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“Beautiful hotel, ideal location!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel

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El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel
Ranked #26 of 210 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Beautiful hotel, ideal location!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

El Taj is a first class experience from the beautiful setting to the delicious food and the attentive staff. Lunch with your toes in the sand and the great guacamole cannot be beat and the ocean is gorgeous!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jackiegeld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,251 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (420)
Date | Rating
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English first
Derby, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

i've been playa del carmen twice before. April & christmas in 2010. that's how much of impression this place made on us! we stayed Grand porto Real Hotel on both occasions. However" i always wondered what it would be like to stay at El Taj. Well" it's got to be one of the best holidays i've had to date. im talking 10 out of 10! The oceanfront rooms are just perfect. i stayed in 334. the view was just stunning. Not forgeting hottub! Condos/ apartments are such high spec & the layout just excellent. Can't forgot WIFI. Life saving having teenage daughter & of course for checking your emails whilst wife not looking!

The service & quality of food was second to none. the staff cannot do enough for you. They actaully made my holiday & of course my wife as well! Always smiling & laughing to which i personally feel a crucial part of a holiday. you need to be in relaxed enviroment. There's such a high vibe surrounding this place & im not refering to coco mayo night club situated close by either!

5th Avenue on your doorstep. Basically everything only 2 min walk. This place situated perfectly.

New year. Well" that was one hell of a party.God" do they know how to bring the new year in! The atmosphere was just electrifying. From fire works to the laser displays! whole beach packed with enerjectic party goers!

to summerise this place in word. Fantastic!!!!

i'd like to give special thanks to the following people. Pedro(true gentlemen) Alfonso / kikki / Juan / jose / chuc / edward / william / Oscar & any other that i've neglected / forgot to mentation!
All that leaves me to say. see you all on 31st november. yes" i've booked room 339. staying for another 2 weeks.

thanks again everybody.

from lee / joanne & yasmin the happy english family.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lee19702
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york,
Level Contributor
36 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

stayed at el taj during christmas week with my two grown up children. We all really liked staying here. For the past three years we have gone to playa and stayed at all inclusive hotels. All four of us agreed that we liked the condo better. The apartment was very clean, the maid did a very good job with what ever we asked. The childrens room had two twin beds which of course was smaller then if they were in the all inclusive hotel, but still plenty of room. We enjoyed eating breakfast together before going to the beach and hanging out together before going to bed. The beach area is pretty small but sufficient for el taj, the restaurant staff which waits on beach guests is great, very attentive and the drinks and food was good -drinks were much better then at all inclusives. We ate dinner in town every night which is a very short walk also very nice. The only negative thing i could say was that the pool was small- it was heated but it was totally shaded by the hotel which I felt made it unappealing.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lucy55newyork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

We had the most fabulous vacation at El Taj suite 345 during the first part of December. The hotel is centrally located only a few blocks from the main 5th avenue restaurant district. The gym has at least 100 pieces of equipment for your use. The staff is friendly and professional. The beach club was great. They would clean your sunglasses, provide beer or food and move your umbrella around so you stayed in the shade if you wanted it. The food at the beach club was always excellent and you can now charge your tab to your room even though the restaurant is actually separate from the hotel. The security was discrete and you always felt safe. Our condo unit was 345, second from the front on the south side. It had a spacious livingroom/kitchen area. The kitchen had everything you needed including all major appliances and a blender for drinks, a toaster oven, pots, pans, dishes and even food storage containers. We had three bedrooms, the master has an off suite and king size bed. There was plenty of storage and a washer and dryer if you so desired to use it. Everything was clean and well maintained. The wireless network worked flawlessly. The real treat though was the huge rooftop patio. It has your own private Jacuzzi tub along with couches, lounge chairs and a complete eating area with a barbeque and beer fridge. We ended every day having a goodnight nip on the patio. It was so private. Staying at the unit second in from the beach gave us the best of both worlds, you still had the awesome views from every room but the screening plants on the patio sheltered you from the wind. This was our first Mexico vacation where we didn't stay at an all inclusive and I am sold on the concept. We ate breakfast in everyday but all other meals at various spots around Playa. It was wonderful to have the variety. I noticed that we didn't get hounded by the time share sellers as we walked around and we thought it might be because we didn't have to wear an identifying bracelet. Speaking about being hounded we sat on the beach everyday for almost 2 weeks and I bet I was only approached about 5 times by vendors selling their wares. It made for a much more relaxing time. We also used the pre-arranged taxi pick up service when we arrived. It went flawlessly. We were off in our cab with a warm damp cloth to wipe our faces and a cold Sol before most of our flight was out of the airport doors. I highly recommend the service. All in all it was a wonderful vacation spot and we will definitely be going back.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BGRCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

If you are looking to spend a nice vacation in front of the ocean with great service, gorgeous people at a reasonable price, you should take a loom at this ocean front and beach side condo hotel.
Besides this, it is close to everything on 5th avenue ( shopping, restaurants, bar, etc...).
Worth going!

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Mauro T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

After way too much research on places to stay in preparation for our trip to Playa del Carmen, we couldn't decide on one place so we decided to split up the week and stay the first three nights at an all-inclusive (the Iberostar Quetzal, you can also read my review there), and the remainder of the week at El Taj Oceanfront, one of the buildings in the Condo Hotels complex.

First, let me say we had a wonderful stay at the El Taj and would definitely return. The staff was great and couldn't have been more and accommodating. Erick Perez in particular was very helpful in helping us sort through some minor issues during our stay.

The condos are beautiful, as you can see on their website, and the ability to select your room in advance is great. I think you would be hard pressed to find much nicer rooms anywhere in the area and having the ability to cook some meals in can really save you some money. The location is about as good as it gets as well, right in the heart of town, within a block of all the action on 5th Avenue. The pool is very nice, but small and there are only a few chairs around it -- if you are a pool person this might not be your place.

They have an unbelievable wifi/phone package that includes wifi in your room and UNLIMITED local and INTERNATIONAL calling for a very reasonable flat rate. Someone on a working vacation could save a lot of money by staying here. This came in extremely handy when our flight home was cancelled due to hurricane Sandy and we had to literally spend hours on hold with the airline and make several calls back to the U.S.

Also, when you check in you get a condohotels discount card, which gives you 10-15% off at certain restaurants. I had researched places to eat and when I saw the list recognized that it contained several of the most highly regarded restaurants in the area. It was an unexpected surprise to be given discounts at places we had planned to eat anyway.

All that said, there are two negatives that would be significant enough to some people that they need to be noted.

The first is the beach. As others have noted and is evident in the photos, there are always 20-30 fishing boats docked directly in front of the El Taj Oceanfront and neighboring properties. As a result, it is not a great place to swim, although the water is great and it is certainly possible to swim between the boats, and some people do, but it also is a little rocky underwater in spots in this area. In addition, the beach is relatively narrow at this location so it is not even optimal for laying out on towels as passersby will be walking very close to you. None of this is to say you can't enjoy the beach here - staying at condo hotels gives you use of the Indigo Beach Club, which has lounges and umbrellas, as well as food and drink service available directly in front of the El Taj Oceanfront so it is not a bad place to lay on a chair in the sun with a drink. We were looking for more of a "traditional" beach experience, however, so we walked north up the beach about 10-15 minutes, just past the pier, and laid on our towels each day near Mamitas Beach Club. Absolutely gorgeous beach and you could rent chairs/beds/umbrellas there pretty cheap if you wanted. We didn't mind the walk at all -- it was a great way to start and end the day -- but if you have children in tow or if you will want to shuttle back and forth from the beach to the room a lot, this might not be the best setup for you.

The second negative is the noise at night. It is the price to be paid for staying in the heart of the Playa del Carmen "party" district but it is important that people be prepared for it. Loud dance music with booming bass echoes throughout the neighborhood until 5am every night. We spent 4 nights in unit 354, which is on the north side of the El Taj Oceanfront and, although we could hear it, it didn't bother us much and we slept soundly. The noisy clubs seemed to be on the south side of the building, however, so it may have been worse there. That was also after long days of laying in the hot sun and cocktails in the evenings though so we were very tired. When we had to extend our stay due to the hurricane we transferred to a condo at Villas Sacbe for two additional nights. We were warned that the noise would be worse there but we went anyway as we were already over budget and the condo there was half the price of our unit in El Taj. The first night didn't seem too bad but we didn't party on our last night as we had to fly the next morning and the noise was definitely worse and did keep us awake at times. Overall it wasn't a big deal to us, but, depending on your tolerance and the kind of vacation you seek, the noise could potentially ruin your experience. My recommendation to anyone who wants to avoid this would be to call or e-mail condohotels before booking, tell them you want to stay there but have read reviews and are concerned about the noise and ask them to suggest units/buildings where this is less likely to be a problem. Believe me, they know this is an issue with some of their properties, they know where the noisier areas are, and they would much rather book you into a unit you will be happy with from the beginning than have you displeased and wanting to move after you arrive. I would also encourage you to be open to any of the condohotels properties -- they are all within a block or two of each other and the beach but some are farther from the clubs. Because of the less than ideal beach situation I described above, being in the El Taj Oceanfront building right on the beach, while nice, really becomes less of a perk than it might otherwise be so you don't lose much by being a block away.

Nitpicks: $25 for a lost towel or towel card (our previous resort was $10). Rather than being paranoid about keeping track of them them during our stay, we locked the towel cards in the safe and bought some cheap towels at Wal-Mart to use.

Tips:

1. We took the advice of another reviewer and tried Las Quesadillas, right next to the El Taj oceanfront. Glad we did -- not the least bit fancy but great authentic Mexican food and CHEAP -- 17 pesos for a quesadilla! We had breakfast and lunch there some days, never paid more than 100 pesos for a solid meal for two.

2. Again taking the advice of another reviewer who said you get the best deal on trips at Wal-Mart, we took the short walk up there and got full day Chichen Itza tours for $45 USD, half of what was being charged elsewhere.

Warning: This has nothing to do with the El Taj but be very careful using ATMs in Playa Del Carmen. A month after we returned, someone in Mexico began making withdrawals from my checking account and stole several thousand dollars before it was discovered. My card never left my possession so somebody must have put a scanner on one of the machines to get my card number and then somehow got my PIN, either with a video camera or someone eavesdropping nearby. Make sure you cover your hand when entering your PIN. Fortunately we didn't lose any money because VISA guarantees it and reimbursed us.

Bottom line: this is a great place to stay and we would come back, it would be an absolute blast to return with a group sometime and rent one of the large units.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Cujothecat99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

I can't believe this place is a top choice. The noise in the back condos is slow torture. This is the worst vacation we've ever had. We only stayed here because it was a last minute trip plan. The sound from the clubs is exactly what the other reviewers have said. Stay in the beachside units if you want pounding noise all night. If you are a vampire maybe it's okay, you can sleep during the day when there is only low level bad music at the pool.
Additionally the beach stinks. There is so little area, barely enough for people to walk by let alone play there. The food is poor and my husband and I both were ill for consecutive days.
I hope this saves someone from staying here.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Susie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel

Property: El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel
Address: 1 Norte Esquina Calle 14 Norte | Corner 16th Street, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#5 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#20 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#22 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 57
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Taj Condo Hotel consists of 57 spacious condos situated on 2 separate properties in front of the beach. El Taj oceanfront is directly on the beach and El Taj Beachside is across the street. Guests get to use all the on site amenities including our exclusive beach club. We offer 2 incredible heated pools. The relaxing heated pool on Beachside property is an exotic black mosaic infinity pool with an extra large Jacuzzi while the oceanfront heated pool sits right on the beach in front of our exclusive beach club. We're located in the most liveliest area of Playa that offers the convenience of having the best restaurants, nightlife and shopping within one block from your vacation home.Each Condominium offers expansive floor plans and superb finishes. The Beachside condos have private terraces that are surrounded by exotic plants, Lilly ponds and all face the pool and cascading waterfalls. All the penthouse units in El Taj Beachside feature ocean views from the private roof decks. All the oceanfront units have views of the ocean.Each condo comes with fully equipped kitchens and the finest details including flat screen TVs in all the rooms. We provide the same services usually associated with some of the finest hotels. Our designers traveled the globe to Indonesia trying to recreate an environment reminiscent to Bali. . ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Taj Oceanfront And Beachside Condo Hotel
El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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