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“still enjoyable ... but ...” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel

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El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel
Ranked #31 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“still enjoyable ... but ...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2013

This was our 2nd visit to the CondoHotel complex. It was that good the first time(see prior reveiw http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g150812-d1488864-r124432474-Maya_Villa_Condo_Hotel_Beach_Club-Playa_del_Carmen_Yucatan_Peninsula.html))
This time we stayed at El Taj unit 320. Basically we had the same great experince.
On the up side: 1. the addition of the new Imprevest restaurant gives another on-site dining option (breakfast in airconditioning when you are dressed for the road is a real plus)
2. the staff seemed even friendlier. (our Hot-tub didn't heat when we arrived ... it was fixed that night ... and it wasn't just throwing a switch)
3. the internet now works really well.
4. the Gym got new spinning cycles(Shimano clips)
On the down side:
1. The addition of music on the beach is a nuisance. Loud. Conflicts with the music from the next "resort". There were days where we thought the soundtrack is what the US military played to get Noriega out of hiding.
2. If you are a light sleeper you will have a problem with the booming disco beats coming from the bars a block away ... it's a real cacophony until 4 am.
3. The Pilates bed at the Gym is in disrepair (needs replacement wheels)
4. the demand has driven up the price.
bottom line ... we will still come back.

Room Tip: rooms on the north side are quieter
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank YahHeyDer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (432)
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Mexico
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2013

I went to the Oceanfront for superbowl weekend with my wife a kids. Everyday I went to the top of the line Gym, and my wife enjoy the Yoga. We had breakfast in Indigo beach club and really enjoy the food and service during the whole day. There are two things that make el Taj the best option in Playa, The first one is the apartment itself, the quality of the bed and linens, the kitchen, appliances and the amenities on it, the jaccuzi on the balcony, the flat screens, the housekeeping keeps everything working and clean. We enjoy the apartment in a rainy day. The second thing about the Taj is the amazing location, that you are on the center of the action (shopping, nightclubs, restaurants) but you don´t hear any noise at all. I travel to Playa a lot because I´m from Mexico, and I don´t stay anywhere else.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MrMSD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2013

El Taj in Playa is beautiful, clean, comfortable, on the beach, close to the action, and priced reasonably. The staff is personable and accommodating. They have a restaurant/bar which delivers to the beach and the beach staff provide sunscreen, books and magazines, towels, sunglasses cleaning, and they will move your beach umbrella for shade or sun! My family was very happy with their El Taj experience.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Angela M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2013

My first and only review on TripAdvisor was back in 2011 after we stayed at El Taj in July for a three week visit. I simply wasn't aware that such a genuinely amazing experience was possible — my previous resort experiences could best be described as average and not necessarily too memorable. That certainly changed after my experience at El Taj. Since then, our family has returned for a one week stay in March 2012 and a three week stay in August 2012. I am now in the process of finalizing arrangements for a one week visit in March of this year, which has brought back some fantastic memories, so I thought that I would relive them a bit on TripAdvisor!

For our one week visit in March 2012, my wife, two teenagers and I stayed in a three bedroom penthouse at El Taj Beachside. Our previous stay had been in a three bedroom penthouse at El Taj Oceanfront, so we had an opportunity to compare the two. What we discovered is that there is essentially no difference between the two in terms of room sizes, amenities and roof terraces. The only differences that we noticed is that staying at Oceanside added about 60 seconds to our walk over to the Indigo Beach Club, while on the other hand, at Oceanside we were closer to our favourite pool — an iridescent black-tiled one!

One other difference we noticed between our Spring versus Summer visit was that the air and ocean temperature were not quite as hot. We all wound up agreeing that we prefer the higher summer air and ocean temperatures — we realize that we might be in the minority in this regard!

For our three week visit in August 2012, we stayed at a three bedroom penthouse at El Taj Oceanside. As usual, our transportation from the airport, arranged through Condo Hotels, went off without a hitch. We all loved our return to the extra summer heat! Similar to all of our previous visits, the room, amenities and service were first class. The Gym had expanded since our previous visit and we all made good use of the well equipped facility. We enjoyed dining at the newly opened Imprevest restaurant — the food was spectacular and we returned for a couple of brunch visits, even though we typically enjoy all of our breakfasts at Indigo Beach at El Taj. We just couldn't resist!

Even though our kitchen had all that we needed to prepare meals ourself, as usual we dined out every night at one of the many fantastic restaurants in Playa. In addition to Imprevest, just a few that include both casual and fine dining: Oh Lala, Kaxapa Factory, Bro Chetas, Curry Omm, El Fogon, GG, Indigo Beach — the list could go on and on.

As usual, the aspect of our stays at El Taj that have made the greatest impression on us is the friendliness of the staff and their incredible attention to detail and service. From the front desk to the cleaning staff, the restaurant staff to the beach crew — all are truly amazing and they have made each our stays very enjoyable and memorable.

My family and I are definitely looking forward to our return to Playa in March!

Room Tip: We have stayed in four different three bedroom penthouse suites at El Taj Oceanside and Beachside. F...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank axestone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013

Incredible, friendly and accomadating staff...Prime property on the beach, depending on the unit you get you always have one of the best sunset and sunrise views. Free continental breakfast are always plentiful with great breakfast items

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ChungH79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013

All around wonderful place to stay. Rooms are big, beautiful, clean. Penthouse rooftop is incredible to hangout, bbq, jacuzzi or sunbathe. Breakfast and lunch at indigo beach both delicious. Complimentary dinner on Sunday night on the beach with a great live band was a nice perk. The staff here are so wonderful, excellent customer service. We would come back!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jules D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
50 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013

Just returned from a one week stay at the El Taj. This is a top property in a great location, directly on the beach in Playa. We highly recommend it. Service is excellent and very friendly. Facilities are terrific. The pool is beautiful, and we especially appreciated the fact that it appeared to be heated, but with the beach right on the other side of the pool it's really more of a quiet place to relax than where you would spend the day. The beach bar and restaurant were convenient, food was good, service was great and we thought cost was very reasonable. Even beach service was great. The other restaurants affiliated with the hotel are just a short walk away - far closer than the walk you'd have at a big resort - and you are able to not only charge to your room but get a 10% discount. The hotel also includes access to a fitness facility called The Gym, which is just around the corner. Very nice facility and I've never stayed anywhere that not only included entry to the gym but the right to attend any class you want to take at no additional charge. Above and beyond!

We stayed in room 330 which is one of the fourth floor suites that includes three bedrooms, two baths a full kitchen (with one of the best stocked kitchens I've ever seen in a condo hotel) and a great roof top terrace. This was the only room of its type available when we booked and, as others have said, some of the room finishings do vary so be sure to check the details of the room you are considering in addition to it's location. If you can swing it I would opt for one of the fourth floor ocean front rooms (336 and 346 I think). The roof top terrace was a huge plus with a hot tub, grill, large seating area and table that would easily seat six. Not the perfect ocean front view from our unit but a good view nonetheless from both the lounge area and the hot tub. I will say it would be an amazing thing to have a group and book both terrace rooms which would literally give you about half the roof of the entire hotel as your own luxury retreat.

The hotel is on a small street about a block from 5th Avenue. You you can walk to hundreds of restaurants and bars so there is no need for a car and no need to worry about driving if you've had a few drinks. Groceries, beer, wine etc are all only about 1/2 mile away at either the Mega or Walmart. A pretty easy walk but you probably won't want to carry everything back to the hotel, so drive if you have a car or take a taxi home once you do your shopping. Ferry to Cozumel is also a short walk down the street or beach. My point is it's all incredibly convenient.

All in all a tremendous place and one we will definitely be going back to.

I only have one minor issue with the room layout. As others have commented, access to the roof top terraces is not restricted. Keep in mind that if you have a unit with a terrace, access is not from inside your room. You must leave your room and go through an entryway next to the elevator that leads to stairs to the roof terraces. There is a sign on the door that says "Private", but since the door is not locked anyone can wander up there and I can tell you that people can and do ignore the sign and go up for a look and maybe a little party. It would seem easy to just lock the door and provide you with a key but we were told on arrival that the door to the terraces is never locked. This means it's difficult to leave personal belongings on the terrace or maybe even beer or wine in your terrace refrigerator - although we did that with no problem. Also be aware that the terraces have access to each other. You go up the stairs and at the top go left for one terrace and right for the other. There is no door or gate between them. This tends to lead to "borrowing" things like lounge chairs between the terraces. I strongly suggest the El Taj find a way to lock those doors or somehow restrict access to the occupants of the rooms that are actually paying for the terraces.

But again, thanks to the El Taj for a wonderfull stay.

Room Tip: Get an oceanfront room on the top floor with a terrace, I believe rooms 336 and 346. 346 on the nort...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Boodus
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
#14 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#24 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 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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