We stayed mid March for 2 weeks after recommendation from our friends and I can’t praise or recommend this hotel enough – our stay was fantastic!
We emailed the hotel prior to our stay to request a top or middle floor room in blocks 11 or 12 and they met this request well with a top floor room in block 12 which was ideally located, right by the pool and a minute to the beach. The hotel is in a lovely safe area and the Playacar community is gated so you feel safe walking around. There’s a shopping mall under 10 minutes walk from the hotel (to the right when you leave the hotel) which had loads of shops, a travel agency and a Starbucks. Plenty of things to buy for gifts and souvenirs!
The hotel has a jungle like area in the middle between the Tucan and Quetzal sides – we regularly saw monkeys in the trees and I loved all of the agoutis – so cute! We even saw a couple of baby ones towards the end of our stay. There are also coatis (although harder to spot!), peacocks, flamingos, iguanas, tortoises, a black chicken, turtles, geese and swans. It was fun taking a walk and seeing what we could spot each day.
The room was cleaned well and things like the toiletries and the mini bar restocked daily – we loved the very creative towel art by the maid and had fun guessing what the animal of the day would be when we returned to our room in the evening.
All of the staff were so friendly and would always smile and say hello when passing. Everyone was really helpful and worked really hard. A big thanks to Gemma serving by the pool area, all of the pool servers work so hard getting everyone drinks all day long, we could have got up ourselves and gone to the bar but it was lovely being a bit lazy from time to time and getting such good service – I miss my late morning mojitos!
The beach was lovely, so clean and plenty of sunbeds and palapas available. You could walk to the right and after the next hotel be almost the only one in that area of the beach, which is much more secluded, or walk to the left along a lovely long stretch past all of the hotels to Playa del Carmen.
The pool area was also fantastic, with loads of sunbeds and plenty of shade. Yes the majority were usually reserved by 8am with no one on them for hours, but on the few days we came down closer to 9am there was always somewhere to sit with shade, so not a problem. The pool was the largest I’ve ever seen and was clean and well landscaped, with lots of entry points and a jacuzzi area in the middle and a fountain towards one end. There is also a small children’s pool, the pool area of the swim up bar (it was lovely having a cocktail in the sun here from time to time) and also the smaller sports pool which was sometimes used for water polo, pool volleyball and scuba lessons, but the rest of the time was free if you wanted a dip. It is located near the giant tortoise area where the iguanas all hang out and we used to go there each day just to see what was about!
The food was amazing, with so much variety and choice each day. I especially loved the guacamole which I had with something at most meals, the grilled fish and also the tortilla soup. We got 5 reservations at the a la carte restaurants for our 2 week stay but there was no problem requesting additional reservations – we loved the steak house and Japanese restaurant best so went back there, and basically alternated between a night at the buffet restaurant and then one at an a la carte restaurant. We preferred the buffet on the Quetzal side for our breakfasts and dinners as there was more wildlife to be seen and the scenery was more spectacular, but went to the Tucan side for lunch which was just as good. We also sometimes had breakfast at the beach seafood restaurant and lunch at the Steakhouse, which were open during the day in a more buffet style. If you wanted more choice and the amazing Mexican tacos with fried eggs and refried beans and cheese, then the main buffet areas were best for breakfast. There is also a burger/hot dog station at the beach and an ice cream stand with several interesting flavours each day so you can grab a quick snack if you need to. And the self-service soft drinks area at the beach bar was really useful.
The Star Friends were amazing – such a fantastic group of people who really made our holiday. They have so much energy and enthusiasm for everything they do, and work so hard, from greeting people at breakfast in the mornings to all of the different activities throughout the day (I especially loved aqua aerobics, zumba on the beach and water polo!) and also all of the evening entertainment and shows. We especially liked the magic show, boogie nights and Mr Iberostar. They felt like friends by the end of the holiday and we really miss them! A big shout out to Angie, Ari, Karlos, Mauricio, Andres, Adriana, Bluee and all the team – Animacion Excellente!
Carlos our First Choice rep was also fantastic, so friendly and helpful and also happy to provide info on how to visit places ourselves – we went to Tulum one day which was easy to do ourselves, a few minutes taxi ride into Playa del Carmen and then a local bus (more like a coach) for about an hour to Tulum, which stopped en route briefly at places like Xplor and Xcaret. We also went to Xpor on our last day which was a 10 minute taxi ride away and had a great day there on the ziplines and amphibious vehicles – lots of fun!
So to sum up this was one fantastic holiday, and we’re already talking about returning next year. I miss our holiday here every day and can’t wait to return!
- 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