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“We loved it- and we can't wait to go back” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Iberostar Quetzal Playacar

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Iberostar Quetzal Playacar
Ranked #44 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
GreenLeadersGold level
Madison, WI
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“We loved it- and we can't wait to go back”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2011

We had a great vacation at the Iberostar Queztal. The great service started at check in where the front desk manager, Alejandro, checked us in-we were originally going to be in a building far from the beach and pool and he did not hesitate to check to see if there were other buildings available. We got one in building 21 which was fabulous. Very close to the beach and pool. The only down side to it was that we faced the RIU next door and we would hear their music every night. No major problem. I kept hearing that the beds were really hard and that we would need to ask for a egg crate pad but didn't find that to be the case. The beds were very comfy. I can tell you also that we never had a problem with ants that we often have had at other resorts. The room had a safe that was offered at no charge-again, unlike other resorts that we had to pay $2.00/day for. The mini bar was stocked with beer, soda and plenty of water. The service in all of the restaurants/bars was great. Francisco was one of our regular waiters for breakfast/lunch and always took care of us fabulously. I would brew tea to make iced tea as the tea in the dispensers was always sweetened and after he saw me do it the first time he would always bring me the hot water in a large glass and multiple tea bags as well as fill my own insulated cup (I highly recommend getting the insulated Tervis cups to bring along-keeps your beverages very cold for a long time plus they are larger than the hotel glasses) with ice. He always welcomed our daughters by their name whenever he saw them. Orlando and a couple of other chefs in the morning were always willing to go to the back to get some pico de gallo for me even though it wasn't normally offered at breakfast time. The food was great at all restaurants. The buffet had a very large selection for b/l/d although once we found that the seafood restaurant by the pool/beach served b/l that's where we ate most of the time. We ate at three ala carte restaurants; the seafood, the Japanese and the steak. My favorite would be the steak. I really wish we could have had an opportunity to try the Italian but we took whatever we could that wasn't at 9:00. I don't know why it seems like they have open tables but won't let more people in to dine at the earlier hours. That would probably be my only complaint. The buffet for dinner was always very good and plenty of options. I will agree with so many others that said that the ice cream was fabulous- we all loved the coconut ice cream and would be bummed when that flavor wasn't available. The beach was great. We spent so much time in the ocean that we only went in the fabulous pool once. The pool was very warm-much like bath water. The grounds personnel did a great job cleaning the seaweed off the beach every day. I was glad to see that there was very few topless sunbathers around-teenage kids from the US aren't accustomed to that as they are in Europe. Oh, I have to talk about the animals around the property! We got to see the monkeys and it was so exciting. We went out early in the morning and heard them over towards the Tucan side. We followed their howls and found them on the rooftop of one of the villas. Another night we were walking to the lobby and found another type on the Quetzal side. The were swinging from tree to tree and were so fun to watch. Peacocks and chickens roamed the grounds as well as Tezekees (sp) the were as prevalent as squirrels in the Midwest but looked had short front legs and longer back legs. Only one time were we able to stay up late enough to go to the shows. A great theater but it was too warm and smokey so we had to leave. The Star crew was very good. We talked to many people who had been there 2-3 times before and I can say that we will be going back hopefully sooner than later.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank weezy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2011

Enjoyed this resort much more than the last all inclusive in Los Cabos last spring. Service was par excellence, activity staff was very friendly and enthusiastic, food was fresh, wide variety, waitstaff very friendly and accommidating, restaurants were clean and very well maintained. Grounds were very nice, rooms were nice and maid services were very, very good. Never got hit up for time share or any other similar things. Best part was a shower room and towels for a quick clean up on the day we checked out, had a late flight that day but the front desk, in a very nice way, advised us to feel free to use the facilities and enjoy until we left. WOW! Never felt better about a vacation resort. We are planning on going back with our three adult children for Christmas.

Room Tip: Look at layout and get a room near beach
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tennistym
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2011

My husband and I stayed here for our honeymoon, and couldn't have choosen a better place. The staff is nice and friendly. Food was awesome! They had a great selection! The hotel has a jungle feel, which made it feel peaceful. It does have many twists and turns, but I like exploring and didn't mind going all around the hotel. They have many different animals (monkeys, swans, fish, iguanas, parrots, turtles, and more) around the hotel which I know kids would love! The rooms are so clean. I was impressed! The next morning when we woke up we found ants in our room! We were going to report it, but decided we would do it after breakfast because we were extremely hungry. When we got back to our room, to our suprise, the cleaning lady had reported it and they took care of the situation. The hotel is also only a few minutes away from Fifth Avenue were you can buy great things!

One down side to our trip was when the entertainers from the hotel offered to take us to Coco Bongo! The deal was they would accopany us, get us in without lining up in that huge line, have a place to sit, and would bring us back at the end of the show. We paid up front. Well, when we got there with our entertainer (from Quetzal) he left us there with a friend of his. He told us he would be back and told us we would enter in a few minutes. That did not happen. We stood in line for over and hour. It was jammed packed in Coco Bongo! We were told we would have a place to sit. Didn't happen. My husband and I did not enjoy it, so we decided to leave. So I would be careful on what they tell you. Make sure if you go out with them you get what they tell you, or else you'll end up spending a lot of money for nothing.

Room Tip: Loved room that was close to the pools and beach
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  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TORRES2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maui, Hawaii
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2011

Our family of 4 (husband/wife, 13-year-old son; 15-year-old daughter) had the best time of our lives. We cannot say enough good things about Iberostar Quetzal.

Loved:Beatiful, large, white-sand beach that extends onto other properties. I love walking the beach, but it extended so far down the coast it was too far for even me to walk.No lines for food or drinks. Tasty meals with tons of variety. Everything fresh & hot/cold.Japanese restaurant was an out-of-this-world experience as they do "show-cooking" there with the chef in the center of a table of 18 people. Our entire family loved watching the "show" PLUS the food was the best Asian food we have ever eaten. My son even tried octopus. Mini-bars were refilled DAILY with lots of soda/bottled water/beer, even though signs indicated they would be refilled every other day.Staff (waitpersons, maids, bartenders, "Star friends" (activity directors) were all GENUINELY friendly and kind.Free-roaming animals provided an incredible experience we've never seen anywhere else in our travels. Tons of beautiful peacocks walking around; parrots, monkies in the treetops, large tortoises in a garden-like enclosure, flamingoes (confined to a pond area).We felt very safe here. To get into the general area (named Playacar), the driver has to surrender their drivers license.
Yes, the bed was firm, but I slept better on it than I do on my soft bed at home.
Yes, we also had tiny ants on the sink in our bathroom, but we did not let it bother us.
Yes, the huts/palapas and poolside chairs were all "reserved' with towels/personal items before 7 am BUT you can always get a large beach umbrella from the towel shop and set up on the beach AND IT IS JUST AS GOOD AND JUST AS FUN as hut/pool!

The only thing that could have made it even better is if there were activities targeted JUST for teens, or a teen center or some way for teens to meet each other. We spent several days of great quality time alone with our almost-13-year-old son, but he really wanted to meet up with some boys his age. After several days, he finally got in with a couple boys who were playing ping-pong and then had fun with them for our remaining days. But it would have been much easier if they had some activities specifically set up for that age range. The "Kids Klub" turned out to be for much younger children.

Now, here are a few tips:
1. When we arrived at Cancun airport, we assumed that the airport porter offering to port our bags was with Lomas Travel. We had rolling suitcases which are easy to pull along, but the porters (in light blue shirts) grabbed them and reassured us (in broken English) they were with Lomas Travel. In fact, they work for the airport and took us a short distance outside to the actual Lomas Travel reps (in blue/green shirts), then expected a tip.
2. We were unable to make a toll-free call from the payphone in the lobby, in order to confirm our return trip. So we were kinda just going on faith that our return plans had not been changed in the 6 days we were on vacation. That made us a little nervous.
3. For the ladies, I would recommend bringing a nail file and a heel file. My fingernails got sand/grit under them and were dirty the whole time I was there but I had nothing to clean them! My heels got really grungy walking in the sand, and I wished I'd had my trusty heel file from home to clean them up after each shower then slather with lotion.
4. Non-motorized watersports are included BUT do not make that the decision-maker when choosing a hotel, because many days you cannot use them due to windy conditions. The flag was red half our time there, and yellow (caution) the remainder, so we couldn't take out kayaks or anything. We were a little disappointed about that, but the hotel can't control the weather and we understand that. My point is, don't let the availability of watersports make/break your decision when choosing a locale.
5. BEFORE we arrived in Playa del Carmen, we planned to take a day and go to Cozumel and spend the day at the sister hotel Iberostar Cozumel, enjoying their free snorkeling/restaurants/beach/etc. HOWEVER, once we arrived at Iberostar Quetzal and spoke with the front desk staff, we realized it would have cost $200 for our family of 4 just in transportation. To get from Quetzal to the dock is only $7 for a taxi; the ferry to island of Cozumel is $15/per person each way; taxi from Cozumel dock to Iberostar Cozumel is $30 each way. We would have loved to see Cozumel and experience their snorkeling, but couldn't see paying $200 to do so.6. We did take the Dressel Divers snorkeling tour from Iberostar Quetzal beach, which is a 15-minute boat ride south down the coast. For the $40 each, it was OK in order to introduce our children to their first time of snorkeling, just to find out how they liked it. (They both took to it like fish.) However, I thought the waves at the reef were too large, and the fish were not very plentiful, and the guide (in his defense he was trying to keep us all together for safety and to keep a headcount) constantly kept us swimming and moving. True, he was trying to move us around in order to see fish, but we never got a chance to just float there and ENJOY. It was hard work!
7. Yes, Playa del Carmen IS on Central Time Zone, BUT depending on what time of year you are there, you may or may not be on the same time as "home"! That is because they start their Daylight Savings Time later than we do. Whereas we started DST in March, theirs does not "spring forward" until April 3! So we did lose an hour on our last night there.

ENJOY THE TRIP!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank travel_fan38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond Hill, New York
Level Contributor
144 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2011

My fiance and I have just returned from our trip to Mexico. We weren't supposed to stay at Iberostar, we were supposed to stay at Viva Wyndham Maya but they overbooked and sent us here. Well, weren't we lucky...the hotel is amazing. It's like staying in a jungle resort. We woke up every morning to all sounds of nature, it was really quite peaceful. The rooms were a nice size and clean and the beach was spectacular. The staff was really warm and friendly. The food could have been better, especially since this is a five star resort, but aside from a boring selection, it was always cooked well and tasty. We were only able to book one restaurant, so we booked the Mexican one. That was a good choice because the food was delicious, as well as the buffet style appetizers and deserts-try the rice pudding, it was great. We really enjoyed walking through the jungle area and seeing the monkeys, peacocks, these little rodent looking things (they aren't rats, and they don't bother you), iguanas, toucans, flamingos, ducks, giant turtles, little turtles, funny parrots who whistle at you...this resort has it all. The entertainment was actually really good, we even got to see a magic show which was awesome. The pool was really huge and very clean, one of the cleanest pools I've ever been in. The beach was even cleaner, not a single piece of garbage. The water was the most amazing color of blue and so warm. I only warn that you put a ton of sunblock on as my fiance and I got really burnt (even with sunblock all day) and suffered for it. Overall, this resort was great. We would stay here again and not on a technicality, we would book it.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ANTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
81 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2011

I visited this resort for a wedding and traveled with my boyfriend and a group of about 20 people in their late 20s, 30s and 50s. We stayed in the Quetzal part.
This was my second time in Playacar that year.

The resort itself has 2 parts: Quetzal, which is 5 stars and Tucan, which is 4.
They both basically use the same restaurants and bars but the Quetzal has better rooms.

THE GOOD:
1. The resort is absolutely beautiful! You might get lost, but it's ok because you will keep stumbling upon all kinds of cool things. There is a waterfall with swans swimming about, a giant turtle pen, a bunch of parrots (not caged), flamingos, tucans, the cute furry animals with a long tail (forgot what they are called), iguanas, etc. The walkways are all stone, surrounded by trees and shrubs, protecting you from the sun and giving quite the jungle feeling (without the poisonous bugs, of course).
2. The restaurants are big, good food, a bit hard to get to sometimes but once you find them, it's worth it.
3. The A la Carte restaurants are really good. We went to two of them and they had quite the options. Very yummy.
4. The beach is incredible. They have a very large beach with a bar and you can almost always find a space under an umbrella.
5. The rooms were amazing. Comfortable beds, nice TV, fancy and big bathroom. Our balcony was big too and it faced the jungle and a cave so it was quite relaxing to hear the breeze in the trees.

THE NOT SO GOOD:
1. The resort is big and it's hard to find your way around. We got lost multiple times, especially at night and there aren't too many maps to guide you.
2. I didn't really see much animation staff. Never went to a show, but the theatre was big and I saw the dancers practicing and moving all kinds of cool decorations around all the time.
3. The staff were not too friendly and I was "attacked" by a few because I was showing my girl friend around the resort.
My friend was staying at the next hotel up and I wanted to show her the swans, and the whole cool jungle feeling of the place. I was simply showing her around (did not get her a drink or food) when suddenly, one of the lobby staff charged at us and started questioning me why my friend was there. When I told him that she was just looking around because it was pretty, he told us to immediately go to the lobby because I am being charged $370 to my room (for the night) if she wants to stay there! When I told him she doesn't cause she's at the other hotel, he said that he will have to charge me the day pass, something like $85! I told him to relax, he started raising his voice at us, called the security and had us escorted out right away! WHAT?????
I'm sorry, but if this is how the lobby, hence "welcoming" staff treat the guests at this 5 star resort, I do not ever want to go back. I really felt attacked, wrongly accused and threatened.

So, beautiful resort, great rooms, lovely beach, great restaurants but the staff, not so much. I had an amazing time because I was with a great group of friends. But that one incident really ruined everything for me and I will never go back there. My friend will never book a trip there either.

If you are going, I hope nothing of the sort happens to you, have a great time and don't get lost!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank VisitAll195
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
58 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2011

Iberostar

Upon checking we were instantly amazed at the beauty of the grounds.  Everywhere we turned was nature and wildlife.  The grounds are covered by Monkeys, peacocks, flamingos and many other critters

This all- inclusive is simply beautiful and the staff is so very friendly and helpful.  They try hard to provide events throughout the day to keep people entertained.  From salsa dance lessons and scuba lessons to a singing and dancing show they try.  

Now the nightly signing and dancing shows are not broadway, they are bearable.

The are however, several things which will prevent me from ever returning.

The food is simply awful. Breakfast is good as is most of items in their mexocan restaurany and that's about it.  The dinner buffet was less than poor.  The rest of the meals, boring, tasteless, overcooked and simply subpar

The drinks.  Well it IS all inclusive, so I guess they can't pour a stong drink right?  Let's just say they are weak!!

The beds. Ever sleep on. Rock? I have never been in a hotel with such horribly uncomfortable beds.  Another night and I woulda have had to find another hotel.

The pool chairs.  First off, you cannot find one after about 9am  While their are signs saying no reserving of the chairs, almost every chair is saved by a towel, a hat, shoe whatever.  Once you do score a chair you find they are the cheapest chairs you have ever seen. They are constantly falling apart and people are getting jerked back because the chairs ant stay locked into place. It becomes so frustrating it's almost unbearable.

In a nutshell:
Resort Appearance: 5 stars
Service: 5 Stars
Room Comfort: 2 Stars
Food: 1 Star
Entertainment: 3 Stars

Overall: 2 Stars.   I simply can't give a place more Stars with poor food, an uncomfortable bed and beach chairs that I can't relax in.

  • Stayed April 2011
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jimx2indc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Iberostar Quetzal Playacar

Property: Iberostar Quetzal Playacar
Address: Av Xaman-Ha. Lote hotelero No. 2, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#15 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#31 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#33 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#34 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Iberostar Quetzal Playacar 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. A watersports and diving paradise. Sub- tropical mangrove swamp. Great gastronomical variety. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Quetzal Playacar Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Iberostar Hotel Quetzal Playacar
Iberostar Quetzal Playa Del Carmen
Iberostar Quetzal Playacar Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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