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Iberostar Quetzal Playacar
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Reviewed August 5, 2012

This was our second trip, and we had a WONDERFUL time!!! Love this place!

Tips
1.) Plane/Airport – It is cold on the plane so bring jackets or blankets. Blankets are not given out. The way there was not bad, but it was freezing on the way back. Fill out BOTH sides of customs form before you get off the plan with blue or black ink only. Don’t stop and talk to travel guide people at the airport that will approach you. Walk right through and get out. Find your ride company.

2.) Rooms – The best ones are buildings 21-23 facing inside the jungle. The lower the number the louder the music. One of the worst buildings is building 17. The inside view faces the loud music, and the outside view faces the loud air conditioner unit at the other hotel. Anything facing out will pick up some music from the next door hotel, but not as bad as the lower numbered buildings. The music will end around 11:00 in all places. Sending an e-mail with room requests is not a guarantee. If you want to try send one a week in advance. If you get stuck somewhere you don’t like, try changing rooms later on in your stay. If you are going to be picky, then upgrade. Try a Jr. suite if you were in a standard and ask for the above rooms. If that isn’t good enough, then get an ocean view! NO problems with those!

3.) Rooms Part II – This is Mexico not Vegas so expect things to be different. The bed is hard, so ask for a foam insert ahead of time. If you are picky of pillows then bring your own. The TVs are not flat screened and have limited cable channels in English. Remember not to drink the water in the bathroom. The shower has a sprayer so it’s easy to remember not to stand underneath with your mouth open like at home. Have kids hum when they wash their hair to avoid drinking the water. I like to put a hair scrunchie around the bathroom faucet and tap/to remind us to use bottled water. That way, we don’t accidentally forget. We only use tap water to clean the sink after I brush my teeth. Bottled water is supplied.

4.) Food – OK. Not air conditioned. Most Latin American countries don’t use creamer. They use milk in the coffee. It’s not a hotel thing, but a cultural one. Bring your own if you must. Breakfast ..bacon, eggs, waffles, pancakes, cereal, fruit…. made to order omelets. Lunch and dinner are similar. There are fajitas, fresh tortillas, beans, guacamole, fried chicken, corn, mashed potatoes, pasta… I personally don’t care for food by the pool at any hotel, but there is always something to eat at all the buffets. At the pool restaurant there are hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, nachos, soup, pasta. The paella on the beach is fun to watch! The seafood is good, but the rice is a bit undercooked. (They are cooking for a huge group!)

5.) Specialty restaurants, make these reservations the 1st day of your stay. I would avoid saving all the special events for the last day/ night. Spread them out. I like the Tropical. The rib eye and grilled pineapple. Yum! Also the cheesecake with mango sauce. Look over the review on these restaurants and check out menus in the lobby before you choose one.

6.) Drinks – Lobby Bar was great. Pool bar so so. Ask for more liquor if that’s what you want. Everyone remembers a good tipper, so tip. Ask the bartender their name, tell them yours, and keep going to the same person.

7.) Kids Club. – If your little one has difficult swimming, take them out during swim time or go and supervise for ½ hour. I’m always nervous of anyone but us watching my little kids in a pool including their grandparents. Bring life jackets for little ones. Find out when the Mini Club Shows will be during the week so you can be sure your kids don’t miss out. (7:30 for costume / prep – 8:30) I think they do them twice a week. The other times are just games. Oh, everyone drinks Coke there, so be sure to explain to your little one to choose sprite or orange soda if offered. Diana and Tanya were wonderful!!!

8.) Photographers – Make an appointment to get a romantic picture or your Christmas card portrait taken. Preplan matching clothes to bring. ( khaki/ white, all white) The service is free of charge. The pictures are about $18 US a piece.Ask how much in writing before you get pictures taken. Make an appointment between 10:30 – 12:00 to take pictures with your kids and animals. (macaw, Iguana, monkey…) The photographers can tell you which animal they will use each day. Insist for a meeting place and time. They are supposed to walk around the pool area, but sometimes they are hard to find.

9.) Hotel Grounds and Beach – This is why we go to this particular hotel. So quaint! The buildings have thatched roofs and a Balinese feel. The grounds are jungle like and have animals. The monkeys like to hang out on the Toucan side. Listen in the early morning and at dusk if you want to find them and see them. The beach is the best! No fish smell like at other ones. The sand doesn’t have rocks or even shells. The water is calm and warm. Great for little kids and grandparents. The grounds are also small, so everything is walking distance and manageable for all. Bring inflatables and life jackets for the little ones. Oh, feed the fish with bread. So fun. They jump out of the water. They also don’t bite.

10.) Departure – the airport food is awful and extremely expensive. Plan on spending 3 X you would spend for items. Hamburger combo $14. Chips $8 Dominos Pizza $30. Bring some food from the hotel. There are usually flight delays. We bring a soft lunch box and stuff it with granola bars and chips from home. Dried fruit, candy etc. We also load up on fruit from the hotel and ham and cheese sandwiches they have at the breakfast buffet. Remember not to bring fruit into the US.

11.) It was wonderful to have parents explain to their American kids that comforts are different than in the US and to appreciate what Mexico has to offer. This is a great bargain for this price point. If you are picky, go elsewhere. The US has great beaches and hotels for you!!! You won’t be inconvenienced. If you want more of a foreign experience and a chance to forget home/work/ school you will love this place.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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20  Thank margaritaville123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarMexico, Quality manager at Iberostar Quetzal Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2012

Dear Guest,

On behalf of Iberostar Tucan & Quetzal, we would like to thank you for visiting our resort during your recent vacation here. Your experience and the information you are providing may help others to choose Iberostar Tucan & Quetzal for their next vacation in Mexico.
Thank you once again for your comments.

It would be a pleasure to welcome you and your family back to our resort in the near future.
Kind regards,

Quality Manager
Iberostar Mexico

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2012

The hotel grounds are beautiful, with lots of wildlife all around... Peacocks, monkeys, flamingos, etc. and you always saw staff cleaning, painting, etc. keeping it very clean and nice. The pools are big and very pretty and the ocean water is Carribean blue. We went at the end of July and it was very hot. I was disappointed that the lobby, bars, and place where the nightly entertainment was held was not air conditioned. I felt like I could never escape the heat. The rooms were air conditioned and so were a few of the restaurants, but not all of them. The food and drinks were Soso at best. We enjoyed all of the activities...bike tours, tennis lessons, salsa lessons, water aerobics, archery, etc. and all of this was included. The rooms were very nice and spacious however the beds are very firm. The resort was in a gated community called Playacar and we felt very very safe. It was a beautiful community with shopping and Starbucks within walking distance.

Room Tip: rooms in the 2900 block are right next to the disco and can be loud at night. They are also the farthest from the ocean and pools.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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8  Thank Holly C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2012

We stayed at the Quetzal 2nd/3rd week in July. This was our first all inclusive hotel and it did very little to disappoint. I used Trip advisor reviews before travelling and most of the comments stacked up with our visit. We stayed in block 24 and faced into the jungle which is about equal distance from the beach and pool to the restaurants, lobby bar and reception. My wife and 7 year daughter just loved it. If you are wanting a sea view hotel then maybe this is not for you. I read a couple of reviewers mention that the rooms were a bit dark and smelt foosty. Its in a jungle for heavens sake what do you expect!!!. This is the uniqueness of this hotel!. We stayed on the 2nd level and our room smelled fine. We saw peacocks, iguanas and a family of howler monkeys in the grounds every time we made our way down to the beach or up to the buffet, which my daughter just loved. The buffet food was good and the a la cartes were not bad at all. Our favourites were the Japanese and the Steak House. The Mexican and Tropical were average. We did not manage the Italian.
Our room was clean and had a safe and the fridge was topped up every other day. My daughter lover the towel sculptures. We did not find the beds hard at all. Air con worked really well. Balcony overlooked a waterfall although we hardly used the balcony because of the humidity. Some reviewers mentioned that the rooms were looking tired. I have to agree with this, however it was not enough for us to make any real comment about. Iberostar could do with giving them an overhaul.
The beach was lovely and we always managed to get a sun lounger under a palapa. Make sure you try the ice cream kiosk. My little girl loved all the flavours, my wife loved the coconut.
The pool was clean and plenty of sun loungers although the early morning towel reservers were out in force. Shame on you... we know who you are!!
The lobby bars were nice. Good service from the waitresses. Remember to tip. Everyone works so hard. We took plenty of pesos!!
Getting into Playa del Carmen was easy. Get the bell boy to call you one. The standard price into town was 70 pesos. Take the right money to pay, it helps any misunderstandings!. Same price back to the hotel.
Final mention must go to the Star Friends team and all the hotel staff. So hard working and so genuinely friendly. Gracias amigos.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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4  Thank Stephen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarMexico, Quality manager at Iberostar Quetzal Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2012

Dear Guest,

On behalf of Iberostar Tucan & Quetzal, we would like to thank you for visiting our resort during your recent vacation here. Your experience and the information you are providing may help others to choose Iberostar Tucan & Quetzal for their next vacation in Mexico.
Thank you once again for your realistic comments.

It would be a pleasure to welcome you and your family back to our resort in the near future.

Kind regards,

Quality Manager
Iberostar Mexico

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

Hi
we recently returned from the Iberostar Quetzal in Playacar Mexico. We had high expectations after visiting the Iberostar Costa Dorada in the Dominican several years ago. The Hotel is lovely, major drawback was lack of cool in the buffet restaurant and public areas such as Lobby Bar, not easy to enjoy eating as the sweat runs down your arms and back. Used the Steak House and the Italian twice didn't fancy the other alternatives, both were great and other posters have commented on the poor choice of starters in these although the main course was great.
Wife was disappointed that waffle and pancakes were not made to order as they were in the Dominican, but other breakfast selections were ok, except the bacon which was crisped beyond taste.
The hotel setting is excellent and although it is in a hotel zone the small shopping Plaza a 10min walk was ok for a change of scenery and free wifi in Starbucks.
We had second floor room in the 2700 block just on the edge of the Jungle, although only saw the monkeys once from room balcony. This block is handy for the Buffet and Reception Lobby area..
Pool was great as was the beach, always managed to get a bed with shade for me without too much hastle, but why o why do people insist on playing the towel game, many beds "reserved " with no one apearing till well after lunchtime. Used mainly the beach, handy for snack bar and pool bar, with excellent service with drinks brought to chair on beach with no problems. Don't think we will do AI again in the near future as much prefer flexibility of BB.
Entertainment was pretty dire, maybe I'm biased but I hate dancers, most music was mimed, some people were obviously enjoying it so each to their taste.
Overall the holiday was good , but will try somewhere else next year.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank Kilty_J0ck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarMexico, Quality manager at Iberostar Quetzal Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded August 4, 2012

Dear Guest,

Just a short note to thank you very much for your wonderful review sent to Trip
Advisor.
Your insightful comments are highly appreciated.
Thank you again for sharing your trip with others who may be considering a stay
with us. Looking forward to have the pleasure of hosting you again and again,
receive warm regards from Playa del Carmen.

Sincerely,

Quality Manager
Iberostar Mexico

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

We had a wonderful time at this resort! Both of our rooms were very clean and comfortable. The food at the buffets was fantastic! The staff was very gracious and helpful. The pool went on forever and had a very exotic feel. The beach was ok. This is NOT the beach for swimming or snorkeling though. The waves were big and knocked us over a lot. There are animals all over the place. Many are wild, but there are quite a few that are captive. They seem to be treated well, but I know that bothers some people.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank TJ_in_the_sun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarMexico, Quality manager at Iberostar Quetzal Playacar, responded to this reviewResponded August 4, 2012

Dear Guest,

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your time sharing your comments. Thank you for your great and kind comments about our staff, food, service and scenery. We are very pleased to find that you enjoyed your stay.

We sincerely hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back very soon to our paradise.

Kind Regards,

Quality Manager
Iberostar Mexico

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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