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“WI-FI access should be included” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Iberostar Quetzal Playacar

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Iberostar Quetzal Playacar
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Av Xaman-Ha. Lote hotelero No. 2, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #37 of 201 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“WI-FI access should be included”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2010

My only real complaint is that you have to pay extra for access to wi-fi. It should be included for free. Using the internet service cost 20 pesos for 15 minutes which is not a lot of time. The main pool was huge, but it was too warm for me. I preferred swimming in the cooler sea. The hotel was beautiful with all the wildlife it had. There were flamingos, turltles, peacocks, monkeys, etc. This is a good place for families and large groups.

  • Stayed August 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,704 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Chicago, Illinois
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2010

My family and I, along with a group of friends stayed here upon recommendation to try an Iberostar resort. We are open-minded and by no means picky people nor chronic complainers. We are just an average middle class family from the Midwest who follow the quote, "IT IS WHAT IT IS". So this is how the quetzal/tucan is......

As stated in other reviews, the food, plain and simple, is not good!! I personally can eat whatever you put in front of me and I was only able to survive the week by eating the same damn grilled chicken and salsa verde everyday. All the buffets are terrible......no variety, same thing every day, with lack of flavor and freshness. Our son lived off of pizza, hotdogs and ice-cream. He tried the pancakes and waffles and said, "Mommy, this tastes funny," mind you he's only five and pretty much eats it all too. However, we kept saying to ourselves, “stay positive, it is what it is….”

The most disappointing part of the trip was the service. In the many resorts that we have stayed in the past, we have never come across such poor bartenders and servers who looked so miserable and had major attitude. We are tippers and we had plenty of singles to pass around. The problem with this is that the servers/bartenders expected you to tip at this resort. It was not viewed as an extra bonus for them for going out of their way for you. After all, it is all-inclusive right? Towards the end of the week, we didn’t even feel like going to the bar anymore because we actually started to feel intimidated by their abrasiveness. In many cases the bartenders would only serve the people who had the money exposed in hand and ignored the rest. But we kept telling ourselves to stay positive….it is what it is…….

In the entertainment department, the day entertainment was very low key. We even asked the entertainment people to play some music around the pool area since it was so quiet (the speakers were there) but they never did. It was overly boring and not very festive. The night entertainment was even worse, dull, depressing and non-inviting.
The turning point was when my 5 yr old approached me during one of the shows and said very loud and clear, “THIS PLACE SUCKS.” At this point I realized it wasn’t about staying positive anymore.

Towards the end of our stay we met 2 other families from 2 different states and we found out that they were having the very same issues that we had concerning service, food and entertainment. We realized it wasn’t us, it was the resort, that simple. It got to the point where we were so desperate for some action that we trespassed over to the Riu next door where the party was happening every night!!!

There were other issues too, like the 1.5 hour room service wait, the extremely warm pool, the nasty dirty water adult pool, watered down drinks, the condition of our room (warm moldy fridge, ants, moldy sink, cracked toilet, cement slab bed) but those were just minor details. After all, it is an older hotel and we knew this but thought they would compensate for that with excellent service.

With all that being said I am so glad that this site is here to help future travelers not spoil their vacation and waste their hard earned money and time off. As far as me and my family are concerned, you better believe that in the future we will never stay at any Iberostar resort again. After all, IT IS WHAT IT IS…….and that’s a fact.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trenton, OH
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2010

My husband and I decided to take a trip to Cancun without kids Aug 19-24th and chose this hotel for our stay. Big mistake!! This hotel is VERY kid oriented with lots of families. The pool each day had so many kids playing and splashing, you couldn't really float around and relax. This wouldn't have been a bad thing if we had brought kids as well, but we came to enjoy a nice week together to relax, kid free. As in other reviews, yes the pool is very warm, but it did not really bother us. By the end of each day, you can see a film of sunscreen and God knows what else on top of the water, but I wouldn't go under water so I didn't worry about it.

As in other reviews, the pool gets very crowded, very early. There are only 4 palapas (cabana beds) by the pool and they always filled up 1st. I was determined to have one so I woke up at 5:45am one morning and just went back to sleep in it until my husband woke up. There are plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas but the later you wait, the less chance you have of finding a couple together. And yes, people do reserve chairs/ palapas early when they are supposedly not allowed.

The Staff were, indeed, friendly, however never knew the answers to our questions. The Refrigerator was really warm, and eventually stopped working all together in our room and when we called it took them over 2 hours to respond. Finally they fixed it, but it was still a little warm. The rooms do not get cleaned until later in the day, but again, that wasn't a concern for us. We didn't spend any time in the room anyway, other than to sleep. The beds are on a concrete slab, but we took the advice of other reviewers and asked for a foam pad. It really helped a lot and we were so exhausted from being in the sun all day that we slept fine. And we NEVER heard the peacocks and monkeys in the morning hours. Maybe we had a good location for our room or were too tired to care, but it was not an issue in the least for us!

The grounds are very beautiful. My husband and I saw monkeys several times, peacocks, flamingos, turtles, koi fish, roosters, tucans, huge iguanas, little rodents that are called Tzurques but they look like a rat/rabbit/squirrel so we affectionately called them "scrabbits" :) The jungle is very neat however somewhat confusing to get around and not very well lit up at night so you had to really watch where you were going. It's a bit of a shock when you first get there seeing all the animals among you, but by the end of the trip, you don't even think twice about passing one. They don't bother anyone in the least.

The beach was the most disappointing part for me. When I think of Cancun, I think of crystal clear water and white soft sandy beaches. This is not the case here. The water was really dirty. I could've went to a lake and had clearer water. The waves were a bit rough, but that is fun for kids and people body surfing. The beach its self has a lot of shell pieces and wasn't what I expected. My husband and I walked down the beach over a mile (as per another reviewer recommended for a lagoon). Do NOT do this. It was very hot and the farther you walk, the dirtier the beach gets with trash and what not and we never found a lagoon.

The food wasn't the greatest. What they had left over from one buffet would just be served at the next. You can always find SOMETHING to eat, so you won't starve, but we did not like the buffets what so ever. And there is no air conditioning pretty much throughout the resort other than your rooms, so you will sweat your butt off eating as there is little to no air flow around all the hot buffets. We did get to go to 3 specialty restaurants (for each 7 days you stay, you get 3 guarenteed specialty reservations) We ate at Mexican, Italian, and Steakhouse. Hands down the Mexican was the best. We are not even big mexican eaters, but it was fantastic! Italian, to me, tasted like Chef Boyardee. Steakhouse was really good as well...I got the pork chops.

The entertainment was ok. They have kids club activities until the shows at 930pm so by that time you're so tired you can barely stay awake. I wish they would've been a little earlier.

The drinks are very poor. The liquor is very low quality. I tried several drinks and never finished one. The Mai Tai was the best drink and still was just medicore. If you're not picky about drinks and just want to get drunk, then this won't be an issue for you!

Overall, I don't think I would recommend this hotel to my friends. There are too many better options of resorts to stay at in Mexico. It would be a fun resort for kids...but still not somewhere I would return to.

Here are some tips for your stay:

*Request buildings 22,23,24,25 for best location in terms of beach and restaurants. We stayed in 23 and it couldn't have been more perfect.

*Bring insulated cups (we brought 32 oz bubba kegs) and you are able to fill them up with sodas or the bartender doesnt mind mixing drinks for it

*Bug Spray! We got ate up with Mosquitos.

*To call home, BUY THE CARD AT THE RESORT. They are the only calling cards that work with the resort pay phones. We thought we would save money going into town to buy one, but they don't work with the resort pay phones and you still have to pay the $5 connecting fee everytime you call out.

*Get up Early to get your chairs or you won't chairs together!

*Check in time is STRICTLY 3pm. You will sit and wait until then if you get there early.

*Book your dinner reservations when you get there (desk is across from check in, easy to find!) and then on the days you have no reservations, go to desk again at 4pm and you can almost always get an extra reservation for that night.

*Water was safe to drink in the restaurants/buffets but had to use a jug of water to brush your teeth. And be careful showering...hold your mouth closed! Faucet water is NOT safe.

*Go into town! Taxi cabs are $5 (50 pesos) and go to 5th Avenue (playa del carmen). We went on a Saturday night and it is so fun! There are tons of shops and culture. They had music and fire dancers. Very worth the trip.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to email me amanda.caudill@hotmail.com

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2010

We returned to the Quetzal this year for the second time. It was still lovely but standards in some areas had dropped. The room cleaning was haphazard. We returned one day at 6p.m from the beach and the room hadnt been cleaned. Mini bar was not always fully stocked as it should have been and we had to ask for refills of shampoo etc. The food was still good but many of the 'extras' or little touches like champagne breakfasts, lots of prawns were missing - it was all very standard. The beach was nice as the sandbags from the previous year had disapeared but we found it wasnt always given the same degree of attention, especially with cleanliness that it had been last year. The sunbed situation was very irritating - the hotel give you a leaflet saying the reservation of sunbeds is strictley forbidden , however they allow it. Unless you are by the pool at 5a.m. you stand no chance of beds or shade. They should either forget the leaflets or not allow the practise. The daytime entertainment was good but the evening entertainment was very poor. Despite all of this we had a good time and still felt it was good value for mone in a great location. The hotel does appear to be wilting however.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake City, Michigan
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2010

What a GREAT vacation. My family and I had the time of our lives at the Iberostar Tucan/Quetzal. There are MANY beautiful animals on site, the monkeys paid us a visit our first afternoon at the hotel. This is a magnificent place to stay, beautiful grounds kept to a "T" at all times. Great, kid friendly staff who were more than accommodating. Everything was wonderful, the beach is exquisite, great food, perfect atmosphere -- would love to go back in a heartbeat. Can't say enough great things about this hotel or the staff. I had a palapa massage that was second-to-none. The rooms are wonderful and nicely decorated. Sinks drain slowly in the bathroom but this isn't a complaint as I'm sure it can't be helped. If you are looking for a magical atmosphere that is really affordable, stay here. This is my 4th trip to Playacar and by far my best experience. I have stayed at more expensive hotels and was not nearly as satisfied. The way the development is literally built into the existing jungle is unique and brilliantly done. I think this is the place to go for the time of your life, and it would be very difficult to find anything to complain about here. Get up early in the morning and watch the peacocks and the monkeys while you sip your coffee on your balcony. Take in the sounds of the ocean and the birds and watch the monkeys swing through the trees as the sun is rising. Grab a camera and just watch, there's a memory just waiting here. It is a 5-star plus and YOU WILL LOVE IT!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2010

We stayed at the Iberostar Paraiso Beach last year, so this review compares the two hotels. We decided to stay in this one because we thought we'd want to be closer to Playa del Carmen, and we wanted to try a new one. In the end we went into town only once, so it wasn't worth the crowds or the extra money. The resorts themselves are quite similar architecturally. They are laid out the same with two identical hotels on either side. We felt like we were at the same hotel. There is a shared pool in the center with matching breakfast/lunch buffets on either side of the beach. We liked that everything is close together in the Quetzal/ Tucan. However the pool is bigger and better at the the Paraiso, and the beach is cleaner with clearer water and less crowded. The pool at the Quetzal was deep and not nearly as big. For kids the Paraiso pool is superior because it had a few levels so you weren't always swimming. There is only one swim up bar. As I recall, there were several at the Paraiso. The rooms are the same, but the Paraiso there was more room. Sadly the beach is not so great. There are a lot of hotels and the water can get clouded up. It smells like diesel fuel from all the jet skis. If you are out of town, say at the Paraiso, the water is clearer and there are fewer jet skis to stink up the place. The down side to the Paraiso is that it is quite large and there is definitely more walking from place to place. The evening buffets were about the same. The Paraiso had bar service in the main buffets. Quetzal did not.
I would recommend the Quetzal if you are planning to go out at night in Playa. You'll want to be close. You might also like the Quetzal because there are more people. There are about ten all inclusive hotels right next to each other, so there is more people watching to be done. But if you're not so into that and you don't mind a bit more walking the Paraiso was much nicer. The other thing is that the Quetzal cost slightly more which I found surprising.

Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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Iberostar Quetzal
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2010

We have been to Mexico 12 times. We have been to Iberostar Quetzal 7 times. This is a great place to vacation. Great value and great fun. The Star Friends are AWESOME, Our favorites are Ligui, Edu, Freddy, Carlos, Hector,Harry Potter, Migel and many others. They have activities to keep you busy all day. If you just want to relax , this is the place for that also.You can do as much or as little as you want. We did air guns, archery, boccia ball, darts and crazy pool games every day. It is a great vacation place for kids also, we have two kids, 11 and 12, and they absolutely love it! We love this hotel because of the jungle. It is one of the older Iberostars, but thats why we love it. With most new hotels there are no trees , this not only has trees but it has a jungle. It is full of wild life, my kids loved feeding all the animals. The whole family love this vacation and can`t wait till our next trip, it will absolutely be at Iberostar Quetzal.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Quetzal Playacar

Address: Av Xaman-Ha. Lote hotelero No. 2, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#31 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Iberostar Quetzal Playacar 3.5*
Number of rooms: 350
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Privileged situation directly on the beach of Playacar, around 3 km from the town of Playa del Carmen. A watersports and diving paradise. Sub- tropical mangrove swamp. Great gastronomical variety. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Quetzal Playacar Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Iberostar Hotel Quetzal Playacar
Iberostar Quetzal Playa Del Carmen
Iberostar Quetzal Playacar Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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