Resort Review - Iberostar Tucán - Playacar

Iberostar Tucán Playacar - Day 1, arrival day

Well once again, and Thanks to my friends, I find myself a guest, in every sense, at another All-Inclusive.
This time I am at the Iberostar Tucán in Playacar near Playa del Carmen on the Caribbean.

Oh yeah, I could get used to living like the Rich and Famous!

I had reviewed the info on their webpage regarding instructions on location and how to get there since we of course were driving ourselves over from Merida. All I can say about their instructions are - They Suck!
The directions are given as if coming from Cancun, no problem, I can figure things out.
"From Cancun International Airport
1.Head south-east for 3.5 km
2.Take the branch road and join the Carretera Federal 307 / Mexico 307. 40.9 km
3.Change direction. 500 m.
4.Turn right at the Camino a la Pileta de Playa del Carmen. 400 m.
Arrival at the Iberostar Tucan."

As you can read, They indicate you drive South to a specific Retorno (Turn Around) and then when heading North again you turn Right at Camino a la Pileta...? Errr, DING DING DING, WRONG! We drove and pondered, and guessed, and finally asked at a PEMEX, apparently you turn at the HUGE sign that says PLAYACAR. Who could miss this sign, and why didn't they mention it? Once you enter Playacar, which is a large residential area you are once again on your own, No signage! We found it, although I can't tell you how. I did at one point see a big Personnel transpot with the Iberostar logo and was trying to find a turnaround so I could follow it, No luck, but we found it none the less.

We arrived at about 2:15pm; check in is at 3pm. we waited for the Check In Clerk to finish her business with the folks ahead of us. We got all checked in and had about 20 minutes to make the lunch buffet, if we hurried, and since we hadn't yet eaten that day we hurried. Alas we missed the buffet so went to the Beach Side Snack Bar Uxmal and ate a light meal knowing we would have dinner in a few hours with our friends, and hosts to this lovely trip.

After we ate we took a little tour of the grounds - really lovely. A bit too many rooms/guests for my taste. People everywhere. This is a family resort so kids of all ages.

lovely beach area

On our walkabout We inquired at the Beach massage area about prices, a 50 minute massage is 1300? pesos WHAT?????

We then inquired about a Whale Watching excursion as this is the season that the whale sharks are in the area - 220USD PER PERSON! WHAT????

We then sat in on a FREE 30 minute Spanish lesson and learned the Spanish names for all the parts of the body.

We meandered through the grounds, along the beach, around the pool and then back to our room. By this time our friends had arrived. It is/was great to see them, it's been about 3 years since we last sat together. After a brief reunion we retired to our respective rooms to unpack and refresh with plans to meet later for dinner.

So after unpacking, checking out the room amenities, figuring out the room safe and the TV I decided to check out the internet. WTF!!! No internet, at all, anywhere! There is a 'Business' Center where you can use their machines, OR you can sit in the lobby and use your machine, all at an enormous fee. I mean like 15USD for 24 hour connectivity, or 5USD for 30 minutes. I am apalled! I mean REALLY, this day and age, and no wifi in your room??????

I for sure wouldn't return, much less book a resort or hotel that didn't offer wifi.

We did meet up with our friends for dinner and ate at one of the 'Specialty' restaurants, the Mexican Restaurant La Hacienda,  we hadn't been able to get a reservation, but we checked at the hostess and apparently some folks had not come so.... The food was good, upon being seated your drinks order was taken and you were given a plate of wings and directed to the appetizer/salad buffet, you then ordered and were served your dinner. It was quite lovely. Although there was some disappointement as the menu indicates that your taco selections will be made tableside, but they weren't.

Day 2, first full day of relaxation!

we were awakened to the screams of the howler monkeys in the trees just outside our room. One thing about this property is there is a lot of wildlife, and I don't necessarily mean the drunken americanos.  It's so very cool to sit on your balcony and have the monkey show!

this is our balcony, taken from the sliding door into our room!

right outside my balcony - amazing!
We've seen agoutis, spiny iguanas, a type of duck I can't yet identify because of no stinking internet, howler monkeys, herons, cranes, gulls, frigates, swans, peacocks, so many birds, cucaracha, coatimundi, raccoon, cats, the list goes on!

So we dressed and went on another walkabout, the grounds really are exceptional. This property seems to be built over a large network of grottos and caverns, there is ground water creating waterfalls, and lots of jungle left. They really did a lot of work to build up and create a base for the hotel and restaurant structures. There is one deep lagoon/grotto that has a number of birds and ducks, as well as 2 large white swans, Lovely. Large volume water features are bisected by elevated walkways, lots of water plants and fish add interest.

Apparently a 'common' feature of Iberostar properties is to have 2 separately identified properties connected by some common middle ground. In this structure are the Iberostar Tucán , and the Iberostar Quetzal. Apparently each side is represented by a different Tour Sales Operator; the TTucán is a featured location of Apple Tours!

Anyway, we made our way to the restaurant Tulum that provides the breakfast buffet, which was fine, Nothing exceptional. Your standard stuff, cereals, breads, sweet breads, bacon, sausage, fruit, yogurt, eggs, omelette station,,,blah, blah, blah - Standard buffet breakfast fare. We were there for quite a while, mostly having coffee and people watching. We eventually made our way to the beach and met up with our friends and staked out our little spot on the beach. It is a wide and deep beach area, with LOTS of beach lounges - A few scattered palm trees, palapas, 2 massage stations, a volleyball court, and a lifegaurd lookout that is manned.

We hung out on the beach, chatting, and catching up, and in and out of the water, which by the way is absolutely beautiful. Eventually we ended up back at the Beach side Snack Bar for lunch. I found the food to be less than satisfactory. After lunch we were back on the beach, in and out of the water....

We tried to make reservations at some of the 'Specialty' restaurants, but ALL were booked.  The best we could manage was a 9pm seating at the Japanese Restaurant on our last night there.

Overall the Tucán/Quetzal is a great Family location.   There are lots of activities, a huge pool, ice cream stations, ...  It's not a bad place for people travellling without kids either,  The grounds are lovely, the staff is very attentive, and all speak a minimum of 2 languages, most speak 3,4 and more languages, but you can be assured of ASpanish and English.  I don't like that smoking is allowed everywhere except inside the restaurants and snack bars.  So you are constantly having to walk through the smoke!   blechhhhh

My other complaint, and it would keep me from returning is the lack of wifi in the rooms.  I mean really, in this day and age????  We rely on internet to contact and stay in touch.

But if you can live without wifi, and with the cigaretter smoke then this is a very nice resort.