Sunday Bliss at El Taj and Indigo

We awoke to a blazing blue sky on Sunday morning at El Taj Oceanfront and immediately knew it was going to be a great day. Though every day in Playa del Carmen seems like a weekend, Sundays have a special feeling of relaxation; a chance to completely unwind before the week ahead. First though, we had a few dilemmas to face in regards to how we would spend the day…

After waking up in our deluxe King bed clothed in high thread count linen,

Deluxe King Bed at El Taj

Perhaps we’d brew a pot of delicious strong coffee in our fully appointed chef’s kitchen?

Kitchen at El Taj

Then sip it on the terrace overlooking the pool, lush gardens and Caribbean Sea?

Balcony view at El Taj

Or head to Imprevist restaurant to indulge in a gourmet breakfast of pastries, fruit, yogurt and eggs?

Imprevist in Playa del Carmen

After breakfast, maybe we’d relax in the infinity Jacuzzi perched over the main pool like an overflowing champagne fountain?

Jacuzzi at El Taj

Or simply chill out on our private terrace, taking in the view of the stunning Caribbean sea, streaked with ten different shades of blue…

View from El Taj

Perhaps a soak in our private, heated Jacuzzi, relaxing our muscles against the massaging jets would be in order?

private jacuzzi El Taj

Then maybe we would spend the afternoon with a good book under one of the umbrellas at Indigo beach club, listening to the waves lap against the shore and watching pelicans soar overhead…

Indigo beach club

Later, we could make use of the complimentary ‘Manager’s Welcome Party’ buffet at Indigo, while sipping on fruity cocktails and listening to the live tunes of the resident band.

Indigo beach club

Then walk along the pier in our ‘front yard’ and watch local families haul shiny silver fish from the water with nets.

Pier condo

Fishing El Taj pier

Perhaps we’ll stop on the pier for a while, watching the sun set over our ‘home away from home’, El Taj, wishing we could stay forever in this Caribbean paradise…

Sunset at El Taj

Then make our way back to the comfy lounges at Indigo, singing along to old favorites as the beach turns black and the palm trees are illuminated with golden light.

Indigo band

Afterwards, maybe we’d retire to the luxurious comfort of our condo to watch a movie on one of our three flat screen televisions, lounging on the spacious modular sofa with a large bowl of pop corn…

With so many options, how would we possibly choose how to spend our Sunday at El Taj?

By doing them all of course!

So that’s exactly what we did, experiencing a day of food, music, sun, relaxation and pure bliss; the perfect Sunday at El Taj Oceanfront and Indigo beach club.

I’m already dreaming of next Sunday…

Aquatone at El Taj: Working Out in Style

There’s nothing like a little glamour to encourage me to exercise, which is exactly why I attended my first Aquatone class at the luxurious El Taj Condo Hotel on Friday morning. Surrounded by tropical gardens and presided over by two standing Buddha statues, the gorgeous beach-front pool seemed like the perfect place to work out in style.

playa del carmen hotel

I have to admit, before starting the class I thought it would be a breeze. I mean, how much of a workout can you really have in a gorgeous Balinese-style pool? For me, the word ‘workout’ conjures images of sweaty repetitions and bulky gym equipment, not floating around in a tropical paradise.

playa del carmen hotels

I joined several other ladies and a couple of men in the crystal clear waters to begin the class which began at 10 AM. Our instructor Melissa started with some slow shoulder rolls to get us loosened up.

Then as the sound of the waves faded against the uplifting soundtrack, we started picking up the pace.

“Hey, this is pretty tough!” I thought to myself as I moved my arms and legs through the water, trying to keep up with Melissa’s coordinated moves.

I found it hard to keep my feet on the floor – I kept floating up as my arms moved through the water – and had to work on stabilizing my core to stop myself from floating away!

Melissa demonstrated every move from outside the pool, encouraging us to “be aggressive” and push ourselves harder. I felt my muscles burn as we lifted our knees, ran on the spot as fast as we could, and ‘frog jumped’ up and down the pool.

gym in playa del carmen

It was quite a tough workout after all!

As I looked around at the faces of my class-mates through the splashes made by our moving limbs, they were all smiling and laughing, which encouraged me to loosen up and enjoy the watery workout. So I kept moving, and kept smiling.

I felt rather uncoordinated under the water as though I was moving through jello or walking on the moon, but I knew it was just the water providing my muscles with the resistance necessary to build strength and stamina.

And I could certainly do with some of that!

Melissa encouraged us to use the water to our advantage and move against it deliberately and powerfully. I felt my heart rate increase and was very grateful to be surrounded by the pool’s cooling embrace, unlike poor Melissa who was having a much warmer workout on the pool’s edge.

We began some slower stretching as the class started to wind down. Waves crashed onto the nearby shore and water trickled down from the ‘infinity Jacuzzi’ perched above a tiled feature wall at the end of the pool. It was definitely the most beautiful setting for a workout I had ever experienced, and I was actually a little sad when the class came to an end.

After a healthy breakfast of fresh fruit salad I secured my sunbed for the morning at Indigo Beach Club. A light breeze flowed in from the turquoise Caribbean Sea as birds glided across the clear-blue sky above me. Just in front, fishing boats bobbed around gently on their moorings, having recently returned with the morning’s catch.

I thought to myself, “Yes, Aquatone at El Taj is definitely the kind of workout I could get used to.”

*Aquatone classes are at 10 am Monday, Wednesday and Friday and are complimentary for all Condo Hotel guests, as are all the classes and facilities of The Gym fitness center nearby*

Introducing a Special Guest of El Taj Oceanfront

We love meeting the guests of our hotels! They bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge from all around the globe. I visited the El Taj Oceanfront recently and met Sarah, who is staying in our premier property for a while. I don’t get to meet as many Australians around here as I would like, so I asked Sarah if she wouldn’t mind telling us about her stay in Playa del Carmen.

El Taj Oceanfront

Ken and Sarah at El Taj Oceanfront

So Sarah, you are a long way from home, why did you decide to visit Playa del Carmen, Mexico?

I was here last year for a few months, as I heard Playa del Carmen was a beautiful place to visit. It was my first time to Mexico, but I really fell in love with the place and decided to return this year for a longer stay. I am a freelancer and work remotely, so why not work from paradise? Playa is a wonderfully vibrant town full of interesting  people from all over the world and it has a relaxed, happy vibe.

And why El Taj Oceanfront?

I love the location, the facilities, and the fact that I have access to The Gym. I really enjoy the yoga classes, especially the class on the beach on Saturday mornings. I also love the pool! The Balinese style water feature and huge Buddha statues make it the ultimate place to relax. The ‘infinity Jacuzzi’ perched above the pool looking out over the ocean is my favorite spot in the entire hotel!

playa del carmen hotel

Jacuzzi with a view!

Of course, there’s also the view of the Caribbean Sea from my condo, which is just magnificent.

playa del carmen beach club

Room with a view at El Taj Oceanfront

What are you planning to do during your stay with us?

I’m looking forward to exploring Playa del Carmen as well as the surrounding area. There is just so much to see and do on the Riviera Maya, and I think Playa is the perfect base. I’d love to snorkel with the turtles in Akumal, visit Tulum, Coba and discover some other out-of-the-way spots.

I might try some activities like para-sailing, or if I can get up the nerve, sky diving! Of course, I’ll also be spending a lot of time at Indigo Beach Club, relaxing and eating delicious food.

playa del carmen beach club

Indigo beach club at El Taj

It’s a tough life in paradise, but someone’s gotta do it!

Can you recommend a must-see place to visit around Playa del Carmen?

I love the cenotes (fresh water lagoons) in the area. You can rent a car or take a taxi to one of the many cenotes along the highway south of Playa del Carmen and swim in the crystal clear waters for a small entrance fee. Last year I visited cenote Azul, which was filled with a multitude of fish! It was incredible for snorkeling as the water was so clear. I hope to visit the other cenotes in the area including Cristalino and Dos Ojos (the two eyes) during my stay this time.

Thanks for talking to us Sarah, it was great getting to know you better. Finally, we’d love it if you would share some more of your experiences with us during your stay!

Of course!  I really love this part of the world, so I’d be happy to share some of my adventures with you. Most people I meet seem to return to Playa del Carmen year after year as there is so much to experience. It’s one of those places that once you arrive, you never want to leave.

Stay tuned for more of Sarah’s Playa del Carmen adventures!