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“The best hotel ever” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel

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El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Privada 1 Norte, Mza. 35, Lt. 1, # 238, Col. Centro. | Corner 16th Street, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
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Up to 40% off & Breakfast
Ranked #12 of 201 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The best hotel ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012 via mobile

I stayed here on my honeymoon it's a beautiful hotel the staff was very good and helpful the room was gorges the beach was breathtaking the pool is heated there's a stunning coy fish pond at the entrance and by the restaurant there's a privet jacuzzi by the room me and my wife loved it we hope to come back soon

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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901 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (318)
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Scottsdale, Arizona
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

I really can't say enough about the hotel/condos and Playa. I am a research freak when it comes to vacations and am surprised by any negative comments on this resort. The decor, staff, location, etc etc....can't be beat. We stayed on the Beachside (which is really like 20 extra steps to the sand) had the beautiful pool to ourselves, and the rooftop terrace is exceptional (though we only used the jucuzzi a couple times, if we were w/ a group of friends it would have been used more.) There was no sales pitch and the concierge guys Miguel and William were there if you needed them. We were getting in late so e-mailed ahead asking for some grocery staples for the kids. Our fridge was stocked w/ all we asked for for a small service charge,,,Awesome!
The owner of the Indigo(Franchesco) was friendly and open to suggestions. The staff there, shout out to KIKI (who helped me w/ my spanish :)) and Crispen who took care of my boys and husband at breakfast every morning w/ a huge smile and hug and would have chairs on the beach ready for us. We felt truly cared for and special.....we were all terribly sad when we had to leave for our next week down the road at an all-inclusive...yuck! Make sure you try the Mediterainian style restaurant for breakfast a block back (sister hotel) delicious and live music! Also...massages on the beach for 70 mins at $18 us! Where else (besides Thailand) can you get that? My 7 & 9 yr old boys loved that! I could go on forever about this place....I'll leave it at, I want to buy a condo!Lastly...the hotel was showing full when I tried to book so I went through an owner Laura Leli Carmine (she owns several units but also helps to book for the hotel) she was amazing!! found us a unit at a great price and answered all my many e-mails, and even a phone call. Thank you Laura!

Room Tip: I am a light sleeper so asked the hotel to get us a fan for white noise. Even w/out it, did not hear...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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MEXICO
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

I recomend and INVITE people to stay at EL TAJ hotel, I have just returned from a wonderful vacation with 5 of my best friends, we stayed at EL TAJ OCEAN FRONT HOTEL for 5 nights DEC 2-7 2012, and they made us feel like queens in a castle. The rooms were spacious and were always clean, the views from our terrace and from our own rooftop were amazing!! We enjoyed a lot our stay,
The people that works there really made this trip UNFORGETABLE, we got a smile and good service since they picked us up at the airport in Cancun, at the front desk, at indigo bar, the man that gives you the beach towels and clean your sun glasses, the one that helps you find a lounge chair at the beach, the one that goes several times to ask you if you wish to have a shade, the waiters, the girls who do the cleaning (SHE ALSO WASHED THE DISHES), the guys who helps you with your luggage, the people at the gym, I have only good things to say because EVERY THING WE ASKED FOR, WE GOT IT INMEDIATLY!!.....,
The 5th ave is only 1 block away, so you can rest in the peace of the hotel and walk to the 5th ave to entretain, shop, etc
CONGRATULATIONS TO EL TAJ HOTEL!! I will saty there again for sure and will invite my family and friends to go and fell like a QUEEN OR KING too.

Room Tip: We had the penthouse 340 it has 3 rooms, 3 bathrooms and a rooftop, but we looked to the other rooms...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

We stayed here in August of 2011. I enjoyed the location, the breakfasts, and the dive shop near by. The grounds were well kept and beautiful. Rooms were ok, but we generally don't stay in our room much when on a beach vacation. I didn't care for the restaurants near by, we ended up walking a couple miles to find Aguachilies which is amazing. The location is right down the street from all the night clubs but you can't hear them at night.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Petawawa, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

This was our second time here for my husband and myself. We had an amazing time. The staff is very good especially "Kiki". He was a waiter at Indigo Beach Club. He was very friendly and even knew my name (makes you feel special). The food at Indigo is very good and we went out to 5th avenue at night for dinner which was always very good. The best part is that El Taj gives you a list of great restaurants and a discount card for those restaurants which is really handy. There is daily housekeeping and our unit was always very clean. The staff work very hard and they really deserve to be tipped. As for the boats, its no big deal- once you walk out beyond them, the water and bottom is beautiful. We'll be back.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

Great rooms and beach club. Wonderful pool and very relaxing. Food is good at indigo (restaurant) and probably one of the better places in town actually. The concierge William was very helpful in booking us tours and was not pushy. Nice Balinese feel to the hotel. A bit loud at night from the clubs and beach club, but suppose that is what to expect in that area

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Mesa, Arizona
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

Check in: very friendly, well explained and speedy. So far so good!

Initial thoughts upon arrival: beautiful grounds, lush well kept grounds, aesthetically pleasing pool design but only 5 lounges around pool and no room for others. Beautiful view of ocean but why are all the fishing boats parked here? Indigo Beach Club, small but nice. The white sand on beach is awesome - so soft (except in the water it's-rocky).

Elevator - fast and easy - no waiting - not many people around. Arrived on top floor to our penthouse. staff thoroughly explained everything and gave us the how to's. Decks are beautiful as are the views. Plenty of places to sit, lounge, BBQ and eat. Condo is very nice with great layout. Wifi didn't work - had to contact office a couple times. I reset the router and then it worked fine all week.

This is a beautiful condo/hotel but one with a few issues that had we known about would have led us elsewhere. Four of us, 2 couples, stayed for 7 nights in a 3 bedroom penthouse # 340 at around $600/nt with the special seasonal rates (regularly $945/nt). All in all, the condo is very nice. The furnishings were quite nice for a rental. It would have been nice to have potholders for the oven, a couple dishtowels and some salt and pepper without going to the store - but not an issue. We found everything else we needed along with a well stocked fridge ( pay for what you use - prices reasonable). Beer was stocked - nice touch!

Bedding/sleep: we've slept on softer rocks. I like a firm bed but this was ridiculous! You could easily bounce a tennis ball off these beds! The noise from the jacuzzi pump upstairs (cycles itself) and the a/c units next door make having the master bdrm door open at night unpleasant. On the up side, the sheets and bedrooms/baths are otherwise very comfy! FYI: Their is little space to hang clothes in the closets. There are ample drawers/shelves in all bedrooms. FYI: The 3rd bedroom has a view of the ugly unkept rooftops next door!

The wrap around decks and rooftop palapa area is absolutely beautiful as are the views from both decks. Unfortunately our jacuzzi didnt work for the first 3 days. The jacuzzi is described as "large"! With 4 normal size people in it the water is overflowing on to your dry towel on steps and you are shoulder to shoulder! After a couple calls maintenance did finally get it fixed. Still couldnt control the temp - felt like it was 110 degrees when they got it fixed! The noise from 12+ a/c units continually running right next to it (behind a wall) detract from the otherwise awesome experience.

For the most part the staff was very nice and eager to please. We were always met with smiles. Our main issue and complaint was with El Taj's misrepresentation of "facility use" and the night noise from the Indigo beach club. The El Taj condo hotel website fails to mention this club is located on the 1st floor right under penthouse. Their website describes the Indigo Beach Club:

* Complimentary seating
(comfy lounge chairs & beach beds)

* Full use of facilities
(palapa's, umbrellas and shaded areas)

* Happy hour with live D.J. on weekends

Funny, "full use of facilities" excludes use of any of the the Indigo beach club facilities during any private parties. They fail to mention you aren't allowed in for the happy hour and DJ on the weekend if they have a private party. Private parties were on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights during our stay! During a private party you cannot sit, eat or drink anywhere beyond the entrance gate at the club! You can't even sit on the beach front lounges! There are 5, yes FIVE lounge chairs in the pool area. These are the only seats available for use during a "private party" and that's probably because they belong to El Taj, not Indigo Beach Club!

The staff were all very nice and worked hard to make you comfortable. The chaise lounges and beach beds are along a small stretch of beach. Unless you're in the front row (Which people reserve very early) you can pretty much only see the row of chairs in front of you. The beach club is it if you are staying here. The nice resorts nearby are all inclusive and you cant buy a day pass. If you want tranquility their is a small pool/jacuzzi in a fenced garden like setting (no views) across the street! Because this narrow stretch of beachfront has numerous hotels/motels and a couple nightclubs as you walk towards the port, a walk on the beach requires you navigate lots of vendors peddling massages, jewelry and water sports every few feet! You also have to step over or walk around most of the fishing boat ropes for several hundred feet as you pass a very stinky (smells like sewage) section of beach just past The Blue Parrot night club.

On the plus side, the food at the Indigo was pretty good, the staff was good and eager to please and we never had any "problems" after eating there, unlike a couple of the places we ate in town! Read up before eating out in town - especially the vegetables! All 4 of us got sick from eating at well known hot spots in town - 3 different places!

If we had a do over we would have chosen a resort with a larger pool area and a good beach for swimming. We could not find a good place to swim in the ocean anywhere close to El Taj. The entire beachfront in front of El Taj is lined with fishing boats and the sand in the water is rocky and shelly - wear water shoes. The pier picture shown by management is actually about 50' short of reaching the sand regardless of time of day/tide. It must be a backdrop for photos?! We watched a wedding party wade out to it and laughed while they attempted to climb up without so much as a ladder! You're not even allowed to board a boat from this pier! The locals don't know what it's for - something to do with the el presidente ribbon cutting??!!
We ended up spending most of our free days down the beach a ways at an older property with a fun beachfront atmosphere, good music, great staff and great swimming beach. I think it was named El Pelicano. Not a 4 star by any stretch but they have Ice cold beer, good mixed drinks and decent food!

The grounds: The condos are beautifully designed, very well kept and surrounded by lots of flowers and greenery everywhere. Lots of beautiful fountains and Koi ponds. The gym was in a separate facility about 2.5 blocks away, as was the concierge office and the spa – not ideal!

No windows could possibly block the noise from the Indigo beach club which was intense some nights and extended well into the wee hours. I'm not talking about a little music in the background. We’re talking so loud your condo vibrates! It felt like someone set up a nightclub club in our living room in the middle of the night.

Location. It was great to be a short walk to shops, clubs and restaurants on 5th but the trade-off was a lousy beach for swimming and an extremely annoying loud club just below our penthouse. Thursday night was a private Mexican wedding complete with mariachi's, horns, etc. Friday eve was a private party that went on into the wee hours. Saturday night the Indigo hosted a large party for travel agents. This one included LOUD Congo drums and not so great singers but great music choices. We figured we might as well join them since the music was so loud you couldn't hear each other talk from our roof top deck! No can do! Private party - we were told we weren't even allowed in the club or on the beach lounges at all! Keep in mind this restaurant is located directly below our room in the same bldg! We had spent the entire day playing at XPLOR and had planned to have drinks and Grill a nice dinner up on the rooftop deck and enjoy the evening overlooking the water! We couldn't even hear each other to talk over the music! We ended up giving away all the fresh seafood we purchased to grill to a family and going out to eat since we departed the next morning. At around 11 p.m. The congo drums were so loud inside our penthouse, I'm surprised it didn't cause the wall hangings to fall!

We used the concierge to plan a couple tours but after the first one we decided to cancel the others and rent a jeep from Avis and drive ourselves. We had reserved Cata Maya with our concierge - We paid one price for transportation, and an all inclusive 4 hours to "sail" on a 65' catamaran with a choice of lunch items and free drinks. What a joke! 1st you have to walk several blocks to another resort for the transportation. There is ( 1) 4' bench for dozens of waiting people! The van was an hour late and the alleged 15 minute trip to the boat was quite a bit longer - 30+ minutes drive time with 12 other passengers in the van. The tour probably should have been cancelled due to poor weather. We asked the concierge that morning but he said they still planned to sail. We NEVER sailed - not once. Instead we got to listen to 3 hours of loud twin engines running. The steaks we chose in advance for lunch appeared to be cooked to perfection on the grill but were like shoe leather! The lobster looked pretty good. The boat was very nice. The crew was fun - so kudos to them! This was touted to be the 2nd largest barrier reef in Latin America (per the brochure)- REALLY?!! Our friends are divers – not impressed nor were the others who snorkeled and didn’t see much of anything! The water was clear and nice just not much to see even with them feeding the fish!

Maya Spa: we inquired about (3) 80 minute massages at the spa desk earlier that day and then booked them via phone a short while later. When we arrived we were taken to our rooms. The friends with me were told they only booked 60 minute massages once in their couples massage room. My 80 minute massage was 25 minutes of waiting for the massage therapist and a 55 minute massage. My first 30 minutes of massage was great but the next 25 minutes was annoying with a couple getting pedi's loudly talking/laughing –(sounded drunk) 5' from the glass wall of my massage room! They were never asked to be quiet so the last 25 minutes of my massage was a joke! Since it was dark out my friends waited quite awhile for me to get done since they got started on massages ahead of me - it's a dark 2.5 block walk back to our condo.

WOULD WE DO IT AGAIN? We would definitely stay at El Taj condo #340 again if they would provide some less firm mattresses! We would need assurances that there were not going to be any blaring loud private parties planned! since El Taj staff told us they have "no control" over the Indigo beach club, that is unlikely! Beware - We were told after the fact that El Taj does not own the Indigo Beach club or have any control over the events they plan!

Msg to El Taj Mgt: The cleaning staff should be directed to clean rooftop decks when guests are not present. They also shouldn't be walking on the upper decks at 6 a.m. as guests sleep as you can hear every move they make from your bed! When you put the "do not disturb" sign on the door, the maids should not enter your condo, but they do!. Nothing we left out was touched- not insinuating otherwise.

Room Tip: #340 Nice 3bdrm/3bath penthouse with amazing views from decks - but really hard beds!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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: Privada 1 Norte, Mza. 35, Lt. 1, # 238, Col. Centro. | Corner 16th Street, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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:
#4 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#5 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#10 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#13 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel 4.5*
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 Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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