To set this up, I took a spur of the moment dive trip to Cozumel. Had no info about anything when we got there and no place to stay. We got in a airport taxi and decided to go wherever the people in the van were going. Fortunately, they were going to the Blue Angel. So we get there, and there are no rooms. At this point, what would most places do?? Nothing! Just say sorry and you move on. This would be normal. But what did the Blue Angel do? Eva, the OWNER comes out, and asks us about what’s going on. We explain our last minute (but somewhat irresponsible decision) to her and instead of making this general travel chit-chat, she tells us to load our stuff in the back of her car, she makes makes a few calls, and then we’re off! We pull into a hotel down the street and she said they have open rooms. So a nice person would leave at this point and say they were glad they could help. But Eva, goes inside and negotiates a villa for us for half price!! So then we try to tip her and she refuses to accept our money. Her only request was that we come down and use the Blue Angel’s dive shop for our diving. Needless to say, this was done without hesitation.
As for the dive shop staff, I didn’t know quite what to expect because I, myself, have worked in Dive shops all around the world. I’ve been a divemaster since I was 18 and have worked in Brazil, Hawaii, Okinawa, the Virgin Islands, and locally in Atlanta at several shops…. so needless to say, my measuring standards may be a little higher. But the Blue Angel’s shop was tremendously helpful and considerate. I was only there as support for my friend getting his open water, so I was just “hanging out’ and “fun diving”. And one thing that I thought was fantastic was once they looked up my C-card, they saw I was an experienced diver, they let me do my own thing and didn’t hover over me! (A HUGE pet peeve of mine while diving). They were very laid back, yet professional, which is what I always look for in a dive shop. I don’t need gung-ho people being control freaks and making diving out to be some hardcore activity. The Blue Angel made our entire experience fun and enjoyable. They were incredibly accommodating and welcoming. And aside from that, my friend’s instructor, Amber, was quite a tour guide! She was willing to take our tourist butts around and show us real Cozumel. We really felt like we were living local life.
Now I have traveled to about 36 countries and hundreds of cities all over the world… and done some diving in a lot of them, but the graciousness, kindness, and hospitality we found at the Blue Angel is second to none. In all my travels, I honestly couldn’t remember a single other place in the world where I’ve have a hotel staff be so kind and helpful. You really feel part of a family there.
At the end, we tried again tried to tip them (ya know, since we didn’t actually get to STAY there), but again, our offer was politely declined and the only request was to mention them on TripAdvisor. So here I am, doing my best to do paint an accurate picture of how great it was to be with the people of the Blue Angel. OH, I almost forgot, the night we got there… they were having a private birthday party for a friend, and when they saw up wondering around, what’d they do? Invited us right in!! Free booze and free food! Man oh man, if I ever make it back to Cozumel, there is no other place I am staying!!
Oh, and the restaurant above the dive shop was fantastic! The food was cheap, and fantastic! No better combination than that!