probably from being used w/o ground), loose tiles, ill-fitting doors, etc.
My biggest beef through all this was the runaround I got from the booking agent, internationalvacation of Texas, who never returned calls/email, and the manager that pretended everything being was taken care of until the next time I saw him -- he came around just twice to ask if everything was OK, but was very defensive, saying "We just came through a hurricane, you're lucky you got a room". The booking agent's weekend clerk confided they have trouble getting straight answers from him also, but look who's talking.
Until someone reports these shortcomings have been addressed, I'd avoid this place. I can deal with a minimalist room, even bugs and Mexican plumbing, but it would have been better to stay downtown.
Very special stay
This was a very special stay at this hotel last April 2005 for my boyfriend and I. We very much enjoyed the convenience of having dive shops right across the street to do all the shore diving we wanted and we also liked the 2 restaurants across the street and next door. Great food at both places. We choose the large room and dont recommend picking the smaller rooms. Staff was very friendly and helpful at all times. I am sad to think if this hotel and the surrounding establishments were ruined by the hurricane. This was the last dive trip that my boyfriend and I did before he died 2 months after this trip. He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's and never lost his passion to dive. I use to be more critical of hotels but once I realized that its more than the hotel itself when you take a trip. Its the feeling of all the simple little things in life, like sitting by the beautiful crystal blue water, feeling the breeze and warm sunshine and seeing the smiles of all those workers who day in and day out try to make everyones vacation enjoyable when they probably never even get to experience a vacation of their own.
rubber sheets and small rooms.
Though Travelocity I thought I was buying the decent hotel room in the photo. I was shown the "Standard" room, small and really smelling of bug powder. I was able to pay $90.for an upgrade to thier acceptable "Superior" room for 6 nights. This was the room I saw the photo of and thoughtI purchaced from travelocity. The room was ok but had a rubberized sheet under the lower sheel. Not the best arrangement for sleeping in the tropic! I removed the sheep and was able to sleep. The "standard" room is overpriced and low.
Villablanca Hotel and Garden
I have never seen a friendlier staff and the most quaint and unique hotel on this island! I have lived on Cozumel for almost a year and a half and I'm speaking from the point of view of tourist and local.
Jorge, attorney-turned-architect, has traveled the world and you would not know this until you see the hotel but his rooms, villas, and penthouse are all mini-museums which house treasures from around the world. You will think that you are in China and then Africa and then the Mediterranean. The resort is Mediterranean-inspired and the gardens are English. It is definitely nothing of this hemisphere!
I have watched Memo and his manager Jorge spend hours on deciding how high the new canopies should be placed. Should they go up three more inches or night? Should they be placed a little more to the right or to the left? THAT is how much they focus on detail.
The hotel has a very exclusive, private feel to it. You will not be bombarded by the rii-iii-iiikikki party crowd. It is more similar to something you would experience in Palm Springs or most likely in Europe. The staff is there when you need them and not when you don't. Now if you want someone to cater to your every whim and be by your side and provide every single thing possible, then give up your luxury, privacy, and pace then go to an all-inclusive and face the cookie-cutter style and the noise of all that is going on all at once or go to something you are familiar with like a Days Inn or stay at a local hostel and provide your own water and pray to find refrigeration. Or allow yourself to experience what has been the inspiration, creation, and reality of one very well-traveled and experienced traveler who has stayed in many places in many countries.
The Villablanca was one of the few that was up and ready after Hurricanes Emily and Wilma. I asked them how they are going to be ready and Memo said, "We will just have to do it" and do it, they did! The resort just kept getting more and more refined. Now they have the Nemo restaurant with fusion cuisine and a wonderful chef and staff that ranks right up there with anything I have experienced internationally!
Now if you want to bring the United States down to Mexico and want an all-inclusive or the "same ole same old" then don't stay here and come home and complain about it. My suggestion is to leave your close minds home and open up to a different world and place. Then you can truly experience the surprise that awaits you. This hotel and its new restaurant is like opening a small package only to find a HUGE surprise!!!
A great value in Cozumel
We were originally booked at another hotel, but when they pushed back their reopening, I had to make other arrangements.
There were so many mixed opinions about Villablanca that I didn't expect much. Of the few places I’ve stayed in Cozumel in the past 2 years, Villablanca was the best value for the money and someplace that I would stay again. The hotel is friendly, our room was spacious, clean, adequately appointed, the view was great and it is very relaxing and quiet in the late afternoon and evening. There is none of the annoying pool activities and loud music that you get at the larger hotels. They could use a few more lounge chairs at the pool.
I booked a great pre-paid rate online for an "Ocean view Superior" room. Our room was on the 2nd floor with a perfect view of the ocean across the street. The room had a king bed, dining table, full size new fridge, microwave, coffee maker, sink, dishes and drinking water. The bathroom was large and we always had hot water and good pressure. They could use new bathroom mirrors and light fixtures in the room are a bit dated. But, I have paid more to stay in much older and worn places in Mexico.
We went to Chedraui and bought breakfast food so we didn’t have to rush out to eat on dive mornings. We only had one breakfast on our last day at the small on-site restaurant and I was very glad we didn’t do that on a dive day. It was very slow (40 min) and food was ice cold when it did arrive. The restaurant is also open for dinner from 6-10p with a limited menu that changes nightly. We didn’t try it.
It’s a 40 pesos taxi into town and also 40 pesos to the Caleta. It can take awhile to get a taxi to the Caleta if cruise ships are in at Puerto Maya. The taxis are already lined up waiting for fares at the port.
I'm so itchy
After staying in a brand new incredible home for seven nights, our group of 5 couples stayed here last Saturday night. We checked in early and were given "suites". We put our luggage in the rooms and then went into town for the day. We had to fly out early the next morning, so by the time we discovered how gross things were, it was too late to move elsewhere for a few hours of sleep. I cannot describe the things that were behind the bed in room 7. I itched all night, thinking it was mosquitos. Half of us woke up welted. It is now three nights later, and new welts are still popping up. My pajamas are literally speckeled with rust stains from the disgusting mattress that apparently remained after Wilma. I didn't see any filters on the pool. The doors don't lock. The A/C doesn't work. Thank God for the bar there. Do not stay here! And, always check the mattress as soon as you check in to any of the hurricane belt hotels.
San Miguel from the water
BBQ menu from the Cancun restaurant