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Reviewed 5 April 2006

Just returned from a four day stay the Iberostar Quetzal and had a wonderful, relaxing time. Had been there about four years ago and loved it so I was excited to return. However I found that it isn't what it used to be. When we checked in we were told that the only room available was next to the disco. However, once I slipped the front desk receptionist some cash, a room by the ocean suddenly became available (building 21-fabulous). Also, not a big fan of tap beer. Had to BEG for more bottled beer for the room minibar. Was told by the front desk that alcohol was only stocked every 2 days. Really a bummer, especially when we only received 2 bottles every 2 days. I thought this was an all-inclusive? Our rooms were never cleaned until late in the day which became an issue when trying to get dressed to go to dinner and the housekeeper was in the room. She was tipped well too. The food as I remember it was AWESOME! Not this time, They've really scaled back on the variety. Every meal was pretty much the same. Thank God for the one night in the Italian restaurant, very good. Night shows pretty lame. Beautiful beach and pool. Clean.All in all a good time but not sure if I would go back.

  • Stayed: April 2006
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9  Thank freezebaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2006

We stayed for one night at the Quetzal prior to moving to a rented villa for 2 weeks. I kind of wish we planned a week in a villa and a week at the Quetzal instead.

First of all, it is a lovely resort - is has a very intimate & charming feel for a large hotel. The hotel is built into the jungle so you have various animals (gibbons, spider monkeys, peacocks, iguana to name a few) to stop and look at as you walk around the resort.

The rooms are very nice. We reserved a Jr. Ocean Suite to ensure an oceanfront location. It had 2 double beds and 2 single side beds that are perfect for children (we were traveling with our 4-year old son). The rooms are not incredibly large by any means, but they were large enough to accommodate our needs (lots of luggage and plenty of toys). After checking in, the porter will take you in a golf cart to your room. The beds are hard in Mexico, but we were very comfortable.

The beach is gorgeous - long & wide with plenty of white sand and clear water to take your mind off winter. Beach chairs were easy to come by, and there is a nice mix of shade of sun. It was well groomed.

The pool is large with lots of different coves and waterways. The water temperature was slightly chilly but you got used to it quickly so it was not a big deal whatsoever.

We ate at the buffet (we were not able to get a reservation at any of the ala-carte restaurants for the one night we were there) and each time the food was very good. A wide variety with great, healthy choices for the kids. My son is EXTREMELY picky with food and he was happy as a clam.

The hotel is a long walk or a short cab ride to Playa del Carmen, which is a fun place for shopping and dining. Also, the ferry to Cozumel is there in case you want to hop over for some snokeling and more great shopping.

We would definitely return to the Quetzal. It is a great combination of families (but not overwhelming with kids), and couples. The low-key atmosphere and Grade A attention you receive from the staff is a nice plus.

  • Stayed: March 2005
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24  Thank mommylovestotravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2006

We spent two fabulous weeks (Feb 19-Mar 5) on the Quetzal side of the Iberostar. I had read more reviews about the Tucan side of the hotel so was disappointed that first night to be put on the Quetzal side. However after the first day of walking around I realized I really liked where we were. We stayed on the ground floor of building 25, facing the jungle. It was central to both the beach area and the lobby & restaurants. The hotel is really one big resort with two receptions & lobbies. We had a daily show of peacocks, peahens, those cute little rodent critters & monkeys in front of our balcony.
Buffets were just fine...there was something there for everyone. Not being a connoisseur of fine food like some of the reviewers obviously must be, I was quite happy with the food and happy to be able to get something when I was hungry. The speciality restaurants were a nice change as you get waited on. I think my favorite was the Italian..very romantica!
We had a drink before dinner every night in the lobby bar. The lobby bar on the Tucan side seemed to be the party bar, but we preferred the Quetzal bar.
I thoroughly enjoyed my daily adhoc spanish lessons with the young man at the towel booth. I was up every morning & on the beach by 0800. There were palapas available as well as tons of beach chairs. We spent most of our time on the beach with an umbrella obtained from the towel booth. Unless you are a dedicated sun worshipper you need some shade, because when the breeze/wind off the ocean stops, it is hot!!
We brought our own air mattresses but didn't use them that much as the waves many of the days were quite big. Next time I will bring an inner tube which you can hang onto better.
There are ladies that will serve you drinks on the beach and pick up the empty cups. They discourage bringing plates of food down to the beach and I can see why, as people left them lying around for some one else to clean up after. I don't mean to lecture: there are garbage cans scattered about, so clean up after yourself & your kids, as there is no magic machine that comes along at night to clean up the mess of us tourists. If you are a smoker, (which I am) please get a styrofoam cup from the buffet, fill with sand & use as your ashtray. Then throw it away at the end of your day.
I am not normally affected by bugs however in the lobby bar I found I was getting bitten by something?? yet my husband wasn't. I didn't see any mosquitoes?? So I bought some bug spray and I was fine when I used it, so you might want to pack some. There is a small plaza a 5 minute walk down the street that has a drug store of sorts so you can pick up stuff there.
If you are really adventurous you can go into Playa and go to Wal-Mart..the prices there are less expensive of course.
My husband scuba dives and did 6 days/12 dives from a shop in Playa on Quattro Norte off of 5th, called Scuba Libre. Great package deals and an experienced dive team.
This was our 2nd stay in an Iberostar and we are very impressed with this hotel chain. Tucan/Quetzal we really loved due to it's closeness to Playa.
One last thing..you don't need to do this every interaction, but don't forget to tip..10-20 pesos($1-2) or more here & there is a pittance for the smiling, friendly & hard working service you get from all the staff. Enjoy!!!

  • Stayed: February 2006
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34  Thank Expresss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2006

My friends and I were at the Iberostar Quetzal from Feb. 23-Feb. 27. The resort was really very nice. Some complained about the hardness of the hotel beds, but I love a firm mattress and I slept rather well on it. Well up until the animals starting making noises at the crack of dawn!! That was the tough part....the resort has a makeshift jungle with all sort of animals on the property....Monkeys, Flamingos, Iguanas, Peacocks and other types of birds. Pretty cool to see these animals, but every morning before sunrise, they were making noise and that disturbed our sleep. Like another reviewer suggested, may want to bring ear plugs!

The food was Ok, not bad. The Japanese speciality restaurant was really good. The Steak House was also pretty good. The Mexican restaurant was not very good...none of us enjoyed our meals. All other times we ate at the buffets which I thought were good. The salsa and chips near the poolside buffet are very addicting!

The pool is nice and the temp was a bit cool at first, but in the hot sun, you got used to it very fast and it felt good once you were submerged in it. The ocean was fairly warm too and gorgeous! If you want a chair on the beach, get there early b/c they get occupied very fast. Same w/ the pool area....get up early to get a chair!

From Playa Del Carmen which is about a $5 cab ride, or 30 min walk from the resort, you can take a Ferry to Cozumel. The Ferry costs $10 each way. We did that one day. That was pretty neat!! We got to enjoy Cozumel as well and took a ride on the sea. Shopping on Cozumel is pretty good if you are a shopper.

It was hard to come back to Ohio that's for sure!! I would recommend this resort.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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26  Thank Discover31572
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2006

We returned from the Quetzal on 3/04. Overall the resort was very good to excellent.

This was our first time to an all-inclusive but we've been on 3 Royal Caribbean Cruises and 1 Disney Cruise over the past 5 years. We were a family of four with 14 and 12 yo daughters.

The all-inclusive was much more relaxing and slower paced than cruising which was exactly what we were looking for.

The resorts appearance was impressive with a tropical feel. The service and accomodations were excellent.
The thached roofs of the common areas with the polished marble floors give an impressive appearance. As mentioned before in the reviews the beds are hard and pillows flat. I'd recommend asking for the mattress pads and extra pillows.

Cruise food I believe was better. They try hard and at the buffet one night the head chef stopped at our table to ask for suggestions. They aim to please.
We tried the Mexican, Italian & Japanese ala carte restaurants and all were very good. Everyone should be able to find something at the buffets.

Entertainment was just fair but the Star friends try extremely hard. I enjoy the cruise entertainment
especially the comedians. Fabio is still at the resort. You'll know what I'm talking about if you've been to the Quetzal/Tucan.

I preferred the Quetzal's feel over the Tucan's. An example is the resort background at the buffet restaurants. The Quetzal's has waterfalls and a natural appearance. The Tucan's are pools and fountains.

I tipped often because I believe in rewarding good service and it was there in abundance.

We were very pleased and will return. For the price it would be difficult to do better.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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22  Thank rshinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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