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“El Taj 325 was perfect condo but dirty beach disappoints and bring ear plugs!!”

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El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel
Ranked #35 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
262 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“El Taj 325 was perfect condo but dirty beach disappoints and bring ear plugs!!”
Reviewed January 8, 2014

We had a beautiful week at the Taj but were sorely disappointed by the quality of the beach. I am going to break down this review into sections so that I can fair. Hotel: the staff is first class. From the bellmen to the front desk to the palapa servers, the whole experience was excellent. They were always available and around, very professional, and very friendly. The condo: a bit more compact than the pictures show but comfortable and well appointed. Nice furnishings and state of the art (TVs in every room, free WIFI, zoned AC). Nice outdoor table. The private patio and hot-tub area were awesome for dinner every night (two comments here; one was there was a rat running through the counter one night from flower bed to flower bed and the other was that someone consistently turned down the jacuzzi so the temperature was not where we wanted, very frustrating that it was messed with during the day). Location: in central Playa right by the pedestrian street close to all the bars, shops, and restaurants. Very walkable to the ferry terminal for the Cozumel ferry (be aware that there are 2 companies and you should buy the return ticket based on the schedule you want versus a roundtrip ticket. The bummer with the location is that there was very loud music every night until around 3 or 4 a.m. We could hear the music from the back of the condo (the master and the two twins room). Lastly the beach: El Taj keeps the beach and palapas very clean right in front of the hotel which is a very small stretch. There are boats parked right in front so it's really not great swimming. But the trash was horrible to the right and left; parts of the beach smelled like sewer (down from the Taj). The water had floating trash as well.
We also booked a private chef every night for dinner. Hanne was her name and we booked her through Coty Villareal. Her personality, food, and menu were superb! She did an amazing job with our very strict gluten free diet.

Room Tip: Perhaps choose a condo on opposite side for less noise. Penthouse was nice for private hot tub area...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sambachica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Calgary
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2014

We stayed in 330 (3 bedrooms plus rooftop penthouse with out door kitchen and hot tub). Condo was fantastic. Perfectly equipped with all the amenities we required. The Condo was extremely clean with full (if required) daily maid service. Would have been nice if they would have supplied bath robs. BBQ was cleaned every morning. When I say cleaned, it was like brand new every morning! View is beautiful. Only major complaint was the hot tub was broken and did not heat up. When mentioned, the front desk did send maintenance (very promptly) to try and fix. After three attempts we gave up trying to get it fixed. This was very frustrating as we paid extra for this condo specifically for the rooftop hot tub.

Beach is right there. The included ‘Beach Club’ was very nice with 5 Star services. The beach area was small and crowded with boats. Provided lots of action and lots to see, however, we wish the beach area was a little bigger with more room to lounge.

The Condo-hotel is centrally located right on the beach and a block from the infamous 5th Avenue. Provides perfect access to most of the best restaurants and shopping (no car required). However, this close proximity was also to the ‘night clubs’. The noise did not bother us, however, you could definitely hear the party going on (especially on the weekends).

This is our fourth visit to this area. Previously we went 'all-inclusive'. At first we missed the 'all-inclusive', however, by the end of the trip it is safe to say we preferred the freedom the condo-hotel provided.

From reception to departure the service was top notch. Could not ask for better.
Thanks to all, our visit to the El Taj was a very memorable experience.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tony B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2014

We got married at El Taj Oceanside on one of the penthouse roof decks the first week of December. We initially thought we’d have the ceremony on the roof of room 336, which is on the front of the hotel and overlooks the beach, but thankfully we also had 330, the second one back, because it was perfectly set up for the ceremony (lay-out and sizing).

We actually had never visited El Taj before our wedding; once we arrived, we couldn’t have been more happy with our choice to have our wedding there. Everything was perfect. Our wedding planner, Linda Burchett, was amazing. She worked with us for months to ensure that the event was exactly as we had envisioned. From the smallest details to the largest, Linda was on top of everything. Literally everything on the day of our wedding was perfect.

One of the highlights of El Taj was the staff. The folks in Indigo (the restaurant), the people at the front desk, and the bellhops were all incredibly welcoming and helpful. Our guests raved about how nice and helpful everyone at the hotel was and how it made the experience that much more wonderful.

The location was perfect. El Taj was right in the middle of everywhere you want to be in Playa and our guests were easily able to walk up and down 5th Ave, find restaurants, go on fishing and snorkeling trips, etc. The hotel also offered tons of activities and tours to help ensure that each guest was able to make the most out of their trip.

The hotel is beautiful. I had seen all the photos online and expected it to be nice, but you also can never fully tell what a place looks like until you see it for yourself and in my experience it never looks like the photos. Well, El Taj was 100x more beautiful in real life than in even the most beautiful photo. The rooms, the views, the pool, the beachside - all incredible. When I walked in, my mouth dropped.

Lastly, the food was incredible. You never really expect food for a wedding to be that tasty, but our reception dinner at El Taj was a 5-star meal. Everything was cooked to perfection and the presentation was beautiful. Many of our guests said that the beef filet was the best they had ever had. We cannot say enough great things about our wedding reception at Indigo Beach - it was so much more than we could have ever imagined.

Overall, we can’t say enough how happy we are that we had our wedding here. Of course we thought it was the best wedding we had ever been to :), but most of our guests noted the same. We will be returning to El Taj for years to come and feel so fortunate to have the memories from our special day there.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank JesseAshlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fresno
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2014

The location is right on the beach. The condo has all the amenities anyone will ever need (fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, ...). The Indigo Beach Club/restaurant's food is pricey, but delicious. Complimentary access to the gym was wonderful. Two short blocks from Quinta Avenida.

Room Tip: Get a room with an ocean view.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MEIFresno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnetrista, Minnesota
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2014

Just returned from our family trip to El Taj. We stayed in two different rooms during our stay and they were both very well appointed, and comfortable for a family of four. Having essentially your own condo with the benefit of maid service was delightful. The properties design is nice with lots of foliage and koy ponds, however I do think its missing a grand lobby entrance like most are usually used to.
As mentioned, this property is not far from the action, just a short walk away from 5th Ave. This was great at night because you could walk to dinner and feel very safe. It worked well with teenagers, and it was always easy to find something to eat. The grocery store is a walk away as well, which made it nice to get some food for breakfasts and lunches if you decide to go that route.
The staff was very attentive, and we always got what we needed right away. Do to the time of year, we had to change rooms midway through our stay to make our vacation work, and the staff made it happen effortlessly. I didn't have to do anymore than go get new keys.
The draw backs for me would be the noise and the beach. The hotel/condo is very close to several large dance clubs and the music began around 10pm and went on and on until 3-4am every night. It was very loud. They mention sound proof windows, but it did not help trust me. We didn't let it bother us, but if you are a light sleeper, this may pose a problem. My other issue was with the beach. It was very crowded, and due to beach erosion, just not that big. Lot's of boats parked right in from of the resort as well. I will say I knew this going in (all except for the extent of the beach erosion due to the last hurricane) so it didn't come as a surprise. I knew it wasn't going to be pristine, so I still had a very enjoyable time.

Room Tip: We stayed "Beachside". I would choose to stay "oceanside" next time.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Toni P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
67 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2013

We just spent a week staying at El Taj in two units for 13 family members. Unit 302 is very large and accommodated 9 of us, while the other 4 stayed in unit 307. The front desk staff and housekeeping were always smiling and responded to anything we asked of them. The concierge service was excellent, and a we really appreciated the service from Manuel in the concierge office - he was awesome! The beach area is nice, however, there are many large boats that are tethered right there and make the beach access more challenging. I have no idea why they have the boats "park" at their beach, but it's a shame because it would be so much nicer otherwise. The location is great for getting around all the main areas - beach and city life of Playa. This made it really nice and easy to walk to 5th Ave or to walk to other places for dinner, shopping, the grocery (Mega), etc. We felt safe and liked the choice of the pools (even though they are relatively small) and beach front. The biggest issue is the noise (some might call it music) blasting from the nearby clubs from about 10 pm-3 or 4 am night after night. We had read somethings in previous reviews about the noise, but this did not prepare us for the reality of the noise and pounding bass well into the night. It's annoying and exhausting. If you are a light sleeper or your bedroom faces that direction, be ware. Otherwise, El Taj was great, and we would stay there again, but maybe in a different unit. We had a wonderful dinner one night prepared by the personal chef, Coty. She is so nice and sweet and was a pleasure to work with in planning and cooking the meal. We also had great dinners at El Fogon, Aquachilles, Barro Negro, and Kaxapa.

Room Tip: Higher floors seem to have more noise. Some bedrooms in 302 are much quieter than others.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank drmjkr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Cedro, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2013

This is a beautiful hotel and nice spacious condo. The staff was nice but I would not book anything through them unless you do not mind paying a premium. As indicated, it is located on the centralized beach in town and is very crowded and has a bit of a sewer smell on the beach. Overall, we would not choose to stay here again

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Travelnoww
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
#27 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#29 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel 3.5*
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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