We just completed a week at El Taj in Playa Del Carmen. Things we loved:
- Easy access to 5th Avenue restaurants and shops
- Friendly and helpful staff at El Taj and the Indigo Beach Club
- Great pool at the Beachside location - Oceanside is nice too but Beachside pool is much nicer
- Dining at Sur, Era Ora, Agave Azul and Wicky's
Things we were not so crazy about:
- The fishing boats parked all along the beach
- The extremely loud music coming out of Coca Maya until 5:00 a.m.
- A/C issues in Unit 302 that never got resolved while we were there
- Limited family gathering space inside the unit (as compared to the private homes we typically rent on beach vacations is Destin, Florida).
We stayed in the Beachside section of El Taj (which is really across the street from the beach but really nice and a very short stroll to the beach). We were in Unit 302 which is the largest in the property. There were nine of us so we needed all the space we could get. The only real lodging issues we had were the A/C was only working in portions of the unit so several of the bathrooms were hot (not much fun to take a shower in bathroom where there is no air moving). We reported the problem on Day 1 upon arrival and followed up several times but the problem only got partially resolved. Another thing to consider is the location of your unit (really the location of your bedroom windows) relative to the clubs down the street (Coco Maya and the Blue Parrott). Each night my wife and I would swear that the D.J. and his speakers were on our balcony...even though our unit was a far away as you can get on the Beachside from the clubs. The sound penetrated the master bedroom windows so much that you would swear they were open. Now are friends who were staying in the junior master on the same floor heard no music when they closed their door and went to bed each night. So...if you plan to stay in the master bedroom in Unit 302 bring some ear plugs. After night 3 I began to use my ear buds from my iPod and that helped tremendously. We are fun people and enjoy a good time but you have to understand that they party until 5:00 a.m. so it can be a long night. I don't think the music would be as much of an issue Oceanside vs. Beachside but it is something to be prepared for.
Another piece of information we wish we would have known is that you are not allowed to bring coolers (even small ones like the one we had) into the beach area. The Indigo Beach club staff approached us almost immediately upon our arrival on the beach to inform us that our cooler was not allowed. The hotel should let you know this up front so you can be aware. They were forceful but not rude. Our plan was to bring some soft drinks and water to the beach each day and purchase our adult beverages from the beach club staff. Not a huge deal but again...it would have been nice to know this in advance. We used our cooler to store the cameras in the rest of the week so bringing it along wasn't a lost cause.
The location of El Taj was super. Easy walk to 5th Avenue and all the great restaurants and shops. Easy walk to Mega Mart and Wal-Mart (definitely go to Mega and not Wal-Mart...much cleaner and much better selection). We would walk there to get groceries for lunch, etc and then take a taxi ($5USD) back. Very convenient.
We had a great time at Xplore with zip lines and swimming in the cenotes. It is a lot of walking and stair climbing but a great time. Teresa the concierge got us passes for Xplore that were about $30 off the retail price per person. Also, take a cab to and from Xplore. It is well worth the small additional cost vs. riding on a bus with a bunch of folks and then having to stop at other resorts...especially along the way home when you are whipped and ready to chill in the hot tub.
Restaurants we recommend are:
Sur (there is also a homeade ice cream shop that you can see from the south side of Sur that is outstanding)
Wicky's (great value for dinner) We also did lunch on the beach here one day and it was excellent (great burger and fries if you are missing the comfort food)
Era Ora - very friendly staff and excellent Italian food and brick oven pizza - only one block from the hotel
Agave Azul - they are just getting things organized and opened up but we had a blast dining outside. The wait staff was fun and we all ended up dancing to the music provided by the strolling guitarist who had a very interesting rendition of Jail House Rock.
Mi Pueblo - excellent food and two for one drinks.
Overall a super time at El Taj and unless you are determined to boogie board at the beach directly in front of your chairs, I would recommend it highly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- El Taj Condo Hotel consists of 57 spacious condos situated on 2 separate properties in front of the beach. El Taj oceanfront is directly on the beach and El Taj Beachside is across the street. Guests get to use all the on site amenities including our exclusive beach club. We offer 2 incredible heated pools. The relaxing heated pool on Beachside property is an exotic black mosaic infinity pool with an extra large Jacuzzi while the oceanfront heated pool sits right on the beach in front of our exclusive beach club. We're located in the most liveliest area of Playa that offers the convenience of having the best restaurants, nightlife and shopping within one block from your vacation home.Each Condominium offers expansive floor plans and superb finishes. The Beachside condos have private terraces that are surrounded by exotic plants, Lilly ponds and all face the pool and cascading waterfalls. All the penthouse units in El Taj Beachside feature ocean views from the private roof decks. All the oceanfront units have views of the ocean.Each condo comes with fully equipped kitchens and the finest details including flat screen TVs in all the rooms. We provide the same services usually associated with some of the finest hotels. Our designers traveled the globe to Indonesia trying to recreate an environment reminiscent to Bali. . ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- El Taj Oceanfront And Beachside Condo Hotel
- El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen