The best hotels in Cozumel for gay travellers (Mexico)

Once Cancun’s sleepy cousin, Cozumel’s beguiling beauty and abundant marine life are now sought-out by luxury travellers and adventure enthusiasts alike—and for good reason. Mexico’s third-largest island is truly a stunner, where divers can rub shoulders with sharks while exploring miles of pristine coral reefs, and beach bums can laze about on secluded, sun-dappled coves. Sure, you’ve got the tides of visitors that disembark from the cruise ships but avoid the seaward boulevard, and you’ll experience captivating vistas and windswept seascapes. When the sun slips below the horizon, El Centro in San Miguel is where locals head to dance the night away to thrumming salsa beats; it’s always good fun to join them. The Mexican Riviera is well-known for being gay-friendly—same-sex marriages are legal in Quintana Roo, and Cozumel even hosts an annual Pride celebration. Many visit Isla Cozumel on a day trip, but staying awhile on any of the island’s unblemished beaches pays big rewards. Now, let’s explore our top picks for the best hotels in Cozumel for gay travellers.

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Cozumel | Photo: Secrets Aura Cozumel

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For an idyllic Caribbean escape that’s just steps from one of the world’s largest coral reef systems, this elegant resort certainly packs a punch

1. InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort Spa

For an idyllic Caribbean escape that’s just steps from one of the world’s largest coral reef systems, this elegant 212-room resort certainly packs a punch. The InterContinental Presidente Cozumel is set on a half-mile stretch of sugar-fine white sands and backed by lush jungle—miles away from the cruise ship hullabaloo. Within this secluded oasis, guests can expect manicured lawns, a beachside infinity pool, and top-notch service synonymous with the luxury brand. Fashionable rooms seamlessly combine modern amenities with traditional Mexican decor and are well-appointed with outdoor rain showers or whirlpool tubs, some with private patios and glittering sea views. There are four stylish restaurants on-site; Faro Blanco is perhaps the chicest and delivers exquisite views of the resort’s secluded cove. After a day exploring the marine marvels of “Arrecifes de Cozumel,” hit up the spa—it’s the best on the island.

InterContinental Presidente | Photo: Meritt Thomas

InterContinental Presidente | Photo: Meritt Thomas

2. The Explorean Cozumel

Travellers seeking the intimacy of an upscale boutique hotel but the luxuries of an all-inclusive resort can’t go wrong with The Explorean Cozumel, a handsome 56-room hotel surrounded by verdant jungle. Casita-style accommodations are refined yet simple, allowing the abundant tropical foliage to take centre stage, and there’s a sleek pool and a restaurant on-site. That said, an undeniable perk to any stay here is access to all the facilities at the next-door sister property Fiesta Americana Resort, including its swim-up bar, private beach club, and multiple restaurants. Active types will appreciate the daily guided expeditions, ranging from horseback riding to snorkelling to dune-buggy driving.

3. Villas El Encanto Cozumel

A small family-run hotel surrounded by leafy gardens, Villas El Encanto oozes with charm, largely due to the owners’ warm hospitality and personal touches that pepper the property. Each of the ten rooms is unique and inspired by the minimalist Mexican architectural movement, skewing towards stately yet straightforward design. Spacious, private balconies that overlook tropical blooms are the hallmark of this Cozumel hotel; sipping local coffee and listening to chirping birds here is a sure-fire route to soothing the mind and senses. Villas El Encanto isn’t waterfront, but beach access isn’t too far off, and the grounds are outfitted with a lovely pool and covered deck graced with swaying hammocks.

Photo: Villas El Encanto

4. The Landmark Resort of Cozumel

With its palatial marble finishings, eminently upscale pool, and sweeping two to three-bedroom suites, this complex is truly a landmark and deserving of its title as one of the best hotels in Cozumel. Fittingly, rooms at this resort are dubbed ‘residences,’ and each condo-style unit features full kitchens, private balconies, luxury furnishings, and unrivalled Caribbean coastline views. The spaciousness of the place lends itself to families and groups, so couples seeking an adults-only escape might look elsewhere. The resort faces Dzul Ha Reef (one of Cozumel’s top spots for snorkelling) on a pretty patch of powder sugared beach just for guests. A sundeck with a hot tub and loungers, a beach club, a private pier, and a gym round out the amenities.

5. Secrets Aura Cozumel

It’s hard to find a more romantic escape than Secrets Aura Cozumel—the singular adults-only, all-inclusive resort on the island. While the complex is large with 260 luxurious suites and three pools, canoodling couples won’t want for secluded nooks and ample opportunities for solitude. Each room boasts a private, sun-soaked balcony, many with a sea view; the swim-out pool suites are well worth the upgrade for an ultimate escape that’s all swim trunk living and barefoot ease. You’ll find four gourmet restaurants on-site, but should you exhaust the list of options, you can hop over to Sunscape Sabor Cozumel next door for gourmet dining and unlimited top-shelf drinks. While the dreamy rooms are of the sort it’s challenging to leave, a treasure trove of adventures both above and below the water await, should you so desire.

Photo: Secrets Aura Cozumel

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The hotel offers a lovely seaside setting and private beach, where mesmerizing jungle dissolves into pristine sands

6. Fiesta Americana Cozumel

Cancun lovers are likely familiar with the Fiesta Americana brand—or at least its hard-to-miss 118-foot-tall traditional Mexican palapa that rises out of the Hotel Zone. Now, guests can enjoy the same all-inclusive amenities and first-rate service at the newly renovated Fiesta Americana Cozumel. From its picturesque perch just outside the town of San Miguel, the hotel offers a lovely seaside setting and private beach, where mesmerizing jungle dissolves into pristine sands. The grounds are expansive, with ten bars and restaurants and a large bi-level pool. For next-level luxury, upgrade to a room with a private balcony and hot tub, the perfect spot for a zesty sundowner with your special someone.

Photo: Meritt Thomas

Photo: Tommy Milanese

7. Hotel B Cozumel

A perennial favourite of Instagrammers, this trendy boutique hotel in gay Cozumel has bags of character, from its “Be Present” floating bar to its seafront hot tub and infinity pool to the morning beachside yoga classes on offer. Design-forward rooms feature crafts by Mexican artists, and nearly every one of them faces the brilliant turquoise sea. Hotel B isn’t all-inclusive, but that’s part of the charm of the place. Enjoy decadent cuisine at the open-air Costeñito Bistro, followed by a smoky mezcalita at the outdoor lounge bar. Or, head downtown to explore Cozumel’s colourful cuisine and nightlife—you’re only five minutes away. When it comes to attractions, there’s excellent swimming and snorkelling in the property’s natural bay, along with an array of watersports like kite surfing and sailing.

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Photo: Secrets Aura Cozumel

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