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“Great Jungle Vacation!”

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Iberostar Tucan Hotel
Ranked #49 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed December 28, 2010

The 3 best parts of this hotel were the jungle experience, the beach, and the service. The service from the staff was phenomenal. They were always saying hello and asking us if we were enjoying our stay. The beach was very nice and had no rocks going into the ocean. There was only one day that we had seaweed going into the water but I'm pretty sure it's because it rained the night before (and there were people there cleaning it up that morning).
JUNGLE: the resort was pretty big and the walk from the front of the resort to the beach was completely covered in a jungle canopy. Every walk to the beach was an adventure because you always saw some animals (flamingos, peacocks, iguanas, turtles,tucans, etc).
ROOMS: the rooms were the only disappointing thing about the resort. The beds were awfully hard but we asked for the foam topper and we didn't have a problem sleeping after that. The bathroom doesn't have a bathtub but they do have a big shower. The nice thing about the rooms is the overlook of the jungle. Blocks 11-13 are the closest to the pool and beach. Block 14 has the very best view of the jungle (where we were) and we had monkeys to look at everyday. Blocks 15-19 are closest to the front desk/dining area. I recommend asking for the top floor, as I think it's the best view.
FOOD: we stayed 6 nights and only got 2 special dining nights (we had Italian and Japanese and both were amazing!) However; they told us that if we came back between 4-8pm we could see if there were any openings and maybe we could get an extra special dinner in. The buffets aren't bad either. They're always changing what's on the menu but they also keep a few favorites everyday too (like pizza, hamburgers, etc). The other nice thing about the 2 buffets are that you always have the sound of water in the background. The Tucan buffet is surrounded by fountains and a coy pond. The Queztal buffet has a beautiful waterfall to see/hear while dining.
POOL: the pool is one very large pool with a jacuzzi in the middle. But like most resorts in the Riviera Maya, the pool and jacuzzi are not heated and they were pretty cold this time of year. They do have waiters that come around all the time to see if you want anything to drink (also at the beach as well).
Overall, this resort was very nice and beautiful. I think it was a great value for the money and would serve as an excellent family vacation spot.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cswise86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 26, 2010

In one sentence we loved it!

Airport
After you pass the customs you enter a "time share sharks" hall. There are lots of people claiming that they work for the airport and are concerned about one's transportation. In fact they try to get you to a time share presentation or some other kind of membership. I heard that these presentations do not take 90 minutes as they say but rather half a day. This year there were more sales representative compared to the last year and very persuasive as far as it goes to be airport officers. Ignore them and leave the building, unless you want to pay with your time for some tickets to Chichen Itza or other attractions.

Grounds
Perfect. There is a jungle with live harmless animals in the middle of the twin resorts Iberostar Tucan and Iberostar Quetzal and main attraction for the kids. To find the monkeys look up in the trees and follow a terrible cry/roar of the male monkeys.The twin resorts were a little small for my taste but I discovered the easiness to be close to everything. Also it is about 3km off Playa del Carmen along the beach or along the Playacar road. And about 2 km from Sam's club... if you would like to buy cheaper alcohol to take home.

Room
Our room was in block 11. Reasonable size with big terrace. No bathtub, which we prefer. Close to pool, beach and 2 restaurants. The only problem with the room was the key. We had to fix it about 5 times. Although it was not close to cell phone or camera it lost its code every 3rd day. The room has no charge safe. The water in the fridge is replenished daily (I do not care for soft drinks so as long as there is water we were fine). We left tips for the maid who seemed to be in charge for the water bottles too.

A pillow top for the mattresses is a must. Require if missing.

Food
There is a huge selection for everyone. We did not find any trouble finding food for us. All the a-la-cart restaurants except the Japanese Bonsai have buffet style appetizers which I find offer bigger selection of such as opposed to ordering only an appetizer.

Drinks
The barmen would try to put more ice in your drink but if you ask for less ice or a certain brand name of alcohol you will get it. I did not have to wait for my drinks or to speak Spanish to get their attention. I like Iberostar house wines better than the ones of Grand Bahia Principe.

Weather
A little bit colder than last year at the same time. This time we had temperatures ranging from 17 to 28 deg C.

Ocean and pools
The ocean was calm most of the time. The beach is cleaned from sea weeds immediately after wind. No stones or corrals. Relatively fine sand and warmer water than the pool (The pools are colder, but still OK; cleaned daily or sometimes more often.). There is drinks service ... for the lazy ones around the pool and along the beach.

There are a few intrusive businesses along the beach and pool. One is a scuba diving and snorkeling lady trying to persuade everybody to go on a trip. Other are the spa people who go looking for customers and finally there is para sailing who go only along the beach to offer their services. Say "No" if you are not interested and they will not bug you... except the first one.

To get a nice spot around the pool or on the beach one has to be up at 7-8am.

We used the catamaran almost daily and we loved it. My kids, 6 and 9 years and I learned to kayak.

Animation and Entertainment teams
The best so far. There are a few guys, Ivan, Alexis and Isac who are very athletic break-dansers who like to perform whenever they get a chance. Very entertaining, especially for my 6 year old boy.

Daily there are dancing classes teaching Merengue or Salsa. The teachers are very good so pay attention and learn.

The night program starts quite late at 9:30pm and lasts to 10:30-11pm. After that there is live music and dancing till 11:30pm. I wish the program started early. At the end after dancing till 11;30pm we felt quite tired.

During airgun practice at 10:30 am there is usually only one gun so it is very slow to get to one's turn.

Iberostar do not rent out bicycles which is quite disappointing. They offer two tours daily. The morning one is at 10am to Playa del Carmen and the afternoon one is at 3pm, around Playacar.

Disco Mascara
Very good except for the cigarette smoke. Appart from that you will hear the current dance music (it is not only Latin as in Grand Bahia Principe Hacienda)

Rent-a-car
In Iberostar Quetzal lobby there is a Thrifty desk. It is quite expensive with 100% insurance. However it is comparable to the Playa del Carmen prices from Hertz and Budget (for less insurance). About $80/day for an automatic car, Nissan Tiida. (In the town there were people offering rent-a-car, but we did not listen to their offers. We wanted full insurance.) Despite the rent-a-car price it is still cheaper to rent a car and go on a private family trip than to use the ones offered in the lobbies. We went to the ruins of Coba, Tulum's beach and Akumal and took our time. We hate to be rushed when exploring.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank northern_prairie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2010

Hotel looks great, Marble everwhere, immaculate grounds, excellent service. Room was large, great A/C, plenty of hot water and a balcony. Refrig in room was kept stocked with beer, water, and sodas. The beds are hard - period. We had nightly entertainment of medium quality. The food lacked just one key ingredient - flavor! Since you are more or less captive at the hotel, food choices became more important as time progressed.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Csprings99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2010

Just returned from seven days at the Tucan with our extended family (two adult couples, four teens) and couldn't be happier with our choice. The grounds and buildings are exquisitely maintained, the staff is very friendly and take great pride in their work. The location can't be beat--just a couple of minutes from the heart of Playa, but set apart by the jungle-like grounds and animals. We awoke each morning to the sounds of birds and monkeys, went to the beach and set up our chairs/umbrellas (I know, it's annoying that everyone "saves" chairs, but it's the system so you have to follow it or expect to sit on sand), headed to breakfast, and then hit the beach. Beach drink service was wonderful and frequent. The water is gorgeous, but if you want a more secluded beach, just walk South a few minutes and you'll have the water to yourself. Three of us did have a day of tummy trouble (we think it was food-related, but not sure what), but they have a doctor on staff 24 hours a day and she came right to our rooms with medicine, so we we didn't miss much. The buffets were plentiful and varied in choices, but the quality was ordinary at best. We dined at the Japanese, Italian, and Steak restaurants. They were all fair, but the steak was the best in our opinion. We went "off campus" to Alux, a fascinating restaurant in a cave, for a great meal one night. You're definitely not going to starve! The girls in our group all got massages in the palapa hut on the beach--so relaxing. We arranged a private van and driver for eight hours ($200) through Facundo, who works the beach selling tours and arranging condo sales presentations. Our driver, Mariano, was wonderful and took us to Tulum, where we hired a tour guide (so glad we did--we wouldn't have had any appreciation of what we were seeing without it). Then he took us to Pollo Brujo for great chicken and tortillas, then to one of the many roadside cenotes (to check it off our list), then shopping. Our last night was Christmas Eve and the staff worked very hard to put on a much nicer dinner with lobster, shrimp, tenderloin, etc., but like all the meals served buffet style, it was just fair. The decorations and ice sculptures were lovely. We really, really liked this resort and recommend it highly for families with tweens or teens. The trade off on food quality was well worth the convenience of not having to hunt and gather food for eight people three times a day (or more!). It was our first time at an Iberostar (we usually stay at Starwoods) and we enjoyed it very much!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank toodogsus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2010

We really enjoyed our week-long stay at Iberostar Tucan in December 2010.

Service is above average. We did experience a few mess-ups but those seems like exceptions to the general rule. Room was being made up every day, the territory is mostly clean and tidy, buffets, restaurants, bathrooms and beach are clean and we saw them being cleaned up all the time. Here are a few examples of below-average service: check-in took 40 minutes; our tennis reservation for 8 pm almost didn't work out once when the fitness center staff forgot to bring the rackets and balls to the front desk (since the fitness center is closed at 6pm), and the front desk lady was very reluctant to fetch a security guard to open the fitness center and get us the equipment; but she did it and we got to play after all; on the departure day I had to call the front desk 3 times to get someone to bring our luggage to the lobby to be on time for the shuttle departure. An example of above average service: our 4yo broke a glass in our room and the service lady came immediately and cleaned everything up; we also lost one of the towels and were forgiven for it.

The room was nice, with a large window and balcony. Bathroom was also very nice. Air conditioner worked as expected. There was no DVD player in the room but TV worked fine. Sound-proof quality of the walls and window was rather low, so we heard birds from the outside and neighbors passing by our door as well. Our room was on the ground floor, and next time I would take the 3rd floor where there is less traffic, especially late at night. The mattresses were pretty hard, and even though I slept OK on them, I did notice them; my wife complained as well.

Hotel is really a collection of small very beautifully painted 3-story buildings, all within a 5 minute walk to the beach. Territory is very nice, with a mini forest in the middle, with various birds and small animals in it (monkeys, turtles, iguanas, etc). With monkeys and other animals on the territory one could expect some traces of them all other the place but only once did I see... er... some by-products of animal (I hope it was animal!) life on the foot path. I imagine they were quickly cleaned up. The hotel has a few large swimming pools but we never swam in them because the water was too cold (the hotel should really invest in the water heaters!) The air temperature during our stay was upper 70s - lower 80s and the water in the ocean was much warmer than in the pool for some reason. Throughout that week the pool was mostly empty even though the weather was rather windy and the waves were very big so not too many people were in the ocean either. The drinks that the resort offers are perfectly adequate (we are not big on that), although I have to say their apple juice (the drink of choice of our 4yo) is nothing like the apple juice in the US. The buffets are very very good; the restaurants are mostly good (Japanese - OK, Caribbean - so-so, Italian - the best!!!). The entertainment (both kids and adults shows) are lousy - just like I expected. We also took a walk to a nearby town, Playa del Carmen, and visited a couple of tourist trap souvenir shops but there was nothing interesting there (shop for your souvenirs at the Cancun airport - it's much more convenient if maybe a little more expensive). We played tennis a few times, the 8 pm time slot is always free, the courts are lit, and you only need to make sure that the fitness center person leaves rackets and balls at the reception for you. Hotel offers wireless internet in the lobby (for pay, I didn't use it), and there are 2 computers in the lobby where you cab buy some time online (I used that). The only catch there is the time you buy is valid on the same day only. Prices were reasonable. We haven't done any tours so no opinion there.

I liked best the restaurants and buffets. Comparing to my previous experience at Occidental in Aruba) it was amazing!

I liked worst... Hard to tell... There was nothing major that I disliked, our stay was VERY relaxing!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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Thank 33kirillk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2010

Amazing unique jungle-resort!
Beautiful grounds and the beach!

The food: in the buffet is ok, nothing special.
The specialty restaurants : we liked the Italian and Japanese restaurants. The Steak house was not great..
The room: clean, but the bathroom looks very old and smelled very bad every morning (strong sewage-smell).
The mini-club: very good (9:15am-4:30pm) .
Entertainment: very good!

Overall:
would recommend this resorts for families with children.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Marianna2008Toronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2010

Everything here was perfect. Fantastic grounds. Fantastic food. AMAZING staff and entertainment. This resort really set the bar high and made me reconsider all the past resorts I 'thought' were good...

Only tiny complaint I had was the monkey who lived right outside my hotel woke us up every morning at 5am with his 30 minute LOUD mating call. Oh well. We we could have moved, but didn't want to bother.

Don't hesitate, just book this FANTASTIC, AMAZING hotel. Best place I've ever been, and I've been around.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank JoeyJoeJoe10
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
Phone Number:
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
#17 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#34 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#36 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $207 - $585 (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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