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“Garbage!”
Review of Residences El Faro

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Residences El Faro
Certificate of Excellence
Gatineau, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Garbage!”
Reviewed January 17, 2013

The author of “Get Far Far Away from El Faro”, another review previously written, got the exact same experience as we did, it’s as if I wrote it myself.

We stayed in 205 reef (3 adults, 2 children). The time share condo was nice and clean, but that’s the only thing nice about el faro...

It is a TERRIBLE place for the all inclusive guests. To call this an all inclusive package is a shameful lie. The service, food and drinks are all complete garbage and in limited supply unless you are a resident or a potential purchaser of one of the time shares... then you get the royal treatment, good food and service... (The place is crawling with slimy salesmen buttering up potential clients) We ended up eating out most of the time.

So do yourself a favour and go to a real hotel instead.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank gsoundguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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407 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (116)
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Assiniboia, Sk. Canada
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

We just stayed a week in Reef 303 and loved the suite and the property. Staff was very friendly and helpful when needed. Draw back is the all inclusive. The bar at the Hacienda Real is open till 4am which the all inclusive has full access to. Odd thing is that the all inclusive guests only get served till 11 pm. That means it is not all inclusive! Second thing is unlike any other all inclusive resort, you have to sign your bill after each meal/drinks. With regular all inclusive resorts, your wrist band is your access to food and drink with no signature needed. So, if you just grab a beer before you go to your room, you have to find your waiter and then they have to print your receipt for you to sign. Not a huge issue but a bit of a pain when you have been to other all inclusive resorts. These were the only 2 drawbacks. The beach is beautiful and location is 1 block off 5th Ave. 2 blocks from the Hacienda Real, 3 blocks from Coco Bongo and 7 blocks from the ferry. Also only 3 blocks to Wal-Mart for the alcohol you will need after 11pm! LOL would definitely go back, just might not do all inclusive if that is possible.

Room Tip: From what we seen, all rooms are great!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mike C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Our family has just spent 10 nights at El Faro. I booked it for it's close proximity to 5th Ave for dining and shopping and for the beautiful outlook over the ocean. Our apartment was reasonably clean and comfortable. Unfortunately there were very loud, all night techno-music dance parties in the beach clubs and streets nearby every single night. The parties started at 10pm and ended around 8am. The music was so loud that we had to have all the doors and windows of our unit closed with the air conditioner fan on high just to block out some of the noise...but it was still unbearable. It totally affected the quality of our stay.I recommend people who enjoy sleeping and the natural sound of wind and waves should stay away from the centre of town.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sunnysideupmam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
2 Thank 443Anna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Stevens, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
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
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jaelyte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
7 Thank DBD154982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
1 Thank drummer724
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

Property: 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 #16 of 208 Specialty Lodging in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 
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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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