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“Heaven on Earth!”

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Iberostar Quetzal Playacar
Ranked #43 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
GreenLeadersGold level
Rice Lake, Wisconsin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Heaven on Earth!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2011

This was my first major trip anywhere and my first trip out of the country. I can not even express to you how happy I am that I picked this resort to stay at!!!! I recommend this resort to everyone - it is family friendly, has entertainment for kids of all ages as well as the adults, is beautiful and is a little slice of paradise!

The staff is incredible - from the waitresses and waiters to the front desk people to the entertainment staff to the room service people. I can not put into words how amazing they all were! The nightly shows are fantastic, something you shouldn't miss! Reynold was our waiter at dinner in the buffet most nights and he is amazing! If you can help it, sit where he is your server! The staff was all great, but he went above and beyond!

The food is amazing! During my stay I ate at the main buffet, the pool side grill, Bonsai (the Japanese restaurant), The tropical restaurant, and La Gondola (the Italian restaurant). We also ordered room service several times. The food was always fantastic. The main buffet has something for everyone at every meal. The deep fried pineapple at breakfast is to die for - you HAVE to try it! All of the fresh fruit was great and there were so many new things to try. If I had to pick just one specialty restaurant to visit again, it would be Bonsai! The show with dinner is unreal! I think that everyone should go there!!!

The room was great. We were on the 3rd floor of the 24 building. The shower is amazing! The closet was the perfect size. The bed was hard as a rock, but once we asked them to put a mattress pad on the bed it was comfortable as can be! The chamber maid was there every day and stocked our fridge daily. The balcony was my favorite place! It overlooked a great big tree that had birds in it all day long. There was also a drying rack on the balcony so we could hang towels and suits.

The grounds are beyond beautiful! Luscious greenery as far as the eye can see! There are all kinds of animals roaming the grounds: peacocks, turtles, toucans, parrots, tzereque (they look like giant guinea pigs but are related to a squirrel), monkeys, lizards, all sorts of birds, coy fish, flamingos, swans, black bellied whistling ducks (and they really do whistle), and even a coatimundi! It was like staying in a zoo for a week! The ponds, streams and waterfall on the grounds just add to the feeling of paradise.

The pools are fantastic! The main pool is warm and gigantic! Although it is almost impossible to get a chair by the pool unless you go down before 8 a.m. There are also big covered huts that are ideal for families with small children, but, again, are almost impossible to get unless you are up at 7 a.m. Use a towel or a cheap pair of shoes ( just in case they walk away on someone else's feet) to reserve a chair and it is almost always there waiting for you. The biggest frustration is that the chairs around the pool are 80% towels and 20% people. I spent 3 full days poolside and I saw many chairs that never had a person in them, just a towel and magazine reserving them for someone.... The adult only pool with the swim up bar is a hidden treasure! It is a must see for everyone over 18!

We booked our excursions through Lomas Travel and our representatives at the hotel were so helpful! Renan and Sergio had answers to all of our questions and walked us through all of our excursions, step by step!

The resort is a 5 minute walk from Plaza Playacar - a fantastic little shopping center. It is a very safe area and the walk is well worth it! There is a Starbucks with free Wifi here for those of you that are going to bring technological gadgets. :) It is also a 5 minute cab ride to 5th Ave - the main shopping street in Playa Del Carmen. Senior Frogs is just off of 5th Ave. Just a warning: some of the vendors can be pushy! We called it Vulture Alley! Just stand firm and don't be afraid to be a little bit rude with the ones that are too pushy. About half way down the street is a mini-mart. We did most of our shopping here. It has the lowest prices ($3 t-shirts, $5 bottles of tequila, $3 bottles of pure vanilla) and has a wide variety of souvenirs for everyone on your shopping list. I would recommend hitting this store first and then finishing what shopping you have left at the little shops.

I had a longing to go on a vacation for as long as I can remember. Now that I have been to the Iberostar Quetzal in Playacar, it has been replaced by a deep longing to go back. This is a must visit resort!

  • Stayed March 2011
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3 Thank tish316
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Location
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Lancing, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2011

Fabulous hotel with small jungle(?!) filled with monkeys, flamingos, swans, peacocks, etc. Beach just off the pool area. Buffet serving everything from Mexican to roasts and veg. Four other restaurants to chose from, the number of times available dependent on the length of your stay. Note, men have to wear long trousers to these. Few shops 5 min walk away or USD7 taxi ride into Fifth Avenue where loads of shops. Staff very friendly, never a problem finding a waitress while relaxing at one of the pools.
Went for a wedding which was arranged by the hotel - was stunning! Bride and groom had no complaints regarding their special day.

Room Tip: Block 2700 is halfway between lobby and beach
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
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1 Thank KitKate71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mattawan, MI
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2011

Just returned from Iberostar Quetzal (Tucan) and wanted to offer a serious review to those of you who panic as much as I do even days before your arrival. Most importantly, don't stress if the weather shows rain. The forecast showed rain for three of our five days in Mexico and it rained in the middle of the night, one time, and that was it!! I traveled with my hubby, 40, my daughter 9, and I am 38. We requested a beach/pool location and when we found Carla, she was happy to change our room to building 21(facing inside the resort) instead of 23 (facing outside which is quite boring) We were on the first floor which was perfect for us. We saw lots of wildlife on the jungle walk between our room and the lobby and restaurant area. The monkeys visited our building on a couple occasions and we spotted them numerous times during our walks. My daughter was amazed with the jungle and enjoyed every walk we shared, never knowing what you would find. We even came upon a small mammal (?) nursing her baby. The pool and beach are amazing!! Spent lots of time in the ocean, some waves were a bit big but nothing overwhelming. The pool is a bit deep for kids, I think 5'1 ish, but there is a shallow end. I wish I would've brought rafts...must do for next time. The swim up bar pool is adults only. The walk to Playa Del Carmen shopping/ferry to Cozumel is about 45 minutes by beach. The taxi will cost you $7 one way. Walk to the south, pass one resort and you will have almost complete seclusion on a gorgeous beach. Don't panic with the nude beach signs...maybe a couple topless women...you'll see more at the resort beach itself. My daughter was fine once I explained....There are always beach chairs available on the beach, but if you want to be location specific by the pool, set up early. Breakfast buffet is open at 7am poolside, 8am near the lobby. We always ate breakfast and lunch by the pool/beach. Omelettes, meat, fruit, breads, etc. There is NO ac at the buffets and it does get quite hot without any breeze...closer to the water more chance of a little wind to cool you off. We were not impressed with the idea of no ac, it tends to get a little uncomfortable. There is also no bar in the front buffets...wine or beer only....bring a cocktail with you. Lobby bar has top shelf liquour!! Although you have many food options, certain restaurants are only available on certain nights and you are only able to make reservations for 2-3 evenings, depending on how long you stay. We were able to make 2 reservations then we were stuck with the buffet. You can inquire for additional reservations in the afternoon and maybe they will accomodate your request for that evening. They did not allow us to make additional reservations. The steak house was good,(best sour cream ever...ask for more) breeze kept us cool. Hibachi was ok, HOT, even though they claim to have ac...they need to notch the temp down a bit :) The fridge items, as they explained, were kept "fresh" not cold so the bottled water, pops, beers, etc. could've been colder. The pool entertainment was fine, not too crazy by any means. The kids club was small, not very exciting, not many activities and never ran on schedule. My daughter chose not to participate. Very minor disappointments as you can see. We did take the ferry to Cozumel, rented a jeep and cruised to the Iberostar there...it's all inclusive for Quetzal/Tucan guests as well. Free snorkeling/gear use from their beach...walk out to the stairs on the dock. We saw lots of fish, starfish...great time. Their resort was awesome!! We plan on returning to Iberostar Coz in November. If you have the time, definitely go to Cozumel, cruise the main road along the coastline, check out Coconuts...beautiful scenery. You won't be disappointed. Taxi to Coconuts is $20 each way so you're better off with your own rental. Resort entertainment was fine, nothing exciting, but they work their butts off so spend a few bucks on tips. The staff deserve it!! I would absolutely go back!!! Feel free to ask further questions and I will do my best to reply. I know I've been all over the place with this review, and surely forgot a lot of quick details....Enjoy your vacation

Room Tip: we enjoy pool/beach area...request what you want
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
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17 Thank levequefam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wisconsin
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2011

This was our third year in a row that our family visited the Riviera Maya area, and this resort was our favorite. Previously we had stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Coba and the Ocean Coral and Turquesa. Nothing wrong with those places but this one was just better.

Within 5 minutes of check-in, we saw peacocks, capabara, swans, turtles flamingos, koi, monkeys etc. You can't walk 20 ft without seeing some sort of animal. One day I was sitting at the pool with my feet in the water and a plate full of snacks next to me. All of the sudden an iguana comes out of the bushes and starts eating from my plate. Since it was about 4 ft long, I didn't agrue with him.
The greatest thing about this resort is the pool - HUGE. The place was at capacity, yet if never felt crowded. It has lots of entry points, 2 with zero entry which is great for young children. You can't see from one end to the other because of all the twists and turns it has. On top of the that the water was like bath water. I never had any problem finding chairs. There are also some awesome palapas with cushions on, but get up by 5:30 if you have any chance of getting one. There is also a small kids pool and a normal pool used for scuba and basketball.

Food-good, but not great. Your typical resort style food. I would rate it slightly better than what I have had in the past. Yes, it does get repetitive after a week, but I always found something that I liked. I also found that the snack bar by the pool had a bigger selection of food than I have had at past resorts. The specialty restaurants were fine. We went to the Italian and the Mexican. Both had a decent selection and the service was prompt.

Rooms- probably the worst part of the resort. They were the smallest that I have had in any of my stays to Mexico. There are no dressers and the closet in adequate. The bathroom is also small and there is no bathtub, the shower had awesome pressure and the water was always warm.

The beach- not to my liking. Big waves when I was there. Lots of people with boogie boards or just riding the surf. If you like snorkeling, this is not the place. I put my mask on and didn't see anything, couldn't even see the bottom as a matter of fact. If you are a sun worshipper and like very fine sand, than you'll love this beach.

A couple of quick notes- We spent a day at the Iberostar Cozumel. It is free to stay there for the day and use the ammentites. The only cost is getting there. $25/per person for the ferry and a car rental $60. It was a nice change of pace. Snorkeling off shore is decent and if you are going to go on a snorkeling trip, you might want to spend the money to get there.

Lastly - the only reason that I didn't give this 5 stars, is because the resort is on the older side and it might need an update. A very minor update. Just little things that are starting to show. Never did see any of the shows, they all start to late. My son, 8, wanted to see the magic show, so we were told it would start about 8:30. We left when it didn't start and it was 9:30. It was just to late for us.

The bottom line is if you have a family, you will love this place.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank racking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, WI
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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
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Thank weezy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
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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
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Helpful?
3 Thank TORRES2000
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:
#16 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
#32 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#33 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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