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Reviewed January 28, 2009

For a honest and true review please see the below.

My fiance and I stayed here from 1/19/09-1/26/09 so 7 nights 8 days and we were far from the cold snowy weather in Chicago so we were happy to be far away from there.

We will admit after reading the reviews and reading everything about the monkeys & even having my travel agent tell me last minute "oh btw make sure to hide anything that's shiney or jewlery as the monkeys sometimes get into the rooms and take shiney things" had us looking for a last minute change of resorts. In the end we are happy we did not change but we went in with little expectations and were a bit surprised that it really wasn't that bad for us.

We booked this via Liberty Travel for the hotel only as Liberty will meet or beat any other price you find and we found they had some great prices. If you would like contact info for my agent please let me know as they can assist anyone from any location. Email me at [-] I redeemed my AA Miles for the air portion of this trip and we did this back in September when we booked the entire trip.

So here we go: I put my personal rating next to each topic

Weather 9/10 stars- it was perfect. We heard the week prior it was rainy and a bit colder. It was a bit colder 1 day during the day and a couple of nights so if you do go this time of the year bring warmer clothes for the evening. The sun did shine everyday and thank GOD no rain. It was amazing weather.

Arrival at airport rating is 8/10-It took awhile to get to this resort as the Olympus Tour bus had to drop off 2 other couples at 2 other locations. Otherwise it is what it is. We knew it was out there. Interesting ride there thats for sure. Also it took us awhile to leave the airport as we were waiting for our van.

Check In Rating is 1/10-The blonde lady at the front desk wasn't that friendly and didn't provide any additional customer service. She stated our room was ready and quickly showed us where it was on the map. That was the extent of it. Now I work for a hotel here in the states and IF I am ever at the front desk I personally take time to make sure all guests know about everything we have and where everything is. I wish they provided a tour of the resort as it wasn't until the 2nd to 3rd morning we learned where the real big breakfast buffet was(On Tucan side in Tulum area) and it wasn't until the last day we learned where the bigger better lunch buffet was. (On Quetzal side in Cozumel room) Trust me this lunch buffet was better then the pool side buffets. Well just our opinion.

So we were disappointed with the lack thereof for customer service. I was just so happy our room was ready as we arrived around 2:30 pm ish and others had to wait for there room. Also we didn't even know our resort had a disco until about the 4th night into our trip. This is on the Quetzal side. We did head there 1 night and had a good time. It was actually pretty busy the night we were there.

Room rating is 8/10-We loved our room and location. I did email the resort prior to arriving to try to request a room without a ton of monkeys as I was worried and we did leave my jewelry behind. My request was met and we were in building 12 room 1230 on the 2nd floor. Granted I did email the resort to have choc covered strawberries in our room to surprise my fiance and this request was met too. There wasn't any smell at all in our room. We had 1 problem with the toilet being clogged 1 day and it did take 3 phone calls to the front desk to finally have someone come and use the plunger. Shame on me for not knowing they didn't have many ocean view rooms. Thats probably the only disappointment we had because we do like to sit on the balcony and listen to our portable IPOD player that we bring and drink some wine and take in the sights and ocean. Oh well next time might have to stay at the Iberostar Grand Paraiso which I hear is amazing, We were close to the pool and ocean so not a far walk at all. A bit further from the lobby area but we didn't mind getting that exercise. Again anything is better then the awful weather here in Chicago. We were happy to get away. Also we did tip housekeeping and they did re-stock our refridge everyday if we did need anything. I know some spanish so I would leave them some notes from time to time. Bad thing about the marble floors is YES you do hear everything when people leave there room and sometimes the ice machine that was near our room. Oh well. Yes beds are hard but what I found worked for me was I took a towel and rolled it and put it in my pillow since I have neck problems. Then I kept a pillow under my legs when I slept at night and I had no problems. Yes you do hear the monkeys howling or whatever they do around 5-6 am but thank GOD it didn't happen every morning. We did bring ear plugs but they bothered my ears. I am used to my cats waking us up so it is what it is. I didn't come there to sleep a ton but sure it would have been nice to sleep in a bit but no biggie. Sleep is for when you are dead. Sorry just being honest. The weather was way too nice to be sleeping. Only other complaint I had about the room is the way the bathroom door is configured so close to the toliet just odd. We did enjoy the balcony. I brought my own hair dryer so no issues there. No they do not provide conditioner for your hair. Safe was nice and worked fine for us. Our room was very clean kudos to housekeeping as I truly know how hard of a job that is and probably even harder with the marble floors and stairs too. No elevators.

Location rating is 10/10-perfect for us as we wanted something that wouldn't cost a ton to get to Playa Del Carmen 5th Ave. You could walk there from this resort which it's about a 30-40 min walk depending how fast you walk. Cab ride only $5 each way.

Food rating is 8/10-Well we went in with very little expectations after reading all the reviews. Now I am a bit picky about having good food but I have been to Mexico before and I know you do NOT go there for the food well this part of Mexico. Puerto Vallarta had some amazing authetic food. Again the lunch buffet that is NOT pool side is better then the pool side buffet. We lucked out and were able to eat in 5 restaurants for dinner, just had to ask and our request was met. We loved the Japanese place, and went to the Mexican place twice as we loved the appetizers and tacos there, and the steak place was ok not my personal favorite and then tried some newer 1 they re-opened but we didn't care for it at all.
I should also mention that we made our reservations when we arrived on 1/19. Our first reservation was for 1/20 and thank GOD we went to the booth to see if we could get another reservation as they had some wrong info and didn't have all of our other reservations. I had to get a Manager in charge but she took care of all of this for us and then we had no problems. However this entire process took 1 hour of our time from the time we made our first reservation to the time we spent on figuring this all out the next day. They seem really laid back in Mexico unlike Chicago or the US so they are just at a slower pace out there. Again I really didn't go there for gourmet food as I have been to Cancun before so I knew it wasn't going to be perfect but we did find alot we liked and some we didn't. We didn't get sick so thank GOD for that. 1 night felt a little sick but it didn't last into the rest of the trip.

Drinks rating is 10/10-from our pictures you can probably see we didn't have any complaints about the drinks. We asked the bartendars for the better alcohol and they always granted our request. We tipped them a little too. 1 thing that was different for me is I am used to being on beaches and pools where staff comes and ask you what you want and brings it to you. This does not happen there. So if you are looking for that this is not for you. We loved the DIRTY MONKEY drink which is made with vodka, bannanna and there version of chocolate which is like a kahula I think, drink made in the blender. Great stuff! Loved the COSMO martini's too and coco loco! Yummy!!!! everyone else loved the mojitos.

Beach rating is 10/10-Perfect location-yes there are these sandbags but they didn't bother us. After seeing some of the other resorts beaches we learned we loved our beach there was just a ton of people

Other notes comments-the grounds are beautiful and seeing all the animals was amazing and makes this resort so different.
I was dissapointed that the hotel did NOT have a first aid kit as I ended up breaking my toe by stubbing it on a beach chair. Long story but they suggested I go to the Pharmacia which was at Riu Yucatan but I couldnt walk there to get the tape I needed to get. And no staff member offered to go get it for me. Sorry I am spoiled with good service and working in the hotel industry I too would like to receive amazing service so I have high expectations.
We didn't see any shows but others suggested they look into having the shows earlier in the evening not so late or do different times. If you are looking to not be around a ton of people then this resort is NOT for you. I believe occupancy was at 90% when we were there and the beach was packed. Lots of people, it made it a little harder to try to get some zzz's or relax as you tend to just want to people watch all day long. There were also more kids then I thought there would be so more family oriented of a resort. Yes smoking is allowed there and at times on the beach we found it annoying but overall it was fine it wasn't a major issue. We are spoiled here with no smoking now. The pool we didn't go in as we heard how cold it was. However I really went there to enjoy the beach too. I do love swim up pool bars but didn't go to this 1 as I also heard how cold it was. However we did take a ferry 1 day with a group of 4 others and went to the Iberostar in Cozumel and they had an amazing pool with a swim up pool bar that we loved and the service there was amazing as this is a smaller resort. It's out in the middle of nowhere and the beach there isn't as nice as ours. It's more calmer there but rocks there and you have to get in the ocean off of a pier. Star friends there were so friendly to us. Take the ferry and head there or to another Iberostar to compare stuff and for a change of scenary too. We also met some wonderful people-Amanda, Greg, Suzanne & Scott, April and Clay, England crew from Manchester there for a wedding, Martin and Stacey from MN. Thanks to everyone for the great times and wonderful memories. CONGRATS to the honeymoon couples too. (Greg and Amanda and Clay and April) Also per Martin and Stacey they did not care for there oceanview room they said it had a musky smell so probably a good thing we didn't get an oceanview room.

If you are looking for a 5-6 star resort and amazing gourmet food, great pool, this is NOT the resort for you. If you are looking for something totally different, great location, great beach area, great weather, decent rooms, and probably a 3-4 star resort then check this out.

We would go back but we do want to check out other Iberostar resorts too for something different and to compare.

Hope you find this helpful

Overall rating we would give this resort is probably a 6-7 out of 10 stars.

I have alot of pictures posted on my facebook site at:
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  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank Blunt1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2009

This was our second trip to mexico having stayed at the Iberostar lindo-maya jan 08. Sadley the Tucan was no where near as good. Being a older hotel the kitchens have obviously lost all heat. The food was cold. The salads fantastic and the frest fruit was super. Food choice for children also poor, the 2 weeks consisted of chips, pasta or pizza for them. It was a race for the freshly filled dishes. You could see everyone hanging around and then like vultures we descended on the hopefully hot food. The grounds were beautiful but the paths slippy and uneven stone when walking through the 'jungle parts' of the hotel grounds. Whilst we were at the hotel several people slipped and injured themselves. Rooms satisfactory but no bath only shower, we stayed in block 11 which was great for beach access. From blocks 16-19 I often noticed especially in the mornings a rather foul smell of drains. This could have been due to these rooms facing the rear of the adjacent hotel. Staff not helpful, especially guest relations. But waiting on staff were pleasant. There is only one bar that was indoors, next to reception, this was small and when the hotel was busy you could not find a seat which was a pity when you try to go for a pre meal drink. Entertainment was exactly the same as the Lindo-maya and not as good. Entertainment started too late 9.30 no good when with young children, but they did have a childrens hour which commenced at 8pm. Beach was clean and stretched a long way, good for walking up and down. We opted for this Iberostar for its location this year as last year we had 4 days of no sun and found ourselves spending lots of money on painting pottery. This hotel was situated in Playa car and a leisurely 10 min walk took you to Playa plaza which to my shear delight had a Starbucks. There were shops here but they all sold the same tat. Playa car also had streets with lots of lovely residental houses, so you could go for a good nose around. You could also walk to Playa del Carmen about a good 40 mins away or take a cab for 50 peso. Carmen also had a good Wal mart. Best to go here if you forgot anything. Unfortunately out of the 14 nights we stayed we only saw 4 days of sun. This happened at the same time last year when we went week commencing 12 Jan. We made some good friends our son was happy we didn't have to go to work, so who can complain. Sadley we will not return to the Tucan the Lindo-Maya was a better hotel although you could not walk out there. Lots of Riu hotels in Playa car so I would check them out and find the newest maybe then the kitchens will have heat!!!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank lotty72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2009

Just returned from a week at TUCAN. We had a great weather week. Highs in low 80's and no rain, which made the al fresco dining pleasant. Food was very good and you should be able to find something to fill you up at each meal. OJ was great, beef was very good. Shrimp was excellent. Alcohol was nothing to write home and only disappointment. Beer was Superior brand and no upgrades to Corona were available. All the help were pleasant and accommodating. For the special restaurants we made reservations early in the vacation for the steakhouse (go for the (tenderloin), italian (the seafood and veal were good) and the Japanese ( seafood good, beef overdone) checked for no-shows around 7 PM and were able to get in the Mexican (excellent for everything, only good beer we found) and the steakhouse 2nd time. Rooms were fine but mattress is on a slab and we slept well. Grounds were outstanding with the wildlife entertaining and abundant. Some are rather noisy around sunrise. Easy access to Playacar plaza and to Playa del Carmen. Entertainment was a good effort, but if you are not use to smoke it is not the best venue.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank 305robertr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2009

The grounds are just beautiful with lots of nature at your doorstep. Although I've done all inclusives twice previously in Mexico, I just don't remember the food being this bad. Other reviewers mentioned it was sort of "par for the course "at these resorts. The Japanese steak house was good. The only thing I can say about the other three "reservations only " restaurants is that they were better than the buffet. Yes, all the food was cold at the open air snack bars and buffets, but the food just didn't have ANY flavor. Everything was either bland - especially the desserts (although they look wonderful), very dry, over cooked or was an "assortment" dish with sauces and other additives creating unusual tastes. When do you go to an all inclusive resort for 8 days and lose weight? I was thrilled when I saw the snack bar by the beach with hamburgers and hotdogs at the ready. They were so cold - right off the grill (even when I kindly asked it to be returned to the grill, he put it back on for maybe 20 seconds) and the buns were stale and the watered down ketchup had an unusual taste. The worst thing for me was that there was no butter to be found anywhere. I hope you enjoy margerine. They even put it on your plate in the little plastic container with tongs. Sorry, I was just so disappointed! I thought it would be great to use the room service, but what's available is very disapointing and once again - cold! And don't try to take anything out of the restaurants to take to the bar or back to your room. It's a real "No, no - even a donut! Do use the Quetzel side for the extended breakfast hours if you want eggs, bacon or sausage. (I must admit the scrambled eggs were pretty good.) Xcaret is a great attraction if you like birds, animals, and nature, and the two day ticket is a good investment if you have time. We were there during the unexpectedly cold and rainy weather the week of January 10th, but there are board games to borrow, ping pong and pool under cover. If you want to join in on the activities, the "star preformers" are very friendly and there are lots of things to do. The hotel just doesn't have a very good system for letting you know about them and where they will occur. Most happen on the Quetzel side of the pool and beach. The staff isn't very knowledgeable about the way the hotel operates, because I was twice sent to the front desk for information it turns out that only the "guest services" kiosk can take care of - not open in the afternoon. Took me two day to get a TV channel guide and another 2 days to reclaim a misplaced pair of shoes. They've made a lot of simple things more complicated than they have to be, and quite a bit of the staff only speaks Spanish. We didn't have problems getting lounges or finding a spot on the beach or around the pool (even though they were full), but both are very croweded, and the loud talkers (no particular nationality at fault) don't allow for a restful nap on the beach. Why do people have to yell when they are 3 feet away from their companions?? Although we had a lovely ocean side junior suite that was close to the beach, I don't think it was worth the extra money, but it was all that was available. The beds were very hard, but not a big deal, and the tiny ants (in our bed) were a bit distasteful. Also, we were there celebrating our 10th anniversary and were told they would do something special on our day - both before we went, and the day of our anniversary at the hotel, but nothing ever came of it. Lots of language difficulty with the front desk when calling from our room. Due to their incompetency at giving me an open line it took me 30 minutes to get an operator so I could make a credit card call to the U. S. I don't think I'd stay here again. There are many other beautiful places at similar rates to stay, and the food certainly can't be any worse!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Calypso21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2009

We stayed at the Tucan the frist week of our two weeks Mexican vacation.

Ground: The grounds are fantastic. It is absolutely a pleasure to walk around. I made some morning walks in the grounds and it feels like being at a jungle. It was great to watch and to listen to. We simply LOVED the grounds.

Rooms: We had a sea-view junior suit. The room was very nice, but it smelled. There was a very disturbing smell in the room. Our room was at the Quatzel side where all the water sport activities were. Altough the balcony was very beautiful the gas from jet-skis made it impossible to sit and relax at the balcony. If you book a junior-suit, please make it sure that you get from Tucan side. Altough we had Tucan reservation they put us to Quatzel side. It wouldn`t make any diffrence if we didn`t have all these jet-skis in front of the room. Room & beach are the reasons why we don`t give 5 to Tucan.

Beach: Nice. It is beautiful, but the beach erasion destroyed the possibility to walk through the beach. It was very uncomfortable to walk because it was not straight.

Pool: Large and very beautiful. We liked it a lot.

Food: Great. We appreciated it much more after our second week and the experience at the second hotel. Tucan`s price was half of the second hotel where we stayed and the food at Tucan was way much better.

Service: Excellent. They were always fast, giving attention and smiling.

Spa: Very good. They have a great steam bath. Decorated very nicely and the massage was great for reasonable price. (Again much better than what I experienced at the second hotel. )

Location: Very practical. There is a small shopping center in walking distance. It is 5-10 min. to Playa by taxi.

We liked Tucan a lot! If we knew it, we would never book the second hotel and pay twice as much! If we ever go back to Playa, we wouldn`t hesitate to stay in Tucan.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank aygen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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