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“Fabulous Return Trip” 5 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 #36 of 201 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Chelmsford MA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Fabulous Return Trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2011

My husband and our best friends just returned from a week at Iberostar Quetzal. We had a fabulous return trip, our first being 5 years ago. The hotel is beautiful and clean. Staff is extremely friendly and helpful. The service around the pool, at the pool bar, buffet, restaurants and bar were all fabulous! Breakfast was my favorite meal- though every meal offers numerous choices sure the appeal to everyone. The pool is huge, clean and a perfect temperature. The beach is gorgeous and the sand is soft and free from debris.
We have couples massages at the spa, which was probably the best massage I have ever had. The spa also offers a Jacuzzi and stream room, which is hidden if you are not looking for it. We made our dinner reservations for the al a carte restaurant on our second day and were able to add on an extra reservation by checking in at the reservation desk at 4 pm (Good secret to know- you can go daily and add on to the number you are guaranteed at check-in). The Caribbean, Italian, Japanese restaurants were excellent. The Mexican restaurant was so-so, the appetizers and soup were awesome, but the beef tacos weren’t great.
Check-in and out were a breeze. We had a mattress pad on our bed and were perfectly comfortable. It’s nice to know you can request one if the mattress alone is too hard for you. We found the room to be very comfortable and the shower is huge, has two shower heads and is great.
The ground of the resort are gorgeous, the plants, flowers and animals. Everything is just beautiful and the sounds and of the ocean and fountains are soothing.
We ended up going to a few shows this time around and I was very impressed. The costumes and productions were great and very entertaining.
We had a fabulous trip and can’t wait to go back again!

Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (411)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
2 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2011

We spent a week at the Iberostar Quetzal January 8 - 15, 2011. This was our 4th stay at the Quetzal.
Positives:
1. Friendly service - going out of their way to help. Examples: asked a waitress for extra napkins due to messy seafood - she brought us fingerbowls and napkins, mentioned in jest to chef that I would like coconut icecream when there wasn't any in the cooler, and he had someone get me two HUGE bowls, reservation agent for specialty restaurant told us how we could get extra reservations by checking for last minute availability on the day, gave us multiple room options when we did not like our room, etc. etc. etc.
2. Beautiful beach with plenty of chairs and palapas. During our last trip the beach suffered terrible erosion and it so saddened us. This time the beach was gorgeous.
3. Great Mexican food! Why go to Mexico and expect the Italian, French, American and Japanese food to be great? It isn't! But, the Mexican food at this resort was fabulous, fresh and authentic. Tons of different sauces to make it spicy or not as you wish.
4. Waitress getting drinks on the beach. Enough said.
5. For us, the biggest positive is the grounds with the tremendous lush foliage and the wide variety of animals. It was like staying inside a zoo! Watched monkeys and peacocks from our room. Saw tons of agouti and iquana as we walked, watched egret and swans as we ate. Loved the flamingoes, etc.
6. Met people from all over - Germans, Brits, Dutch, Mexicans, etc.
7. Beautiful, empty, romantic beach in the evening. How come we were the only ones out on the gorgeous beach after dark? It was lovely, with the lights of Cozumel and from the ships docked on the island.
8. Cleanliness - the restaurants were always clean - never had a sticky table, etc. With all the animals there is a fair amount of poop - but they were continually washing off the walkways.

Negatives:
1. The first room we were given faced the outside to the North. It had obviously been damp for an extended period of time and smelled to high heaven. The mini-bar was broken. But, within an hour or so we were in a better room, facing the jungle to the inside and not too far from the beach. We loved our second room. And they gave us options of rooms to pick from. Be sure to make your desires known to the staff. The rooms toward the street can be loud due to the disco. The rooms toward the North can be damp and dark - no sun! The rooms toward the pool can be loud during the day due to activities around the pool. The rooms toward the center face the jungle.
2. The food is not world-class. Face it - they are trying to feed a lot of people at one time at an all-inclusive. We found so much that we loved in their food, but could easily see how some could find something to complain about. Lower your expectations that the pizza will taste like it does in the US. It doesn't. Remember where you are and eat the food that is most likely to be of high quality - fresh fruit and vegetables (although for some reason the pineapple was always green!) and authentic mexican food with fresh tortillas, wonderful salsas, and fresh seafood and fish!
3. We never had a problem getting chairs or a palappa, but the hotel continues to let people get up at 6am and run down to put their things on chairs and reserve them. This is despite the fact the official information says you are not allowed to reserve. We just hate this! And, if the resort had been busier it might have been a problem. The Mexican people are just not good about confronting people about the rules, so they just let people get by with things. So, the rule breakers get away with a lot.
4. SMOKERS!! We don't just dislike cigarette and cigar smoke - I actually have a scent allergy and it gives me severe headaches to be around smokers. There are smoking sections in some of the restaurants, although a couple are totally non-smoking. But, in all the public areas - especially the beach - we had to move several times to get away from the European and Canadian chain smokers. Sigh.....
5. Hard beds - When we first sat down on them we could not believe how hard they were. Funny, though, I slept better on them than I did at home on my select comfort number bed. I see many people complain about the hard beds, but they worked out very well for us.
6. Rough seas during our stay prevented us from the snorkeling trip we had planned. It was cancelled both days we wanted to go. Might want to go later in the season.

All in all, we love this resort and that is why we go back. We don't have any high expectations that we will be at a world-class resort. We know this is Mexico and some things will go wrong and some things will not be perfect. But, boy did we have a great time. We spent a lot of time together, enjoying each others company. We are not wealthy - we are regular middle-class Americans and we don't think we would be comfortable at a more elaborate resort with a higher class clientele. We are comfortable here and we will come back over and over again.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Denver, Colorado
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2011

I absolutely love this resort! Returning to it feels like coming home. This was our 4th stay at the Tucan/Quetzal in 10 years and our 6th trip to Mexico in the last 15 years. We keep returning to the Quetzal & Tucan for the unmatched environment. Friendly staff, beautiful beaches, gorgeous pool - all of which are pretty par for the course at any 4-5 star resort in Mexico. What the Tucan/Quetzal adds is the intact jungle in the center of the resort with peacocks, agouti, coati, families of monkeys, turtles, iguanas and other wildlife everywhere on the grounds. The foliage is lush with flowers, vines, banyans and other greenery everywhere - which is easily enjoyed from the open air restaurants and balconies. The clientele is a friendly blend of Europeans, Americans and Canadians. You find many people, like us, who return year after year for the unmatched atmosphere and friendly staff. Our children, 5 & 8, quickly made friends and played happily in the pool and on the beach 9 hours per day, stopping only for ice cream and sunscreen. This year, as on our last trip 3 years ago, I had to fight back tears as we left. I will make sure we get back again soon.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Ontario Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2011

I am very well travelled and have stayed in the very best, some spectacular and a few not so great hotels/resorts. My friend and I just spent a week at Iberostar Quitzal/Iberostar Tucan in Playcar, Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We were picked up at airport by hotel shuttle, and although check in was not until 3 pm , we were able to get into our room at 10 am. This hotel/resort shares the beautiful property with the Iberostar Tucan and both are fully open to each others quests. The resort seemed to be built around a jungle, with beautiful birds and animals everywhere you walk. The beach is very long and beautiful with lots of loungers , beds, umbrellas and Palapas. The pool which is right on the beach is large but maybe a bit congested as there are two large resturants on either side of pool. These resturants are open all day and have a very large food selection not just you regular hamburgers and hotdogs and tocos.
The resort is very clean and well maintained with wonderful nature walkways. It is completely wheel chair accessable, including the pool.
There two very large buffet ressturants with a very wide range of choices for the most picky of eater of which I am one. Plus two resturants on the beach. There are four a la carte resturants as well , and the food is very good. The staff are very courtious ,friendly and very accommadating. The rooms are large and comfortable. If you find the bed too hard, you can ask for a topper.
The area is very safe and if you which to leave the resort Fifth avenue is only a $5.00 taxi ride away and it too is very safe. We traveled around the whole Playa del Carmen area and found it to be very save. The news media is painting Mexico with a black brush, As tourists we have to be aware that our own home towns and cities are not crime free and Mexico is no different. I am sure some Mexican Boader towns have some very bad areas as do most major cities. I was recently in Tejuana and other than crazy traffic, it was also safe. Again, I did not go to areas which were not recommended as safe by the hotel I was staying at.. I recommend Iberostar and Playa del Carmen to both families and adult s only. One note: The spa was very expensive You can find Masage , pedicure and manicures on Fifth Avenue for a fraction of the cost at the hotel spa.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2011

This hotel is one of the best I have ever stayed in, the staff were friendly and helpful,nothing being to much trouble. The hotel was clean and tidy with brilliant quality, quantity and selection of food. Pools and beach very well looked after. Selection of restaurants very good, grounds very well looked after and a joy to walk around. Go, experience for yourself I am sure you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2011

We stayed at Iberostar Quetzal first week of February. It was our third stay at the Tucan/Quetzal, and, as always, we've had a great time. (BTW, Quetzal and Tucan are two sides of the same property. They share amenities and are identical - it is not clear to me why Tucan has higher rating on Tripadvisor than Quetzal). As always, the service was great, and the rooms and grounds were meticulously maintained. On our stay two years ago, the room was showing signs of wear and tear, and this year we noticed that woodwork and bathroom walls and counters have been nicely restored. The beds and pillows are still hard, so if you want to sleep comfortably, ask for a foam topper and bring your own pillow - we did! We emailed ahead with room request, but they were unable to accommodate it this year because the hotel was full. They were willing to work with us though, so eventually (on the third day) we got what we wanted. As all reviewers mention, the property is beautiful and unique in a way it incorporates natural landscape. The passes through the jungle are illuminated at night, but the lights are rather dim, so small flush light and comfortable shoes might be helpful. The pool is gorgeous. It is 5.5' deep, and there are two shallow areas for non-swimmers and children. It is not heated, so the water can get chilly in the winter time. The wi-fi is only available at the lobby, and it is expensive. There are also two public computers at the Tucan lobby (2 USD for 15 minutes), but they are always busy. The food was very good. In fact, we found it to be better this year with more varieties and much less salt. They serve full breakfast and lunch at the beach snack bar on the Tucan side and at the buffet restaurant. The salad bar was better at the snack bar, but there were more sea food at the restaurant. The desserts were always great, and, if you are not afraid to put couple more pounds on, don't forget coffee hour between 4 and 5 PM at the Tucan snack bar - they serve 2-3 kinds of absolutely delicious cakes, different every day. The Italian restaurant was great with nice buffet style appetizers and desserts. The breakfast has always been the best. Officially, it starts at 7, but at the buffet restaurant you can get it even earlier if you go on an early excursion. For excursions, you can buy them at the hotel lobby. Shop around - there are always several reps there at the same time, so you might be able to get a better deal with somebody else, not necessarily with your vacation company rep. You can also find best deals online before going on your trip (cuncun-discounts has huge selection and convenient cancellation policy). But if you are an explorer at heart, go on your own. This area of Mexico is very safe, and there is cheap and reliable public transportation available. On our every visit, we always go on several day trips using taxi and colectivo vans - you can jump on it in Playa del Carmen, and it only costs $3 per person. Taxi is relatively inexpensive, and taxi drivers are always courteous and speak basic English. If you have more people in you group, you might consider hiring a taxi for a day - ask at the front desk. Renting a car is also an option. You cannot get lost since there is only one highway, but it might be confusing driving around Playa and finding places if you don't speak basic Spanish. It is very safe though, and Mexican drivers are surprisingly good. Also, if you rent a car, make sure to get full insurance and obey speed limit (it's in KM, not miles). This year, we visited several cenotes and went on the Sian Ka'an biosphere tour which was a highlight of our vacation. We did it with visitsiankaan - please see my separate review under Sian Ka'an. It is breathtaking - a must do if you are a nature lover. The hotel is very nice and a great value, but Rivera Maya has so much more to offer - go places to make more memories out of your vacation! Please feel free to contact me if you have questions.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Green Bay, WI
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2011

What is an excellent value to wart ratio? Well, there are numerous things to like about the Iberostar Quetzal all inclusive resort. Ther are only a few warts, or things I would wish away. Divide the good things by the bad things and the bigger the number, the better the value to wart ratio.

So, what's so good? The price was great. We booked on Black Friday. The beach is just about the best. It is wide and long. The water is clear and free from strange living or dead things. I don't think Iberostar can take credit for the weather, but it was perfect.

The food was fine, the rooms were fine -- no view to speak of. We didn't use the TV -- that's good. No free Wi-Fi, but I think this is probably good, too. There were a lot of people there, but no real lines. Therefore, privacy is scarce outside the room, which we rarely used. There are just a lot of people doing the same thing I was doing -- unwinding. You get the idea. It's nice, but not wonderful.

You know what cranked my gears? The wine. It was undrinkable! We took a taxi to Walmart to buy our own. That's sad when Walmart has better wine than the resort. We brought it to dinner. The staff was super nice about serving it. All in all, a rather small wart.

  • Stayed February 2011, 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 4
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
Amenities:
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:
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#24 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#27 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 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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