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Iberostar Quetzal Playacar
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Reviews (5,196)
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Reviewed July 28, 2011

Going August 2011...This will be my first time at Iberostar Quetzal, but ALL my experiences with Iberostar have been fantastic. The grounds are immaculate, the rooms are perfect, these people bend over backwards and then some. Have stayed at other Iberostar's and looking forward to Quetzal. People complain about the food, but 5+ days anywhere and the food gets repetitive. I appreciate the attention and the hard work everyone puts forward to make our experience a good one.

Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
3  Thank OKCSUNSHINE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2011

My wife and I (along with another couple) spent part of four days and all of three nights here in mid-June - and wish we'd never left. The hotel has a very tropical feeling, yet it's comfortably... almost, luxurious. I couldn't believe the monkeys carrying-on in the trees overhead, the flamingoes, the peacocks wandering the wooded grounds. Everything was specatularly tidy. Our room was nicely outfitted (but built to withstand hurricanes: solid concrete) - a huge walk-in shower, marble on the floors and in the bath, refrigerator stocked with all the beer and sodas you could drink (at no extra charge), and a bed made comfortable by the addition of an eggcrate mattress pad (Ask and you shall receive!). We ate in one of their a-la-carte restaurants each night and enjoyed them all... the steaks were outstanding (it was a little warm in there, though - it's the only un-air-conditioned restaurant, it seems - and the breeze off the Carribean failed them that night), the Mexican food the next night was delicious, and the Japanese restaurant the last night an unexpected and fun treat. On the beachfront a gal walked by every thirty-minutes or so offering to bring you a fresh drink of whatever kind - or you could go and fetch your own as often as you liked (and/or grab a burger, hot dog, or ice cream)... all without charge. We took out a Hobie-Cat for an hour's sail, and I reconnected with an activity I'd last done as a young teen in the early-'70's. Too much fun! The next day we went on an organized bike-ride through the Playacar neighborhood... now my wife would like to buy a place on the golf course, there. We did discover a little shopping area about 300 yards from the hotel that included a Starbucks with free wifi and a handful of knick-knack shops.

I'd recommend this place to anyone seeking a comfortable place to relax - and sleep, eat, and drink well. You'll enjoy the beach, the sparkling pools, the buffets at breakfast and lunch (and, I suppose, supper - they looked good at supper-time). They seemed to have lots of activities planned for the youngsters; I didn't see a bored-looking child the entire time we were there.

All of the hotel staff were only too kind, helpful, and even the gardener spoke pretty-good English. Yeah, a couple gals strolled by on the beach... topless... my wife doesn't even think I noticed! :)

Room Tip: Ask for something near the beach... after all, that's why you're here.
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank tramse1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2011

I had a hard time deciding which hotel to book.. so i read the comments here and finally chose Iberostar Quetzal Playa car.. and i can tell, we made an excellent choice.

rooms: you dont spend much time there, so to me it was good, it has everything you need.
Food: buffett is kind of boring, not many choices, but its OK
I suggest you book the a la carte restaurants the day you arrive at the hotel, they have very limited space.

Staff : very friendly, the receptionist was very helpful.
Pools: clean and big enough, not crowded at all( low season)
beach: it was very beautifuul, calm waters, perfect to swim, i dont like big waves, so i loved it..

the hotel is surrounded by local friendly animals.

overall, is a very nice hotel, and it has everything you need.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank Natzb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2011

Iberostar Quetzal was very pretty, the lush vegetation, the animals, the beach, it was all very beautiful, but the hard beds, below par food (buffets and restaurant dining) and lack of resort entertainment left us wanting more from our resort.

Room Tip: Very limited quantity of rooms located near pool(s) and ocean, cannot make room location requests upon reservation time.
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank hnicole0711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2011

SUMMARY OF THE QUETZAL / TUCAN

After reading many reviews on tripadvisor I settled on the Quetzal / Tucan in Playacar for our two week family holiday in Mexico, booking with Thomas Cook. (They are essentially the same hotel sharing pools and a la carte facilities but with their own lobbies, bars and buffets which can be shared amongst guests). Not sure why the Tucan seems to get a higher rating on tripadvisor than the Quetzal since there didn't appear to be any difference in reality. One explaination could be the slightly different mix of people staying in each. Some operators like Thomas Cook use the Quetzal side in the main for example, others use the Tucan side.

On the whole this place is fantastic and I found the reviews on trip advisor very accurate. It does have it's faults, but so do most of the hotels in Mexico, but my view is that within the price bracket you'll find this is the best overall. Sure you can pay five grand for the Riu Palaces and it's probably more plush, but hey this place is so much more fun. Don't come here if you want marble pillars and swish bedrooms, but if you want a fun place which fits with the surroundings and makes you feel you are in an exotic location this is for you. The whole hotel is set in a series of thatched open areas linked by covered walkways crossing over waterfalls and jungle. The place is full of exotic animals, monkeys, peacocks, possums, grant tortoises and flamingos. Within the complex is a series of air conditions a la cartes which include Mexican, Italian, Steakhouse, Japanese and Tropical. My main complaint would be that with the exception of the rooms and the a la carter nothing is air coned to any viable extent. The buffets were really hot and so was the entertainment area. Overall the food was quite good, but I would agree with some of the comments in trip advisor about it being inconsistent.

CHECK IN
No waiting, we were deal with quickly and efficiently. I requested a jungle view room which was duly granted, however when we entered the room there was only on king bed for the three of us. We reported this back and it was immediately changed.

ROOM
The room was clean and functional with everything you needed like a flat TV, fridge and a really good double shower (no bath). Air Con seemed to work well. Rooms are very rustic, no wallpaper here, pretty much concrete and stone was the order of the day. All painted in colours in keeping with the surrounding this added to the jungle feel. Beds were quite hard but no worse than i've had in Spain for example, didn't need toppers and only thing interrupted our sleep was the cries from the monkeys at 6:35am when the sun came up! We were on the ground floor so we had a balcony which all the animals came right up to. Peacocks slept on our balcony, possums walked past and the monkeys were hanging in the trees above. (If you want monkeys on your balcony then go for a top floor room which also has a thatched roof). We followed tripadvisor advice and left the maid 100 pesos with a list of the drinks we wanted in the fridge, sure enough when we returned it was fully stocked and then everyday with our preferences.

FOOD
The buffets in the Quetzal and Tucan were exactly the same. The food did vary but was generally quite good. I guess food is a difficult one, they have to cater for many nationalities including a lot of Mexicans. The tacos were good but a word of caution - if it says something is not like the sauce or chillies they MEAN IT! Some nights they had giant prawns in shells, other nights the options were more modest. There was always someone cooking pasta and also someone carving and serving meat and fish. Deserts ranged from Mexican specialities like lime skins stuffed with coconut to those tasteless cakes and jellies to get in all inclusives. Would like to have seem she paella of the quality there prepared on the beach which was excellent. Breakfast was better with many choices, omelettes, bacon and eggs, pastries, cereals, pancakes and smoothies were the order of the day.

The pool restaurant severed similar choices running a bit later in the day. It was cooler to eat down there and they did have cooked stuff too including the omelettes. During the day they also served lunches (hot and cold) plus they did tea and cakes and snacks. Just outside was a barbecue area which did really good burgers and also hot dogs, nachos etc..Also the famous ice-cream stand was near here and I would agree coconut is the best, closely followed by Raspberry Cheesecake. The stand was open from 12 - 5 and they change the range of flavours pretty much every hour so you had to be quick to get what you wanted.

We got six a la carte reservations under the Thomas Cook deal. The a la cartes were variable, our first visit to the steakhouse was good with the tenderloins all being cooked to perfection and the bloomin onion hot and crisp. The second visit was a disaster. The steaks came burnt to a cinder and when we sent them back they came back raw. If this happens to you I would advise you go to guest services and report it stating that you feel it was a wasted reservation. They will gladly offer you another reservation provided your complaint is genuine (please don't abuse). The Mexican is good if you know what to order, problem is the menu leads you to order tacos which are essentially the same as you get in the buffet. Steer clear of that and go for the tequila flamed kabab, steak or shrimp dishes. The italian was OK, starts were good and my Red Snapper was OK, but they messed up my wife's pasta twice. The Japanese was excellent, agree more of a show than real Japanese cuisine but the food was actually good too. Start with sushi, then crispy vegetables following by fried rice with either shrimp, steak, chicken or octopus (or all four if you like). Agree banana fritters are the best. Didn't try the tropical but it always seemed available which I think said it all!

DRINKS
Strongest drinks were in the lobby bars and they also had international brands such as J Walker Whisky, Gordons Gin etc..recommend zombie cocktails. Bar pool had the weakest drinks, recommend going to the adult pool or the bar inside the pool restaurants. All bars also offered range of wines including carva, plus coffees like Cappuccino or espresso. Staff would make up pretty much any drink as part of the all inclusive.

POOL & BEACH
Pools were clean and water warm. I think you have to appreciate that this hotel is set in a jungle so if there is a storm overnight then there will be some leaves and debris in the water the next morning. Staff do their best to keep under control. Never had any trouble getting a bed but agree lots of people reserving early in the morning. Staff would remove towels if abusers were highlighted or they discovered them. Beach was beautiful and water crystal clear and also warm. If you took in some bread within a few minutes there were hundreds of fish around you and they would eat out of your hand. if you want some peace and quite then come out of the hotel onto the beach and take a right. If you walk along the beach about a mile you are literally on your own. There are sandy coves and palm trees handing onto the beach like paradise.

ENTERTAINMENT
Shows ranged from the bazaar (Mexican dancers playing football) to the ridiculous. (Mr Iberostar 2011). Drink plenty of tequila before attempting to enjoy and take a fan cause it’s boiling in there!

PLAYACAR
Playacar is the place to be since it is a gated community containing a large number of high end villas, hotels and golf courses. Being gated it is secure and suitable to walk around. Is also has a purpose built ‘village’ with shops and the essentials like a chemist, starbucks and cash machines. Again all very tastefully done with thatched roofs. Beware of cheaper hotels which whilst they sit on the beach simply back onto the main road between the airport and Playacar. This makes it difficult to walk anywhere.

PLAYA DEL CARMEN
30 minute walk through the villas, worth a look at the scale of some of them and the high end cars, but next time you’ll take a taxi for 70 pesos. Main street is 5th Avenue and is closed to traffic. There is a mixture of high end jewelers and local street traders who can be pushy. There are lots of good bars and places to eat, plus some good coffee shops. Ah Cocoa is good and offers coffee, chocolate drinks and pretty much everything chocolate you might want. Also free wi-fi.

CANCUN AND TRIPS
Went to Cancun, don’t bother pretty much concrete and plastic, the benidorm of Mexico. Town did not feel as welcoming as Playa del Carmen and everything seemed more expensive. We did not go on any trips, but notable are those to the ruins and also to the waterparks / activity parks. Checks prices because they can be expensive, a better option might be to take a bus from Playa del Carmen or a taxi for the shorter runs and pay on entry. Be aware they are not all open on Sundays.

COMMUNICATION
Only wi-fi is in the hotel lobby and is quite pricy, nearest free wi-fi is Starbucks in Playacar (10 mins walk). If you buy a coffee you get the password which was latte34 when we visited. The connection is good and we Skyped home for about an hour without any problems. One thing we noticed is the logon and password also worked anywhere else where the same internet provider was used so we were able to use it to logon at McDonald’s in Cancun for example. Phoning home was expensive and don’t forget to turn your data roaming off!

SUMMARY
Really good value, Mexican people so friendly and helpful they literally wait on you hand and foot. An incredible experience with the jungle and animals, brilliant location and hotel.
One final point, Thomas Cook. I know some people say different but overall I thought they were good. Best price online, rep good, flights bang on time and legroom comparable to scheduled. The likes of BA and Virgin were hundreds more and offer little more than a couple of free drinks to economy passengers. Only worth going with them if you pay for club class or greater.

Room Tip: Go for jungle view, high floor for monkeys, low floor for peacocks!
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15  Thank SteveFussy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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