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Old 08-19-2014   #1 (permalink)
lost on fifth
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: West Virginia
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Trip report-Iberostar Tucan August 2014

My wife and I went to the Ibersostar Tucan to celebrate her retirement and my birthday.

We were there from August 4-14, 2014.

This was our 6th time to the Tucan since 2004 and enjoyed it as much as we did then.

This time we treated ourselves to an Oceanfront room and could not be happier with that decision.

So that you have a reference point for our review, this was our 16th time to Mexico since 1985. Also, five times at the Iberostar Bavaro in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Out of these we have been 11 times to an Iberostar resort hotel, including the Tucan, Quetzal, and the Paraiso del Mar and Beach resorts. We have also been to the Grand Palladium- White Sands, Dreams Tulum, and the Sandos Playacar.

Other Mexican vacation hotels include the Cancun- Le Meridien, Las Brazos in Xtapa, and the Casa Angel Hotel in Merida.

Ok, now for the trip report on the Tucan. For those that have not been to the Tucan there is an adjacent hotel to the Tucan, named the Quetzal.
The Playacar beach is excellent and is sandy ocean floor with largely no reef rocks occurring below the water line from the Tucan north to Playacar; no beach shoes are required here.

Since this is a sandy beach snorkeling for fish is not very good, except near reef areas. From the Tucan south there is a long section of reef about 200 yards out from the shoreline that continues south for a long way, and teems with fish. This reef has been augmented with large concrete blocks that enhances the habitat for fish, and makes an excellent spot for snorkeling.

The archeicture and art work of the Tucan and the Quetzal have a Mayan theme, and the Quetzal grounds are very jungle- like; howler monkeys live there. The buffet associated with the Quetzal is especially very jungle-like and resembles a tree house since it has the appearance of being perched above an area with waterfalls.

The Tucan/Quetzal resort complex has 5 specialty restaurants that include Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Tropical, and Steak House; included in the 5 are also 2 buffet restaurants for the Tucan and Quetzal.

In our opinion, all the specialty restaurants offered excellent meals. Until recently the dress code for the first three restaurants mentioned above (air conditioned) included collared shirts and trousers for men, but as a result of complaints they have lowered the dress code standard for entrance. The Tropical and Steak house are not air conditioned and always have been casual dress.

The meal at the Japanese restaurant was excellent; the show cooking was a lot of fun to watch. The only complaint here was that there were no backs to chairs; only bench chairs with no backs. The other Japanese specialty restaurants at the Iberostar Japanese restaurants at the IB Paraiso and the Bavaro had chairs. I would imagine that a response to the complaint would be that the restaurant was too small to accommodate additional chairs that did not surround the cooking areas. The Paraiso is also a small complex similar to the Tucan and they had chairs in their restaurant; perhaps enlarging the Tucan restaurant size remodeling by knocking out some walls would give additional room. Nonetheless, the meal, service, and ambience were excellent.

A Mariachi band played during dinner at the Mexican restaurant; meals were also excellent. The appetizers were so good that you fill up on them alone and not be hungry for the entrée. By the way, the tortilla soup was excellent. Juan was an excellent waiter, and he made a flambé in front of our table for my carne shiska bob.

The Italian restaurant menu was very extensive. The evening was somewhat interrupted by a large boisterous party that was quite loud, but did not spoil the evening. Both the house white and red wines were good; not excellent but good, especially with the meals.

The Playacar beach was “invavded” by massive sea weed deposits that washed up upon the shoreline that occurred every day during our stay. Each day a new occurrence of seaweed came ashore. The seaweed averaged about 6-15 feet wide and extended from Playa del Carmen to well south of the Sandos Playacar resort, and the sea weed averaged 1-2 feet thick in some places.

The worst occurrence of the seaweed occurred along the Wyndham resort area, but affected all the Playacar resort beach fronts. One day when the sea weed was at its worst, we joined in an effort with other people staying at the other Playacar resorts to pick up the sea weed for a couple of hours. All the resort staffs were busily digging holes in the beach to bury the seaweed that was picked up from the shoreface.

We went on a 1 day excursion to Xel-Ha via Apple Vacations, and provided by Xcaret Expericncas Tours.

The bus that we took there was spotlessly clean, just the right amount of air conditioning, and great mood music. We had been to Xel-Hal before, but that was 1985 and so there was an unbelievable transformation that had occurred during 29 years. The price of $129pp included transportation, all meals and all drinks (including beer, wine, all types of liquor), and were all top shelf.

The breakfast was not very good as it only comprised eggs, pancakes, and French toast. However, lunch was served in several restaurants on the property and was quite EXCELLENT, which included everything imaginable. There were several bars in the park and services and drinks were great. Also, all snorkeling activities, bicycling, walking paths were very enjoyable and easy to do for beginners.

Overall, we had a WONDERFUL trip. The Iberostar Tucan staff were so welcoming it feels as if you were returning home. The grounds are so well landscaped and were all well manicured. It takes a huge commitment by the Company at the resort hotel complex to keep the grounds so clean, maintained, and grounds manicured.

Special kudos to Manager Dennis for helping us out, and the many wait staff, especially Louis in the morning Tucan (Tulum) restaurant buffet; Juan at the Mexican restaurant, and Dominic at the evening Tucan buffet (Tulum) restaurant. Although we never actually met her, our housekeeper was the best, making the most wonderful towel art.

We cannot wait to return to the Tucan, our second home.

Once I learn how to attach photos, I will post them.
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Old 08-19-2014   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 304
Thanks for the report. My daughter and her husband are there now on their honeymoon. It's been 12 years since I have stayed there.
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Old 08-20-2014   #3 (permalink)
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Nice report Tom - thanks for posting it!
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