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El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel
Ranked #40 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 September 2011

This place is perfect...Rooms are beautiful and they have everything you need.Pools are nice.Its spotless,,,the workers are the best,,,,especially Luis...and the maids.You are one block off 5th Ave so there is always something to do....

Room Tip: All the rooms are good.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank jssr319
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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987 - 993 of 1,385 reviews

Reviewed 25 September 2011

After reading the glowing Trip Advisor reports about Maya Villa, El Taj, and other the CondoHotels properties I thought that some were too good to be true. There are many reviews by first time posters that appear to have been written by the same person. However, after experiencing CondoHotels firsthand I have to agree that they deserve excellent ratings.

We have found that vacation condos work out great for our family. Sharing a regular 450 square foot hotel suite with the standard 2 double beds, 1 bathroom, and 4 people can get old rather quickly (which we also did on this same trip - we stayed 2 nights at Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach in Cancun).

I booked a Maya Villa 2 bedroom penthouse condo from July 12 - 18 for my family using Expedia. When we arrived we were informed that they had overbooked the resort and moved us to Porto Playa instead. We weren’t happy with the change because it wasn’t what I had booked and our Porto Playa condo (#206) had major problems. The temperature in our bedroom was 8 degrees warmer than the rest of the condo, and the A/C unit was very noisy, the bed was hard and tiny (we had booked a king size bed at Maya Villa), there was water damage on the living room ceiling and wall, the toaster oven didn’t work, and the condo décor was lame to nonexistent. After a very uncomfortable first night CondoHotels representative Frederick came through big time and upgraded us to a 2 bedroom penthouse condo at El Taj Beachside.

Porto Playa is a great resort if you get a good condo; the pool is very nice, the landscaping lush, and it is literally steps from 5th Ave. Also, the stairs to our rooftop were within the condo in contrast to our El Taj rooftop that had to be accessed via outside stairs that are accessible to all guests.

We loved our El Taj condo (#315)! It was well decorated by the owners with contemporary furnishings, the A/C worked great, the king size bed was comfortable, all the appliances worked, the location is close to the beach, the view was good, and The Beachside iridescent black tile pool is uniquely intimate. The condo has a washer and dryer unit which is very useful in the extreme humidity, salt, and sand environment.

The landscaping is phenomenal.

El Taj is in a loud music area (there are several all night discos within a block or two that begin to crank up around 8-10PM) but with the A/C fan set to run all night the noise was not a problem. I initially thought there was another disco north of El Taj but I eventually figured out that it was the sound from the south discos reflecting off the north side of the El Taj resort. It is quieter in Porto Playa and Maya Villa because they are farther away from the district.

There was a raw sewage smell in the condo on several occasions and we could not pin down the source. We opened the windows and it was gone within a few minutes. We reported it but cancelled the service call because the smell was already gone.

The maid will spend more than 2 hours cleaning the unit every day if allowed. That’s nice but it can interfere with the vacation. We only allowed the maid service twice. She was friendly, did a good job, and naturally we tipped her.

We made a trip to the Mega store to stock up and we had breakfast in the condo every morning. I also used the rooftop gas grill a few times. We found food and drinks to be very expensive in Playa Del Carmen in both the restaurants and grocery stores.

Some staple foods are different in the area. Eggs are not refrigerated but are very fresh and can be bought from convenience stores. You may see a feather or two protruding from an egg! Milk; well, it is not fresh, it is definitely sterilized, tastes weird, comes only in cardboard type containers, and is very expensive.

We had a sushi dinner one evening at the Indigo Beach Club that was delicious. The service attitude there is a little cold and the drink prices varied from the price list. If you order water watch out for the $5 charge for a bottle and instead specify a free glass of purified water. We thought the food and service at El Faro’s Wicky's were better, it’s a much larger operation, and they had live music. And it cost less. But it depends upon what you are looking for. During the day Indigo is a hot spot for hip people to hang out in that are mostly from El Taj.

We did a little snorkeling out past the boats on the beach and it was fun. Not many fish but there were enough to keep the kids entertained. Some days there was a fair amount of seaweed on the beach. If you walk out about 75 feet into the ocean the water is clean, though. The beach is nicer past Porto Real but very crowded until you walk further north.
The 60% chance of rain weather forecast every day was amusing because it only sprinkled twice the entire 9 days we were in Mexico.

I did a Discover Scuba trip with the affiliated Phantom Divers shop which is a block away. It was a lot of fun and the guides were cool. It was very informal with no wet suits. After the practice dives the “reef” dive begins almost in front of El Taj (much further out in the ocean of course) and ends in front of the Cool Club area. The bad: no shade cover on the diving boat. After each dive is over you swim to the boat and hand up your equipment to the boat driver, then climb in. From the water you can’t see where your rental gear ends up and it all looks the same. You end up sharing regulators and tanks. I had 3 different regulators – yuck. Cost was about $90US for 2 tanks and included everything needed except sunscreen. Book it directly at the shop; don’t use the concierge and you will get a less expensive price and more accurate advance information. Don’t forget your CondoHotels 10% discount card. If you decide to do it bring something to mark your regulator/BCD.

We stopped by Maya Villa to check it out and the place is beautiful. The lizard pool is small but way cool. The place is very private, intimate, and new. It has a huge privacy wall on one side of the resort. I’d still like to stay there someday. If you book directly with the property there is a disclaimer on their site that states that you may not end up in the resort that you booked. That disclaimer is not on the Expedia site.

That reminds that many reviewers have reported that the properties have security but the personnel are sometimes not at their posts. Each property does indeed have a doorman but I would not consider them to be security. They have other responsibilities (like helping out with luggage and arranging taxi service) so they will not always be at the door.

El Taj is a fantastic resort and I would definitely return.

Room Tip: Make sure to read up on the 5th Ave restaurants ahead of time or you are very likely to experience s...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank blakester49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2011

Love these condos! We have been to playa over 20 times and this time we had our 4 month old baby girl with us. The condo and property are very clean, the staff was always great! We always felt safe. Highly recommend if you are traveling alone, as a couple or a faimly. The beach is so nice and clean, the staff is always happy to make sure that you have a drink. The food was good as well!

P.S. We loved it so much that we are headed back to a larger condo for the holiday's with more family!

Room Tip: the bedrooms do get chilly becuase the vent is blowng on you, you can stand on a chair and change th...
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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Thank rmholub21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2011

Luv, luv, luv this resort! We've stayed at El Taj twice and both times had an awesome time. The staff is unbelievably helpful and will do anything to make your stay comfortable. El Taj is in an excellent location only one block to 5th Avenue. Also near all the nightlife. The restaurant food was very good and the waiters friendly and helpful. We'll definitely stay at El Taj anytime we return to Playa del Carmen. I hope it's soon!!!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Solwind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2011

We stayed at El Taj for a week on the third floor, oceanside. The room was really nice, clean and cool! We had a private balcony off our bedroom on the side of the building with views of the beach and water. Only thing with our room was that it was quite dark, not many windows, and I like to have sunshine. We loved the restaurant/cafe on the ground floor of the building, right on the beach! Food and service was good! The waiters would also help finding a sunbed or daybed, move our umbrella and were very efficient with drinks etc. El Taj was so close to everything without it being noisy. There were two nightclubs only doors down the road, but we never heard a thing. We found all staff very friendly and helpful and nothing was too much trouble. We loved El Taj for the position, you walk past the pool straight onto the beach!

Room Tip: Go beach frontage/penthouse if you can, we wish we had.
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  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DGtravels8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2011

ok my fellow trip advisors i will be visiting El Taj from sept 29 until oct 6th
i must say the service i have already recieved from their staff is impressive and i am not even their yet. working in a resort as well i know excellent service, some of our guest rave about this resort as well
i will keep you all updated on our experince here as well as post some pics for you
thanks for all the reviews and suggestions from you guys planing some tours as well

i will keep you posted!!!!!!!!

Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
1  Thank 1doree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2011

After many years of traveling to exotic tropical locations we have found the perfect blend of luxury and a unique vibe like no other place we have been. The grounds are a true oasis in the heart of town but so secluded you feel like you have discovered a secret hideaway. The condos are furnished with high end everything. Every detail is taken into consideration and designed for class and comfort. Nothing and I mean nothing can be improved upon. It’s refreshing to find someone who appreciates the fact that as guests you want everything to be perfect. From the time you enter the front door of the office you are made to feel like you are the center of their world. The combination of being pampered in such an exotic environment is intoxicating. We stayed for a week and was met everyday by a staff that anticipated our every need and quite honestly actually enjoyed their job. Smiles and conversation were plentiful.

The beach club was also fantastic. We loved it when they cleaned our sunglasses, a very nice touch. Cocktails, food and Bali beds were the daily ritual. Postings about pollution and that beach was sub par....... well is just wrong. We live on an island and the beach out front of the El Taj has super soft sand and the water visibility is probably 30 feet and crystal clear. The boats are a nice added culture experience reminiscent of a post card. Just walk down about 200 feet and go for a swim.

If you find yourself wanting a truly special vacation stay at the El Taj......indulge in all they have to offer and immerse yourself in the day to day pace of being on the Mexican Riviera and enjoying a resort that is second to none.

Room Tip: Every room is great
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank otissss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel

Address: 1 Norte Esquina Calle 14 Norte | Corner 16th Street, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#27 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £132 - £346 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 57
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

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