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Reviewed 18 May 2011

I just got back from my hoilday and had a fantastic time the best hoilday ever ! The beach was lovely muuch better then cancun and you could always get a sunbed. The pool was very large and always warm just like getting into a bath. You could be at one end of the pool and not see or hear what was going on at the other. The entertainment staff were brilliant and worked so hard to keep the guest happy. My favourite part of the day would be watching the evening shows they were soo good i have never been to a hotel that as but on this standerd of entertainment every night you realy must go and see them my favourite show was boggie nights . The food was nice and the steack house and itilian were my favourite and again the staff could not do enough to help you. I could not find anythong wrong with this hotel it was great can not wait to go back next year will be booking it very soon.

Room Tip: Try and be at the top you get realy good veiws.
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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3  Thank hoilday150800
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2011

Great hotel! I reviewed this under the Tucan , but as they are joined / share facilities I thought it apt for anyone looking up the Quetzal too. Firstly, the service was wonderful, the staff are so helpful and friendly and efficient. They were generaly good at English / multilingual, which was nice. This was our first stay at this hotel, and first trip to Mexico. We booked it very last-minute, and were on the plane a little over 24hrs later! It was mainly chosen on the strength of the good percentage it got on TripAdvisor, and it didn't dissapoint! In fact, I would say it was quite possibly my best holiday ever, and that was no mean feat to cheer us up as one of the reasons we went away was because we had had such a rough few weeks personally beforehand.
The Hotel is located in a great place, right on a beautiful beach...picture postcard perfect white sand and lovely clear blue sparkly water. The drinks waitresses even trek around the beach to ask if you want drinks and deliver them direct to your lounger, not just around the pool. A location review simply cannot be complete without mentioning one of the best things we loved about the place.... the jungle setting and the animals! (Another reason we picked it) - It was great to see and be on the lookout for the monkeys, turtles, peacocks, koi carp, parrots, toucans, tortoises,flamingoes, swans and various other birds, lizards etc... yet also see ones I had never seen before such as an Agouti.
The Tucan is joined on too, and you can use the facilities. The show area/pools are used by both, and even if you think it is a direct copy of the Quetzal side, its worth a visit through as they have the slightly different animal types in the two places, eg) turtle pool, the flamingo pool etc...
It is within the Playacar resort /road so feels nice and secure. Both within and out of the resort we didnt really get that sense of being hassled to death from shopkeepers / sellers etc.. that you get in a lot of holiday resorts which was great, they enquired a bit but were happy to leave you alone if you didnt require them, that was nice. There are a few little shops on site but there is a shopping centre down the road within walking distance with a Starbucks too, or a short taxi ride will take you to the main shopping area '5th Avenue' which is much bigger and more varied but more bustling and street entertainers etc... Yet you still feel very safe as a tourist which was good! Reception will summon a taxi for you and as with pretty much everything else, it is there almost instantly as you ask for it! There are also nearby attractions such as Xcaret, X-Plor (an adventure park where you can do rafting in underground rivers, zip wires above the trees, cave swimming, off-road vehicles etc... worth a look!) and also trips to cultural areas of Mayan ruins etc...
There is a nice breeze on the beach so makes sunbathing and beach games more bearable if you find the weather too hot. The weather was good every day. The sea is pleasantly warm, as is the pool, but also refreshing. I went to a hotel last year where the pool was so so cold barely anyone could bear to go in it, even the kids, so this was a welcome change.
Another good factor was that despite it being a large hotel, we never struggled to get sun loungers , no matter what time of day we went out to sunbathe. There are plenty of shaded umbrellas fixed round the pool and on the beach but if these were all taken and you didnt want any of the ones in the direct sun you could get large parasols free from the towel exchange to take onto the beach to use.
The entertainment was fine, the animation team work long and hard, and put in lots of effort, with prefessional dancers / singers and games / competitions etc... and try to cater for all ages and in a few different languages. Very welcoming and funny team without being over intrusive / overbearing. Big hats-off to them, they made the holiday! If there is a Magic Show on if you go...go see it! It was really really good! There is a nightclub on site but we never went so have no idea what it was like. We do not have children ourselves but it was obvious to see that the kids were very well catered for here. They had a dedicated member who was entertaining them, and they could join in with most of the pool/beach games etc.. and they even had their own miniature tables and chairs set out at the front of the hall where the shows are.
There were nice little activities going on during the day, usual stuff as water or beach volleyball, water polo/basketball, archery, aqua aerobics, funny pool games with prizes etc... yet also extra little things such as dancing lessons, cariacature artist, (get it done if you get the chance..very funny results, I still laugh every time I see ours!), clown / balloon modeller, spanish lessons, bingo, henna tattoos, pottery painting, daytime beach party/bbq with bucking bronco games etc... A 70 year old man had a go when we were there...and won! Did himself proud! For the sportier side you have the usual stuff like tennis courts, gym, football, ping pong tables, pool tables, free scuba lessons in the pool, watersports - kayak, catamaran etc.. and even mountain bikes and they do a twice-daily bike ride with you if you want to explore out a bit. There are things like Jetskis and Parasailing etc.. available from the beach for a charge too. More relaxing.. there is a spa with steam room and jacuzzis (free) and other chargeable things like massages, beauty treatments, hairdresser etc...
There are separate pools , so plenty for everyone - kiddies one, adult one with swim up bar that was a bit rowdier, 'event' pool which I used for swimming lengths away from the main hustle and bustle, and of course the large main pool which was plenty big enough for its purpose without getting overcrowded.
There is money exchange at the hotel, which is nice as where I went last year I had trouble getting travellers cheques changed, and was for cash exchange only , but here at the Tucan they do change them so thats fine. You may get a slightly better exchange rate in the town or wherever but I dont think its all that much, probably not enought to warrant having to wander about with your passport etc... so I usually changed it in the hotel, it was easier.
There are quite a few weddings going on, seems a popular place for them, and you often saw a Mexican band playing. Another lovely thing was that it was my birthday when we were out there and we booked one of the speciality restaurants one night and unexpectedly (Reception or the rep must have flagged it up to them, we definitley didnt) they sent the Mexican band over to play/sing Happy Birthday to me, and provided Tequila and a little birthday cake with a candle!
The restaurants were good, there was a choice of Italian, Japanese, Mexican or Steakhouse. We didnt bother with the Japanese as neither of us are very keen on the menu, but the others were good. Steakhouse especially. Wish we could've gone more than once. Food in the general buffet was fine, with translations in several languages on cards to say what each dish was. We ate just as often in the Quetzal side as we did in the Tucan. Plenty of choice, and hot. I also saw them regularly going around testing the temperature of hot dishes etc.. which was nice and reassuring. The fresh fruit is lovely.. the pineapple the sweetest and juiciest we've ever tasted! There were also beach bars, snack bars, ice cream stands etc.. all day so never any problems for eating or drinking as much as you want /need.
The room was fine, air conditioned, mini bar, safety deposit box, satellite tv, nice size and large bed, plenty chairs etc... The bed may be considered a little hard for some but I believe they will provide matress toppers if you ask. It was kept very clean, and the maid created a wonderful towel animal for us every day. Every day I expected her to run out of ideas but there was a different one for the whole 2 weeks! When we first got there we didnt think we had much of a balcony view as we could not see the pool / beach etc...only lots of trees, but we quickly realised that we in fact, had one of the best room locations (in our opinion..) as we were right in the jungle! Not only did this make our day by regularly seeing the wildlife scuttling about, and especially the monkeys playing ,and even on our balcony, but it was also wonderfully private due to the surrounding trees. The balcony has furniture so you can sit out, and also a clothes dryer, but tie them on, just in case the monkeys are about! hehe.
Sleep quality was good. Once the show finished they move off to the disco so the noise stops. There are also blackout curtains to keep the room dark and stop the early morning sun blazing in. We took earplugs, after a few past experiences of noise in hotels, but ended up not even having to take them out of the packets. You may hear the odd animal / bird sounds but you get used to it and it kinda adds to the jungle experience anyway. But generally, good. You barely even notice the usual noise of the crickets. There did not seem to be lots of rowdy guests shouting and banging about either so that was nice. The only thing I would imrove on the room would be maybe a little more storage space for clothes etc... I prefer to put all my clothes away properly rather than live out of my suitcase, so a few more drawers maybe wouldve been nice.
The bathroom was nice, lots of mirrors, great shower, large, hot and powerful...never wanted to get out of it! There were 2 showerheads, 1 lower...presumably for kids? but high enough up so you could have both running for an adult too, which was a nice boost. We had the odd issue with the credit-card style room key not working, but it was soon sorted and certainly not worth really moaning about as i'm sure some people would. One item to note though.. there seemed to be no lifts though so if you have kids, a wheelchair, a disability etc... you will need a ground floor apartment.
I know this is a glowing review that sounds like there was nothing awful but thats how we felt! we loved every second of it, and were literally welling up at the thought of leaving (well, I was..haha!). Missing it from the second we left, and still missing it now, and moping about. I'm one of those people who generally doesn't believe in visiting the same country twice on my holidays, much less the same resort or even hotel! but I even said I would be happy to return here. and that is only the 3rd place I have ever said that about. In fact, we have said we would like to return when we have a little one, as it was good for us a couple but it looked such a great family place too. We even wrote a letter to the manager of praise for the staff and facilities, and handed it in to reception when we checked out, first time i've done that. I have already been telling my friends about it and in fact, some of them have already decided on the strength of our recommendation that they have decided to go in the summer, and do you know what?.... I have every confidence they will love it too. Viva Mexico! :-)

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled on business
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7  Thank Teece88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2011

This was my first major trip anywhere and my first trip out of the country. I can not even express to you how happy I am that I picked this resort to stay at!!!! I recommend this resort to everyone - it is family friendly, has entertainment for kids of all ages as well as the adults, is beautiful and is a little slice of paradise!

The staff is incredible - from the waitresses and waiters to the front desk people to the entertainment staff to the room service people. I can not put into words how amazing they all were! The nightly shows are fantastic, something you shouldn't miss! Reynold was our waiter at dinner in the buffet most nights and he is amazing! If you can help it, sit where he is your server! The staff was all great, but he went above and beyond!

The food is amazing! During my stay I ate at the main buffet, the pool side grill, Bonsai (the Japanese restaurant), The tropical restaurant, and La Gondola (the Italian restaurant). We also ordered room service several times. The food was always fantastic. The main buffet has something for everyone at every meal. The deep fried pineapple at breakfast is to die for - you HAVE to try it! All of the fresh fruit was great and there were so many new things to try. If I had to pick just one specialty restaurant to visit again, it would be Bonsai! The show with dinner is unreal! I think that everyone should go there!!!

The room was great. We were on the 3rd floor of the 24 building. The shower is amazing! The closet was the perfect size. The bed was hard as a rock, but once we asked them to put a mattress pad on the bed it was comfortable as can be! The chamber maid was there every day and stocked our fridge daily. The balcony was my favorite place! It overlooked a great big tree that had birds in it all day long. There was also a drying rack on the balcony so we could hang towels and suits.

The grounds are beyond beautiful! Luscious greenery as far as the eye can see! There are all kinds of animals roaming the grounds: peacocks, turtles, toucans, parrots, tzereque (they look like giant guinea pigs but are related to a squirrel), monkeys, lizards, all sorts of birds, coy fish, flamingos, swans, black bellied whistling ducks (and they really do whistle), and even a coatimundi! It was like staying in a zoo for a week! The ponds, streams and waterfall on the grounds just add to the feeling of paradise.

The pools are fantastic! The main pool is warm and gigantic! Although it is almost impossible to get a chair by the pool unless you go down before 8 a.m. There are also big covered huts that are ideal for families with small children, but, again, are almost impossible to get unless you are up at 7 a.m. Use a towel or a cheap pair of shoes ( just in case they walk away on someone else's feet) to reserve a chair and it is almost always there waiting for you. The biggest frustration is that the chairs around the pool are 80% towels and 20% people. I spent 3 full days poolside and I saw many chairs that never had a person in them, just a towel and magazine reserving them for someone.... The adult only pool with the swim up bar is a hidden treasure! It is a must see for everyone over 18!

We booked our excursions through Lomas Travel and our representatives at the hotel were so helpful! Renan and Sergio had answers to all of our questions and walked us through all of our excursions, step by step!

The resort is a 5 minute walk from Plaza Playacar - a fantastic little shopping center. It is a very safe area and the walk is well worth it! There is a Starbucks with free Wifi here for those of you that are going to bring technological gadgets. :) It is also a 5 minute cab ride to 5th Ave - the main shopping street in Playa Del Carmen. Senior Frogs is just off of 5th Ave. Just a warning: some of the vendors can be pushy! We called it Vulture Alley! Just stand firm and don't be afraid to be a little bit rude with the ones that are too pushy. About half way down the street is a mini-mart. We did most of our shopping here. It has the lowest prices ($3 t-shirts, $5 bottles of tequila, $3 bottles of pure vanilla) and has a wide variety of souvenirs for everyone on your shopping list. I would recommend hitting this store first and then finishing what shopping you have left at the little shops.

I had a longing to go on a vacation for as long as I can remember. Now that I have been to the Iberostar Quetzal in Playacar, it has been replaced by a deep longing to go back. This is a must visit resort!

  • Stayed: March 2011
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3  Thank tish316
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2011

Fabulous hotel with small jungle(?!) filled with monkeys, flamingos, swans, peacocks, etc. Beach just off the pool area. Buffet serving everything from Mexican to roasts and veg. Four other restaurants to chose from, the number of times available dependent on the length of your stay. Note, men have to wear long trousers to these. Few shops 5 min walk away or USD7 taxi ride into Fifth Avenue where loads of shops. Staff very friendly, never a problem finding a waitress while relaxing at one of the pools.
Went for a wedding which was arranged by the hotel - was stunning! Bride and groom had no complaints regarding their special day.

Room Tip: Block 2700 is halfway between lobby and beach
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank KitKate71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2011

Just returned from Iberostar Quetzal (Tucan) and wanted to offer a serious review to those of you who panic as much as I do even days before your arrival. Most importantly, don't stress if the weather shows rain. The forecast showed rain for three of our five days in Mexico and it rained in the middle of the night, one time, and that was it!! I traveled with my hubby, 40, my daughter 9, and I am 38. We requested a beach/pool location and when we found Carla, she was happy to change our room to building 21(facing inside the resort) instead of 23 (facing outside which is quite boring) We were on the first floor which was perfect for us. We saw lots of wildlife on the jungle walk between our room and the lobby and restaurant area. The monkeys visited our building on a couple occasions and we spotted them numerous times during our walks. My daughter was amazed with the jungle and enjoyed every walk we shared, never knowing what you would find. We even came upon a small mammal (?) nursing her baby. The pool and beach are amazing!! Spent lots of time in the ocean, some waves were a bit big but nothing overwhelming. The pool is a bit deep for kids, I think 5'1 ish, but there is a shallow end. I wish I would've brought rafts...must do for next time. The swim up bar pool is adults only. The walk to Playa Del Carmen shopping/ferry to Cozumel is about 45 minutes by beach. The taxi will cost you $7 one way. Walk to the south, pass one resort and you will have almost complete seclusion on a gorgeous beach. Don't panic with the nude beach signs...maybe a couple topless women...you'll see more at the resort beach itself. My daughter was fine once I explained....There are always beach chairs available on the beach, but if you want to be location specific by the pool, set up early. Breakfast buffet is open at 7am poolside, 8am near the lobby. We always ate breakfast and lunch by the pool/beach. Omelettes, meat, fruit, breads, etc. There is NO ac at the buffets and it does get quite hot without any breeze...closer to the water more chance of a little wind to cool you off. We were not impressed with the idea of no ac, it tends to get a little uncomfortable. There is also no bar in the front buffets...wine or beer only....bring a cocktail with you. Lobby bar has top shelf liquour!! Although you have many food options, certain restaurants are only available on certain nights and you are only able to make reservations for 2-3 evenings, depending on how long you stay. We were able to make 2 reservations then we were stuck with the buffet. You can inquire for additional reservations in the afternoon and maybe they will accomodate your request for that evening. They did not allow us to make additional reservations. The steak house was good,(best sour cream ever...ask for more) breeze kept us cool. Hibachi was ok, HOT, even though they claim to have ac...they need to notch the temp down a bit :) The fridge items, as they explained, were kept "fresh" not cold so the bottled water, pops, beers, etc. could've been colder. The pool entertainment was fine, not too crazy by any means. The kids club was small, not very exciting, not many activities and never ran on schedule. My daughter chose not to participate. Very minor disappointments as you can see. We did take the ferry to Cozumel, rented a jeep and cruised to the Iberostar there...it's all inclusive for Quetzal/Tucan guests as well. Free snorkeling/gear use from their beach...walk out to the stairs on the dock. We saw lots of fish, starfish...great time. Their resort was awesome!! We plan on returning to Iberostar Coz in November. If you have the time, definitely go to Cozumel, cruise the main road along the coastline, check out Coconuts...beautiful scenery. You won't be disappointed. Taxi to Coconuts is $20 each way so you're better off with your own rental. Resort entertainment was fine, nothing exciting, but they work their butts off so spend a few bucks on tips. The staff deserve it!! I would absolutely go back!!! Feel free to ask further questions and I will do my best to reply. I know I've been all over the place with this review, and surely forgot a lot of quick details....Enjoy your vacation

Room Tip: we enjoy pool/beach area...request what you want
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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17  Thank levequefam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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