We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great time at the El Taj!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Save
You added El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel to your Saves list
El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Norte Esquina Calle 14 Norte | Corner 16th Street, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Offers & Announcements
Up to 35% off & Breakfast
Ranked #13 of 200 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great time at the El Taj!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

After way too much research on places to stay in preparation for our trip to Playa del Carmen, we couldn't decide on one place so we decided to split up the week and stay the first three nights at an all-inclusive (the Iberostar Quetzal, you can also read my review there), and the remainder of the week at El Taj Oceanfront, one of the buildings in the Condo Hotels complex.

First, let me say we had a wonderful stay at the El Taj and would definitely return. The staff was great and couldn't have been more and accommodating. Erick Perez in particular was very helpful in helping us sort through some minor issues during our stay.

The condos are beautiful, as you can see on their website, and the ability to select your room in advance is great. I think you would be hard pressed to find much nicer rooms anywhere in the area and having the ability to cook some meals in can really save you some money. The location is about as good as it gets as well, right in the heart of town, within a block of all the action on 5th Avenue. The pool is very nice, but small and there are only a few chairs around it -- if you are a pool person this might not be your place.

They have an unbelievable wifi/phone package that includes wifi in your room and UNLIMITED local and INTERNATIONAL calling for a very reasonable flat rate. Someone on a working vacation could save a lot of money by staying here. This came in extremely handy when our flight home was cancelled due to hurricane Sandy and we had to literally spend hours on hold with the airline and make several calls back to the U.S.

Also, when you check in you get a condohotels discount card, which gives you 10-15% off at certain restaurants. I had researched places to eat and when I saw the list recognized that it contained several of the most highly regarded restaurants in the area. It was an unexpected surprise to be given discounts at places we had planned to eat anyway.

All that said, there are two negatives that would be significant enough to some people that they need to be noted.

The first is the beach. As others have noted and is evident in the photos, there are always 20-30 fishing boats docked directly in front of the El Taj Oceanfront and neighboring properties. As a result, it is not a great place to swim, although the water is great and it is certainly possible to swim between the boats, and some people do, but it also is a little rocky underwater in spots in this area. In addition, the beach is relatively narrow at this location so it is not even optimal for laying out on towels as passersby will be walking very close to you. None of this is to say you can't enjoy the beach here - staying at condo hotels gives you use of the Indigo Beach Club, which has lounges and umbrellas, as well as food and drink service available directly in front of the El Taj Oceanfront so it is not a bad place to lay on a chair in the sun with a drink. We were looking for more of a "traditional" beach experience, however, so we walked north up the beach about 10-15 minutes, just past the pier, and laid on our towels each day near Mamitas Beach Club. Absolutely gorgeous beach and you could rent chairs/beds/umbrellas there pretty cheap if you wanted. We didn't mind the walk at all -- it was a great way to start and end the day -- but if you have children in tow or if you will want to shuttle back and forth from the beach to the room a lot, this might not be the best setup for you.

The second negative is the noise at night. It is the price to be paid for staying in the heart of the Playa del Carmen "party" district but it is important that people be prepared for it. Loud dance music with booming bass echoes throughout the neighborhood until 5am every night. We spent 4 nights in unit 354, which is on the north side of the El Taj Oceanfront and, although we could hear it, it didn't bother us much and we slept soundly. The noisy clubs seemed to be on the south side of the building, however, so it may have been worse there. That was also after long days of laying in the hot sun and cocktails in the evenings though so we were very tired. When we had to extend our stay due to the hurricane we transferred to a condo at Villas Sacbe for two additional nights. We were warned that the noise would be worse there but we went anyway as we were already over budget and the condo there was half the price of our unit in El Taj. The first night didn't seem too bad but we didn't party on our last night as we had to fly the next morning and the noise was definitely worse and did keep us awake at times. Overall it wasn't a big deal to us, but, depending on your tolerance and the kind of vacation you seek, the noise could potentially ruin your experience. My recommendation to anyone who wants to avoid this would be to call or e-mail condohotels before booking, tell them you want to stay there but have read reviews and are concerned about the noise and ask them to suggest units/buildings where this is less likely to be a problem. Believe me, they know this is an issue with some of their properties, they know where the noisier areas are, and they would much rather book you into a unit you will be happy with from the beginning than have you displeased and wanting to move after you arrive. I would also encourage you to be open to any of the condohotels properties -- they are all within a block or two of each other and the beach but some are farther from the clubs. Because of the less than ideal beach situation I described above, being in the El Taj Oceanfront building right on the beach, while nice, really becomes less of a perk than it might otherwise be so you don't lose much by being a block away.

Nitpicks: $25 for a lost towel or towel card (our previous resort was $10). Rather than being paranoid about keeping track of them them during our stay, we locked the towel cards in the safe and bought some cheap towels at Wal-Mart to use.

Tips:

1. We took the advice of another reviewer and tried Las Quesadillas, right next to the El Taj oceanfront. Glad we did -- not the least bit fancy but great authentic Mexican food and CHEAP -- 17 pesos for a quesadilla! We had breakfast and lunch there some days, never paid more than 100 pesos for a solid meal for two.

2. Again taking the advice of another reviewer who said you get the best deal on trips at Wal-Mart, we took the short walk up there and got full day Chichen Itza tours for $45 USD, half of what was being charged elsewhere.

Warning: This has nothing to do with the El Taj but be very careful using ATMs in Playa Del Carmen. A month after we returned, someone in Mexico began making withdrawals from my checking account and stole several thousand dollars before it was discovered. My card never left my possession so somebody must have put a scanner on one of the machines to get my card number and then somehow got my PIN, either with a video camera or someone eavesdropping nearby. Make sure you cover your hand when entering your PIN. Fortunately we didn't lose any money because VISA guarantees it and reimbursed us.

Bottom line: this is a great place to stay and we would come back, it would be an absolute blast to return with a group sometime and rent one of the large units.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

947 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    734
    149
    40
    14
    10
See reviews for
352
299
17
13
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 (332)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

I can't believe this place is a top choice. The noise in the back condos is slow torture. This is the worst vacation we've ever had. We only stayed here because it was a last minute trip plan. The sound from the clubs is exactly what the other reviewers have said. Stay in the beachside units if you want pounding noise all night. If you are a vampire maybe it's okay, you can sleep during the day when there is only low level bad music at the pool.
Additionally the beach stinks. There is so little area, barely enough for people to walk by let alone play there. The food is poor and my husband and I both were ill for consecutive days.
I hope this saves someone from staying here.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

This is the best place to stay in Playa. It's comfortable and yet still connected to teh vibe. The staff is impeccable, Marco, Erick, Pablo, Juan, Alfonso, William, I can't remember all the names but they are the best!

  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loveland, Colorado, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

Room 341... We stayed Dec 19-22, visited Chichen Itza, and got engaged! Awesome experience. Staff was great! Room was beautiful! Did not hear any noise from 5th ave, but did get some noise from beachside bar near master bedroom, ended promptly at 2am, I believe it was a local wedding celebration. No hard feelings, I was awake anyway. Mini bar was stocked, and very reasonably priced ($20 bottle of tequila!) Beach was very nice, I did not find the boats to be offensive as some stated in previous reviews. My only disappointment, which is so minor, is that 'beach view' was limited. Its not a beachside condo, and the view is mostly obstructed by other units and trees. I would still go back, super impressed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks El Taj for an amazing room!

Room Tip: 341 was awesome!
See more room tips
  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

By far my wife and I's favorite stay, anywhere we've been. We are not so much about room service and maids turning down beds at night. We like a nice room with good, practical amenities.

This location is ideal for either a short or long stay. It's not the cheapest place to stay in Playa but you can't beat what you get. These are all condominiums managed by the property. We have stayed several times and while some decor is variable by unit owner, the kitchens and appliances seem to be uniform. We have rented both one and two bedroom units and both included spacious living areas, fully functional kitchens, very nice bathrooms (not overly big, but nice) and very comfortable rooms. Literally, this is somewhere you could live.

El Taj sits Oceanside and includes a small ocean view pool with Jacuzzi and waterfall. This leads directly to the private beach area and beach dining. There are lots of available lounges and umbrellas although you may want to get there early.

The Hotel also has you steps from 5th Avenue and convenient access to restaurants and clubs. There's even a nearby Starbucks for your morning coffee. I've been here for both a couple and family vacation and we've always thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. There is a club next door that is loud from the outside but it has never disturbed our sleep.

I cannot recommend this location more highly!

Room Tip: Every room is nice but try to get one with ocean view, you may pay a premium but the view is spectac...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Washington, New York, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

My husband & I recently celebrated our 40th anniversary by taking our family to El Taj from December 8-16. Our kids had stayed at neighboring properties twice before & highly recommended them. We stayed in Unit 302, the largest at El Taj (4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms) which accommodated our family of 6 perfectly. The condo was gorgeous - beautifully decorated and had numerous terraces facing every direction. The kitchen was fully stocked with every utensil and dish we could ever need. We also paid to have the refrigerator & pantry stocked with some essentials (like cereal for our 4-year-old grandson).We had cable TV in every room. Our housekeeper, Elizabeth was efficient and lovely. The place was always spotless when we returned from our daily activities.

The rest of the staff was friendly and helpful. We especially liked our beach waiter, Kikay who took care of us every day and Juan, our breakfast waiter. The breakfast at Indigo Beach Club was great. It was so wonderful to start the day with the sand under your feet at breakfast. Worked out well with our grandson who played beside the table every morning. We loved the beautiful pools also. Right next to our condo, there was a lovely koi pond and the grounds in general were lush and gorgeous with vegetation.

El Taj was a block from town so walking to dinner and shopping was very convenient.

We met the developer, Jack Perlman on the beach the last day. When he found out it was our 40th anniversary, he had champagne sent to the room! He also recommended Imprevist, a restaurant close by. It was our last night in Playa so dinner that night was our anniversary celebration. When we arrived at the restaurant, there was a round of drinks waiting for us, arranged by Jack. He even stopped by at the end of the meal to see us. Highly recommend Imprevist's multi-course tasting menu.

All in all, El Taj was a fantastic place to stay in Playa. We look forward to our next visit.
Thanks, Jack for the special attention and thanks for creating such a beautiful & magical place!
Janice Zeltzer

  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

Even better then last time! I had the pleasure of staying at two different units at El Taj as an extension to a free time share week i was awarded by Interval. What an improvement over the time share! El Taj is simply the best. Unique Balinese style, high end finishings, and an overall architectural masterpiece. It is the premiere luxury property right in the heartbeat of playa. Location location location. Steps to everything. At night it especially stands out from the beach looking towards Taj all lit up, one day i was sitting out there and people all just stopped and were commenting "whats this place?" "Oooh ahhh wowww," many were in awe as it just stands out from the rest. The developer is from NY and very detailed oriented and he truly cares. (he even lives on site for most of the year, he takes extreme pride in the properties and is always looking to improve) I am from NY so i like to joke and say it took a NYer to build something like this in playa! ;) Its the perfect blend of style comfort and luxury and it beats getting a hotel! This is a condohotel. Once you try you will never go back to a "regular" hotel. I certainly havent! One new touch that had been added since last time is Impreviste restaurant which a must try and is worth a few visits! The chef is amazing and ran my former favorite restaurant in town on the north end. This is his new venture in a better location and the buzz is starting! Its in a perfect little spot around the corner from ET and they even offer some light live music across the street some evenings which was a nice touch. Also their breakfast was A+! I never missed it and everything i tried was a hit. Also ET this time I noticed had some new restaurant delivery options to the room (like Da Gigi) another fine choice. The gym is the best on coast. You just dont find gyms like that at hotels or resorts. Its a full NY style gym with everything you coud ask for.

I was at two of the nicest rooms (will add pictures) a direct ocean front 3Br penthouse and a 4 bedroom on the beachside across the street. The unique thing at EL taj is every room has its own unique charm. None are exactly alike. If you return you may even want to even bounce around! There are 3 other properties at condo hotels as well all in similar style and all with their own unique charm and character. My two units for this stay were some of the highest end most luxurious units on the coast but regardless the value cannot be beat. In commercial resorts (places like atlantis yuck) these units would be 5 times the price! They run year round promotions so there are always discounted options depending on the season. All the properties are 5 star and nothing beats the signature roof decks. (equipped with grill, shower, loungers, and couch area) I suggest spend the extra money for a penthouse roof deck -- you wont regret it! Also the staff is great and always happy to help with anything whether it be the front desk, the concierge or the cleaning girls who do an amazing job. Only bad thing about writing this review on this cold day is it has me checking my calendar on when i can go back!
-G in NY.

Room Tip: i was in 340 and 302. both amazing. 340 has the most breathtaking views which cant be beat. 302 is...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay

Been to El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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:
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 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#5 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#10 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 On the Beach 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, Cheap Tickets, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
El Taj Oceanfront And Beachside Condo Hotel
El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.