El Taj Playa del Carmen

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El Taj Playa del Carmen - An Honest Review

Table of Contents

If you’re looking for a luxurious and private vacation or extended stay El Taj Playa del Carmen, is the perfect condo-style property for you. It is located between the beach and Quinta Avenida, the trendiest pedestrian street in Mexico. Unlike the big all-inclusive resorts, El Taj offers a more intimate environment.


🇲🇽 Mexico Travel Resources We Use:


The Location

To get from the Cancun International Airport to downtown Playa del Carmen, (Playa del Carmen has a small local airport) you have three options: take a taxi (stay away from Uber), arrange a private transfer, or buy a ticket for an ADO bus trip. It takes about 50 minutes to drive to the airport. In Playa del Carmen, walking is the best way to get around, but you can also take a mini-bus (colectivo). If you plan to go on day trips to places like Tulum or Chichen Itza, renting a car would be the best option.

The Ambience

Although the entrance to the building is surrounded by lush vegetation and Buddha sculptures, the lobby inside is underwhelming. It is more like a small, carpeted reception office, which may give the impression that El Taj is a condo building rather than a hotel. However, since it is indeed a condo building, there may not be a need for a traditional lobby.

The Rooms

El Taj offers a range of options including one, two, and three bedroom apartments as well as penthouses. All condos come with a full kitchen, dining and living room, and separate bedroom(s). The Oceanfront apartments feature balconies with views of the ocean, while the Beachside apartments have views of the pool or garden.

The Penthouse has a wonderful terrace that is private and includes a Jacuzzi, outdoor shower, loungers, palapa, minibar, and grill. The bathrooms at El Taj have marble floors and walls with a few river-stone accents in the shower area. The sinks are small yet chic, and there are no bathtubs except for those found in some condo’s private terraces.

The Pool

At El Taj, there are two pools: one in the central courtyard of the Oceanfront building, which has white mosaics that provide a sophisticated touch. The second level of the pool has built-in seats and offers panoramic views, making it an amazing spot. The Beachside pool is small but beautiful and located in a well-maintained garden. It has waterfalls, a Jacuzzi, and loungers available.

Restaurants and Dining

Although all condos have a modern and fully-equipped kitchen, dining out can still be enjoyable. El Taj has two restaurants, Plank and Imprevist, that serve delicious gourmet dishes in a sophisticated manner. Additionally, you have the option to hire a private chef to prepare dinner in your own condo.

Please note that neither of the restaurants are located inside the property premises. However, both Frida Kahlo and Puerto Cocina Urbana can be easily reached by foot with a walk of 6 and 10 minutes respectively. Frida Kahlo is a remarkable restaurant having first-rate design and serving innovative Mexican cuisine. Puerto Cocina Urbana offers fusion seafood food items in a laid-back ambience.

The Bars

If you’re looking for a classy place to enjoy a high-quality cocktail, head over to Indigo Beach Club in Playa. At night, both restaurants offer an extensive wine list with international options. La Perla Pixan, a 12-minute walk away, specializes in mezcal and pulque and is a great spot to try the traditional Aztec beverage. For excellent micheladas (beer mixed with spicy sauces and lime), check out Las Helodias which is only a 9-minute walk away.

The Spa

Mayan Spa may be small, but it is elegant and has all the necessary amenities, including massage rooms, a manicure and pedicure section, and chiropractic services. You can select from a range of services that comprises of sunburn treatments, as well as unique features like an Orange Experience Facial or a Chocolate Body Wrap.

The Fitness Center

The gym is appropriately named as it is managed by a luxury New York City chain of gyms. It offers high-quality equipment, a variety of classes, a runners club, and a health bar. It is the type of fitness center that one would miss while on a tropical vacation. The Gym is a destination on its own and is not meant to be seen as arrogant for having such a name.

What we Loved:

  • The reason why the condos have full kitchens is that they are equipped for guests to cook for themselves.
  • Additionally, the swimming pools are impressive, and
  • The location is convenient with the beach on one side and Fifth Avenue on the other.

What we didn’t Love:

  • Service was not always great
  • Food was ok
  • Rooms need an update

Bottom Line: El Taj Playa del Carmen

El Taj in Playa del Carmen is the perfect destination for a vacation or long stay in a condo-style accommodation. The property is located between the beach and Quinta Avenida, the trendy pedestrian street in Mexico, providing easy access to both. Here, you can enjoy luxury while experiencing a private and intimate environment that is not possible at the large all-inclusive resorts.

Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?

I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:

🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and Booking.com consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Mexico. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!

✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Mexico, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.

🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.

🚙 Cancun Airport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.

🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Mexico, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.

🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Mexico. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.

📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.

☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.