My husband and I stayed at the Iberostar Tucan for five nights, as part of an eight night vacation in Mexico. We had a wonderful time. The beach, grounds, rooms and service were all wonderful. We loved to wake up each morning and take a walk through the jungle to see the abundance of wildlife. We loved walking along the beach, and swimming in the clear ocean. We loved hearing the mariachis each night, and waking up the birds each morning. Another positive was this all inclusive was less over run with children than others I’ve experienced, but was still kid friendly. Go here if you want to have fun, and stay on the move. I would suggest avoiding this resort if you are looking for privacy and quiet (go to the Fiesta American Grand Coral Beach in Cancun). Or do what we did, and spend half of your trip in a quiet hotel, and the other half at the all inclusive to get the best of both worlds.
Décor / Theming:
The décor and theme of the hotel follow Mayan tradition. There are large statues of Mayan warriors, stone tablets depicting gruesome acts (little Chichen Itza!), Mayan “tiki” huts, and much more. Add to this white marble floors, mariachis, a multitude of animals awaiting your every step (monkeys, parrots, peacocks, iguanas, etc, and the lush beautiful rainforest and you have immersed yourself in a tropical vacation paradise. The rooms also follow this motif, and are lovely and spacious. All rooms offer a patio or balcony but beware- monkeys may share your seating with you!
The beach features white sand, beach chairs and an abundance of palapas. The water is clear and beautiful, when the water is calm. However, this was only the case for two of the four days of our trip. The other two days the water was so rough that you would legitimately risk your life to swim. What was particularly strange was during these rough days, it was sunny and not all that windy. I would imagine the sea here is rough very often, so if this is a deal breaker for you, you may want to consider staying on the north side of Cancun (where the beaches are protected by a natural reef). Or do what we did- split the stay between the two.
The main pool is large and lovely with palapas and chairs surrounding it on all sides. In the middle of the pool is a tub filled with jets, but don’t mistake this for a hot tub- the water is not heated. There is also a children’s pool, an adult pool, and a pool with a swim up bar. Note that the pool with the swim up bar was the dirtiest of all the pools (so much so that we did not go in).
The resort does a very good job of keeping their guests entertained. My husband and I do not participate in classes, games, etc but we witnessed so many activities going around us from salsa lessons to large scale tug of war. Additionally, there are ping pong tables, tennis courts, water volleyball, soccer, nightly shows, a dance club (by the way if you go to real clubs, this may not be for you it is VERY family friendly) and so much more. I would imagine children would have a wonderful time here, but at the same time kids do not overrun the resort (however this may be because we visited during the school year).
I was very happy with the food here, which I found surprising as my husband and I consider ourselves “foodies” who eat out in NYC several times per week. Additionally, while I read in several reviews that you are only allotted a certain amount of sit down dinners per your stay, my husband and I ate at one of the restaurants each night of our visit with the exception of one night where we were too exhausted. You also have the ability to have round the clock room service (have the brownies!).
Breakfast: Breakfast features anything you could ask for. Every morning you are given the opportunity to have juice, coffee, tea or mimosas. Traditional American and European fare is served in abundance (cereals, pancakes, French toast, croissants, muffins/pastries, meats, cheeses, omelet’s etc).
Lunch: Each day my husband and I ate lunch at the pool side buffet. It was good beach food (burgers, pizza, hot dogs, guacamole, chips with salsa verde, crema fresca etc.). Desserts are also available (ice cream, cakes, etc). You also have the option to eat each afternoon in the main buffet, where I imagine there was a more varied selection.
We ate at the Mexican restaurant, the steakhouse (have the ribs), the Japanese/hibatchi, the Italian restaurant and the buffet. Our preference was in this order: Mexican (huge surprise being in Mexico!), steakhouse, Japanese, buffet, Italian. All was very good, though don’t expect to get spicy mayo with your sushi, or authentic Italian food. It wasn’t the four seasons, but it was very pleasing. No complaints. Also to be noted is the buffet has mariachis each night. A big plus.
Alcohol: There are not a huge number of bars at the resort. There’s the lobby bar, the pool bar, a bar where they host the shows at night, and drinks and wine are available at the restaurant, but that’s it. There’s also a slightly scary club (imagine children line dancing with Grandma even after midnight). The main bar and restaurants had a decent selection (Bacardi, Absolut, Jack Daniels, Dom etc), but the beach bar had only the cheapest of cheap. It was still good though! Also to be noted that there is beer stocked each day in your mini bar (included in the all inclusive).
While in Mexico my husband and I visited Isla Mujeres (a lovely island half an hour from Cancun), Chichen Itza (you have to do it once), Coco Bongo (a must), Akumal (lovely water and snorkeling), and Xcaret. I would give all a thumbs up with the exception of Xcaret. This park is dirty and a huge rip off. Skip it.
There’s a large shopping area within walking distance to the hotel.
- 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