June 1, 2011 Best places to stay in Playa

I’m really picky about places to stay, so I don’t have a Top 10 list, but I do have a top 4.
I base my list on several things that are important to me.
1. Location, location, location. In Playa that means on or near the beach, between (east of) 5th Ave and the beach, and in or near the Premier Zone (bordered by Constituyentes to the North, Juarez to the South, beach to the east, 5th Ave to the west)
2. What they offer: beach club, restaurant, fitness center, great pool, spa, concierge, room service, etc.
3. 24 hour front desk service and 24 hour security. If you need assistance and it’s 3 am, what do you do without a front desk?
4. The best customer service. I like staying in places where the people are friendly, helpful, and are there to assist you!
So based on my own criterion, here are my favorite places in Playa del Carmen
1. El Taj Ocean
2. Porto Playa
3. El Faro
4. Luna Encantada
Let’s look at each one and I’ll tell you why I chose them.
El Taj Ocean Opened in 2010, it is the only property that meets all of the criteria above and more. It has 41 condo’s, including 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units, as well as 2 and 3 bedroom penthouses. Penthouse units also have a private rooftop with jacuzzi, gas grill, and lounge furniture. Many 2 bedroom units also have a private jacuzzi. I love sitting on the terrace and seeing people as they walk in the first time. They always say the same thing, “Oh my God, look at this place!” It is stunningly beautiful architecture, on the beach, with the best beach club, Indigo Beach Club. , friendliest and helpful staff, and guests receive complementary beach chairs at Indigo Beach Club and complimentary use of The Gym, the best fitness center in Playa, located 1 block from El Taj Ocean in Porto Playa.
Indigo Beach Club at El Taj Ocean

Indigo Beach Club at El Taj Ocean

Best place to stay in Playa del Carmen in the El Taj Ocean

Best place to stay in Playa del Carmen in the El Taj Ocean

2. Porto Playa Porto Playa is part of the El Taj Collection (there are 5 properties within 1 block of each other). Porto Playa has 21 condo’s, a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units as well as 2 and 3 bedroom penthouses. The pool is the best pool of the 5 properties – it’s 70 feet long and 20 feet wide, with a great sundeck. In additional to beautiful architecture (wavy balconies, high ceilings and gorgeous lighting at night, it has gardens spaced between the condo units and the pools. There is an upper pool with 4 waterfalls overflowing to the lower pool. It is tranquil yet offers the same complementary beach chairs at Indigo Beach Club, located at El Taj Ocean, and complimentary use of The Gym, located on-site. Porto Playa is closer to 5th Avenue and the best all-around location, only 100 steps from the beach. Some rooms have views of the beach and water, but those that don’t overlook the pools and gardens. 2nd floor is the best floor to stay in. I place this as number 2 only because it is not on the beach. To be honest, when Playa is busy I would rather stay in Porto Playa and use the beach club at El Taj Ocean. It’s the best of both worlds and Porto Playa is less expensive to stay at.
Porto Playa Condo/Hotel in Playa

Porto Playa Condo/Hotel in Playa

3. El Faro. I have always liked the El Faro property. It’s a great location on the beach, has a great beach club and restaurant, Wicky’s. The property has live music most days and evenings, a large pool and a children’s pool. Rooms have either an ocean view, sea view, or pool view. Most of the reviews I’ve seen are good. There are 66 units, some are very nice, some are just OK, but the pool makes up for any shortcomings. Location is great, but they don’t have as many amenities as the previously mentioned properties. That may not matter to you.

El Faro
El Faro in Playa del Carmen
4.  Luna EncantadaThis is another property that has a great beachfront. There are only 24 units in this property, and they have a great pool. The units all face the beach and water, so have great views. There’s a couple of things I’m not crazy about with this property, despite the good points. It doesn’t have 24 hour front desk or a centralized Property Management Association, so you’re on your own if anything goes wrong or you need assistance. I also found the units to be dark, and I really like a lot of light. The last point is picky, but the outdoor furniture is different for each unit and from the outside it doesn’t look as nice as other properties. I always read reviews on Trip Advisor, and there are some complaints about noise from Fusion, a bar/restaurant next door, but only the units that face Fusion have a problem. The others are fine.
Luna Encantada

Luna Encantada

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