I booked through a travel agent at the Iberostar Tucan to attend a destination wedding for some good friends. All totaled there were about sixty people who attended the wedding. The Private Transfer arranged by the agent was perfect and seamless. Upon arrival at the airport, in no time we were on our way. Check in at the front desk was less than cordial. I stood and waited for about fifteen minutes and was ignored by the 'head' check in person. Finally, I went over to another employee and asked about checking in whereupon the desk manager came over and started to process my check in. Right in the middle, he abruptly left and the next thing I know, the process had been turned over to a hotel management student intern who, although quite pleasant, did not seem to know the answers to basic questions concerning internet, etc.
With regard to the internet... it is a shame that a hotel property of this size and reputation offers paid internet which is accessible in the lobby only. Internet use could be purchased by the hour, daily, or three days at a time. Obviously the three day price would be most cost efficient but was still pricy at about $15.00 a day. Having to walk the distance from a room by the beach back to the lobby simply to use the internet was a complete turn off and I ended up not purchasing. From the comments of those in our party who did purchase, it was slow at best. For those who may find it necessary to maintain contact with work while on vacation this is definitely not a good working solution. At the very least, it seems that internet could be offered at the restaurant near the pool or the pool area itself.
I was given a room in Building Eleven, which is close to both the beach and the pool area. The room is typical of mid-level Mexican resorts. As others have stated, the bed in the room was hard as a rock. Management did supply a mattress topper after my first night which helped somewhat. Housekeeping kept the room clean each day so no major complaints there. However, for my entire stay, I did not have a hot shower even once. There was never hot water. I reported this to the front desk and noted that at some point they had entered the room to check but the problem was never solved. It did not matter what time of day I tried to shower... morning, afternoon after the beach, late at night... the shower only delivered tepid water at best. In other words, it was just slightly less cold than the cold water tap alone. The air conditioning in the room wasn't much better... set at 20 degrees Centigrade (68F), the actual temperature in the room never dipped below 78 degrees Fahrenheit (26C) (yes, I travel with a thermometer). This resulted in the air feeling a bit muggy in this tropical climate.
The first night we ate at the Japanese themed teppanyaki restaurant. The sushi which was served as an appetizer looked (and tasted) as though it had been prepared hours before and had been sitting under a warming lamp. I managed to make it through one piece before calling it quits. The rest of the meal was prepared with the right amount of showmanship but also fell into the average category. The next night we ate at the large, centrally located buffet. The food selection was quite varied and surprisingly not bad. The sliced rare roast beef was very tasty. The best thing about the buffet, however, was the dessert selections. We dined at the steak restaurant on our last night. I ordered the tenderloin filet which was cooked perfectly. Others at the table wanted to order the beef ribs but were informed that there were not any and the substitution was pork ribs. They were also satisfied with their selection. The baked potatoes served with the meal were not completely cooked however... almost raw. There are breakfast buffets located in the regular buffet restaurant and also in the pool area restaurant. This ended up being my best meal of the day. Lunch selections in both areas were adequate but repetitive and boring day after day.
The major issue with the specialty restaurants is the reservation process. Although you can make your reservations up to three days in advance, people in our party (and we would split up into different groups so as not to all be in the same place at the same time) would be told that restaurants were full. One night we tried to add one more person to our reservation of six and were told that the restaurant was full. After much pleading, the concierge reluctantly added that person. Imagine our surprise when we arrived at the restaurant and found less than three-fourths of the tables occupied! And it stayed that way until we left. This also happened to two other groups who chose to dine at the Mexican restaurant. Why say the restaurant is full when it is not?
The grounds of the resort are, indeed, quite beautiful with a natural area of trees, pools, waterfall, streams and wildlife (monkeys and flamingos) located midway between the pool area and the lobby. It offers a nice, cooling stroll during the heat of the day. The grounds, including the beach area, were kept neat and tidy during my stay. Swimming in' il Golfo' was absolutely wonderful! They definitely have an outstanding beach area! Overall, the service employees (housekeeping, pool area, dive shop, restaurants) were cheerful, pleasant and willing to help. They are the strongest point of this resort!
All in all, the Iberostar Tucan has the potential to be so much more than it is. It is quite obviously a destination resort for European travelers and, according to one of the managers, sees most of their clientele from Europe as opposed to America. It was really nice meeting people visiting from the other side of the 'pond'. Howver, from my own personal issues to the issues others in our group experienced with lost reservations, incorrect room assignments, etc. the stay was less than stellar. I do not necessarily blame the management at the hotel as much as the hotel chain itself. This is a lovely property that, with a little effort and upgrading, could be outstanding. As it is, however, it only ranks as 'average'.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Privileged situation directly on the beach of Playacar, around 3 km from the town of Playa del Carmen. Specially recommended for honeymooners. Varied, colourful entertainment programme. Large pool area. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Playa Del Carmen
- Iberostar Tucan Mexico
- Iberostar Tucan Playa Del Carmen
- Playa Del Carmen Iberostar
- Iberostar Tucan Quetzal
- Iberostar Tucan Playacar
- Iberostar Tucan Hotel Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico