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“Amazing Time”

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Iberostar Tucan Hotel
Ranked #40 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Jersey City, NJ
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Amazing Time”
Reviewed March 3, 2010

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:
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 Pool:
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).

Activities:
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).

Restaurants/Bars:
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.
Restaurants:
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).

Day Trips:
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.

Walking Distance:
There’s a large shopping area within walking distance to the hotel.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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11 Thank Dislover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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winnipeg
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2010

This trip was just what we needed! The staff was friendly and very helpful. There was lots to see and do within walking distance. The food was wonderful and we didn't gain any weight because we walked so much!!! Bonus!! We want to return with our children and grandson in the near future. Muchas Gracias for a great holiday.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank grainguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2010

We traveled from February 16-23 with my other half's family members, so there was 6 of us in total. We flew from Winnipeg, Canada with a direct flight into Cancun airport where we then took a comfortable bus ride to the resort. Finally arriving at the Iberostar Tucan side, our jaws dropped with how clean and nice the lobby area was! We knew it would be a great stay already. The downside when checking in was we had to wait roughly an hour or so get into our rooms. But during that time of waiting we hit up the lobby bar and started drinking! Met our favorite bartender, Victor. He is a kind, funny person, who makes the best mojitos. Tip him and you'll get almost all his attention. A few shots of Don Julio tequila, mojitos and margaritas later we then checked into our rooms. Typical room I must say. We were facing jungle side, which felt more private. The shower portion in the bathroom is pretty nice, and has pretty good hot water pressure! The mini fridge was stocked daily with bottled water, beer, and variety of sodas. Room service food is sub-par. I'd recommend it only really if your lazy to leave the room. The food: I'd recommend booking a la carte at the steakhouse location and the Japanese a la carte. We tried the Mexican a la carte, and was not fully satisifed. We found going to the buffets were a lot better! We couldn't understand why other reviews hated the "repeatative" food at the buffets, because in all honesty, though you do see some of the same foods, there is still quite a variety to choose from. Drinks: Please try Don Julio tequila! Smooth, blanco, makes you feel good kind of tequila!
Another highly recommended thing to do is to go to COCO BONGO, which is about a 10 min ride away from the resort in Playa del Carmen. COCO BONGO was recommended by Star friend, Freddie, and let me tell you, its something you cannot pass on by. Freddie hooked it up with an open bar wrist band which included transportation there and back plus free drinks all night. COCO BONGO is a place where you pay for a show. It's not quite a club but you do dance throughout the area. There are random acts performing, impersonating famous celebs/characters, like Madonna, the late Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Moulin Rouge, Spiderman,etc. Very random and very fun!!! Look out for Freddie to get you into COCO BONGO. Other events we participated in was going to the Mayan Ruins at Tulum and Coba. Chichen Itza was too far, 3 hrs away from the resort. Where Tulum and Coba were closer. Visiting the Tulum ruins was ok, more of less walking area, taking pictures, not so tall structures, where as in Coba there was the Nohoch Mul Pyramid, an 140 foot high pyramid where tourists can climb it to the top! An exhilerating experience! Beautiful view from the top, with such history. When in the Coba ruins, rent a bicycle for $3 usd to explore the area. It's more efficient to get around than walking, which can take way longer. We also did an ATV/Cave/Cenotes tour for only $49.95 usd, booking from www.playadelcarmentours.com comparable price to $100 or more. We were booked with Eco-Ventura Punta Venado; our tour guide's name is Henry, super cool guy. Took the atv's throughout the jungle, where we stopped and walked inside a cave. Then drove over to the refreshing cenotes and cooled off. After swimming in the cenotes, we rode the ATV's over sand dunes at full speed. All in all, well worth 50 bucks. Go for it!
Back to the resort, the star friends are craziest most outgoing people in the resport, and I can see why. They are there to motivate those who are staying to particiapte in daily activities they offer inside the resort. Rafael, who is one of the main hosts of star friends is the most energetic person I've met. The after dinner shows were pretty fun to watch. I appreciate the hard work the Star Friends go above and beyond to make you happy and enjoy your time. For my second last day, Rafael volunteerd me to sumo wrestle on the beach! I did it, and had fun. Maybe because I had my 1L thermos of margarita half finished... :)
Other places to go: Plaza Playa, 5 minute walk from resort, small shopping area. Quinta Avenida or 5th Avenue. Shopping markets/restaurants/Bars. Prepare yourself for pushy salesmen/women.. It's their everyday grind, if you are bothered by it, then leave. If you are simply not interested just say no. If you are making purchases, bargain as much as you can, and if no luck, move onto the next! Every store has almost the same product. You you check out the beach area, where the Ferry dock is that takes people to and from the Cozumel island.
To finish this off, eat, drink, tip and be merry! ;)
Ciao.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank sheryl13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2010

My husband and I traveled with friends to the Iberostar Tucan (aka Iberostar Quetzal). The resort lived up to its advertisements for beautiful tropical beaches, eye-catching tropical forests and beautifully decorated rooms. Upon check in, we were given rooms on the other side of the resort (there are 2: Tucan and Quetzal). We still aren't sure if these are 2 different or 2 similar acccommodations. The view from our room (in building 28) was directly toward a garbage, loading dock next door. We couldn't open our doors or sit out on the balcony. At night, it was so noisy from the slamming metal doors, trucks backing in and out, and breaking glass, that we had to leave the TV on just to drown out the noise. We checked daily with the resort and politely asked to be moved. It was never done. (Maybe we should have made a scene and demanded it). Our mini bar in the room had a warm refridgerator and our friends bar never got stocked. Despite these problems, we would love to return to the resort, but would absolutely refuse any rooms in buildings 27, 28, and 29. Also, if you are vacationing and expecting good entertainment, dont count on it here.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank aBearAnt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centerville, Ohio
Level Contributor
55 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2010

We stayed for 9 nights Feb 2010, and couldn't have had a better time.Can't think of anything I liked least; maybe the internet service available (see later), but not important. I had read reviews on Trip Advisor (of course), and they were overall positive, so I felt reassured. We had stayed the last 2 years in Cancun/Tulum area, and love the area & the gracious people & beautiful beaches.
As much as we loved Grand Sirenis 2 years ago, we really loved the Tucan/Quetzal. The surroundings, food, entertainment were unsurpassed for the cost. We only wished our family & good friends could have joined us. But, we made good friends there as well, from many different countries. We love interacting with different cultures & people, and it was a great experience. We met folks & kids from Chile,Germany,Poland, & others, and they were all so nice.
The flora & fauna were so beautiful & so much fun. The critters were a source of endless interest & amusement- monkies, peacocks every morning on our patio, little piggies, flamingoes, ducks, roosters, Tucan, parrots, swans,kitties& more, all interacting in a great ecosystem.
The food was excellent- any resort which has brie,smoked salmon,prosciutto hearts of palm,superb fresh salsa & guacamole,paella, (cooked on the beach with authentic stone crab claws ceviche & saffron rice) is a place I like to be).the Quetzal restauant was particularly nice, with the lovely waterfalls & water sounds The breakfasts were awesome, and the cookout hut on the beach was good & fun too.
All beautifully presented & with a variety every day & night. The specialty restaurants were ok, the Japanese was the best. Be sure the men wear long pants; the women can wear practically anything.
We drink (usually) only wine, which was Spanish & more than adequate. I did indulge in an occasional Bloody Mary, 1 time a Blue Hawaian, occ Margarita, all good.
The beach barstaff were great. And, we positioned ourselves between the pool, the bar & the ice cream stand. I don't usually eat much ice cream (although I love it), but we were so active I had 1 scoop every day.
The entertainment staff was also surprisingly talented & professional. We enjoyed all the shows, and the Star staff was non stop energetic & fun during the day. I don't know how they maintained their schedule. We also really enjoyed our morning stretch class, & "Yoga on the beach". Also, the dancing after the shows, and the dance lessons were so much fun!
We walked to Playa del Carmen one day via the beach; a nice (long) walk, but a good one. There is also a decent mall via the walking/bike path with everything anyone could want, within about a mile or less. Internet cafe, too. Avoid, if you can, the sales pitch for the "Real" time shares (unless you are into that kind of thing). We almost got caught last year at the Barcelo. Its a waste of a good half day, listening to the pitch.
The internet at the resort was a little lacking, only 2 stations per resort, and had to get pw's at the desk, which was often busy with other priorities. But, not there to surf the net...
The beach & water were beautiful- beach recently renovated. Nice little shelters for keeping out of the strong rays, as at the pool.
Our room was fine, adequate, quiet & all we needed. We loved the location, because we had our own little slice of jungle between us & the path, where we could enjoy the animal life & privacy on our patio. We were in the 2500 building, & loved it. Yes, the beds were hard, but we slept great! Our maid made cute towel animals every night. I tipped them every day,and we tipped the bar staff often. They really appreciate it.
What else is there to say- probably more, but it was one of the best trips ever, and we have been on many. When we were checking in, I heard someone say this was their 4th year there- I can see why. Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank cherylb-rn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2010

Our 9th trip to MX - the last 4 at the Tucan/Quetzal - was one of the best. MX has rebuilt the beach all the way to the ferry pier. At least 4 dozen thatch umbrella stands were planted in a 2 or 3 day period so there is plenty of shade if that is what you want. The food is even better than previous trips because there is a little more variety in the buffet. Javier oversees the restaurants and has been there a long time. His management skills and training abilities are obvious through all of the staff. Everyone is always busy and eager to provide top-notch service to the guests. The specialty restaurants are always great - especially the Italian (Maitre d' Aroldo was terrific).
My husband enjoys water sports- Hobies, scuba diving and swimming- and enjoyed all of it. I am the early riser and walk the beach before breakfast and it was wonderful. The rest of the day was spent in the sun on the beach. The open air entertainment at night is always fun and the entertainers work very hard.
As far as recommending the hotel - we have many times. In fact a friend is there now and his daughter says he is loving it. They 'skype' everyday. He is there alone and says that everyone is very friendly and he is enjoying the walks through the 'jungle' and watching the birds and animals.
Can't wait to go back next year!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank GardengalBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norfolk
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2010

We were a party of 7 with 3 teenagers staying from the 5th - 19th of February. What can i say, i would go back tomorrow. Front desk was brilliant. We ate in all the restaurants the al acarte 12 times as we were under 3 different booking names, we took our chances and it paid off, all of them were superb apart from the Mexican as needed a little more spice so was a little disappointed. We have ate in many 5star hotels before but found this one to be one of the best. All waiting staff very friendly and could not do enough for you. We did tip but did not see many other people do this but seem to have got the same service. Plenty to do through the day for all age groups. The pool was lovely but a little cold. We did not use the swim up bar as it was very shaded so even colder. The beach and sea were picture postcard perfect. Plenty of sun beds. People were putting towels out early but we did not find this a problem. The star friends WERE SIMPLY THE BEST. The evening entertainment that they put on was something else. We did not feel that we needed to leave the hotel at all in the evenings to find entertainment as this could not of been beaten here. I don't no how they keep up the pace all day and all night. We made really good friends with them and had lots of fun! We went out one night to Coco Bongo with some star friends. It was very well organized and we had the time of our life, this can be arranged with any of them, we would thoroughly recommend it. We went to Chitza Nitza it was a really long day none of us really enjoyed it,wish we would have saved our money. We see plenty of wildlife whilst walking around, got woke up plenty of times from the monkeys but it did not bother us as it was all part of the fun of staying in this hotel. The rooms were our only disappointment as a little dated, and not enough hanging and draw space. The fridge was well stocked, they were kept very clean and we did not have any problems with the hard beds as we are used to a firm mattress. I would defiantly go back and tell all my friends.
Ps. i would just like to mention to be aware that i did have a item of jewelry taken from the room which i only put in my suit case the morning we were going to leave. It was someone who had a key to the room as there was no forced entry. It had been locked in the safe all week, so i was angry, i have emailed the hotel to let them know how i feel.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank hell4leather
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

Property: 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
Amenities:
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:
#13 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#15 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#31 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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