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The Elements Oceanfront & Beachside Condo Hotel
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Reviews (193)
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All reviewsprivate beachbric rentalswasher and dryerhot tubthe penthousecanibal royalshort walkbric staffindividual unitscomfortable furnishingschez celinebeach club next doorfantastic poolmanagement companypast midnightfully equipped kitchensome great restaurants
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Reviewed September 11, 2010

First let me say the Damien at the front desk is AWESOME!!!!!! This was my first trip to The Elements and I can't rate this place high enough. My best friend and i went to celebrate my divorce and this could not have been a better location. Since we traveled in August it was perfect, we were in low season had the pool pretty much to ourselves and the Penthouse was just as described - AWESOME. Let me say again that Damien made the trip enjoyable and was helpful and friendly. This place at this time was perfect for a kickback vacation when we spent the days in the pool/spa or laying on the balcony, cooking dinner or going out for a bite to eat. Everything is local and within minutes by cab or walking.

Our stay was for 8 days and there is No doubt that we will be back,

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank KMA2x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2010

We were pleasantly surprised at the condo, furnishings and the view. We stayed in Penthouse 16. The rooftop terrace is great, we used the hot tub some but we loved the rooftop shower. We had pretty much everything we needed in the room to make our stay comfortable. We had 3 adults and 3 kids (17, 13, 6). We asked for an air bed and by the first night it was flat so do not depended on the air bed. Beds were comfy. You really have not outside privacy except on roof top and that is not super private.

Bric Rental was easy to deal with and we got a great deal on this 2 bedroom condo. Unlimited drinking water great. We really liked 5th Avenue and it is a nice place to hang out at night, lots to see.

On our 2nd full day there our son (6) cut the heel of his foot in the pool and it was pretty deep. We never were able to pin point what cut his foot but it was about inch long and pretty deep. He had blood on the walk way around pool and no maintenance people seemed in any real rush to clean it up. Damien was very helpful and went to get us a few more first aid items. It has been 2 weeks and we finally have it almost healed (no liquid bandage or anything in Mexico that we could find). So lesson learned here if you have smaller kids you may want them to wear their water shoes even in the pool.

Shop at the Mega mart not Wal-Mart it is a lot nicer. Used USA transfer from airport round trip it was $120 for the 6 of us. You are about ½ mile from the beginning of 5th avenue and the activity here, it is a nice walk with lots of activity at night. We ran down 5th in the morning and there was no one until you got to far end by bus station and it got a little busier. Road bus to Xcaret and it was really nice $4 one way. Era Ora good pizza and calzones.

We went to Tulum on Sunday about 12 and it was super busy, so when people say go early go early. We then went to Akumal beach and had lunch and snorkeled it was ok the beach was beautiful to look at and had a pretty good crowd. We took boat out with a guide and he was very helpful and we saw a few sea turtles and a sting ray and few fish it was just ok.

The beach in front of condo is ok but that is about it. The one nice thing is waves are not huge and kids can play in water. If you look to right there is an old house that sits right on the beach by condo private beach not real sure what it is but it is ugly. Also there is a pretty strong sulfur smell on the beach at different times. If you walk past the old house there are a few vendors for jet ski’s we road twice for 45 minutes for $60 dollars (he usually offered 30 minutes for $60 but my husband bargained with him).

We spent day in Cancun at beach, market 28 and La Isla mall for dinner it was a nice day. We had guys fighting over us in the market 28 it is almost over whelming. So be prepared if you venture there. Waves huge in Cancun and beach has big drop off in certain areas to the ocean.

Last but not least we went to Xcaret. It was ok and had fun but was really crowded at entrance and pricey to do extra stuff (dolphins 30 minutes $99). Ate at restaurant on beach with buffet it was not that great and bees were all over deserts yuck! If you go here plan to spend money!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank ShellyBranson_MO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2010

We stayed one week. Penthouses are realy nice. Sleeping rooms are located near the walking area. Sometimes a lot of noise.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank OrkunP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2010

This condo was fantastic! It was across the street from the ocean & within a short walking distance from 5th Ave. If you want a smaller more intimate area this is the place for you. Our concierge, Damion, was a huge help. Upon our arrival we were given a packet with 2 keys to the condo, a key to the safe & a prepaid cell phone that we could use while we were there. If we needed anything all we had to do was call Damion & he took care of all the details for us. We will definitely be going back again & we wouldn't stay anywhere else but The Elements.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank k79mill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2010

I stayed in Playa del Carmen for a couple of months in 1995. Back then "5th avenue" was only a couple of blocks long. There were three areas of town - Playacar, Playa del Carmen, and del campo. If you wanted to stay in a hotel that was more than a place for beach bums to pass out you had to stay in Playacar. Oh sure, there were some nicer places close to the beach including some cool palapas down by the Blue Parrot (a name that means something totally different today) but Playa was not about luxury. Playa was about the beach, music all night, in a word - tranquillo. Tranquillo not because of opulence but because of the beauty of the air, sun, sand and laid back atmosphere and approach to life. Believe it or not, in the three months I lived there I spent less than a grand.

Yesterday, my wife and I returned from a week at The Elements. This condo/hotel is as good as the new Playa has to offer. We stayed in Penthouse 19, a top floor condo with balconies off the living room and the bedrooms. Best of all is the rooftop patio with the hot tub. The view of the ocean from the rooftop is simply the best I have experienced in Playa. Even with all the development going on, there are only a few non-resorts this close to the beach. If you want a view, then The Elements is 5 stars.

The Elements is also about luxury and modern refinement. As you can see from the hotel photos (which happen to be accurate), the structure is modern by design with glass, marble, granite everywhere. Think Taj Mahal (India, not Vegas). The furniture is also modern, which is code for spartan. While the furniture is the ultimate in hip, I can't say the couch was the most comfortable or that the bed was terribly soft. These are fairly minor points in my assessment, but when you are shooting as high as The Elements is trying to go, these are the kinds of details that some find important.

The outdoor areas are well maintained and refined. The property is gated although the fence is more for definition than safety. The pool has a very unique design. A large portion of the pool is only 6 inches deep, a perfect place to lay in the pool chairs and soak up the sun. During our stay there were several families with smaller children that seemed to use the pool without pause all day and into the evening. It was also a good refuge from the blowing sand and rough surf left over from Alex, the tropical storm turned hurricane. The pool was also very clean, the staff spending several hours each day vacuuming it out and scrubbing it down. I'm more of a fan of Kool Beach Club at Mamitas Beach than sitting at the pool, but the families that stayed poolside certainly seemed to enjoy it.

So, the one thing that is not clear from the other descriptions of The Elements is its location. It is not centrally located and is very much isolated. This is not necessarily a criticism but was a bit of a shock for us. This was our third trip to Playa since 2007 and we are very familiar with the town so getting around is no big deal. But if you want to go participate in the tourist tradition of walking down fifth avenue and getting accosted by shop owners who "want to ask you a question" and resturanteurs whose "mother works in the kitchen" then plan on walking at least 10 to 15 minutes to get to the newer north end of the avenue. If you are going to go get groceries at WalMart or Mega, then taking a cab is mandatory, at least on the way back to the hotel (50 pesos without a tip). While I have never had any safety issues in Playa, I don't think I would have walked back to the hotel at 2 or 3 in the morning if we had gone out to the clubs. While taxis are everywhere, some people have a lower tolerance for this sort of thing. It only takes five minutes to walk to the Oxxo, Mexico's version of QuickTrip or Seven-11, so buying convenience store type things (beer, cigarettes, pork rinds, coca cola) is not a challenge. The Elements has an arrangment with a resturant and you can call the concierge who will order the food for you. The service is quick and the food is very good, especially the breakfast.

So the question neither my wife and I have been able to answer yet is whether we would have stayed at The Elements if we knew how far it was from everything. The answer is probably. It's not cheap. The flip side for us was we saved a bunch of money staying in and not partying all night at the disco's. Staying in required us to make a couple of trips to the grocery store for food and Oxxo for beer. The decision comes down to eye candy - the view of the ocean, the architecture, the manicured grounds. If this is what you like, this is the place to be. If you are interested in spending more time going out in the evening/night, look at the other Bric properties like Maya Villa with similar high end finishes. While the ocean view is not comparable, you can stumble back to the room when the fire dance ends. Being away from the crazyness of 5th avenue certainly made this trip much more relaxing than when we have stayed in the middle of things.

Finally, Damian is the concierge and he is a wonderful asset. His English is excellent and he tells it like it is. His resturant suggestions were spot on. Also, there is a little Italian resturant two blocks away that is fantastic. The name is something like Pummarola. (Damian can correct me.) It appears less than impressive when you walk by but everything does because you just walked out of The Elements. But the food, service and prices are wonderful and with your first bite you feel as if you have stumbled on a real culinary find. I got the fish filette and had no idea that I would end up with a fantastic mix of clams, muscles, shrimp and fish. An absolutely wonderful meal.

So that's the end. Playa del Carmen is not a sleepy fishing village any more. It is becoming more and more luxurious and The Elements is at the top end of this trend. Be prepared to walk but know you will be happy everytime you come back.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank jedbbb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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