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Reviews (1,519)
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All reviewsbeach clubfishing boatscondo hotelhot tubindigo restaurantthe penthousewasher and dryerfull kitchenrooftop terracerecommend elthree bedroomliving roomwater coolerrestaurants and shopsprivate balconybeach chairsocean view
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Reviewed 27 December 2011

I have just returned from a 2 weeks vacation at El Taj. We had stayed a few months ago in one of their sister properties called Porto Playa. We loved it so much that we decided to reserve at El Taj for our pre-christmas vacation. Our well equiped 2 bedroom penthouse with a spectacular rooftop terrace was the best part of all! Being 4 adultes in a 2 bedroom was just perfect, each couple having it's own private bathroom. The whole staff from maids to front desk are clearly there to make your stay pleasant and help you with anything you may need. My wife unfortunately got hurt in the first few days. The staff went out of it's way to help her in the stairs or getting to the beach. They even called a doctor who came to check her in the condo. Better service than doctors back home. I was a bit worried about the mentions about the noise but we realized that with the windows shut and the AC on you could not hear anything and we are both light sleepers. Overall we loved it and are already thinking of when will be our next vacations to El Taj!

Room Tip: Penthouses have the best views!
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Guy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2011

I am a single mom traveling with 3 kids (16, 14 and 9). we had such a great week at el taj. the room was spacious, clean and comfortable. the beach club was beautiful and the staff was so nice! The food was great too! There was so much to do with my kids that we could have stayed another week! We went snorkeling with the turtles, zip lines, horseback riding, atv riding, jet skiing, swam in a few different cenotes. one day we rented a private boat from the guy on the beach out front of the hotel and he took us for 2 hours to the reef to snorkel. It was so much fun! El taj is also located so closet to 5th ave (the main strip) that every night we walked up and down the street. We saw reviews about noise but we did not have any issues with noise! we were in unit 323 and it was great!!! The grounds are beautiful. The yoga classes are REAL and not "resort" yoga classes for beginners. The gym was great too.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank nicole f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2011

There are definite pros for this hotel. The grounds are beautiful and serene. The eastern accents give the feeling of being in the East. The apartments are modern and well appointed with all of the amenities you would expect from an upscale condominium. Certainly, if you are traveling with a large or extended family, this property provides you with an affordable means to stay in beautiful Playa del Carmen. Lord knows the resorts make it very difficult for families larger than four people.

Now for the cons. Perhaps we have become spoiled, but for most of our visits to Playa, we have stayed at all-inclusive resorts. If you too have become accustomed to the resorts, you will likely be disappointed. The level service provided by the staff will not compare. You get the feeling that simple requests are an annoyance to the staff. Be prepared that the associated beach club has rules... Lot's of rules. Don't arrive too early. If you arrive before 8am, you will not get towels or chairs, even if the guy who gives them out at 8am is standing right there. Don't change your towels too frequently "Amigo" (apparently twice in one day was too much for them to handle). Don't leave your chairs for too long either, like when your breakfast unexpectedly takes too long. I don't generally like to be chastised on my vacations, but I guess that's what happens to you when you break the rules :). All of this rule enforcement just happened to be during a slow week when there was clearly no run on chairs or towels. I'm generally a fairly generous tipper, but I slowed them down mid-week. The biggest con however is the noise from the Disco's down the street. For three nights, until the wee hours of the morning we were subjected to thumping music that couldn't be drown out with the AC, the ceiling fan and a white-noise generator all going simultaneously. When I went to the office to complain (which isn't staffed after 11pm) I was told that I would have to wait until the next day when the supervisor is in, but was pretty much advised that there was nothing that could be done for us.

All being said, read the reviews on this site carefully. Many people have had a very positive experience with this property, but there is enough discontent smattered through that you should at least be cautious and informed about your decision to stay here. If your are going to stay at El Taj, make sure that you get to select your specific room. Stay in the oceanfront building and on the north side to ensure that you are not exposed to the noise from the Disco. And don't expect the level of service that you get from many of the very fine all inclusives in the area.

Room Tip: Make sure that you select a room in the Ocean Front building. The north side of the building would be an even safer bet to avoid the noise from the Dance Clubs.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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7  Thank PlayaFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2011

I traveled with my wife and her sister. We chose this property because she was flying from a different country, we wanted to cook and eat out instead of being tied to the all-inclusive system, and because of the location of the hotel. Becasue of my wife being pregnant and my sister-in-law being 15, the "all-you-can-drink" scenario was not ideal. We got a two bedroom suite in the Oceanfront building and were all thoroughly pleased with all the characteristics of the hotel. The unit was very comfortable and fully furnished. We took advantage of all the amenities (grill, jacuzzy, washer/drier, all kitchen appliances, etc) and it was exactly what we were looking for. We bought groceries at the local supermarket and cooked together with local ingredients and fresh produce. The building is a couple of blocks away from the fifth avenue and the flexibility of being able to cook or eat at any of the many restaurants was great. All the clubs were close by but we never heard any noise at night until we went for a walk at night. It is very convenient.
The pools were beautiful, the oceanfront one was perfect for a quick dip before and after the beach and the beachside pool was quite and relaxing for the evenings.
The beach was eroded because of recent storms and the boats in front did not allow for quick cool-down dips while tanning. However, we all enjoyed walking down the beach to see other hotels and people, grab fresh seafood tacos & margaritas and playing with the waves at nearby beaches. The beach club staff was very helpfull and not pushy at all.
I will definitely suggest this condohotel to everyone and will definitely come back with more family and hopefully try the big units!

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank cvarela79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2011

First, a word about how we booked this trip--foolishly through a "luxury discount" site--which means we got placed in the secondary building, away from the beach. We quickly realized our mistake, as there is a big difference between staying in the oceanfront and beachside buildings. We had a 2 bedroom condo in the Beachside building, which means a walk across a street with 3 kids and all their beach floats and toys. We could have dealt with that, disappointed though we were, but the NOISE is outrageous. Do not take a unit in the Beachside building unless you are prepared to be up all night with the sounds of club music in your bedroom. We have stayed in several places in Playa, both all inclusive and smaller boutique--this is by far our worst experience. During the middle of our trip, my young daughter got sick and couldn't make it to the bathroom, so we had to clean up the floor with used bath towels. We gathered them up and called the front desk to explain what happened and what did the person at the front desk say--that if the towels were stained we would have to pay for them! Not a word asking if our daughter was okay, just this notification about stained towels. We washed them ourselves. Meanwhile, we later tried to go out to eat and the people at the restaurant were more caring and concerned over our daughter than the person at the El Taj front desk.
The hotel is lovely and kept clean and service people are generally lovely. But the beach situation is an issue. We've stayed at the Gran Porto Real and have, at times, had to walk to other areas to swim. But because the El Taj beach area is so small and we have kids, we couldn't ever have beach chairs nearby so the kids could swim. And with the pool behind the beach area and no view of the ocean, there isn't much for parents to enjoy while kids swim in the pool. The music beachfront is loud all day long (whatever happened to the joy in listening to the sound of waves?)--we actually went down the beach with our towels to a quiet place where the kids could swim and we didn't have to listen to booming music...but if one has to get away from the hotel area to enjoy the beach, what's the point of staying at that hotel?
As a parent who comes to Playa at least once a year, I'd say your money is better spent elsewhere. Lesson learned.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank C D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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