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Iberostar Quetzal Playacar
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Reviews (5,231)
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Reviewed 7 January 2011

We booked thru Bookit.com. We had a pretty good experience with them.

Except....we gave all our room requests at least two weeks in advance through them. I asked if I should email the resort directly and bookit,com said no, the resort would get our requests.

Well, of course, when we got there, we certainly weren't offered the room we asked for. The recpetion staffer was very helpful, though, in taking our list and spending a while searching for the room with the list of things we wanted. The room they offered did not have all the things we wanted, but they said mid-stay we could move to one that did. I appreciated the effort at least.

Rooms: We loved ours. Our six year old slept on the little sofa they have in each room. We LOVED the shower, I could have stayed all day in there, sorry , we really did go thru the water enjoying that shower. It's a walk in one and the water pressure was great.
There is not great storage in the room at all, It would have been nice to have a dresser.
We did tip every day and our fridge was stocked every day, not every other like they tell you.
We always went back to the room about 10am when our daughter went to kids club and I think we messed up the housekeepers routine, as her cart was at the room next door, but when we'd leave and come back, our room wouldn't be cleaned till close to 4pm, which is what they tell you is possible. It would have been nicer if she came back a little earlier than 4pm.
My hubby would take a shower at 5pm or so and sometimes there wasn't hot water, think everyone else showering then too

Resort setting:
For us, it was perfect. I don't think we would have enjoyed a well-manicured place as much. Just like you read about, there are a ton of animals running around the grounds, it was so much fun for our daughter to watch for them as we walked thru the resort jungle to the beach or buffets.
We were in Bldg 25, and I had asked for a jungle side room, as we wanted to watch the animals, but turns out, the first day, a troop of monkeys were in the tree next to our patio, eating. They were so close I could have touched them. One mama even had a tiny little baby. It was amazing. We ended up on the non-jungle side and it worked out fine. They have a staffer who walks around checking on the animals, Saul, I never saw anyone messing with the animals, but I was glad the resort made sure people weren't doing anything stupid.
The jungle walk at night on the lit paths is magical, although I'll say they turn off the lights early mornings, so if you are heading to the beach to watch the sunrise, it was a little creepy.

Also, the restaurants are all open air except for I think one. This was fine in December, but I kept wondering how miserable it might be in the summer when it was really hot.

Beach:
We got "The Letter" at check-in warning us not to save seats at the beach. Well, like other posts state, if you don't save a seat, there will not be one! They definitely need more beach chairs!! I always went down early to have my quiet time, watch the sunrise and go or a walk, so I didn't feel like I was just throwing down a towel and leaving. But I was so glad I was an early bird and got seats and a hut umbrella for my family. Dragging around beach chairs and setting up an umbrellla is not my idea of relaxing. I noticed at the resorts nearby that there were not towels on all the chairs in the morning like at The Tucan/Quetzal, so either they actually keep enough chairs for their guests or they were way under-booked, which to me seemed unlikely.

The beach is BEAUTIFUL.

The beach flag was red or yellow each day we were there (early Dec 2010). I would have been curious what a green flag day was like. We brought a life vest for our six year old, and I am so glad we did, we did not have to worry about her as much. Other kids her age did fine in the water without jackets, it just made me feel better having it on her.

The water was so warm in the ocean, it was amazing to me. Especially walking early in the morning, when it was kinda chilly, the water was actually warm to walk in.

Food:
This was the least appreciated part of the stay. If you are a foodie, I don't think you will like this place. However, we did talk to a couple people who loved the food and did not have any problem with it, so there you go. There were a couple times, the food wasn't just marginal, it was spit out of your mouth gross. Specifically, there was what appeared to be small slices of grilled beef at lunch at the beach buffet. But when we bit into it, there was absolutely no texture to it, it wasn't even rubbery, it was like there was nothing inside. Over marinated?? I dunno. I don't even think Resort Kitty, the cat that sneaks into the beach buffet and begs a bit for food, was eating that stuff. I was kinda glad the food wasn't my thing. I didn't gain a ton of weight on vacation.

The room service food was not great except they had really great french fries. We got so sick of everything else we would just order a plate of fries. Also they say it will be 30 min but our was always quick, like five minutes.

We really enjoyed the japanese place. We were very disappointed with the steakhouse.
I would give them a demerit for the reservations system. I waited in line at least a half an hour each time I needed help at that desk. You only have so much time on a vacation, and you don't want to be standing in a line like that. The young woman who worked it most of the time was very even-keel and worked hard to help everyone get what they wanted.

Staff: On that note, I watched the staff and most of them did not look very happy to me. I am not talking about the entertainment staff, they were always a thousand miles a minute, to be expected. But everyone else seemed to have to force themselves, or remind themselves to smile. We were treated well, it just made me wonder what it was like to work there. It's one thing to work hard, it's another to be over-worked or expected to do too much in day, or have harsh managers. Just made me wonder.

Kids Club:
My daugher loved it. It was definitely not my first choice of how I would run it, tho. We really needed some mommy and daddy time, so we sorta held our nose and sent her each day.
They have one staffer. They have one little enclosed area with a bathroom, so they spend most of their time elsewhere on the grounds.
We were pretty amazed they have no system to notify you if your child needs you etc. You can even go off grounds and they don't care. So you could drop your kid off at 10:15am and not have to see them till 4:30pm. If they were in any kind of distress, it could be a long time till you would know about it. Our daughter was there the whole day, but we would stop by every hour or so and see how she was doing.

Okay, so with one staffer, and on the days they had TWENTY ONE kids...using a pool, eating lunch, going to the beach to play in the sand. To me, that was a total disaster waiting to happpen. She had worked the kids club for three years, though, so I guess this system worked so far. We watched them on the beach tho, and she would face the beach not the water. The kids would go into the water and she would not be able to keep her eye on them. I'll admit I'm a first time mama and I'm fussy, I'll leave it to all the other parents to see how they feel about it. I am SO CURIOUS what other kids clubs are like at the other AI's around there.

I look back on this vacation as PERFECT because I made it be. I included all the gripes in case things like that would be deal-breakers for other people. It really is a beautful, relaxing place and we would definitely go back, but hoping perhaps the food would improve a bit and they would tweak their kids club set up.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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Thank brightfuture16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2011

Iberostar was everything and more than we expected. Beautiful clean grounds surrounded by tropical environment. We saw peacocks, monkeys, flamingos all on hotel grounds. Loved the variety of restaurants, especially Bonsai and the seakhouse. The buffet and snacks were good too. Our favorite show at night was the Mexican show, no need to go to X-caret when you can have the same show at your hotel.The beach was great to swim in.The staff was so good to us. We felt safe in playacar (the gated hotel and residential zone where Iberostar is located). We would go back in a heartbeat if we could.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank 361lovebirds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2011

The first three nights we stayed at this resort were a nightmare. We got no sleep because of the noise outside our room and when we complained there was no result or relief. The fourth night they finely moved us to a third floor walk up. There are no elevators here and with luggage...get the bellboy. When we moved into our new room on the fourth night, not only were the beds like bricks in both the rooms, we noticed that our first room had been missing the NON-POTABLE water sticker above the sink in the bathroom. Come to fined out this resort has no filtration system, and you have to purchase the bottled water in the mini!!!!! Plus the spa is way over priced.

  • Stayed: December 2010
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9  Thank traveler195555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2011

Great family resort. Great service and extremely friendly for families with small kids. All amenities very close to the room and extremely accessible. The Starfriends are also great with all guests, and the great night shows are done entirely by them. We would warmly recommend this resort to anyone with small kids.

  • Stayed: November 2010
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2  Thank peterbarna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2011

I use Tripadvisor every time I travel to look at reviews and thus wanted to provide a review of the hotel as soon as I had a chance to get back into town. Please check reviews of Iberostar Tucan because Iberostar Tucan and Quetzal are in the same complex and management doesnt differentiate between the two. I made a reservation on the Tucan side, but stayed in a room that was on the Quetzal side. I have posted the same review for Tucan.

Iberostar Tucan/Quetzal (they are the same hotels in a large complex with one on the left and the other on the right of the complex) is a good choice for those vacationing in Playacar (private ring road of resorts south of the downtown Playa Del Carmen). The resort was very clean and welcoming. There were no peddlars on the private beach and we did not have any sales pitches. We opted for the all inclusive package and would say that it was worth it given the hassle of taking a taxi into town everytime you want to eat.

The specialty restaurants are good (our favorite being the Japanese Teppanyaki one) and need a reservation. You should make reservations as soon as you check in since th early slots fill up quickly. The daily buffet can get very repetitive and options for vegetarians are limited to pizza, basic pasta, bread, rice and salad. Mixed drinks are good and the beer is limited to a basic "light" beer.

We had two young kids (2 1/2 yr old and a 6 month old) and thus did not venture into any tours and activities. There seem to be plenty of things to do within the resort on any given day (water sports, aerobics, yoga, soccer, volleyball, kayaking etc.) coupled with a kids show and normal show at night every day.

Even though the hotel rules say that you are not allowed to reserve a hammock or beach chair, everybody seemed to be breaking the rules and putting their blue towels in the morning to reserve a spot. Thus, if you are not a early bird and get to the beach or the pool around 10 or 10 30, you might not be able to find any spots. I am not sure what the solution to this problem is except participating in the problem itself and reserving a beach chair!

The mini jungle in the middle of the resort has all sorts of birds and small animals that the kids might enjoy. Further, it is right next to the buffer restaurants so that you can't miss it.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank mjtraveler01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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