We are from the UK and this was our first trip to Mexico, we stayed at Iberostar Quetzal (Same as the Iberostar Tucan, they share facilities and restaurants) from 21st April - 6th May. This holiday was booked a year ago and I have to say I was worried when the trip advisor rating started to drop as our holiday got nearer. Once there we found we shouldn't have worried at all :) Here is my honest review of our Hotel.
Upon arrival check in was very quick and easy and a cold fruity drink was waiting which was needed after a 2 hour transfer from the airport (A matter that WILL be taken up with Thomas Cook who stated 40 minutes!!), I had emailed a couple of weeks in advance requesting that our friends (who travelled with us but booked their own holiday) had rooms near us and we were all next door to each other in block 25.
The Room (2545)
Top floor and facing the Riu Hotel next door, it has a peacock that liked to visit! Some people have moaned about the decore...Perhaps they forget they are in Mexico and it is known for bright colours? This is a reasonably priced Mexican Jungle themed hotel, if you want 5 star plus luxury with all mod-cons then pay another £100 or more a night and go somewhere else! The room is plenty big enough, more than enough shelves, wardrobe space and a safe. A lovely big shower with Shower Gel and Shampoo provided, flat screen TV with cable and quite a few english channels. Our room was kept spotless by the maid for the whole two weeks, the fridge was re-stocked everyday and fresh towels were available everyday if you wanted them. We got lovely towel art each day too :) My partner found the bed hard so at 7pm on the way to dinner i asked at Reception if they could arrange a bed topper for the next day. How surprised were we when we returned to our room that same night to find they had already done it!!
What can I say..... Anyone who says the food is bland, boring, cold, repetative etc must be one seriously fussy eater!! There were 7 in our group and everyone of us found something different to eat on a daily basis. Everything was lovely from Breakfast to Dinner. The speciality restaurants were very good, my favourite was the Tropical, followed by Italian, Mexican, Steakhouse and Japanese. Service was best in the Mexican (The waiter was amazing and couldn't do enough), followed by Tropical, Italian, Japanese and Steakhouse. You can even find food (Pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, chips etc) after midnight in the Tucan buffet restaurant which was great after a few drinks!
Anyone who says the drinks are watered down must be a serious alcoholic!! I am not a regular drinker but I do love an occasional G & T. In both the Lobby Bar and Entertainment Bar they had Tanqueray Gin which in the UK is expensive Gin! They also had Smirnoff Vodka and Bacardi Rum. All you have to do is ask the bar staff for the brand you like and you will get it. Measures were more like a treble (If not more!) in one glass so be warned :) The restaurant bars only had local gin (Not nice) so I got my Tanqueray at the Lobby bar and took it with me to dinner :)
AMAZING!! The caribbean sea is just beautiful! Both Sea and Pool were like jumping in a bath! Sunbeds shouldn't be reserved but people do do it. To get a good bed under a palapa or by the pool you need to get your towel out by 7.30am latest.... I did laugh when our usual beds (under the same palapas for over a week) were taken by some Germans who put their towels out on the beds before the sunrise at 6am!!! We didn't use the waitress service for the pool bar we prefered to get our own drinks but the girls always asked when passing. The ice-cream is to die for!! You must try the Coconut flavour and the Cheese & Blackberry. They also have a 'Mr Whippy' type machine on the Hotdog/Burger stall by the beach. We were not hassled by beach traders or staff at any time.
Just BRILLIANT!! All the staff here are fantastic, nothing is too much and always done with a smile. The whole team of Star frends work so hard from morning to night they are simply amazing! Special mention to the following.... Santos in the Lobby bar for always remembering my Tanqueray Tonic from the first night we arrived, Rafael in the Breakfast Buffet who remembered that Sharon had a cup of Tea wth her breakfast, Mauricio from Star Friends (King of Zumba and defnately the Energiser Bunny!!) and Gerado (Star Friends) for making us laugh so much when cheating at Water Polo :)
We saw Howler Monkeys, Peacocks, Peahens, Agoutis, Iguana, Giant Tortoise, Squirrels, Chickens in the grounds and Angel fish in the sea while wading up to our waist. The jungle path was not good for high heels and the lighting was dim but why would you wear heels in the jungle and have bright lights?! The outer paths around the outside of the hotel were adequately lit up and level, more suited to heels but the wooden walkways to the buffet and bars on the Quetzal side have gaps so I would recommend flat shoes or practice walking on tiptoes in your heels like I did.
We had the best time ever, we will definately return and can hghly recommend this hotel. Please do not take too much notice of the negative comments on here, some people want a 6 star holiday for 4 star money ;) To the Iberostar management....Your staff are the best!!
NB... These people work so very hard so please remember to tip for good service, the maids, bar staff, waiters and waitress's do appreciate it. (We tipped anything from 20 to 100 peso but not everytime we were served)
- 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