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.

“Beach polluted with sewage”
Review of Residences El Faro

Best prices for -
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 3 more sites!
Residences El Faro
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 12, 2013

We arrived at El Faro and there were no warnings about sewage being dumped in the ocean. The three of us that went in the ocean were immediately sick with diarrhea. Throughout the stay, there was a foul sulfur smell comming off the ocean that made staying near the beach a nauseating experience. Unfortunately, the locals and Mexican authorities are not capable of handling this major health issue. More important to have money coming in. The building had throughout the night the bass throb of dance music which made sleeping difficult.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank 443Anna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (412)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

217 - 223 of 412 reviews

Reviewed January 9, 2013

Overall El Faro is a very nice property. We stayed in Reef 206 over Christmas 2012 and the unit was beautifully decorated and well furnished. The balcony was very large and perfect for people watching. We especially loved the pool and the ability to have chairs right on the beach. The pool is a bit chilly, but by the end of trip we didn't mind that at all.

The main downside to this place is the smell. There is a bit of a musty smell in the unit, not sure where that is coming from but, again, by the end of the trip we were used to it and it didn’t really bother us at all. I think it was mainly because the unit is all closed up (no windows open) before you check in and who knows how long it's been like that. Once we opened up some windows and had the A/C on the smell seemed to dissipate. The other and more notable smell is sulfur around the property and at the beach in front of the El Faro. We really have no idea where that is coming from either, but it can be very strong and off-putting. My husband and I are more of Hawaii people than Mexico people and that has been completely solidified after this trip. Smelling sulfur at the beach is not our idea of paradise. We tried to put the smell aside and got in the water and found garbage floating all around us, pretty disgusting. So back to the pool we went. It sure made the chilly temperature of the pool not that big of a problem to us. Also, the showers were awesome!

However, if you are going to Playa smell or no smell then this is a great place to stay. It's walk able to everything in town, great location on the beach and has a fantastic (chilly) pool. Also, if you are going to Playa be prepared to have to barter with everyone to buy something as you walk down the street. This is also not my idea of fun. Also, beware of restaurants around 5th Ave trying to overcharge you and always pay attention to your receipts at all restaurants. Many of them add your tip to your bill without you knowing so that you will tip them on top of their tip, some do not, so try and pay attention so that you can actually tip the waiters that aren't trying to overcharge you. Playa is a colorful vibrant town, so don't let my stinky review stop you if that is your thing! But we couldn't really get over the fact that it seemed like everyone was trying to rip us off because we are tourists.

I'd also recommend staying far away from Wicky's (El Faro's onsite restaurant). Maybe it was the busy time of year..?? But service was extremely poor. We spent a couple (windy = less smelly) days at the beach and wanted service but no one ever came by our beach chairs to serve us. So we took ourselves up to the bar to order directly from the bartender and they acted like they've never taken orders before. It was strange to say the least. It literally took 5 people to input our order into the computer and the bartender just stood there staring at it instead of making our drinks. Seriously, I have photos! We also tried eating inside the restaurant once and it wasn't much better. The food and drinks that we did have weren't very good either. However, the beach restaurant next door was very good! It is called Zenzi and they have great food and even better service!

Tip: if you do order food at the pool, watch out for the birds. They WILL dive bomb you once they think you aren't paying attention. Kind of funny but scary at the same time, and be prepared to be pooped on.

On a positive note: the security guards are very good at their jobs. They watch the beach chairs like hawks to make sure that people who are not staying at the El Faro are not using those chairs. Also the cleaning staff was very good, they are always cleaning the public areas (except the pool area) and that was a nice surprise. We really appreciated this!

Less than positive note: our entire party got sick by about the 2nd day. Not fun to be sick on vacation! Needless to say we are REALLY looking forward to our upcoming trip to clean and beautiful smelling Hawaii!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank jaelyte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2013

have been travelling for over 20 years and this was the WORST trip ever! I took my family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children). Let's just say we were disappointed as soon as we arrived. We got there and our room was still not ready. We decided to go have lunch. We asked for the menu as we were told we could do as being all inclusive and were told we were not able to order from the menu. We could go to the buffet which was outside in the heat..salads and fruits outside not covered by anything and only only 4 choices to choose from...burgers, fries, nachos and some chopped up chicken....awful to say the least. We were already seeing how we were going to be treated on this trip. When we finally complained about the buffet...one of our many complaints...we were allowed to order from A menu....not the menu that everyone gets. The menu that all inclusive packages get with only a fraction of the items of the true menu. We felt like we were being treated like second class citizens. To ask for a beverage was like begging for pennance. The service was completely awful, slow and rude. We tried to order some fries for our kids and were told that the kitchen was to busy to bring out an order of fries whereas the restaurant was completely empty at this point. I was absolutely disgusted. Our room was facing the street with a small ocean view and unfortunately we could hear music from the bar downstairs and the local bar on the street until 6 am every night!!!!!! Let's just say a relaxing vacation it wasn't. My whole family got violently sick with the food that they were serving and we are still stick days after returning from the trip. Let's just say I have NEVER gotten sick on a vacation, this being the first time. Also for New Year's Eve, we were surprised to find out that if we wanted to eat dinner at our all inclusive restaurant we were expected to pay an extra $70.00 each person and the garbage that they served was worse than scraps fed to their dogs. By the way, the food that was served that night was the buffet lunch the next day. We were also told that we had all inclusive drinks included with that price but when we went to the dinner were told that the drinks were not included. Luckily I had saved the pamphlet we were given and even after presenting this was faced with some resistance...GIVE ME A BREAK!!! At the end of the dinner we were also given a bill for our drinks which I had to once again explain to them that it was all inclusive.......Just awful....DO NOT BRING YOUR FAMILY HERE EVER!!!!!! Go to a bigger resort where you are treated well and have choice for the kids to do and eat!!! There was also an expansive list of activities that didn't even exist....NOTHING to do.....

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank DBD154982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Just got back from a week w/family of 4 (2 teens - Son & Daughter) and stayed in Reef 304. This is the BEST location in Playa Del Carmen including a great beach, large pool and outstanding location to 5th Ave. & off 5th restaurants....all a few steps away or short walk. The 2 bed 2 bath unit is great for a family (approx. 1200 sq. feet) with all the kitchen amenities, good size balcony, we had a washer/dryer & Wifi. YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT UNIT YOU ARE GETTING since they are all independently owned...because our friends stayed in Coral 205 and had no Wifi or Washer/Dryer and they heard a loud water truck everyday. The staff is very friendly and helpful at the front desk, security & pool. I would recommend the Reef building and the southern half of Coral, not Surf. The only negative was the maid service was average and the sheets/towels were lame.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank drummer724
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2012

The hotel was actually a condo complex and very nice, on the beach with a big pool. We (two coupules) had a two bdrs condo (Reef 102) fantastic location on the first floor with direct acces to the pool and the beach, on ' the silence side' of the building (on the other wing than Wickies). Hotel was great, we really didn't have any problems at all, we even had WIFI in the condo that wasn't expected. Would absolutely go back to that same hotel!

Room Tip: Stay in rooms on the south side of the hotel (arevery quiet)
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Anja H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

We stayed 2 nights in Coral 401 which is a penthouse unit with a private rooftop and hot tub. While the condo was spacious and clean, we did have some problems and were disappointed with some of the conditions.

First, the pictures of the bedrooms are misleading...the bed in the second bedroom is only a full size bed, which was way too small for my 6'5" husband. The shower in the bathroom for that room did not work properly...the button to switch the water from the overhead showerhead to the handheld showerhead did not work, so we could only use the handheld showerhead.

None of the TV's in any of the rooms worked consistently, and several of the lamps had no lampshades and some lamps did not work at all.

Finally, we had specifically rented this condo because of the hot tub. When we arrived, the hot tub was empty. When we asked the front desk when they were going to fill it, they advised that they were not going to fill it because we were only staying 2 days! So we paid extra for a hot tub that we were not allowed to use!

On a positive side, we did enjoy our lunch at the restaurant, although it was a little pricey. The location is great, just a block away from the shopping and restaurants, and within walking distance to the ferry.

I would probably stay there again, but would definitely consider a different unit!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Luv2LD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

I'm at el faro now. My wife and I have been here for 11 days, going home tomorrow. I will write a full review after I get home but just wanted to share our extreme frustrations while it is still fresh. Because of our all inclusive bracelets, we are receiving absolutely horrible and rude service from the servers at wickys. Everyday, when I complain to one of the MANY managers I am assured that it will not happen again. Well, we sat at the beach for 1hour today while everyone around us was served and we got nada as usual. Because I'm getting use to this treatment I walked a short distance to the outside bar at wickys and ordered a bucket of four beer. He told me he had to check with the manager first who happened to be standing close by. The manager recognized me and authorized the bucket. Why do I have to go through this bs every time I want something. The list of horrible events at wickys is long and as our air transit rep told us, they are aware of the problems and are working towards improving the service for all inclusive guests. Not going to help me. The location and accommodations at El Faro are wonderful, it's too bad that the absolutely horrible service wwe received at wicks overshadowed the whole Christmas vacation, including Christmas dinner... After being assured by the air transit rep and Ickes manager that Christmas dinner was included in our package a note was slipped unde our door which e discovered 2 hours before Christmas dinne that dinne had been moved to mr chiles up the street. We had lunch once at mr chiles and didn't enjoy the food or atmosphere so had no intention of celebrating Christmas dinner there. We got dressed and went to a nice restaurant on 5th ave at a considerable expense to us.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Paul G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Playa del Carmen hotels
0.2 mi away
El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel
El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Co...
#41 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
1,406 reviews
0.1 mi away
The Carmen Hotel
The Carmen Hotel
#6 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
499 reviews
0.7 mi away
Mahekal Beach Resort
Mahekal Beach Resort
#29 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
2,881 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.1 mi away
The Palm at Playa
The Palm at Playa
#23 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
1,635 reviews
0.2 mi away
Porto Playa Condo Hotel & Beachclub
Porto Playa Condo Hotel & Beachc...
#15 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
649 reviews
0.2 mi away
Maya Villa Condo Hotel & Beach Club
Maya Villa Condo Hotel & Beach C...
#59 of 213 in Playa del Carmen
468 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Residences El Faro? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 #12 of 229 Specialty Lodging in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $175 - $489 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Residences El Faro 3.5*
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotwire, Hotels.com, Cancelon and TripOnline SA so you can book your Residences El Faro 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:
Encanto El Faro Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Residences El Faro Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing