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El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel
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All reviewsbeach clubfishing boatscondo hotelhot tubindigo restaurantwhite noise machinebedroom penthousewasher and dryerfull kitchenrooftop terracebeautiful condorecommend elwater coolerlight sleeperrestaurants and shopsprivate balconybeach chairs
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Reviewed 8 July 2011

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.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank SandmanCoppell_TX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Condohotels, Owner at El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 July 2011

Thank you for including the beautiful pictures and we are glad to hear that you thought our staff was friendly and you had a great time. El Taj is in fact centrally located in the most liveliest area and as you mentioned "super location" . But sometimes the nearby night clubs raise their volume above the legal limits in an attempt to compete with one another. We will look into installing double insulated windows in the one bedroom you referred to and we will also speak to the establishments you mentioned to curb their volume. As you stated, all the other bedrooms in the unit are virtually sound resistant. But, as in any luxury hotel we provide ear plugs just in case some people want to drown out the sound of crashing waves from the ocean, music or any other type of noise. The A/C for one of the bathrooms you mentioned is under repair and we apologize for any inconvenience. We hope you consider returning and appreciate the fact that you would highly recommend our property to others.

Jack Perlman, owner & developer

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2011

This is our fourth return visit in two years. We stayed in all the condo hotel properties (they have 4 properties) and we think El Taj is the best one if you want to stay directly on the beach. We spent 5 days with 4 different families as a graduation gift for our kids. We rented several units el taj oceanfront and in beachside (across the street) and one of the units was  directly on the beach (unit 332 is directly on the beach, step out to the sand). The folks at the hotel asked us to share our experience on trip advisor and we honestly thought about keeping it a secret. But after learning that El Taj is ranked so high on trip advisor we thought it's time to let the secret out. This place rocks and it's the best of Playa! El Taj in the heart of Playa and everything at your fingertips. Our teenage kids used the GYM ( designed & operated by the founders of the famous Equinox Gyms) and said it was one of the best Gyms. The condos provide luxury appointments and amenities found only at the best hotels. Every detail was carefully planned out. The bedding and comfort was great. As repeat customers they surprised us with a luxury van and took us all to their private beach club called Al Cielo. Simply amazing beach and we are world travelers and never saw a beach quite like this. Make sure you ask the front desk about this beach club even though the beach in front of El taj (called Indigo) is awesome and amazing food. Oh by the way you can use both pools  at Beachside and Oceanfront and the one at beachside is a black pool and very romantic.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Ndubner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2011

It's no wonder El Taj has the top rankings. We were a bit skeptical because we didn't exactly know what a condo hotel was. But after hearing about El Taj we wanted to see what everyone was raving about. Our experience was one of the best and we stayed in a two bedroom penthouse unit with it's own private roof deck ...more like a nest perched on top of tree. It had a gourmet outdoor kitchen, with refrigerator and jacuzzi. We had a chef arranged by the concierge to come several times to cook for us. We didn't want to leave the condo since it was amazing and furnished like no other hotel suite and we usually stay in the best places. The beach club was great and service was 5 star! Almost all the other nice beach clubs in the area charge a fee for lounges and umbrellas but for El Taj guests it's complimentary, and they have comfy lounge chairs and padded cushions and beach butlers. Yes, there a few boats tied up in front but it adds to the charm. After all Playa was an old fishing village. You can walk about 50 feet to the right and swim in crystal clear turquoise water. We booked the same unit for X-mas and can't wait to come back.  Highly recommend.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank annplaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2011

I stayed at El Taj Oceanfront with my 2 sisters for our birthday celebrations for 7 nights in May. We had organised an airport pick-up with the hotel and we were out of the airport and on the road swiftly with a cold drink and in an air-conditioned Escalade within minutes of walking out the airport doors.

On arrival to the hotel the door staff were polite and very helpful in getting our bags from the car to the reception area. Check-in was friendly and swift and the porter who brought our bags to our room (Daniel) was pleasant and friendly and showed us how everything worked before leaving.

We booked our condo directly with the owner and it was as beautiful as it looked in the photos. It was finished to a really high standard and had everything we needed even some good coffee to start our holiday. The kitchen was well equipped even for those who want to cook for themselves. The air-conditioning had separate controls for the livingroom and the bedroom which was great as the bedroom got a lot of sun and heated up a lot during the day. Our condo had a balcony with a beautiful ocean view and was the perfect place to have breakfast as it got the morning sun. We picked up groceries in the Mega supermarket so that we could make breakfast or brunch in the condo every morning and this worked out really well for us. We also cooked a couple of dinners in the condo, when we were too tired to leave the condo after being out on excursions, and they were fabulous too.

The bedroom was beautiful and bright and the bed was very big and very comfortable. We had an additional bed made up in the living room and this was also very comfortable. There was plenty of closet space for three girls for a week. The bathroom was finished in a very luxurious style and had a very large shower area. We did have a leak at the sink on the second day which we reported to reception and they had a guy up and the leak repaired almost as soon as we had put down the phone.

The pools at both El Taj Oceanfront and El Taj Beachside (just across the street) are fabulous. I especially loved the tranquil setting at Beachside and finished every day with a swim in that pool, a nice cool-down after a day on the beach. The beach itself is glorious and the there were always lots of sun beds and parasols at the beach club. Massages are available at the beach club but I didn't avail of this service so I can't comment but it's nice to have the option.

We had breakfast at the beach club on our first morning and it was really nice, lots of fruit, cereals, meats, cheeses, pastries and cooked-to-order egg dishes and good coffee. We also had some snacks at beach which were good too, especially the pizza. I would also recommend the lemonade especially if you have built up a real thirst in the sun. Food and drink service at the beach club, we found, was efficient and polite. There is a sunglasses cleaning service at the towel bar at the beach club which I think is a great idea especially if, like me, you use loads and loads of sunscreen and your shades get all greasy.

The beach itself is beautiful, the colours are just amazing and the sand is so soft and so white. It is by far the most beautiful town beach I've been on. I know some people complained about the boats in front of the hotel but I thought they added character to the view. As many other reviewers have said if you walk a short distance there are no boats to block access to the sea but what we found was if you walked out beyond the boats you got great space to have a peaceful swim as there weren't many other swimmers there and the boats don't move in and out enough to disturb you. The water is quite shallow for some distance out.

We booked some excursions through Teresa at the Conceirge desk which is located at Maya Villa. She is just fabulous, very friendly, very knowledgeable and made good recommendations. We visited Tulum and Coba and also took a tip to Cozumel. If you're not sure exactly what you want to do Teresa will be able to help you make the right decision. The tours themselves were brilliant with fabulous transport (we were only 4 for the trips to the ruins so had an air-conditioned car with our own private guide). Our guide was very knowledgeable and had brilliant English (great as we all have really bad Spanish) so were able to get the most from the information he was giving. We had booked a snorkelling trip also but it was late in the week and the sea got too rough to do it. We would really have loved to have done it but maybe next time.

The hotel is ideally located, right on the beach and just a short walk to Avienda 5 where all the shops and restaurants are. In the condo the hotel has provided a preferred guest card and a list of recommended restaurants (and other stuff too) whereby guests at El Taj get discounts. We availed of this on a few nights and had some really good meals, especially at Como Como and Yaxche. There is a lovely atmosphere in Playa Del Carmen, it's relaxed and colourful yet very chic and cosmopolitan. I would say there is something for everyone.

All in all I really couldn't recommend this hotel high enough. It is perfectly located, it has lovely facilities, the gardens and setting are beautiful, and the staff are friendly, polite, efficient and understated (I especially like this as I really don't like hotel staff that are constantly in my face feigning interest with fake smiles). The condos are very spacious and are finished to such a high standard and it is just brilliant to have the freedom and autonomy of having your own place in the sun with all the service and amenities of a luxury hotel. Would love to go back there again and hopefully I will really soon

Room Tip: We booked directly with the owner
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank diamond5_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2011

When my wife and I were planning a trip to Playa Del Carmen, we chose the #1 rated El Taj Oceanfront Condo Hotel and we absolutely made the right choice. On arrival we were met by a friendly staff who checked us in and escorted us to our penthouse suite #345, a beautiful 3 bedroom (beds were so comfortable), 2 baths, with a full kitchen, living room and flat panel televisions in every room. We also had our very own private roof-top terrace with gas grill, hot tub, shower, table & chairs and sectional sofa surrounded by plants and flowers with a great view of the Caribbean. I am confined to a wheelchair but had no problems getting around the property because of the wide walkways, elevators and the very helpful staff. We enjoyed the food at the beach club, Indigo, especially the breakfast buffets and appreciated the attentiveness of the waiters.We sat out on the balcony every night and enjoyed the quiet and the lights of Cozumel. We also went over everyday to Fifth Ave to enjoy the many restaurants and shops. Favorites included La Parrilla, Hot Baking Co. and Babes.. Thanks to the management and Staff of El Taj Oceanfront for a wonderful vacation. We will definitely be back.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank RembeckiG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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