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Reviewed April 23, 2012

We stayed at the Banyan Tree for 10 days in April 2012. This was my second visit to here and I am so delighted I returned to this perfect sanctuary of peace, with a great beach, restaurants and golf course in a resort where each of the rooms have a private pool and extensive space.
I came back as the service overall in the hotel is fantastic - very hard to beat.

Restaurants:-
The Thai restaurant Saffron is excellent - do have the set menu one evening!
Sands - Excellent for lunch and dinner - try the seafood bbq one evening!
Breakfast - this is always excellent - try the local mexican omelette recipe!
Within the Mayakoba complex you can walk on the beach to the Rosewood - and try the Lobster Tacos at the pool restaurant.

From the hotel you can also walk down the beach to other hotels - the Grand Velas next door has a great Restaurant called Sen Li - but you need to get the hotel to book so you can get through Security.

Playa Del Carmen is about 15 mins in a cab away and there is a lot of shopping and good restaurants there. Diabalito Cha Cha Cha is a bar and restaurant that we would recommend, along with Casa di Aqua and the Blue Lobster.

If you are looking for a modern hotel with Privacy, understated, great beach, food and service (with or without golf) - I think that you would find this hard to beat.

Have fun.

Date of stay: April 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Suresh P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTMayakoba, Director General at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded May 10, 2012

Dear Suresh P

Thank you very much for your comments on Trip Advisor, It was with great pleasure to read your detailed and positive of your stay here at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba hotel.

We all here at the hotel try to do our best to amaze our guests and when they let us know we have done so, we appreciate it.

Thank you for this review and we look forward to welcome you back

With best regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Área General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2012

We chose to go to Mexico on our honeymoon in July 2011 because of it being a short flight from Mississippi to Cancun. We picked this hotel after EXTENSIVE research (particularly on TripAdvisor) and after we saw it was named in the top ten Mexican resorts for 2011. No one we know had ever been here so we were excited but nervous. We are SO glad we went here! We could not have picked a better place to go!! It was one of the nicest places I've ever been. The staff was so professional but friendly. They accomodated all of our needs perfectly. The resort is fairly new so it was as if they looked around at all other resorts and improved upon them and ended up with the perfect resort. We stayed in a 'courtyard pool villa'. You could literally not leave the villa if you didn't want to and have an amazing time with everything you need. It's very secluded. It has a private pool, hot tub, outdoor dining area, outdoor lounge area to layout/read, etc., a hammock, and an outdoor (huge) bathtub. The master suite's large glass doors literally open up into the pool for a very open air feeling if you so desire. The difference between a courtyard pool villa and a garden pool villa is the separate living room/dining room on the other side of the villa from the master bath and bedroom. The courtyard pool villa has this area and the garden villa does not. It is not necessary to have this area but it was nice for when we ordered in and were able to eat inside at night. There are so many ammenities. There's a light switch next to the bed to turn on a light outside the villa door that says 'privacy' so no one will bother you. Every night we would come home from dinner with the bed turned down, relaxing music playing, slippers and robes on our beds with incense lit, the lights turned down and a schedule of the next day's activities, weather, etc. laying on the bed. When they found out we were on our honeymoon they did all of the usual nighttime rituals but gave us a complimentary bottle of wine with a hand written note from the manager and put lots of rose petals in our room on our second night there.
The rooms have everything you need in them. They have a tray of amenities in the large walk in closet (with mirror and dressing area) that has everything from mosquito spray to a flashlight and more. The shower is a huge walk in shower that has a glass wall looking out at the walled-in outdoor tub area. There is a shade to lower if you want to use it, but no one can see in so we never did.
The villas are not on the beach, but we didn't mind this at all. There are golf carts that can be requested and the staff will drive you wherever you like. We usually did this for dinner to take us from our villa to the restaurants on the resort. We could call and say we'd like one at our villa at a certain time or that we need one now and they'd be there in 5 minutes. The resort has bikes that you can rent for 5 or 10 dollars a day that we got for the entire time we were there. The grounds are GORGEOUS so we really enjoyed biking to the beach through the resort, which was probably a 7 minute bike ride from our room. We would often see wildlife on our way, which was fun. There are two pools to choose from in addition to our private villa pool. One is on the beach overlooking the ocean and the other is closer to the lobby of the resort with secluded nooks where you could lay out basically by yourselves. Both pools had swim up bars and would make anything you'd ask for.
The restaurants were very good as well. We ate at each of them and then went to the neighboring Rosewood resort for dinner one night. The resort drove us throught the grounds to the resort in a van at our request- no problem at all. (We learned at that dinner that we had definitely made the right choice in staying at the Banyan Tree.) The complimentary breakfast was amazing. There is anything from traditional breakfast food to pasta dishes, and much much more. Tons of fresh fruits, pastries, sushi, and drink options. Too much to list.
The resort seemed to have a good many people staying at it, but you never felt crowded, nor was it ever noisy. You can see people at restaurants at meals or maybe at the pool but you also could feel very secluded, which was perfect to us. We didn't want to be somewhere packed full of people but also didn't want to feel like we were on a deserted island.
The decor is beautiful! It's all very unique and pretty but also very inviting and laid back. It goes perfect with the surroundings. It's all very open and very CLEAN! It doesn't feel old at all (because it's only three years old).
We stayed on the resort he entire time except for one day. We had the resort call us a cab to go to Playa Del Carmen. We then took the boat from there over to Cozumel, went snorkeling, and walked around by the water. We were very cautious but felt safe the entire time.
Our service at the resort was great! We had all we asked for within minutes of asking for it, and the staff was just as we would like- Everyone was very, very friendly but not over the top chatting so much as if they want to be your new best friend.
We got a couples massage one day, which was great. They did a wonderful job. My husband got a deep tissue and loved it.
We cannot say enough great things about this resort. We were so sad to leave! Before we had left we were already planning our next trip there. I would also recommend this resort for groups of friends. We thought it would be fun to come back next time with a group so that each couple could have their own villa but could also go to the pool/beach, play golf, or go to the spa during the day and gather at night at one of the restaurants for dinner. There were a few families there with smaller children but not a lot. Most people were couples or families with older children. Loved loved loved it!! It was paradise!

Room tip: if you are wanting to save a little money, you could definitely do a garden villa instead of the courtyard villa. There are still several places to sit, eat, watch tv, etc. without the added separate living/dining room that comes with the courtyard villa. However it was really nice to have such a large villa with two different living areas to go to as you choose. The garden villas are a little closer to the main lobby and restaurants that are there. However, the proximity of the garden villas would not make me choose them over a courtyard villa.
Date of stay: July 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Ltrane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTMayakoba, Director General at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded May 10, 2012

Dear Ltrane

Having detailed feedback as this is of great satisfaction for everybody at Banyan Tree Mayakoba.

I want to thank you very much for taking the time to describe your experience during your honeymoon with us. Of course all our associates are to be informed about this nice recap, they will be glad to know that the following of our standards is getting good results and giving wonderful impressions to our guests.

I will be more than glad to welcome you back again to our paradise.

Kind regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2012

We stayed at the Banyan Tree at the end of March for 2 weeks, luckily our first week was spent relaxing and enjoying all the facilities as well as our private pool villa which really was amazing! The staff are lovely and helpful and the people of Playa del Carmen are also really helpful and friendly. On our second night at the Banyan we decided to go into Playa del Carmen for something to eat and to have a look around, the Hotel called us an amazing Taxi Guy called Erik and he took us to an excellent restaurant, luckily he gave us his card because on returning to the Banyan my husband realised that he had lost his wallet with all his credit cards and money inside! As you can imagine we were totally distraught not knowing where we could have dropped it, luckily my husband rang Reception and they called Erik our Taxi guy who immediately searched his car, found the wallet and drove back to the Banyan Tree to deliver it to us! Now that is what I call good service, not to mention honesty, he made our trip and we used him for trips to see the Mayan Ruins as well as some stunning locations around Tulum. Thank you Erik we will never forget you! I would highly recommend using Erik C Ramirez, he is the best!

On the Banyan Tree Hotel we loved our Villa with private pool it was really ovely and it was hard to drag ourselves away from it! We had the in Villa BBQ which was great although we could not do justice to all the food! We also hired the bikes and used them every day, they were brilliant to get around in and for us much better than waiting around for Buggies. The guy that sorted the bikes for us was lovely, I am so sorry I have forgotten your name but thank you for all your help and cheerful greetings around the resort when we saw you during our two weeks. The staff at the Oriente are all good guys too, especially Ivan who looked after us for breakfast and helped organise a cake for my birthday, thank you! We also did the eco tour which is really worth doing, the wildlife is amazing and they guys so knowledgeable. We booked the evening cruise which was really romantic and again the guys could not too enough for us, thank you! I loved the Spa the treatments were so good and the therapists really professional and strong! My husband enjoyed the Golf and played twice whilst we were there.

Unfortunately towards the end of our trip a huge Wedding Party of 300 people arrived and that is the only area of complaint we had because the staff just could not cope with such a huge number so service suffered. We really missed not being able to have our breakfast at the Oriente it just was not the same. Also the Beach became too crowded and noisy and it was impossible to relax. One of our favourite things to do in the evening was have a drink at the bar before going for dinner, Cecilia was the best Bar Person and always had a welcoming smile to greet us. Unfortunately the Wedding Party totally took over the bar area one evening so we could not even go near the location let alone get a drink! Thankfully we called Erik who whisked us away to Playa del Carmen for the evening! I really think going forwards the Hotel should warn guests if there is a large party arriving.

Overall though it is a great hotel and well worth visiting, the hotel is also really impressive in it's eco drive and being sensitive to it's environment and wildlife.

Date of stay: March 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank brocqie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTMayakoba, Director General at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded May 10, 2012

Dear brocqie

Thank you very much for your review and the details share on your resent trip to our hotel. I am sorry that you felt that our service delivery during your stay was not even and we will work hard to improve on our standards even when the hotel has a group in house.

I am Happy to note that you enjoyed your stay otherwise and please do let me know when you come for a second visit.

With best regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2012

We did A TON of research prior to choosing the Banyan Tree for our honeymoon. We wanted to go somewhere flawless - from the service to the ambiance to the room. The Banyan Tree certainly delivered. Recently, the hotel has gotten some negative reviews on Trip Advisor, which really scared us -- so much so that we emailed the General Manager and even considered rebooking to the Rosewood. However, we are SO glad that we didn't. While the Rosewood and Fairmont were lovely, the Banyan Tree was more our style (modern/zen like with TONS of privacy - feels more like a compound than a resort hotel). Any flaw we encountered (and they were minor), was remedied instantaneously.

Pretty much everything we could say has already been said. The villas are to die for - I seriously don't know how we'll be able stay anywhere without a private pool. The food was delicious - not really earth shattering, but very, very good.

Here are a few tips:
-Bring small money for tips
-Spa Pool Villas have a heated pool, the Garden and Courtyard Villas do not
-If you are booking a tour to go off site, definitely inquire about a private tour (we had some issues with the tour company onsite, but the hotel quickly remedied them). We were told the private option is much more seamless
-The free mimosas at breakfast are delicious
-We liked Saffron better than Tamarind for dinner (ask for a table inside at Saffron - bugs outside can be bad). Sands was good too for a more casual dinner
-If you are looking to splurge, book an in villa bbq (we liked this much better than the ixtel dinner)
-The spa is a must try - massages are great
-Book your dinner reservations early (ie before you arrive - you can email the hotel directly or book on opentable). We did not have any issue with reservations, but know of people that did
-Have lunch at Reflections Pool - much less crowded than Sands (the chicken club is delic!)
-Buggies can take up to 15 minutes to arrive - call early
-Remember you are in Mexico and on vacation - everything takes a "mexican minute" - relax and have fun.
-Our favorite drinks: Mojito, The Dirt Monkey, and the Raspberry Gimlet at La Copa Bar

Special thanks to Denisse at the Spa, Roussel at Oriente (breakfast restaurant), Misael, the pool butler at Reflections/Sands and Michelle, the Experience Concierge, who handles all requests pre-arrival - they all go above and beyond to provide great service and ensure a great stay.

Room tip: We were in Spa Villa 707 and the location couldn't have been better - ask for a room close to the lobby.
Date of stay: April 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank eclarkebu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2012

We were really hoping Banyan Tree Mayakoba would be our “it” resort when we visit Mexico, but for the price we paid, we did not get the high caliber of service we were expecting.

We were there for a short weekend getaway trip. The resort is beautiful for sure, however that charm quickly faded as soon as we arrived. Like some of the previous reviews, we were staying there with a very large wedding party. We were probably one of the very few people who were not a part of this group. At no fault of the group, because they were also there to have a good time, service was lacking for the rest of the guests.

The moment we arrived, we wanted to hit the beach right away. The resort is spread out, so a golf cart or a bike is necessary to get to the beach. The golf cart service is complimentary with the room; you just need to call the front desk to let them know you need one. I had to call three times as we waited 20 minutes for it. The front desk said it will take a little longer because of the large number of guests from the wedding party. This pretty much set the tone for the rest of our short trip.

To list some of disappointments:
One night we wanted to relax at the beautiful open air lobby but we could not because it was being used by the wedding party. Service at the beach was poor. It took forever for us to get our food. The staff definitely appeared flustered as they were not prepared to handle a large group of people. I was expecting the beach to be well kept, but because the staff was over stretched, there was sea weed all across the shore line. The food at the Tamarind restaurant was not good. Two of our friends returned their scallops because they were over cooked. I got the veal, which I did not finish because it was not good.

We thought things were looking up when we arrived at the breakfast buffet at the Oriente restaurant. It was fantastic and probably the best breakfast buffet we had during our many travels. However, for the next 2 day it was not at the same location because preference was given to the wedding party (who was using the Oriente venue). As another reviewer mentioned, (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g150812-d1218761-r126730855-Banyan_Tree_Mayakoba-Playa_del_Carmen_Yucatan_Peninsula.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT), the buffet was moved to the Tamarind restaurant, and it was not the same. Previous reviewer would be even more disappointed to know that when the buffet was at Oriente restaurant, it was much better. At Tamarind, the food was not as fresh, the options were less, and the service was again lacking.

Pro:
-We were given 1 complimentary 90 minute massage service. This was by far the best part of our trip. The most attentive staff at the resort were the individuals at the spa. The massage experience was also great.
- Suites are beautiful.
-Resort boat tour was relaxing and pretty.

Overall, I would not go here again. It is a good thing that a resort is full and that it is booked. However Banyan Tree should be prepared for it. Mexico is a popular destination spot for weddings and several other resorts are able to accommodate to all its guests. Banyan Tree did not. The price per night at Banyan Tree is about the same price at many Four Seasons locations (which we have also visited). Compared to the Four Seasons, Banyan Tree Mayakoba is severely lacking in service and professionalism.

Room tip: Choose a room close to the lobby.
Date of stay: March 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Mara H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTMayakoba, Director General at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded May 16, 2012

Dear Mara H

I wish to thank you for posting your feedback about your stay at Banyan Tree Mayakoba. Please accept my sincere apologies for not providing the service level you were expecting. We have noted the areas that caused discomfort and we are working hard to improve our service delivery.

Allow me to inform that the notes on the food were well accepted and the kitchen staff is working on an action plan to prevent this situations in the future .

I do hope you will give preference to our hotel again at your next trip to the Riviera Maya and I would be delighted to welcome you back.

Best Wishes,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

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