The El Tukan Hotel and Beach Club has a great location in downtown Playa del Carmen with easy access to pedestrian-friendly 5th Avenue. The hotel is literally steps away from all the shops, restaurants, and bars visitors typically frequent while in Playa, and while it is not beachfront, it is an easy walk to the nearest public beach.
El Tukan has an unusual and choppy hotel layout–there are three guest room buildings and several courtyard areas (two buildings are closer to 5th Ave. while one is on the other side of 10th Ave.), open-air restaurants and bars are at various corners of 5th Ave., the buffet restaurant is actually across the street from the main guest room buildings, and the sports bar is closer to Constituyentes. Everything is in close proximity to one another, but it does require a bit of neighborhood exploration.
Despite its mid-town location, El Tukan’s grounds are lush with mature palms, coconut trees, and various types of flora. Many open-air spaces dominate this property including the lobby, bars, and a la carte restaurant. Although this can heighten the experience of being in a foreign country, it can also get quite warm in the summer months which is something to consider for vacationers who need their A/C.
There are two pools at this hotel; the larger pool with adjacent Jacuzzi (non-heated) is in the courtyard area of the main building, while the other smaller pool is in the courtyard area across the street. Unfortunately, the smaller pool is not any larger than a square-shaped Jacuzzi and is best used for a quick dip on hot days. Although the main pool is larger, it is still on the small side with only about a dozen loungers surrounding it; sun exposure is limited at this pool due to the lovely mature vegetation and surrounding guest room buildings.
The hotel recently underwent some guest room renovations and will continue this project until its completion. All rooms, even those with renovations, are “bare bones” rooms and do not include amenities like mini-bars or hair dryers; but then again, this is not a five star property so expectations should be adjusted accordingly.
The El Tukan offers two different optional all-inclusive plans–the “Light” all-inclusive, and the “Premium” all-inclusive. Here is a brief breakdown of the services included in each:
Light All-Inclusive Plan:
- All meals at the buffet restaurant, La Ceiba
- On-site drinks can be ordered at the La Ceiba bar area (domestic drinks and house wine)
- Access to the Kool Beach Club in Playa del Carmen. All-inclusive guests can use the beach loungers in the section reserved for El Tukan guests and order drinks from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Premium All-Inclusive Plan:
- Everything included in the “Light” all-inclusive plan
- Upgraded rooms (Premium guests are typically given rooms in the main building)
- Access to the a la carte restaurant, Los Tulipanes, and its adjoining bar (“Living” bar)
- Access to the sports bar, Legends, for drinks and food
- Access to the buffet restaurant (Albatros),a la carte restaurant (Marias), 24-hr. snack bar, and lobby bar at the Real Playa del Carmen hotel (just a short stroll away)
- Access to an additional beach club bar area called Trade Winds over at the Gran Porto Real Hotel which is towards the end of 5th Ave. on the south side.
- Access to top-shelf liquor
Pro: Location just off 5th Ave., access to beach club(s), complimentary WiFi.
Con: Not beachfront, scattered amenities, small pools, in-room safe is an extra charge.
Best Suited For: Budget-minded vacationers who like easy access to shops, restaurants, bars, and nightlife; those who don’t mind “bare bones” accommodations and those who won’t spend much time in their room.
No. of Rooms: 157
Room Amenities: Queen or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony, TV, ceiling fan, in-room safe, hair dryer on request, and shower-only. There is no room service, but there is complimentary WiFi. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Standard: Queen or two dbl beds.
- Deluxe: Renovated room with queen or two dbl beds; some rooms are located in the annexes (other hotels across the street)
- One Bedroom: Queen or two dbl beds, sitting room with sofa bed.
- Two Bedroom: Queen bed in one room, two dbl beds in the other, sitting room area with sofa, kitchenette.
- Deluxe One Bedroom: Renovated One Bedroom; located in the main building near the pool.
- Deluxe Two Bedroom: Renovated Two Bedroom; located in the main building near the pool or one of the annexes.
- NOTE: There are no elevators at this hotel or its annexes. Premium plan all-inclusive guests are typically given rooms in the main building. Also, this is a spring break hotel, so expect lots of college-age students from the end of February through April.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Not available
Resort Amenities: Two pools (no swim-up bar), Jacuzzi (non-heated), complimentary WiFi, access to Kool Beach Club, complimentary shuttle service to Kool Beach Club, concierge and tour desk in the main lobby. Premium all-inclusive guests have access to additional amenities (see above).
Restaurants/Bars: See specifics listed above for “Light” and “Premium” all-inclusive plans. Reservations are required for a la carte restaurants.
Entertainment: There is no scheduled entertainment at this hotel; however, entertainment is just a short stroll away on 5th Ave.
Web Site: http://www.tukanhotels.com/?lang=en