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“Lovely Condos on a Stretch of Clear White Sand” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Residences El Faro

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Residences El Faro
4.0 of 5 Condominium   |   10th Street, between 1st Avenue and the beach | on the beach, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Encanto El Faro)   |  
Hotel amenities
San Mateo, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Lovely Condos on a Stretch of Clear White Sand”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2011

Beautiful property and amazing location! We stayed in Reef #302 and booked through the owner,Terry on VRBO. The condo is even lovelier in person and everything we could possibly want was supplied - even a couple of coolers and plastic drinkware to tote our cocktails to the beach and save some pesos! Just steps away the oceanfront is free of any rocks, debris, or boats, and we spent many hours bobbing in the waves.

The jacuzzi tub was a soothing way to wrap up a day at Wicky's Beach Club (which is free to El Faro guests), and the comfy king bed kept us well rested and re-energized for nights out on Avenida Quinta. With the bedroom doors open at night we could hear the techno music from the nightclubs a block away, but not a sound once the door is closed.

Terry was a great host and very communicative- be sure to check out the wealth of information about the area and dining she has at the condo (we LOVED the pastor nachos at Carboncitas and the ceviche mixto at Fusion).

A wonderful vacation, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend this property to friends!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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264 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
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English first
Houston, Texas
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

My husband and I stayed for a week in September in reef #403 with a roof top hot tub. The unit has two bedrooms and two full baths, full kitchen, living area and large entry hall. The master bedroom faces the pool with a sea view, has a black out shade and opens onto the balcony. There are three a/c units in the condo and all work very well ( I.e. My husband froze me out every night). Everything was very clean and well maintained. There were plenty of bath and beach towels left in our room every day. Wifi worked great for us. We really enjoyed the beautiful roof top view. The location makes it easy to get to anywhere via foot or cab. We also enjoyed the beach club who shares part of the ElFaro building. There are restrooms near the pool (i did not use but walked by) and in the basement (clean and air conditioned) under the lobby. All of the staff is friendly (will chat with you in spanish if you want to improve your spanish) and helpful (each of our request were met super fast and with a smile). Special thanks to Cesar for early check in and to Sylvia for her assistance with rental car (Fiesta - they deliver and pickup the car to/from El Faro at no additional charge) and outing arrangements. The booking with Tonya - Playa Beach Condos & Villass was quick and trouble free. Overall, everything was just perfect! See y'all next year!

Room Tip: Loved being on the 4th floor for the view.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2011

We Stayed at the Encanto El Faro the second week of September, the rooms are wonderful. You have view of the ocean and they are really spacious. The hotel has underground parking if you have a vehicle. But entrance to the property is kind of difficult. Check in was wonderful and the lady at front desk was superb. She made sure our unit was ok; gave us a tour and was very attentive to all our needs and had a great attitude!. The pool is really nice as it has a direct view to the ocean. The only problem I would say is that the beach is local and a lot of people have access to the same beach the hotel is at. Quinta Avenida is just a block away and there are lots of dinning options and shopping a couple of minutes from the hotel. The A/C was ice cold in my room; the grill was great; there is a kitchen and laundry machines in your room. Would definetly come again. We stayed at a 2ble room; one of the rooms does not have a window. Grounds are kept neatly.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
panam��, panama
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2011

Best location in PDC; walking distance to 5 avenue restaurants and bars, excelent beach, pool ok, wickys excelent service, good food and drinks at the beach, outdoor massage is a must. Downside no room service, and second bedroom doesn¨t have windows, but the private balcony/terrace has the best view for afternoon cocktails and morning breakfast

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seoul, South Korea
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2011

Our vacation were spoiled because the staff at reception double charged our rental on our credit card. Shame as otherwise Reef 102 was great. Playa del Carmen is a nice place.

Room Tip: Apt reef 102 is best in terms os views on beach and swimming pool while keeping privacy
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jurong, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2011

Let me start with this actually is a beautiful hotel. The apt is really gorgeous we had a view of the water and pool amazing. But like they say never judge a book by its cover. My husband and I were completely happy up until about 8 days into our 2 week stay.

First of all the staff is useless at best. You walk through the doors and they almost go out of their way to ignore you. Its nice to get a good morning or evening any sort of acknowledgement that hey your welcome here! It just makes it unpleasant which is very odd for Mexico since Mexicans tend to be extremely welcoming and friendly.
On our 3rd day and noticed the the door had been left open by the cleaning staff. No biggie nothing was missing was just ajar but we did think it was important to mention it to the front desk, what we got was a big umm duh okay with a blank look. Obviously it fell on deaf ears.
Now we reach day 8. I had been going to the gym while I was at there (no gym in hotel) so I removed a small gold necklace on Wed morning and left it on the table. By the time I got home my husband was hungry and ready to go so honestly I just didn't think about it and left it on the table. When we returned home from lunch and beach we got ready for the night and left. Didn't think about my necklace again till about 3 days later. We tore the apartment apart. Finally when we realized it wasn't there and was probrably missing we went down to the front desk. OMG As I'm explaining to the woman that the last time I saw the necklace was Wed the first thing out of her mouth was "what took you so long to report it then". I was stunned and snapped thats not important whats important is that its missing. So she says okay we will look into it. Okay fine we left for the day came back later NOTHING.

The next morning I'm enjoying a coffee 9am and there is knocking at the door, I decided not to answer it was early I wasn't ready but no that wasn't good enough they knocked until I finally answered. Opened the door to see the entire cleaning staff 6 people standing outside my door. Turns out they have 4 people enter your room everyday one does the floors, one the dishes, one the bathrooms and the last the beds. Now you tell me how on earth could you identify a single person when their or so many. They then announce to me no one had taken my necklace and they only remember my glasses being on the table on Wed. ALARM BELLS!!! Hello how do you remember whats on my table when there are 50 apts in this place and its almost fully booked! Went downstairs and asked front desk what was that all about and she just looked at me with that familiar blank mindless stare and said I don't understand what the problem is that's our procedure!

I felt like Daffy Duck when he looses his mind. Steam coming out of my ears bouncing on my head the whole nine.

Finally I emailed the booking agency and spoke with the only person that I had dealt with to date that had a brain and was actually helpful. Once she got involved the change was immediate. The staff became friendlier and I met with the manager. Then miraculously the necklace appeared! They say they found it on the floor in my room where it would have been impossible for me to miss but non the less my necklace was back and who cares.

Needless to say the cleaning service I received from then out was terrible. But oh well.

Today my husband checked his Amex charges and turns out there were 20,000USD worth of charges on it. He almost fell over in his chair. We used our Amex in 3 locations. El Faro where they took a carbon copy and left it in a file at the front desk, Mega and Walmart where it was an electronic machine with no possible way of printing a copy of the numbers. You can make your own judgment as to where the theft occurred. I will note that I lived in Playa del Carmen for almost 2 years and went to Walmart and Mega at least 3-4 times a week and used my card almost always with never never a problem.

There are other small issues like the lack of internet in the apt and only in the tiny reception area that gets sun beaming into it. The pool that got cleaned once in the two weeks we were there. The crappy beach club Whicky with electronic doors that never open and a bathroom so far from the beach and the pool its embarrassing. You literally have to walk through the restaurant and the reception area! No wonder the pool was so gross.

I could have overlooked everything but after the credit charges my husband and I have resolved never to return to this hotel again. If you do decide to go pay in cash don't let them carbon your card esp if its an Amex with no limit to charges and for goodness sakes put all of your belongings in the safe.

Room Tip: Make sure your facing the ocean otherwise you face the street.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2011

I am surprised this hotel/condo is not rated much higher on trip advisor. The location, cleanliness, quality, rooms, service and pool are all 4-5 star rate. For the money (we paid avg of $175 a night for a 2-bedroom condo for 5 days) cannot be beat. You actually can save more money because you have a fridge, & full kitchen. Even if you just get some bottled water, sodas & few beers or whatever....having the full kitchen was a major plus. We did not cook in our condo, but obviously you could. We just bought some drinks & some fruit & pastries for breakfast. You can brink a fold up cooler with you to Mexico & then fill with drinks for the day at the beach. I actually like being "served" my beers or alchohol, but his little fact saved us $10-$25 a day for the kids sodas, water & maybe our first beers. Having a full living room was also a nice addition compared to hotel room. This was the first time we got a condo & we have been traveling to Playa & Mexico for 10 years. I did not know what I was missing, I will always get a condo now. Anyway, this place is perfect! Also, Whicky's beach club is on site and makes for a wonderful beach day. When we were there, they had 2 bands playing most of the day & it was like our own privite little concert. Lunch on the deck, beach or pool-side is delightful. This place is simply wonderful and at a great value...
Now for just 2 minor problems: 1. We had an issue with room service. "Almost" not worth mentioning because management handled the problem in a more than satisfactoy way. AND# 2. The master bedrooms in the condos face the beach and all seem to have a sheer blind. you can still easily see through this blind and the major problem is the sun WILL wake you up early in these rooms. I am an early riser, so this did not overly affect me, but I am sure this could be a problem for some.
Overall this is a GREAT choice, *(if not THE BEST) for your stay in Playa with or withour kids (of any age).....close to PERFECTION !!!!!!

Room Tip: Any room is good & they have an elevator! For older guest or slighlty handicapped-1st Floor
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Residences El Faro

Address: 10th Street, between 1st Avenue and the beach | on the beach, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Encanto El Faro)
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 125 Specialty Lodging in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Residences El Faro 4*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our beautiful exclusive condominium property is nestled in the heart of downtown Playa del Carmen, and perfectly situated right on the beach. Our 65 suites have a fully equipped kitchen, dining and living room area. The complex is comprised of three buildings, Reef, Coral and Surf, with one, two and three bedroom suites. These individually owned condominiums are spacious and each offers its own distinct style. Owners and guests enjoy our expansive pool, or basking in the sun on our beach front lounge chairs. Enjoy the view from your balcony; the impressive colours of the Caribbean Sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Encanto El Faro Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Residences El Faro Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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