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Playa del Carmen - Iberostar Quetzal Hotel Review
The buffet restaurant at Iberostar Quetzal was great, with a wide choice of dishes. Some things were the same every day, some things varied. There were Mexican specialties as well as international food. The fish was lovely, the burger meat was very juicy, fried cheese served for breakfast was very yummy with some guacamole. There were cold snacks and hot foot, savoury and sweet. And there was most definitely enough choice to find something you like even if you are a picky eater. One night there was a table set up where Mexican coffee was prepared - that process is definitely worth seeing!!! Among my other drink favourites were the fresh juices served for breakfast - melon, watermelon, papaya, chaya, cactus etc - I would have liked these to be available for lunch and dinner as well as they were so delicious!
We also visited 3 of the 5 a la carte restaurants for dinner. Japanese was a lot of fun, with show cooking, so bring your camera! The food was tasty as well. Tropical restaurant had incredible starters. The steak restaurant was our favourite with the best steak I have ever eaten, so we ended up going there twice.
The beach is stunning - white sand and warm turquoise water. The sea by the hotel was excellent - no sharp rocks or anything at the bottom that could hurt your feet, just smooth sand as you go in. If you get hungry or thirsty, there are two restaurants by the beach that serve buffet snacks throughout the day and a bar for drinks. There is also an ice cream stand. As for activities, there were kayaks and catamarans, snorkel and diving tours, beach sports like volleball and football and also zumba!
Stayed at Iberostar Quetzal for 10 nights end of November - beginning of December 2012 and loved every minute. It is a 5-star hotel, located within a gated community of Playacar, which is a lovely and very safe area with beautiful expensive villas. The animation team runs daily bicycle tours of Playacar, which I found very enjoyable. There is a small shopping area about 5 minutes walking distance from the hotel where you can buy some souvenirs. The walk into the centre of Playa del Carmen is longer, probably about 40 minutes. It's very nice, but if you don't like walking, a taxi would be a faster option.
I loved how the Iberostar Quetzal/Tucan hotel complex was set up with a jungle in the middle and all these amazing animals walking around. There were flamingos, agoutis, peacocks, iguanas and other animals that came very close to people. We spent hours just taking photos of all these gorgeous creatures! The surroundings were beautiful as well, with waterfall and small ponds and stone paths through the forest. I felt that everything, including the hotel buildings was in perfect harmony!
Our room was spacious with two double beds. I found the firm mattress to be very comfortable. Everything was in perfect working order, from the TV to minibar fridge to the shower with unfailingly hot water. The room was cleaned every day. Did not have any problems whatsoever throughout our stay. What often annoys me in hotels is that there are not enough lamps, so the room is very dark in the evenings - and that was definitely not the case here, with numerous sources of light in the room, which was an extra bonus!
All the staff at Iberostar Quetzal were extremely friendly and helpful, be it waiters and reception staff or the cleaning and maintenance personnel. Everyone would greet us warmly, even if just walking by. The restaurant staff were quick to clear dirty plates and offer refills on water and any other drinks you wanted. You can also see how much effort people make to keep the grounds in top shape - the whole complex is very very clean and taken care of and you can see people diligently working at all times to keep it that way.
So, in short - great location, great hotel, great food, great people! We are already thinking of going back!
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