It has been 2 days since we returned from Playa. After dragging our luggage through 3 feet of snow over our unplowed street at 11:30 PM, reality set in. We had just left paradise. I promised a few people that I would write an honest review of The Elements, so here we go.
We arrived to the condo (which is what it really) with no problem. I arranged a transfer with Entertainment Plus, which was $105 USD for roundtrip transportation. They were waiting for us at the airport and we had very nice English speaking drivers both ways.
After a pleasant 30-40 minute ride we arrived at The Elements. Damien, the property concierge, was waiting for our arrival at the front desk. I really can’t say enough about him. He is fluent in French (my husband is French), Spanish, and English. We were shown to our condo, which was Penthouse 16. Don’t expect a bellman, The Elements isn’t like that. I’m not saying this in a bad way; someone will help you, for example Damien, a security guard from the condo, or even a guest if you need it.
When we got into the apartment, Damien gave us our keys, showed us all of the electronic gadgets, and gave us a phone with his cell number, as well as the number for Bric, the management company already stored in it. He let us know that if there was anything we needed he was there for us. He ended up making all of our dinner reservations and transfer confirmations. As per his advise, every restaurant he recommended was excellent.
The building is beautiful. From the time you arrive you feel as if you are standing in front of a modern Mayan structure. The grounds and pool area are immaculate, the caretakers work from sun up to sun down. The condo is huge to say the least (compared to a hotel room). We stayed in the master suite, with a giant bathroom and shower, and our kids shared a second bedroom with 2 full sized beds and used the hall bath with and shower. The décor is modern and sleek, the kitchen was perfect and had almost everything we needed. Views from our place were beautiful. The building is still fairly new and so there is not much wear and tear. There are many units, which haven’t been sold yet, so there haven’t been many guests.
We went to the Mega (a local grocery store) to stock up on food for breakfast, lunch and snacks. You will need a few staples like plastic wrap, sugar, napkins, etc. We are not big eaters, which is why we prefer staying in an apartment and not an all-inclusive. We also like to get a feel for where we are staying, which made The Elements the perfect place for us. We were provided with plenty of towels but there is no service at the pool or beach. The maids (off on Sunday) do the laundry every other day and do a great job cleaning the apartment. It was nice having a washer and dryer in the unit.
If you are looking for action The Elements isn’t for you. My husband and I spent a week; our kids were with us for 4 nights, our daughter (22) and our son (26). The arrangement was perfect for us because of the 2 bedrooms. The beach and pool are very quiet and relaxing. The Jacuzzi was an excellent way to end a rough day swimming and tanning. We met a few couples from Canada and a family with young children. However, the walk to 5th takes about 5-10 minutes, so you can be in the heart of Playa easily, if you want. Damian arranged to have women who give massages on the patio of one of the vacant garden units, this was one of the highlights of our trip, an hour massage in the warm Mexican breeze for about $25USD/hour.
To the left of the condo is an adorable little beach club and restaurants called the Cannibal Royal, with good food, great music and fun for all of us. To the right of the condo is a small fishing house which seems to be a hangout for local fisherman who are very nice and don’t get in your way. Many locals visit the beaches in Playa so you will see a real mix. I must add, that this area of town is seeing a lot of construction, so I imagine that in a few years it will be more crowded. There was talk of getting a concession by the beach or pool to offer drinks and snacks as well as arranging for some umbrellas for the beach. This would be an added convenience, but with the cooler that Damien provided us with, keeping hydrated was not a problem for us!
Finally, this is a flip-flop destination; leave your diamonds and Gucci’s at home. If you are looking for a fancy schmancy vacation, The Elements isn’t for you. Playa is a beach town, just like in the states but with an international twist! Just relax and enjoy. We are already planning our next trip! I want to thank Damien, Stephanie, and Andy!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Elements, perfectly located at the beach, features Playa Del Carmen's only private beach and beach club! Our white sandy beaches and emerald green waters are just steps from your private patio. And after the sun goes down, Playa Del Carmen's famous 5th Avenue is mere blocks away! Each of our spacious 1, 2, & 3 bedroom units feature an awe-inspiring ocean view, natural stones, plush furnishings and contemporary decor. Additional amenities include high thread count linens, plasma satellite televisions, upscale appliances, a washer/dryer, premium organic toiletries and a fully-appointed kitchen. In addition to our unobstructed ocean views and private beach and beach club, The Elements features one of Playa's largest pools, a fitness center and spa services right on the beach! Stretch out and make yourself at home during your perfect beach vacation in our "home-like" accommodations! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- The Elements Oceanfront & Beachside Condo Hotel Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico