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“Fabulous Mexico”

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Iberostar Tucan Hotel
Ranked #50 of 215 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed March 25, 2005

Just returned from Mexico on 23rs March 2005 after 2 weeks at the Iberostar Tucan, Playa Car. Excellent hotel was concerned when we booked that the all inclusive would not be up to scratch but how wrong we were. Branded drinks at the bar, and the food was fantastic everything to suit. Both buffett resturants were excellent loads of choice every night. All the ala carte resturants were good except the Tropical wasnt to out taste. The location of the hotel was very central for any trips 40 mins from the airport and about an hour from the ruins. The rooms were spacious and very clean didnt find the beds hard as some of the reviews mentioned. Maids seem to expect $1 a day tip if you dont you dont get the towel art on your bed every night no big deal. Also used the laundry service which was excellent and my husband used the hairdressers which again was excellent. During the two weeks we were at the hotel the weather was perfect hot and sunny everyday with occasional cloud spent most of our time on the beach as there was no breeze by the pool. Bar service on the beach was excellent tip one of the ladies once or twice and they keep coming back all day asking if you want another drink no need to get off the sunbed. Peacocks, iguanas, ducks, flamingos, monkeys and other creatures run free around the hotel we found the facinating. The evening show and daily annimation team were fantastic something going on all day even saw santa on vacation!!! We one of the messing around as the did everyday around 4pm. Watch out for the monkey the like to steal from your balcony. We will be visiting this hotel again could not fault it, only we wont go again when it is the US Spring Break US teenagers were drinking like the world was ending for five days and they were in large groups only supervised by a couple of adults. Very loud and drunk most nights but to be fair the hotel security is very good only have to call them and they remove any noisy teenagers. What a wonderful vacation all in all would recommend this friendly hotel suggest you diet before you go so you can enjoy the food & drink to the full.

  • Stayed: March 2005
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47  Thank SasmitUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 21, 2005

We just return from a 14-day vacation at Iberostar Tucan. This was a great vacation. Here is my review of this hotel.

We booked with Signature and flew with Skyservice. Please beware of Skyservice, they will charge passengers for luggage over the limit of 20 kg. They did it in Canada and Mexico. We argued but we had to pay no matter what.

The staff (waiter, bartender, repair, maintenance) was extremely friendly. For our group this was the highlight of our trip. We have been to many places before but we feel that this group of employees was the BEST we ever had. They recognized you and made you feel welcomed. They were always smiling. They were going the extra mile to please you. Never had to wait at any bar to get the drinks we ordered. We did not tip every time but it seems that we did. The only exception was with the front desk personnel, the people there seems to forget all of our requests to fix our AC. I had to go five times to the front desk to have our air conditioning fixed in our room. Most of the time they would not log our complaint which seems to be the proper procedure for them… 9 out of 14 days without AC is pathetic.

The rooms were comfortable and always clean. The bed is firm but that was a problem.

The beach was incredible. It was rough a few days but most days you could use the catamarans safely.

The pool was huge and fun but to have a lounge chairs is very difficult. We had to wake up at 5:30 am to get some of the best location around the pool. By 7 am, they were almost all gone. We felt a bit outraged but we had to play the game.

The entertainment was fine but not exceptional. We went to very few shows after 2 or 3. We rather went at Playa del Carmen to walk, get food or stroll on 5th avenue. It is always fun to sit at a bar and listen to live music.

The food at specialty restaurant was good. We went at the Steak House and Japanese restaurants twice and the Italian. All were good but nothing exceptional.

The food at the buffet restaurants was fair to good. Breakfast was probably the one you had the most choice. We almost ate the same things at lunch (fries and chicken). Dinner was the worst. Wine at dinner was the worst I ever had we had to request the wine they serve at the bars to have something a lot better. This would have been the best vacation ever if the food would have been just a bit better. But we did not get sick but we also ate at PDC and did not get sick.

I would recommend this resort to others. We may not go back because of the food but for the rest it is excellent.

  • Stayed: March 2005
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20  Thank bh7h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2005

This review is a bit overdue but here it is. My husband and I went to Iberostar Tucan from November 29, 2004- December 6, 2005 for our honeymoon. The premises are absolutely beautiful. You feel so refreshed just walking through the hotel lobby. And of course the jungle is beautiful.

The rooms were very nice and the shower was pretty big as well. (at least for 2) :) At first, I didn't mind the hard beds at all. But 5 days into the vacation, I got sick for a day and after sitting on that bed all day, my back literally killed me. But if I hadn't gotten sick, it would have been fine.

This resort is so close to Playa del Carmen. We went there several times for shopping and decided to go down there for dinner one day instead of eating a buffet. My husband got lobster and I got a chicken fajita meal with alcholic beverages. Our bill came to $35 which included tip!!! It was a really good deal and the food was good.

We actually became friends with some of the people that worked there. They invited us out clubbing a few times. We couldn't go because I had drank too many tequila shots at the pool bar. haha.

We went jet skiing which was right off the beach. It was about $50 for both of us on one jet ski for a half hour. They even let us go longer than that.

We decided to go to the Chichen-Itza ruins. I definitely don't regret it! They made several stops on the way including shops. We drove through villages which was cool to see how people really live deep in Mexico. They also took us to this natural Well which was absolutely AWESOME! This well was huge and they had stairs leading to the bottomn about 200 feet down. Once you were there, you could swim in this well. If you go to the ruins and you want to swim in the well, make sure your bring your bathing suit!! The best part of the trip by far. And of course, the ruins were awesome. We climbed the pyramid there. It's kinda scary once you are up there because there is no fence up there.

We also went to the Excaret park for the day. It was fun since we got to swim through an underground river. Its more like an ecological park than a fun park. So don't go if you are looking for rides! They do take you on a boat ride down a little river though. They also have an area where you could swim with the dolphins at an extra charge of course! (about $150 per person) They had tons of hammocks that we relaxed on. It was cool.
Back to the resort, they had ping-pong tables which we played. The food was pretty good. It did get kind of old after a while. My husband loved their omelets. The maid service was great.

By the way, we booked with Apple vacations. They had reps waiting for us at the Cancun airport to pick us up. They had some kind of Welcome meeting later that day that we didn't attend. Its pretty much trying to sell you tour packages. We talked to them the next day and then went to another place we could book packages in the hotel and found it to be cheaper at the other place. Apple Vacations has to make some kind of commission I guess. But check out both places before you give them any cash.

I really miss this place a lot. It created a lot of awesome memories for my husband and I. I would definitely recommend checking this place out. You won't regret it.

  • Stayed: November 2005
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26  Thank TravelLady2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2005

This is a great resort, 2nd time for us, and here are some tips on travel and the hotel:

We went from Saturday to Saturday, March 12th to the 19th, 2005. If you can avoid it, DO NOT GO on a Saturday during Spring Break, it will take you 3 hours to clear immigration in Cancun at the airport - tremendous lines. If you have been in the army, you have done your "hurry up and wait". No lines on Monday.
We left from Phila, the long lines start there about 1-1/2 hours before flight time, with only two agents at the check-in counter. If you live 35 miles from Phila. like we do, stay at the airport Marriot the night before the flight and you don't have to get up at 3 AM to avoid traffic jams for a 7:00 flight. Also the rooms and, believe it or not, the food was good.

We booked at the Tucan side of the hotel where we had a great stay 6 months ago, but on arrival, they switched us to the Quetzal. After a 9-hour ordeal (the plane broke -bad starter) and 3 hours in Cancun, I was ready to go ballistic, but they showed us the Quetzal side, and the rooms are identical, the buffets are the same, the buffet restaurant decor is a bit different, so we said o.k. So don't believe it if someone says Quetzal is inferior like I read in a post here- you can also eat in any of the places on either side. Go with the flow.
The buffet restaurant areas are really very, very good - different main dishes, Mexican dishes, great appetizers every night. Breakfasts are unbelievable. Lose 8 pounds before you go, and you'll come home even. They also have several theme restaurants on site which you reserve - best make your reservations after breakfast, they fill up. Tried the Mexican special restaurant - very good... The seafood one was not as good...did not try the Japanese (we're in Mexico, right?).

This hotel has the BEST, most uncrowded beach. There must have been a big storm recently, because the beach areas of the hotels to the north are washed away and sandbagged to prevent further erosion, so the beach chairs are crammed together and in some cases there is no beach - just sand bags......A word on this beach, however - before breakfast, about 7:30 - 8:00, people start bringing their towels down and "staking out a claim" to chairs and thatched huts and returning later, so if you want a particular spot with some shade, you have to do it too. Bring SPF 30 - 45 sun tan lotion. With a breeze it doesn't feel hot, but look around and you will see people with wierd splochy violent red sunburn, cooked crispy.
The beach bars seem to specialize in sweet, frozen, blender "brain freeze" drinks. If you like margaritas, order it with "good tequila, not sweet, on the rocks, with a shot (or two) Cuervo on the side" ( they're not very strong, and you can customize your own), give the bartender a tip, and he will remember how you like it for the rest of the trip. Also try the mojitas (crushed mint leaves, lime, sweet syrup, club soda) "not sweet, extra rum". If you have lunch at the beach restaurant, try to get there by 1:00 or not later than 1:30, and the special things they have that day (clams, mussels, whole shrimp, etc. will not be gone.
There are snorkel tours taking 3 hours or so, and other things you can sign up for right at the beach, so you don't have to go on the all day tours by olympus, or the other fancy brochure lobby tour agencies if you don't want to shoot the whole day.

The Quetzal and Tucan sides of the hotel flank a neat garden, kind of a manicured jungle with "wild animals" roaming about. Also in the middle is a "theatre", where there are shows nightly. These usually include something for kids ( a Simon-sez dancing routine), followed by a funky audience participation event with a Spanish language non-stop announcer leading a kind of adult musical chairs thing on stage, followed by music of some sort or other. This goes on till 10:30 or so, and if your room is nearby and faces the "jungle", you will hear the whumpa-whumpa music and the announcer, but it will eventually stop. One night they had a really good Mexican band.
This brings me to another factor of spring break. There is a disco, which goes on till 3:00 AM - good planning put it away from most of the rooms. The kids all go there and start returning to their rooms from 1:30 to 3:30 AM, totally wasted, singing, yelling. They come into the common areas of the buildings, which with hard surfaces and marble floors make great echo chambers and brings out the Jim Morrisons and Dee Snyders in the crowd - you may have to poke your head out and let them know some poeple actually do sleep at night, and they generally will tone down. When we were here last Sept, this did not occur.

If you bring any pills with a sugar coating, bring them in a tight container or tiny ants will get in and eat the coating in the course of one night.

Go to the town of Playa del Carmen for dinner. It's a $5 taxi ride. Go to Fifth avenue, a pedestrian street - good restaurants, music everywhere, great drinks, fun place. The best area is from say, 6th street up to about 12th street, with the area around 8th and 5th avenue the best. Further north than about 10th it gets more expensive and not as good, below 6th or so, it gets honky tonk and not as good. The best silver we found was actually at the airport, on the way home, so you may not find any bargains in town. Also don't buy silver from the sketchy guys who sell it on the beach.
The BEST restaurant is at 8th and 5th avenue, on 8th street (west of 5th), called YAXCHE. Authentic Mayan, great Mexican food don't miss it - they really do a good job. We (4 of us) had appetizers, 2 rounds of excellent drinks, Special Mayan and Mexican main courses, and the total was a bargain $75 USA. GO THERE, you won't be disappointed. In contrast, we ate at a place further up on the left two nights later, on a corner, up a curving flight of stairs with no railing (forget the name) which was positively lousy - somewhat overcooked dinner, one bottle of ok Mexican wine, $130 USA. Check and see if a service charge is added - sometimes you can't even read the check; I think its printed light on purpose. Also as you walk along, hombres will try to get you to eat at their restaurant "segnor, good food, you no like, you no pay" Has to be really great or colossally bad. Go to YAXCHE. Sorry if this post sounds like a food critic.

Some final travel advice: Bring a bunch of $5 bills. In a country where you tip EVERYBODY for service it is essential. Also, when going to the airport for your return flight, your taxi or van will be met by porters who can help you with your bags. ABSOLUTELY have them help - give them your airline and flight, and the will navigate you through the lines which start who knows where and go to you can't see where - total confusion. We did and the guy zoomed us directly to the security bag searcher guard who zipped us through. I tipped them both.

This is really a great hotel, and after exploring the beach further up, I wouldn't go anywhere else. Finally, staff is friendly and tries their best, everything is superbly maintained, 700 total rooms are in smaller buildings, extensively landscaped, so it doesn't seem "big", and the pool is clean, huge, free form, well landscaped, and really nice. Oh, and did I mention the food is great.

  • Stayed: January 2005
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63  Thank vinc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Yakima, Washington
Reviewed March 14, 2005

My husband and I visited the Iberostar Tucan in early December. We were only 4 nights, but every minute was wonderful. We were impressed with the staff. They were always so friendly even in the heat. They work long hours and you would never know it except for the fact that you see them from morning until late at night. We were impressed with the grounds because of the monkeys and different jungle animals and birds. It was a very natural setting, but still luxurious. We hope you have a wonderful stay! I know we'll be back, God willing.

  • Stayed: December 2004
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9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Midland, Michigan
Reviewed March 12, 2005

We just returned from a 7 night vacation at the Tucan. We wished we had booked a longer stay.

We were in building 17 on the Tucan side. We enjoyed the location because it was close to the main buffets, lobby and stage. One evening it rained and it was good to be close to the main area. Pack an umbrella or two. It also gets dark early and a flashlight is also helpful.

The food, service, friendliness and cleanliness was above average. We used only bottled water and also took a Pepto Bismal tablet before every meal (recommended by our Dr.). We did not get sick and ate everything (fresh fruit, ice cream, juices, etc.).

The beds were hard, but comfortable. It did not interfere with a good nights sleep as others have indicated. The maid was great and we had no problems with the room. The rooms do not have clocks, so a lighted travel alarm is helpful.

The walkway to the pools and beach is quite rough (cement and rock) and slippery when wet.. The jungle surroundings are beautiful and we enjoyed watching the wildlife along the path. We did not see a monkey, but talked to one couple who did. If you have feet problems (I have had ankle spurs) the walkways can be challenging.

The pool area and beach have lots of shade huts and there are signs indicating topless bathing is not permitted. The beach area to the left of the resort and the hotels in that area do not have the same policy.

We used the catamarans when the ocean was calm, but for the most part just enjoyed relaxing around the pool. The Starfriends organize lots of activities and they are fun to watch. We took a taxi to Playa Del Carman to shop and also walked to the shops in Playacar (very close to the hotel).

Be careful regarding the audience participation during the evening shows. We saw one male fall off the stage during an audience participation game when he was blindfolded and asked to walk across the stage to his wife. The Starfriends are very nice and if you do not want to participate they do not pressure you. We saw them eating lunch with the guests and appreciated their positive attitude. We felt very bad for them during the accident on the stage and heard afterwards that they were very upset and sorry about the whole thing. A guest threw a glass at the MC after this happened which was very depressing to the rest of us in the audience.

Since we stayed 7 nights we were entitled to 2 ala carte restaurants, but after putting our names on the waiting list we were able to eat in 4 of them. The steakhouse (on the beach) was our favorite, followed by the Japenese. We do not drink and this did not seem to be an issue with the staff. We have stayed at other all-inclusive resorts where the staff seemed offended if you refused their special drinks and alcohol.

We booked through jmtravel and Apple, flew out of Detroit and had no problems. One surprise was that the hotel offered promotionals the last two nights we were there and tried to get us to spend the last two nights at their other properties. We didn't do it, but it was a nice offer.

The service is exceptional. One night I had an infection and knew the cream that I needed. The receptionist translated it into Spanish, called the pharmacy in town and had it delivered in 20 minutes. It was also cheaper than in the states. I am also extremely allergic to MSG. I asked the hostess in the Japenese restaurant about this (because this is used in most Japenese and Chinese restaurants in the states). She translated it into Spanish, talked to the chef and assured me they did not use it.

We took $150 dollars in ones and fives and tipped freely. It is appreciated, but not expected. We found the staff to be very gracious and kind. We saw one guest very upset in the main lobby, pushing his female companion and shouting at the receptionist (not in English) and eveyone was patient with him.

I would higly recommend this resort to others. We may not go back because of the roughness of the path but that would be a personal reason which would not affect many people.

  • Stayed: January 2005
    • Value
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27  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2005

Got home on Feb 14 and we had a great time.

When with my sisters and thier husbands, 10 of us in total and there was something for everyone to do or just relax.

Food at the main buffet was well prepaired and hot with a different theme
each night. The Mexician al carte was great.

Did a trip to xephol to snorkel and a couple of hours at Tulum, Trip was good lot of fish to see.

The beds are firm which was good for a bad back but there where a few complains.

The staff friendly and helpful. when into the steak house by the pool just before it close for a nightcap on my little sisters birthday and the bartender
let us in and when we told he of the birthday bent over backward bring roses to the ladies and pulling so bottles out from under the counter we had not seen before. smooth!

Would love to go back but don't get away often and there are to many places in the world to see.

  • Stayed: February 2005
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5  Thank RobOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Tucan Hotel

Address: Avda Xaman-Ha, Lote Hotelero | Fraccionamiento Playacar Nro 2, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#17 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#35 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#37 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $197 - $590 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Iberostar Tucan Hotel 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. 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

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