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“Words will fail to capture how great this place is”

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Iberostar Quetzal Playacar
Ranked #40 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
GreenLeadersGold level
Columbia, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Words will fail to capture how great this place is”
Reviewed October 15, 2009

My wife, daughter (age 7), and I just returned from 6 days at the Iberostar Quetzal from October 9-14. We have stayed at the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo twice before and I was somewhat leery of what I would get here given the significant price difference. Little did I know how much I would be blown away by the Quetzal. First, the easy stuff, we had a great room in Building 21, literally steps away from both the pool and the beach. The room was always well stocked, very clean, and comfortable. The grounds are well-maintained and absolutely gorgeous. It truly feels like you are walking through a tropical rainforest. The animals are everywhere! My daughter loved seeing them everyday. Peacocks, tortoises, iguanas, monkeys, and the "mole-rats", as we came to call them, are abundant and fun to see. The beach is fantastic with beautiful sand, wonderful on-shore breezes. and no rocks in the water at all. The water is not too rough, in fact, we were hoping for some bigger waves but it is protected by the "sand whales". Instead of these being a distraction we found them quite fun and spent an entire afternoon climbing on them, sliding off, and being washed off by the waves. It was an absolute blast! The restaurants were very good withour favorites being the Steakhouse, the Japanese, and the Italian. While it is true that we only received 2 guaranteed reservations, we put our names on the wait list each day and received a seating at our restaurant choice every night at the time we requested.
All of the things mentioned above are great and exactly what I would expect from an all-inclusive resort. What you can't put a price on or expect is the people. These folks from the bellman to the housekeeping staff and everyone in between are the very best. Not once did we ever want for anything. A small story to illustrate: The week before we left I emailed the hotel to confirm our arrival time and date. I mentioned that our trip would coincide withour 10th anniversary on Monday and we were looking forward to it. Monday evening at about 5:00 as we were getting ready for dinner there was a knock at our door. When I opened the door there was a staff member standing there with a chilled bottle of champagne, 2 glasses, and a card from the hotel congratulating us on our day. Folks, that is true service, and the epitome of going above and beyond expectations. Lastly, the Star Friends, no matter what I say here it will not do justice to these people. They work tirelessly all day and all night to make sure that there is something to do or some way to keep you entertained. You can be as involved or as uninvolved as you want to be. They are there at breakfast sitting and talking with people. They are at the beach or at the pool organizing games all afternoon. Then, they are on stage at night putting on shows that, while not Vegas-quality, are incredibly entertaining. They are truly amazing. While at the Lindo, there were 1 or 2 people in the Star Friends who really stood out. At the Quetzal they were a great group collectively. They never failed to greet all of us by name (my daughter included) and always had time to talk and interact. I will be remiss by not naming them all but Rafael, Luigi, Freddy, Salvatore, Mirasella, and Michelle were truly outstanding. On our last day, Michelle somehow took 11 kids and in 1 1/2 hours taught them all music and dance routines to a show for that night. That evening they put on a version of Mini "Cats" in full costume and make-up. Given that the children were all different ages and many from different countries it was truly amazing.
I could find negatives to write in this review but it would truly be nit-picking. Is the pool warm? Of course it is, it's 90+ degrees everyday. Can it be hot and humid? Well, it's the Caribbean, that's why you go there. People who don't like the food or the atmosphere or the drinks or whatever are probably the kind of people who can find fault in anything. This is a truly great resort with a truly great staff and accomodations. If you're going to spend money for your vacation you would be wise to spend it here. I can assure you that my family and I will always stay at an Iberostar resort given the opportunity.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank CJS2323
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Washington DC
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2009

My family (me, husband, son 14, daughter 11) visited the Quetzal in August and had a fantastic time. We are beach people and loved the beach, even the sand whales that kept the kids amused all week...frankly, they had a better time because of them and we got some great pictures of them jumping and diving off of them. If you walk about 15 minutes up the beach to the right you come to a cove that is absolutely beautiful and uncommercialized.
At check-in we got a 2nd floor room although we requested 3rd floor via email. They moved us the 3rd day, as promised, while we were gone to Chemuyil visiting the monkey sanctuary, which is a must see. They were so accomodating that they told us to pack up everything ready to move and they would move us while we were gone. When we returned, we simply turned in the keys to our old room and got the keys to the new one. Our new room had a great view and we were very happy. The rooms at the Quetzal are the same as the Iberostar Punta Cana and Dominicana.
The jungle was fantastic and really a godsend when walking from the lobby to the beach or the room because it is really hot there in August.The jungle was shady and great fun with animals roaming all around. The first time we heard the howler monkeys we nearly jumped out of our skins because they sounded like King Kong. The kids went running out of the jungle they were so scared!
I can't say enough about the service at the Quetzal. We have been 5 times to all-inclusives in Punta Cana - Iberostar Punta Cana, Dominicana & Bavaro and the Majestic Colonial twice - and let me tell you, the service at the Quetzal blew them away. No one ever said "no" to us and everyone had a smile and a "Hola". The service is great in Punta Cana but the Quetzal is amazing. Every thing we asked for was done right away - pillowtops were put on the beds, a cot was brought in, more towels - the people working there were the best.
The food was ok. We ate in the Japanese restaurant twice and the steakhouse once. The steakhouse was good, the Japanese was better one time than the other. I may have been overwhelmed by the heat of the stove after being in the heat all day. The air conditioning in the Japanese left a lot to be desired. The buffets were quite good and we enjoyed the hamburgers at the buffet by the beach each day at lunch.
It took me a few days to realize that the alcohol at the beach bar was so watered down that it was like drinking soda. So, I finally took my humongous thermal mug and trotted through the jungle to the lobby bar a couple times during the day where they made the most wonderful frozen lime daquiris. I guess the crummy drinks at the beach bar would be my biggest disappointment there.
All in all, we had a terrific time at the Quetzal. The kids enjoyed it more than Punta Cana. We will probably go back again next summer and I would definitely recommend it to anyone with a family.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank WashingtonDCCinD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 8, 2009

The average temperature when researched said 80-85 degrees. It was hot during the day and at night there was no breeze. The room was the only cool location in the facility, no other place was air-conditioned. Given the temperature, if you are okay being hot and humid all the time, then August is your time. Pool water was hot, beach and water were hot - so you could not cool off at all. Food was very average, if you sample a lot of it, some of it was good some not so good. Themed restaurants were just okay - not great, slighlty better than buffet. Went to Tulum, very interesting. went to cenote advertised at Tulum, very out of the way, but incredible.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank elmo31w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas
1 review
Reviewed October 8, 2009

The Playa Del Carmen beaches are wonderful. The water clear and sparkling turquoise blue. Our room had all of the normal amenities that you would expect. I was neither disappointed nor blown away. The hotel maintained the jungle ambiance. The paths connecting to the pool, restaurants, and bars wind through trees that give the feeling of a time before resorts saturated the coast line. There were peacocks and large rodents (size of an armadillo with legs the length of a pig) crossing the path as you walk. There were also monkeys that would sometimes congregate on top of hotel buildings.

The thing that was not so quaint was the dining facilities. After the first few meals in an open air environment, I looked forward to going back to my room to take a shower and cool off. It is not an enjoyable experience to have to endure the Yucatan heat and humidity while eating food that had spent too long under heat lamps, or not chilled enough to be palatable. The two or three restraunts that were enclosed did not have proper ventilation to be worthy option to the open air restaurants. I have stayed at a competitors Palace hotel at another location and now no that you get what you paid for. I will gladly pay up for the Palace atmosphere and service. Though I enjoyed everything else about our stay, I was sorely disappointed with the lack of comfort while dining. One more thing, the open air restaurant needed some sort of deterrent to keep the local grackles from flying in and snagging pastries off the serving table. I had to tell my daughter twice to not eat some of items that she had picked out after I had seen birds grabbing at the pastries like thieves.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank skk1310
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2009

The service was pretty great. We were given a drink as we were checking in and they didn't stop flowing until we enjoyed the final beer in the car ride to the airport. The waitresses around the pool and beaches were excellent. They weren't around every day to take a drink order, but when they were they didn't forget you. The "star friends" were great! We enjoyed beach volleyball everyday, tennis in the AM, and the evening shows. When our remote needed replaced and our mini-fridge fixed they arrived right away and everything was fixed quickly.

We started with a regular king-size bed room in the middle of the resort, but decided to upgrade to oceanfront for $50 extra per night. There wasn't much difference between the two rooms except oceanfront had the amazing view, a flatscreen TV, bathrobes, and a flower arrangement. The bathrooms are great, the shower is very big, although the bathroom door doesn't open all the way inside the bathroom, so that makes it hard to get ready in the bathroom unless the door is totally closed. We didn't have any problems hearing neighbors, although in our first room we heard very strange noises from the wild animals (probably the monkeys) in the middle of the night.

The location is great, within walking distance of a small shopping center, which is where we were picked up for all of our excursions. This resort definitely has the biggest beach of all of its neighbors. There were plenty of chairs and umbrellas on the beach when we were there. It was a bit tougher to find them at the pool, but we never went without. All of the restaurants were great, but we enjoyed the Hibatchi restaurant the best. The breakfast buffet was ok, the view is definitely better then the food. The bars were excellent, they made any drink we wanted, and we got a bit crazy with our drink orders. It was neat to have our resort connected to the Iberostar Tucan. We actually spent more time at the Tucan bar in the evening then the Quetzal because it was a bit more livelier.

The best part of the resort was that there was always something to do for all ages. We came without our kids, but definitely want to bring them in the future because all the kids we saw were having such a great time. We went on a few excursions, but we decided it wasn't necessary to do that because there was an activity scheduled every 30 minutes to an hour from 8 AM to 6 PM. I also thought the beach was beautiful and the pool was absolutely humongous! The thing we liked least about the resort was not being able to eat at one of the restaurants every night. You only get 2 reservations for a 5 night stay, and you can get on waiting lists, but then you don't really get your choice of dinnertime.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank buzlbut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Twin Cities
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 8, 2009

We traveled as a family of 9 last December for a Christmas vacation. We really enjoyed our stay and would recommend the Quetzal to all. The jungle-like setting is this resort's primary appeal.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LeavingMinnesota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
286 reviews
92 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2009

This hotel was just great, even more so as it combines with Iberostar Tucan hotel!
Superb room, very spacious, very clean.
Very, very friendly and helpfull staff.
That pool is so huge!!
Beach was also very nice! Lots of things to do there.
Food was pleny, good and had enough variation in it for me.
Lots of tastefull cocktails.

Yucatan area is also great with those Mayan Temples, swimming with dolphins....Just a fantastic holiday destination and the hotel defintly add to that!

  • Stayed June 2006, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank PatrickBuijs
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

Property: 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 Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#15 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#31 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#31 On the Beach 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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