Having stayed at Fairmonts in Canada, I was really looking forward to my visit to the Fairmont Mayakoba. What a disappointment. When will I learn to check Trip advisor BEFORE I select a property?! If I had of done so I would have seen that this property ranked last on the list of properties in Playa del Carmen. If you want to visit Mayakoba I would recommend that you give this awful place a miss and rather stay at the Rosewood, Banyan Tree or the Maroma Resort and Spa by Orient-Express which are all in the same area. In terms of ranking on TA Rosewood comes out tops #2 of 184 properties with 20 out of 391 reviews average/poor/terrible; Banyan Tree is second coming in as #6 out of 184 and has 30 average/poor/terrible reviews out of 580 reviews; Maroma is #8 out of 184 and has 53 average/poor/terrible reviews out of 417 and the Fairmont Mayakoba is dead last as #21 of all 184 properties in PdC and has an astounding 108 average/poor/terrible reviews out of 729.
There are 401 rooms and suites. There's little difference between hotel rooms and villas. The square unimaginative Beach villas are spaced out on the very beautiful beachand totally lack character and are right there on the beach so there is NO privacy from the sun seekers laying on the beach.
The poor results for Fairmont Mayakoba made sense to me once I had stayed and experienced what is really more a conference type joint, where valued individual guests are treated like second rate citizens. The check-in went smoothly and we were allocated a disabled room close to the reception area. I decided not to complain about this, as normally I wont accept a disabled room – and this one was certainly on a par with a very strange bathroom layout, but being close to reception and main area had some advantages. The room was in fact well appointed and comfortable, except for the bathroom and of course the handicapped ironing board, you’d have to be in a wheel chair to use it – it was about 2.5 feet off the ground.
The property’s grounds are beautiful, and vast with four distinct ecosystems: dune, water canals, tropical forest and mangroves. If you are staying in most rooms it is a schlep to get anywhere, always having to wait for transportation or bike.
The first evening we dined at La Laguna Grill & Bar – one of the few restaurants where ‘resort-casual’ is OK. It’s located near the main pool area. Although there was no line, it took 20 minutes to get a table allocated! This is one of the entry-level options available here and we found it so overpriced and the service terrible. $55.00 for two salads and a soft drink! We decided that we would only eat breakfast there each day. We were seated on the deck and truly it was impossible to stay there due to the bugs. It was so uncomfortable. At the very least they could have offered bug spray. The breakfast buffet was outstanding and about the only thing at this place that actually represents value for $$. However make sure you are not staying there when a conference group is, as you have to wait up to 40 minutes for a table!
Other dining options include Las Brisas and El Puerto. Las Brisas is on the beach and has truly awesome views, but again is way over priced. The El Puerto is in the main area below the reception area and was often closed while we were there. Both these options are reservation only and “resort elegant” – that really gets up my nose! I am on vacation and paying top $ to stay there and MORE to eat in their over priced restaurants, I should be able to feel comfortable and not be pre-scribed to as to how I should dress, especially in a venue ON the beach! This is so antiquated. Then they offer “a European style café”, Café Maya, which is supposed to be light a deli where you can go pick up a sandwich. Supposedly full of “Gourmet Delights and Essentials“ that are “inspired by traditional Mayan flavors and offers delectable products made from the finest ingredients” We went there once expecting a lovely deli where one could choose great food but found a tourist trap where they sell sandwiches that have been on the shelf the whole day for $14.00!
My best tip for you if you are still intent on staying here, or “if” you are forced into staying here as that is where your conference is at – HIRE A CAR. They are dirt cheap on arrival at Cancun and this gives you freedom and flexibility and you don’t have to dine in the hotels over priced, lousy service venues but rather drive the 15 minutes to Playa del Carmen and enjoy better and less expensive food and have an experience that is not canned. A gem of a restaurant that we found in PdC is Ooh LaLa on 5th Avenue. Absolutely awesome, it’s ranked #2 in PdC and should be #1. A tiny place with about 18 seats on an open terrace on the sidewalk, plenty of atmosphere and food to die for! Price $7-30!!! For a 3 course meal! About the same as what an entre would cost at Fairmont Mayakoba, and service not just superb but memorable!
The Spa was another rip-off – to workout and use steam room they charge $25.00 per person charge so if one wants to enjoy a workout on vacation add an extra $50.00 per day – a complete rip off. Then certainly do not have a Mani Pedi that will set you back $190.00 over $200 with paraffin! Just outrageous.
Another rip off was two caiperinhas at the Las Olas swim up pool bar - $21.00!
Overall the Fairmont Mayakoba is a VERY disappointing experience, left a very bad taste in my mouth and I hope I never have to go back. Checking out was another story they charge a 390 peso $32 per night charge to your quoted tariff right off the bat as a “resort fee” – resort fee my foot, this is simply price gouging to get more $$ out from you as a captive of the resort. It’s a horrible business practice. There were items they tried to charge for on the bill like parking $10 per day, but I had specifically reserved a Budget car as they are supposed not to charge a fee for Budget cars, there were other peoples dining bills on my bill and last but not least there is no free WIFI anywhere on the property – you have to pay for it, and the service is spotty, even at the best of times – so why do they charge! It’s so outdated that fine hotels charge for this service!
Personally I feel our poor experience here simply revolves around poor and terrible non-visable management and that they are simply living off the worldwide Fairmont reputation, and this is all compounded by the price gouging and fleecing the tourist at every opportunity.
Just dont stay here choose another property!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for taking the time to share your comments about your recent stay with us and I’m sorry for not meeting your expectations. We are really concerned about the service experience you encounter as it does not reflect the caring and warm service for which we have been recognized since our opening. I have already shared your valuable feedback with the departments involved to review it internally.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.