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“El Faro is tops!”
Review of Residences El Faro

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Residences El Faro
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 3, 2014

My boyfriend and I have been coming to playa for many years and for the past five trips, have stayed at El Faro each and every time. We love this place! Therefore, I was shocked to read on Trip Advisor about all the timeshare nightmares. I feel awful for these people, and am sickened that these time-share jerks are coming people out of their money; it is despicable!
BUT!!!
El Faro is AWESOME! PLEASE KNOW THIS! I have always booked through homeaway or VRBO and the two units that I have stayed in have been through private owners. My reservations are always honoured, the place is immaculate and whenever I have needed any assistance, the property manager has been quick to jump to my aid. I am sorry to hear this is not always the case, but I want to report, happily, that this has ALWAYS been my experience. The location of El Faro is second to none. The beach and pool are gorgeous. The staff is exceptionally helpful and kind. For those that want to be in the heart of it all, I can't recommend this place enough.

I have spoken with a few owners and other return renters over my visit and I know that El Faro is desperately trying to have the timeshare individuals removed and permanently banned from the property. They own NOTHING! Total criminals! However, Mexican law is very slow to support these things and it has been an uphill battle. But I have to say this. I was pretty shocked to hear someone tell me they paid the equivalent of 100 bucks a night for a million dollar condo through a time share. People! If it seems too good to be true, IT IS! I have been paying more than twive that since my first stay four years ago.

Going forward, I will continue to stay at, and wholeheartedly recommend, El Faro to people. When you’re reading El FARO reviews online, know that the properties are individually owned, decorated, and even managed, thus doing your research pays.

El Faro management has posted "stay away from timeshare sales!" signs up on the property but people are still falling for their pitches. I get this is crazy but just stay away from time share sales and if you make a bad choice, please don’t knock my favourite place to stay in the process; they are NOT one and the same!

Room Tip: Stay away from renting a room right on Calle 10. Noise from the bars carries. If you have little one...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kay M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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149 - 155 of 412 reviews

Reviewed February 24, 2014

Four of us rented Reef 201 at El Faro for one week and walked away rejuvenated, relaxed and happy. In the months leading up to our stay, there were concerns over the issues documented with Encanto. All of my concerns were squashed by the expertise of Susan Mattingly of Playa Luxury Rentals after going through VRBO. We had no issues with our reservation. Check in and check out was simple and efficient.
Our Unit, Reef 201 was absolutely PERFECT. An end cap unit on the second floor south side of the complex. Two bedroom, two private baths, kitchen and dinning area. The best room of the unit was the spectacular wrap around deck...one side facing the ocean mere steps away and the larger covered part of the deck facing north and the pool. I think we spent more time on the deck than any other part of the place.
At night there is definitely music from the night clubs north but a Reef 201 is far enough away that is was hardly noticeable.....I don't know if I would have the same to say if the unit was on the north side of the complex.....
The complex has a small but ample beach area with chairs always available. The pool is nice but has limited chairs with people getting up early and staking claim like a gold mine......however, with Reef 201 you have your own front row seat and you can get up late, mosey on to the deck, shuffle to the fridge for a beer and sit in the same chair day after day....heck you don't even need to put a towel out to save your place!

When you want to adventure out....you are steps away from everything. Location, location, location....btw...the Dirty Martini is out the front door take a left, then a right and have Angie and Paloma mix it up for you....alas.....another review. We explored many places around Playa.

El Faro was a perfect stay. We had stayed at an all inclusive for the first week and then moved to El Faro.....we thought how could we get anymore relaxed then at the all inclusive but El Faro, turned us into sloppy wet noodles.

We will stay at El Faro again without hesitation.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
2  Thank COparrotheads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2014

The 2 BR/2 Bath condo we rented for a week was Reef 302- balcony looked out over the pool and the beach/ocean- heaven. Maid service every other day, so not too intrusive, and shopping and restaurants all close by. The only problem we had was losing phone/internet for two days (condo has a Vonage phone so we could call the States without calling card). I guess internet outages are not uncommon there, it was just a little unsetting not being able to call home and check on the kids.

Room Tip: Laundry room is two floors almost directly below Reef 302
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Stephany B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2014

This property is amazing - pool overlooks the beach - 2 minute walk to 5th Avenue. The unit we stayed in was on the ground floor and we could sit right outside our room at the pool. The unit had 3 bedrooms - master has a sliding glass door to patio poolside and two bedrooms in the back that had windows that faced the "breezeway" which is a fancy word for wide spacious hallway with outside air flowing through. The "breezeway" is the manner in which you get into your unit with a key, so it is very busy which requires you to have your blind pulled at all times, therefore the two back bedrooms are very dark. That being said, we only went in our bedroom to sleep. There is air conditioning in every room so you do not have to open your window. A little on the noisy side with people coming and going, Security is very good. The unit is clean and staff will come in and clean every 3rd day. The property management company is open 9 - 5 so outside those hours there is no service if something is not working. Front desk staff cannot assist. Do not "hurry" to get into your unit. check-in time is 2 o'clock and even if they tell you it is 2'oclock - count on sometime between 3 and 4. Advertisement indicated that their was Wifi and "Bonage" phone service anywhere in North America. Wifi was fine "everywhere in North America" meant Canadian provinces (not Territiories and not Alaska) and lower United States - so if you require phone service while you are on holidays and you live in the "North" ask the owner if they have the "Northern Package." Once we ironed out the "glitches" during the first day it was great. We would stay again, but we would know what to expect.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank MWHMK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2014

We just returned from a week at El Faro. We were pleasantly surprised with our condo. The location is perfect if you want to spend time in downtown Playa del Carmen. And it's the perfect beach location as well. It's the best of both worlds. The stretch of beach in front of the condo is great (much nicer than some!) and you have all the nightlife just steps from your back door.
We stayed in Coral 202 which we rented through Rentals Your Way. They were great to deal with and everything went smoothly. We had a beautiful view of the beach and the pool. We enjoyed having breakfast on the balcony each morning. My kids loved the pool. The grounds were kept very clean and there was always a security guard patrolling. overall a great experience. There were just a few negatives. In the evenings the power would flicker off. It would go back on immediately, but it seemed to happen every night. Also, while the towels that were provided were nice, the bedding was not good quality. These were very minor and wouldn't stop us from renting again.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
Thank Kate P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2014

In January, I stayed for a week with my family at the privately owned Reef 302. Overall, it was wonderful, exactly as advertised.

I choose this condo because I love visiting Playa del Carmen. I wanted oceanfront views, beach access with a pool, and this condo delivered. The large balcony is a perfect place to eat, have a drink, relax and watch the waves. Get up early for the sunrise and watch the beach come to life.

The beach has soft sand and the waves are fun, but not so big that they'll knock you over. The resort has plenty of beach chairs, and there's also food and beverage service from Wicky's. You'll have to ask for an umbrella if you want one, but that way, you'll meet security guard Daniel, who is extremely nice. There were also plenty of loungers at the pool and we never had trouble finding a place to sit.

The pool is huge, but not heated. My 6-year-old twins didn't mind, but I thought the water was cold. It does have a shallow kid zone that they enjoyed playing in. There's also no outdoor hot tub. Some of the condos have one, but ours did not.

As others mention, the location is perfect, because it's a block to Fifth Avenue, where you can eat, shop, stroll and people watch. It's a quick, easy walk to Walmart, where you can buy food and beverages. Walk back or take a taxi home for a few dollars. There's a taxi stand on the side of the condo, so it's extremely convenient to grab a ride when needed.

My favorite restaurant just up the street was Babe's Noodles, a Thai and Asian place. The food was incredibly fresh and tasty, even the mojitos. It was fun to sit on the front porch and prices were very reasonable. I honestly could have eaten there every night. We also enjoyed Carboncito's, especially the grilled garlic shrimp and margaritas. Be warned that they don't accept credit cards, only cash.

Overall, our stay at El Faro was excellent. The property is well cared for, the location is perfect, you're close to so many great restaurants, and Playa has a great small town feel, even though it has grown tremendously in the past decade. Terry, the owner of Reef 302, was extremely responsive. I talked to her and emailed her several times before the trip. Onsite staff were also helpful, including when we locked our key in the room. El Faro is a wonderful place to stay and I hope to return.

Room Tip: Reef 302 has a fantastic balcony and is a lovely condo.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Susana114
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2014 via mobile

I have not stayed in El Faro as of today. A completed review will follow after my experience is complete. On August 2 nd , 2013 I acquired a confirmation trade through Interval Intermational. We purchased 3 rt flights for February 15-22, 2014 . We invited 5 others to stay with us because it was a 3 bedroom suite that slept 10. After a snowy week we arrived at El Faro on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I've been traveling with Interval International trades for 22 years. Everyone of them wS a positive experience . The worst experience occurred on February 15,2014.
The desk clerk informed us we had no room because Encanto no longer managed their property. We were shocked to find out they would not honor this trade. After 3 hours of sitting in their lobby and trying to get answers from interval international a young woman named Alejandro showed up and said she was taking us to another resort out of town. She knew about it through interval. Interval International said 3 other trades were made that month and they were honored.
My feeling is they were overbooked with paying customers so a timeshare trade was not on the cards. Anyway back to Alejandra : we got into her rented taxi van and preceded to drive away. Thank God it was only 2 of us. Our other guests were scheduled to arrive later in the week. We drove to a golf course apartment complex that was not yet completely built. There was no one there except for construction workers. It was aile from the beach and not a car in sight . This was like a bad movie. After screaming at this poor girl that we were not getting out of the taxi, we preceded to drive back to town unaware of where they were taking us.
We pulled up to a nice place called Aldea Thai. She said we could stay on a studio until tomorrow then return to El Faro in which we would have to pay for. It was clean and quite nice. My review will continue after we return to ElFaro. I'm quote apprehensive based on other reviews similar to mine. Something fishy is going on there. To be continued.

  • Stayed: February 2014
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3  Thank fredswife
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 #13 of 229 Specialty Lodging in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $173 - $490 (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 
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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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