Pros

  • Walkable family-friendly resort on a private white-sand beach
  • Large natural habitat for monkeys, birds, fish, and turtles
  • Rooms with balconies/terraces, minibars, and daybeds
  • Huge main pool, sports pool, kids' splash pool, and adult pool
  • Free activities include Zumba, yoga, TRX, aquarobics, and archery
  • Multiple buffet and a la carte restaurants with international cuisine
  • Lobby bar with live Spanish guitar music plus theater with entertainment
  • Full-service spa with a water circuit and outdoor treatment pavilions
  • On-site fitness center, tennis courts, and temazcal
  • Kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, windsurfing, and diving offered
  • Free room service, parking, and Wi-Fi throughout
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Cons

  • Seaweed common on the beach and in the water
  • Mediocre food throughout
  • A la carte restaurants require reservations
  • No elevators
  • Showers do not get hot (common in the area)
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Bottom Line

Iberostar Tucan Hotel is a family-friendly all-inclusive in Playacar, a residential and hotel compound in Playa del Carmen. The resort is built around a large and peaceful jungle expanse full of native plants and wildlife, such as howler monkeys, iguanas, and agoutis. Bright and spacious rooms have Mexican touches like stucco walls and Mayan-inspired art, plus flat-screen TVs, minibars, and furnished terraces or balconies. Sun and water lovers will enjoy the lovely white-sand beach and the trio of great pools. By comparison, the next-door, similarly priced Sandos Playacar Beach Resort has more pools and specialty dining options, but feels more sprawling and impersonal.

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Amenities

  • Fitness Center
  • Internet
  • Pool
  • Spa

Oyster Hotel Review

Iberostar Tucan Hotel

Scene

Lively family fun and native flora and fauna

Iberostar Tucan would seem like a generic all-inclusive with '90s style and all-ages entertainment, but its excellent upkeep, local flair, and on-site nature preserve distinguish it from the pack. Within the resort grounds is a significant swath of rainforest with waterfalls and rocky ravines. Native plants and species, including howler monkeys, agoutis, iguanas, tortoises, flamingos, and peacocks, roam freely in the forest and throughout the resort (though Tucan's resident keel-billed toucans inhabit a good-sized fenced-in area by the pool). Knobby stone paths and wooden bridges bob and weave through the natural habitat, and signs are posted throughout with information on the various trees and animals.

The hotel shares common areas and amenities with the neighboring Iberostar Quetzal Playacar, doubling entertainment and dining options. Each of the side-by-side properties has its own lobby; Tucan's is enormous and open, and decorated with hand-carved furniture, handmade ceramics, Mexican marble floors, and a wall-sized relief of a Mayan scene behind the front desk. Past the lobby, a wooden walkway over koi ponds connects to three of the restaurants. Tucan's line of three-story stucco room buildings are painted cheery marigold and brick red, with bright blue trim around the windows and doors. 

Guests looking for quiet spots will find them on the grounds, at the beach, and by the pools, while those in want of activity will find group games and sports and live music and performances, both during daylight and after dark. Tucan suits guests of all ages, from young children (who have a play pool and a kids' club) to multi-generational families. Around the giant main pool, you're just as likely to see parents parking strollers under umbrellas and as seniors scooting around in motorized wheelchairs.

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Location

In the Playa del Carmen's Playacar community

The Iberostar Tucan Hotel is located in Playacar, a residential area of condos and resorts set between the jungle and the ocean. The roads are safe for running and walking, and there's a small shopping center very close to the resort entrance. The center of Playa del Carmen is a 15-minute drive from the resort; from there, guests can take the ferry to Cozumel for spectacular scuba diving. The Playacar Golf Club is a six-minute drive away. The ruins at Tulum are reachable in about 50 minutes, and transportation can be arranged via the hotel concierge for guests without a car. Cancun Airport is just under an hour's drive away.

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Rooms

Cheerful, charming, and spotless rooms

Rooms and suites at the Iberostar Tucan Hotel are spotless and have lots of local color – think dark yellow stucco walls, blue tile work, terra cotta mirrors, rustic carved furniture, and Mayan-style wall art. Bed-runners, curtains, and daybeds feature colorful traditional prints. Some guests like the look, while others find it a bit kitschy. Superior Rooms, Oceanfront Junior Suites, and Superior Oceanfront Junior Suites replace the earthy stucco walls with cool light blue walls, and table and floor with contemporary lighting, making them feel brighter and a good deal more contemporary.

Beds sit on concrete platforms, which may be too hard for some guests. Upon request, foam toppers can be added to mattresses to make them softer. All rooms come with minibars with soda, beer, cold water, and potato chips. Coffee and tea are also free. There are large flat-screen TVs with satellite channels (mostly Spanish language), but no alarm clocks. Every room has individual temperature control, plus a ceiling fan. Bathrooms feature marble countertops and big walk-in showers, but note that these don’t have doors and hot water is sparse. Each room has a furnished terrace balcony, and those near the gardens and forest are often visited by howler monkeys, who like to sit on the terraces or climb and jump from roof to roof. The terraces/balconies on the jungle-facing side of buildings 13 through 15 feel completely secluded by the greenery. Building 10 is closest to the beach, while building 19 is closest to the lobby, spa, fitness center, and parking area.

Rooms don’t suffer from street noise, but the theater and nightclub may be audible until late into the evening. This is especially true for building 15 and 16. Additionally, guests may wake to the (harmless) growl of male howler monkeys. Interconnecting rooms are available upon request. There are no elevators, so guests with mobility issues should request the ground floor. The grounds and pathways are illuminated at night, but guests may want to bring a flashlight just in case. 

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Features

Water sports and land activities for kids and adults

The property's free water activities include kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, and windsurfing; motorized water sports cost extra. There is a PADI dive center for scuba divers of all levels, with instruction and expeditions offered for a fee. Those who prefer to stay dry can bike, play tennis (reservations required) or ping pong; try their hand at archery or target-shooting; or practice yoga, Pilates, or TRX, all for free. Lucy’s Kids Club offers supervised fun for children aged 4 to 12, including movies, arts and crafts, and a playground with a jungle gym and a seesaw.

The on-site spa is located away from the beach, near the parking lot, but it allows guests to feel connected to nature with massage pavilions on the beach and in the jungle. Inside the spa is a water circuit with a steam room, sauna, and candlelit pool with fountains. Spa guests with treatments can access the water circuit for one hour for free; otherwise, it costs a small fee. Treatments include a dozen types of massages, as well as body scrubs, wraps, and facials. Treatments for kids' and teens include a mini facial with coconut, honey, chocolate, and strawberry. The resort’s spacious fitness center has free weights and cardio and weight machines under high ceilings of wood and straw. The two outdoor tennis courts are located near the gym.

The theater hosts live music performances after dinner with Vegas aspirations and lots of neon and purple light. The resort’s Starfriends entertainment group puts on “Boogie Nights”-themed parties, Broadway songs, movie nights, Mexican folklore shows, paella barbecues on the beach, and other diversions. For a more mellow night, the lobby bar offers live guitar music and a vast, multi-page cocktail menu that includes everything from Manhattans and dry martinis to banana daiquiris and Iguanas (tequila, melon liqueur, and pineapple and lemon juices). In the lobby there are shops selling jewelry, souvenirs, and crafts. Wi-Fi is free throughout the resort and does not require an access code.

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Pools

Three pools near the beach

The Tucan and Quetzal properties share three pools near the beach. The main of the three is a ginormous freeform pool with fountains, zero-entry slopes, a floating statue, and a big circular whirlpool in the middle. This lake-like pool is large enough that games or aquarobics classes (daily and free) can take place at one end while guests float or lounge undisturbed at the other. On the sides, there are a kids’ splash area (fenced in, with shaded loungers for parents) and a rectangular sports pool for activities such as water volleyball. The sunken adult pool resembles a grotto, with a waterfall tumbling over boulders, plants hanging over the water’s edge, a swim-up bar with tables and stools right in the water. A series of snack bars offering ice cream, hot dogs, and pizza separate the pools from the wide, white-sand beach. Several dozen bright yellow loungers are set up on the sand, as well as beach volleyball courts for afternoon play. The outdoor showers are made of stone, with Mayan masks as shower heads.

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All-Inclusive / Food

Five dining options on the Tucan side of the property

There are five restaurants on the Tucan side of the resort. Uxmal is a beachfront steakhouse under a big palapa. Breakfast and lunch are served here buffet-style, but reservations are required for dinner, which is served a la carte. Two a la carte restaurants (both requiring dinner reservations) and Tucan’s main buffet are located near the lobby. Bonsai Restaurant serves Japanese cuisine for dinner in a red, copper, and wood dining room with stools arranged around teppanyaki grills. Outside the picture windows are a network of koi ponds that add to the Asian vibe, despite the Mexican location. Mare Nostrum is the family-friendly seafood and Mediterranean restaurant, open for dinner only. The Tulum buffet serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a large open dining hall. Its breakfast is of a better quality than the one served at Uxmal, though the tradeoff is that it’s not beachfront. Expect scrambled eggs, bacon, empanadas, glazed ham, a juice/smoothie bar, and a big selection of pastries, meats, and cheeses, among other items. La Hacienda is located by the pool and serves a Mexican menu in a vibrant dining room filled with brightly painted furniture with colorful textiles and hand-painted ceramics adding to the atmosphere. La Hacienda serves light buffet items throughout the day and a la carte dinner by night (reservations required).

See More All-Inclusive / Food

Oyster Hotel Review

Iberostar Tucan Hotel

Scene

Lively family fun and native flora and fauna

Iberostar Tucan would seem like a generic all-inclusive with '90s style and all-ages entertainment, but its excellent upkeep, local flair, and on-site nature preserve distinguish it from the pack. Within the resort grounds is a significant swath of rainforest with waterfalls and rocky ravines. Native plants and species, including howler monkeys, agoutis, iguanas, tortoises, flamingos, and peacocks, roam freely in the forest and throughout the resort (though Tucan's resident keel-billed toucans inhabit a good-sized fenced-in area by the pool). Knobby stone paths and wooden bridges bob and weave through the natural habitat, and signs are posted throughout with information on the various trees and animals.

The hotel shares common areas and amenities with the neighboring Iberostar Quetzal Playacar, doubling entertainment and dining options. Each of the side-by-side properties has its own lobby; Tucan's is enormous and open, and decorated with hand-carved furniture, handmade ceramics, Mexican marble floors, and a wall-sized relief of a Mayan scene behind the front desk. Past the lobby, a wooden walkway over koi ponds connects to three of the restaurants. Tucan's line of three-story stucco room buildings are painted cheery marigold and brick red, with bright blue trim around the windows and doors. 

Guests looking for quiet spots will find them on the grounds, at the beach, and by the pools, while those in want of activity will find group games and sports and live music and performances, both during daylight and after dark. Tucan suits guests of all ages, from young children (who have a play pool and a kids' club) to multi-generational families. Around the giant main pool, you're just as likely to see parents parking strollers under umbrellas and as seniors scooting around in motorized wheelchairs.

See More Scene

Location

In the Playa del Carmen's Playacar community

The Iberostar Tucan Hotel is located in Playacar, a residential area of condos and resorts set between the jungle and the ocean. The roads are safe for running and walking, and there's a small shopping center very close to the resort entrance. The center of Playa del Carmen is a 15-minute drive from the resort; from there, guests can take the ferry to Cozumel for spectacular scuba diving. The Playacar Golf Club is a six-minute drive away. The ruins at Tulum are reachable in about 50 minutes, and transportation can be arranged via the hotel concierge for guests without a car. Cancun Airport is just under an hour's drive away.

See More Location

Rooms

Cheerful, charming, and spotless rooms

Rooms and suites at the Iberostar Tucan Hotel are spotless and have lots of local color – think dark yellow stucco walls, blue tile work, terra cotta mirrors, rustic carved furniture, and Mayan-style wall art. Bed-runners, curtains, and daybeds feature colorful traditional prints. Some guests like the look, while others find it a bit kitschy. Superior Rooms, Oceanfront Junior Suites, and Superior Oceanfront Junior Suites replace the earthy stucco walls with cool light blue walls, and table and floor with contemporary lighting, making them feel brighter and a good deal more contemporary.

Beds sit on concrete platforms, which may be too hard for some guests. Upon request, foam toppers can be added to mattresses to make them softer. All rooms come with minibars with soda, beer, cold water, and potato chips. Coffee and tea are also free. There are large flat-screen TVs with satellite channels (mostly Spanish language), but no alarm clocks. Every room has individual temperature control, plus a ceiling fan. Bathrooms feature marble countertops and big walk-in showers, but note that these don’t have doors and hot water is sparse. Each room has a furnished terrace balcony, and those near the gardens and forest are often visited by howler monkeys, who like to sit on the terraces or climb and jump from roof to roof. The terraces/balconies on the jungle-facing side of buildings 13 through 15 feel completely secluded by the greenery. Building 10 is closest to the beach, while building 19 is closest to the lobby, spa, fitness center, and parking area.

Rooms don’t suffer from street noise, but the theater and nightclub may be audible until late into the evening. This is especially true for building 15 and 16. Additionally, guests may wake to the (harmless) growl of male howler monkeys. Interconnecting rooms are available upon request. There are no elevators, so guests with mobility issues should request the ground floor. The grounds and pathways are illuminated at night, but guests may want to bring a flashlight just in case. 

See More Rooms

Features

Water sports and land activities for kids and adults

The property's free water activities include kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, and windsurfing; motorized water sports cost extra. There is a PADI dive center for scuba divers of all levels, with instruction and expeditions offered for a fee. Those who prefer to stay dry can bike, play tennis (reservations required) or ping pong; try their hand at archery or target-shooting; or practice yoga, Pilates, or TRX, all for free. Lucy’s Kids Club offers supervised fun for children aged 4 to 12, including movies, arts and crafts, and a playground with a jungle gym and a seesaw.

The on-site spa is located away from the beach, near the parking lot, but it allows guests to feel connected to nature with massage pavilions on the beach and in the jungle. Inside the spa is a water circuit with a steam room, sauna, and candlelit pool with fountains. Spa guests with treatments can access the water circuit for one hour for free; otherwise, it costs a small fee. Treatments include a dozen types of massages, as well as body scrubs, wraps, and facials. Treatments for kids' and teens include a mini facial with coconut, honey, chocolate, and strawberry. The resort’s spacious fitness center has free weights and cardio and weight machines under high ceilings of wood and straw. The two outdoor tennis courts are located near the gym.

The theater hosts live music performances after dinner with Vegas aspirations and lots of neon and purple light. The resort’s Starfriends entertainment group puts on “Boogie Nights”-themed parties, Broadway songs, movie nights, Mexican folklore shows, paella barbecues on the beach, and other diversions. For a more mellow night, the lobby bar offers live guitar music and a vast, multi-page cocktail menu that includes everything from Manhattans and dry martinis to banana daiquiris and Iguanas (tequila, melon liqueur, and pineapple and lemon juices). In the lobby there are shops selling jewelry, souvenirs, and crafts. Wi-Fi is free throughout the resort and does not require an access code.

See More Features

Pools

Three pools near the beach

The Tucan and Quetzal properties share three pools near the beach. The main of the three is a ginormous freeform pool with fountains, zero-entry slopes, a floating statue, and a big circular whirlpool in the middle. This lake-like pool is large enough that games or aquarobics classes (daily and free) can take place at one end while guests float or lounge undisturbed at the other. On the sides, there are a kids’ splash area (fenced in, with shaded loungers for parents) and a rectangular sports pool for activities such as water volleyball. The sunken adult pool resembles a grotto, with a waterfall tumbling over boulders, plants hanging over the water’s edge, a swim-up bar with tables and stools right in the water. A series of snack bars offering ice cream, hot dogs, and pizza separate the pools from the wide, white-sand beach. Several dozen bright yellow loungers are set up on the sand, as well as beach volleyball courts for afternoon play. The outdoor showers are made of stone, with Mayan masks as shower heads.

See More Pools

All-Inclusive / Food

Five dining options on the Tucan side of the property

There are five restaurants on the Tucan side of the resort. Uxmal is a beachfront steakhouse under a big palapa. Breakfast and lunch are served here buffet-style, but reservations are required for dinner, which is served a la carte. Two a la carte restaurants (both requiring dinner reservations) and Tucan’s main buffet are located near the lobby. Bonsai Restaurant serves Japanese cuisine for dinner in a red, copper, and wood dining room with stools arranged around teppanyaki grills. Outside the picture windows are a network of koi ponds that add to the Asian vibe, despite the Mexican location. Mare Nostrum is the family-friendly seafood and Mediterranean restaurant, open for dinner only. The Tulum buffet serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a large open dining hall. Its breakfast is of a better quality than the one served at Uxmal, though the tradeoff is that it’s not beachfront. Expect scrambled eggs, bacon, empanadas, glazed ham, a juice/smoothie bar, and a big selection of pastries, meats, and cheeses, among other items. La Hacienda is located by the pool and serves a Mexican menu in a vibrant dining room filled with brightly painted furniture with colorful textiles and hand-painted ceramics adding to the atmosphere. La Hacienda serves light buffet items throughout the day and a la carte dinner by night (reservations required).

See More All-Inclusive / Food

Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Beach

  • Business Center

  • Cable

  • Children's Pool

  • Fitness Center

  • Gameroom / Arcade

  • Internet

  • Kids Allowed

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Pool

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Spa

  • Supervised Kids Activities

  • Swim-Up Bar

  • Tennis Court

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.