Livin’ the High Life at El Taj

We’re half way through our week of luxury, and I gotta tell you, it’s been very nice. We have the pleasure of staying in a two bedroom, two bathroom luxury apartment with high thread count linen and THREE flat screen televisions. On the first day we moved in to the El Taj, I was lying on the plush King bed in the master suite flicking through the ridiculous amount of cable channels (because I could), and Tyrhone called out desperately from the living room, “Where ARE you Jane?” not used to being separated by the walls of multiple rooms.

El  Taj bed

Afterwards, we huddled on the spacious modular sofa with our legs stretched out, looking around at the stylish, temperature controlled, open plan kitchen-living area like a couple of gold fish who’d been upgraded to bigger bowl, unsure of what to do with all the extra space.

El Taj lounge

It didn’t take long to get used to it, however. Some people are uncomfortable with luxury (apparently), but I’m not one of them. Of course, luxury is relative and after backpacking through Asia for close to a year, our one room studio with its simple kitchen (including a fridge) and a noisy A/C seemed like pure bliss.

Now, we’re not so sure. In fact, we may have been spoiled forever.

We’ve made excellent use of the facilities here, enjoying the view from the infinity Jacuzzi which is perched over the main pool, overflowing into it like an azure champagne fountain.

El taj jacuzzi

Of course, Tyrhone and his little sister Taunee insisted on the obligatory sibling rough-housing, which completely brought down the tone of the place.

El taj playing in jacuzzi


On the first night, we hit the beach club, Indigo, making use of the complimentary welcome buffet, before retiring to comfy sun lounges to listen to live music.

Indigo beach club

live music beach

Taunee, a mad dog lover, was more interested in the band’s mascot than their music though.

dog at indigo beach club

The next evening we joined local families on the pier in our ‘front yard’, as they hauled shiny silver fish from the water with nets.

Pier at El Taj

Fishing Playa del Carmen

This little guy clenched tiny slimy fish in his little brown fists, waving them at us like, “Look what I’ve got!”

Little boy El Taj pier

We then watched the sun set over our home away from home, away from home, streaking the sky peachy pink.

sunset El Taj

Since then, we’ve spent our time cooking up a storm in the chef’s kitchen…

Tyrhone cooking El Taj

Relaxing on the balcony overlooking the pool,

view El Taj

Or simply taking in the magnificent view of the Caribbean.

caribbean view

Yesterday, a huge storm rolled in, which may have ordinarily been an inconvenience, but we sat it out in our private jacuzzi, glad to have the opportunity to turn on the heat.

Sarah tyrhone jacuzzi el taj

We’ve gotten quite used to living the high life, and I have to say, I’m not much looking forward to going home.

El Taj swimming pool

Can’t we just stay forever?


*P.S This was not a sponsored post, I just like to brag…

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Livin’ the High Life at El Taj — 43 Comments

  1. Looks pretty incredible. I love this: “this is not a sponsored post, I just like to brag.” I don’t blame you!

  2. Nice digs! I feel like all travelers need a bit of luxury every now and then. I mean, really, how many bucket flush toilets do you have to encounter before you say to yoursel ‘I really miss a toilet handle’. Enjoy the high life lady.
    Brian recently posted..My Honest to God FearMy Profile

  3. Now this is my type of backpacking! We felt the same after 18 months in Asia. We stayed in a similar place in Thailand for 3 nights and they practically had to call the police for us to leave!
    Paul Farrugia (globalhelpswap) recently posted..Inle LakeMy Profile

  4. Ah, the taste of luxury… once you’ve had just one, it’s hard to go back to your old hum drum life, isn’t it? I definitely don’t mind being pampered and spoiled, though I draw the line at having people actual waiting on me—the one time we had that happen in the Philippines, it was really uncomfortable. But fancy digs? That I accept as just my due! 😉

    Looks like a wonderful place to unwind and shake things up… for us, a splurge generally means a place with A/C or maybe a real bathroom. Occasionally if we’re feeling REALLY decadent, we’ll splash out on a pool. Ooooh, look at us, living the good life! Isn’t long-term travel so glam? 😀
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Sunday Sketchup: Paean to the PhilippinesMy Profile

    • Hey Steph, yes I was lucky to do a freelance work exchange for our stay, so it was such a treat we would never have otherwise been able to have. Thankfully, we were pretty much left to our own devices, I too feel uncomfortable being waited on constantly, so it was a win win!!

    • Love to hear a fellow Aussie use the word ‘couch’!! I have Americanized a lot of my language living here in Mexico, and also as most of my readers are from the states. Yes, it was awesome, but what was most awesome was knowing that once we left, our ‘holiday’ wasn’t over. We may live in a simple place, but it’s still paradise, and that is a true luxury!!

  5. That looks so amazing! Yes this could definitely spoil you forever.

    I had a similar feeling when Paul booked the Hyatt in Tokyo for my birthday for a night. The next day we as we walked back to our hostel and got drenched in torrential rain it totally felt like a riches to rags story. :)
    Karen recently posted..How to succeed when you feel like giving upMy Profile

  6. Hi there Sarah, question about the pictures of your apartment above, are those units part of the hotel at El Taj or are these long term rentals? Tried inquiring about renting long term at El Taj but it shows their “Porto Playa Apartments” (not the El Taj complex) as the option for long-term renting… Other than that, El Taj seems to be a stunning place. Cheers!

    • Hey Ted, we stayed at El Taj Oceanfront, and they also have a ‘Beachside’ property which is behind it. I’m not sure if they do long-term, but maybe if you email their reservations team they will be able to help you out. The nightly rates are pretty high, so maybe that’s why they offer Porto Playa as an alternative, which are situated nearby. The same company also manages Villas Sacbe, and they all provide access to the beach club at El Taj. Good luck!! :)

      • Hey Sarah, thank you for the reply back. Will definitely check out their properties and some other ones for renting apartments long term. If you have a good website/lead you’ve rented from in the past, feel free to share. Thanks!

        • Hey Ted, I have a contact, Elizabeth, who finds apartments for people based on their budget. Check out her facebook page , she charges a $75 fee for finding a place and will no doubt save you hundreds in the long run! (We are not affiliated in any way, she just found our place for us and we are really happy with it). Another site is though they are a bit more expensive. Let me know if you need some more help!

  7. Oh perfect, thanks a lot Sarah! Will definitely look up Elizabeth’s contact info and will also check out’s website. It’s always better to get travel tips from someone who had already been there or in this case had some experience with living arrangements. Much appreciated. Out of curiosity, are you still in Playa del Carmen? Cheers

    • I know them, they got me an apartment near the 10th avenue/ 12th street and a way cheaper than advertised. These guys belong to Villa Experience Mexico I guess. But I couldn’t find their website anymore. There is no information at their main site
      They use to have an office at Torres del Carmen. Know anybody where their office is located now?