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!

 

Mexican Breakfast in Playa del Carmen… Would You Join Me?

Audrey is my sister’s best friend. They met years ago at a summer camp in L.A. She has never been in Mexico before she arrived last week to Playa del Carmen for her vacation. She called me to ask for some recommendations for the best beaches and activities at Playa del Carmen but mostly, she wanted to talk about Mexican food. Since this was her first time in Mexico, and she had no clue about our gastronomy, I gave her a Playa del Carmen tour and showed her my favorite places for breakfast.

Normally, her breakfast is cereal with milk or juice, and a toast with peanut butter and jelly, and on weekends she normally eats scrambled eggs with bacon and pancakes. If that’s your normal breakfast as well, and you want to try something different, you have to visit Playa del Carmen and join us on the Mexican food tour!

If I’m thinking about a natural setting among vegetation and trees plus Mexican natural food, my first thought is La Cueva del Chango (The Monkey’s Cave), located on 5th Avenue and 38th Street a few blocks from Condo Hotels. Don’t forget to bring your swimming suit, because Shangri-La beach is just a few steps away from this restaurant.

 

La Cueva del Chango Playa del Carmen

La Cueva del Chango

La Cueva del Chango is a very special place, because almost everything is homemade, even tortillas are “hechas en casa.” The typical Mexican breakfast is chilaquiles (tortilla with tomato sauce, chicken or egg, served with cream, onion and fresh coriander). We ordered chilaquiles with chicken and achiote (seasoning mixture from Yucatán) sauce served with onion and habanero chilli. We asked for a natural kiwi juice, and were given several options of fresh seasonal fruit juice, such as orange, watermelon, grapefruit, papaya, pineapple, melon, banana, chaya, lemon, and carrot.

 

I have to admit, the chilaquiles breakfast was very Mexican, but also quite spicy, so not for everyone. If you’re looking for something less spicy, you have to try the molletes, a homemade wheat bread with refried beans and cheese gratin with pico de gallo salsa on top (chopped tomatoes, onion and jalapeno chilli) – this sauce is not so spicy, because the chilli flavor is very subtle when mixed in the sauce.

Beautiful Playa del Carmen

After all that food we still wanted a dessert, and the waiter offered us a natural vanilla flan (a baked dish consisting of an open-top pastry with a sweet filling), served with an orange sauce. If you are a dessert lover, please don’t miss this flan!

On another note, bring cash to La Cueva del Chango, because they do not accept credit cards.

 

After this delicious breakfast Audrey and I went to Shangri-La beach, a really beautiful and peaceful white sand paradise with crystal turquoise water. We lay down in the shade of a palm tree, relaxed and listened to the ocean. Audrey was amazed with the view and I reminded her that the Mexican Caribbean looks like that that everyday… She couldn’t wait to plunge into the magnificent ocean.

Beaches in Playa del Carmen

Shangri-La Beach

 

After the day of swimming and sun, I took Audrey to my favorite coffee shop – Ah Cacao that also sells premium quality real chocolate from the Mayan lands of Mexico. It’s located on 5th Avenue and 30th Street (the other location is on Constituyentes Avenue and 5Th Avenue). They have a wide variety of hot and cold drinks, cookies, cakes and homemade bread – the perfect combination for your drinks.

 

Ah Cacao in Playa del Carmen

Ah Cacao

I ordered an Iced Coffee Americano, and Audrey took a Chocolate Frappe with real homemade chocolate – you must try this one if you are a chocolate lover!..

Delicious Frappe in Playa del Carmen

Delicious Frappe

These are two of my favorite places in Playa del Carmen for authentic Mexican breakfast and coffee– so enjoy the morning at the beach and Bon Appétit!