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“Incredible experience with a big price tag”

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Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Ranked #3 of 217 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed September 9, 2012

This hotel is stunning in every way. As you enter the grounds, you know that this place is special. The building is beautiful and the check in process is quick and easy while you sit and wait on comfortable chairs.
We stayed in a garden room villa which was very well equipped. It had a lovely pool and the villa itself was roomy and decorated in a contemporary asian style. I really enjoy using the complementary products that they provide you with when you stay in Banyan Tree hotels. The bed was very large and comfortable and we slept well whilst we were there.

We had room service one evening and then ate at Saffron on our second night. The room service was quick and efficient but not cheap. A burger was $29 USD. The food at Saffron was amazing! I had the grouper and pineapple and my boyfriend had the beef curry. Both mains were delicious and the starter and deserts were also very good. I would definitely recommend the Mayan mojito which comes in a martini glass. The breakfast was the best I have seen in a large hotel. The selection was huge so we couldn't have asked for more.
William at the reflections pool bar is worth speaking to. He is so knowledgable about the area and different drinks. We had a real education with him on different spirits one afternoon. He also makes a great cocktail.

My one criticism: when I booked this hotel I had to give my credit card details which I believed was to cover the room rate for the stay and then any other extras would be paid for on departure. However, I was surprised on our last day that we had not been charged when I booked the villa and we had a huge bill for the entire stay to pay. This left me with a bitter taste in my mouth at the end of our stay which is a shame as our actual experience on Banyan Tree Mayakoba had otherwise been excellent. However discovering that I had in fact not paid for the hotel ruined my last day here which meant that I couldn't wait to leave. I think that the process needs to be made much clearer when guests are booking their rooms with a credit card that they aren't actually paying for the hotel at all.

On payment, be aware that several taxes are added to the bill including a government tax, VAT and a service tax/charge which amounts to an extra 29% on top of your quoted room rate. The hotel says that all of these charges are mandatory but neither of the 2 other accommodations that I stayed in whilst I was in Mexico added these on. This really makes a difference to the amount that you pay. I was not impressed. Maybe this isn't a problem in the other BT hotels. I stayed at the Bangkok Banyan Tree 2 years ago and they certainly didn't charge for these extras.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Twiggy84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTGroup, General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2012

Dear Twiggy84

Thank you very much for your feedback on Trip Advisor and for praising our bartender William, your nice comments were shared with all associates, and of course with William, and his supervisor.

We appreciate very much that you took the time to write your impressions on our hotel. In regards to the charges which were processed only on the last day, this is the normal and correct procedure, your credit card is only used before to guarantee the booking. The tax and other charges are communicated in writing to all guests from the very beginning and are also clearly spelled out on your reservation confirmation.

I sincerely do hope that we will be given the opportunity to welcome you back again.

I remain with best wishes,

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.
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Reviewed September 3, 2012

Banyan Tree Mayakoba has provided us with wonderful, memorable vacations two years in a row now. July 2011 we planned to spend six and extended a day because we didn't want to leave. For our visit this year, in the last week of August, we planned for seven days but extended to eight, pushing the bounds of good sense because it is absurd to think that anyone deserves to be treated this well for so many days in a row. My wife and I like to try different properties in different places. When we were planning our annual beach trip this year, we compared places we had visited - various Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons, etc. - to BT and we concluded that there was no place we preferred to be.

What sets BT Mayakoba apart is the service, the natural setting in which the resort was laid out, the beautiful beach, the spa and the food The service is remarkable. The staff at all levels that face the guests are bilingual and meet the standards one would expect in a leading hotel in any major city in the world. Many of the staff members were still at their posts during our second visit, which was thirteen months after our first visit. This consistency is very important for training purposes, which as in any organization - and yes, this is an organization - takes place not only as a formal matter but on-the-job by more senior employees. If you don't have senior employees, the service will always suffer. The lack of attrition has a direct impact on the quality of guests' experiences.

A few further observations regarding the staff. They are integrated. In fifteen days of residence there, I have never had a staff member tell me that I have to speak to someone else to have a matter addressed. Remarkable. If you make a request or inquiry of someone that is outside the scope of their responsibility, they speak into their little communication device and someone contacts you with a response or an answer. I can't get this kind of help in my field of work, in which I am supposed to be a big deal.

The staff strikes the right balance between attentiveness and suffocation. They are charming and engaging, do what you need, and then disappear. They understand, no doubt through training and management, the optimal level of interaction desired by the kinds of guests that visit properties like this.

The food is sensational. The ingredients are fresh and locally-sourced, preparation occurs at the time an order is placed, and the recipies are simple. The chefs are experts. These are not guys trained locally who have worked themselves up from the dish room. Even the Sands, the beachfront restaurant, prepares exceptional food. The wine selections are superb and we learned more from the sommellier last year than from anyone we have ever met.

The rooms deserve special mention. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I refer you to the property's web site for a view of these wonderfully conceived spaces.

The region is a medium-length flight from New York, and safe with more entertainment options than I anticipated having available on my first trip down. There are archeological sites, cheesy but fun shopping in nearby Playa del Carmen, trips to cenotes, diving, eco tours, and activity-oriented parks with zip lines and water slides. This property and this region has made the rest of Caribbean irrelevant to me for quite a while.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Orostein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTGroup, General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2012

Dear David G

We feel very honored to read your kind remarks in regards of your second visit to our hotel. On behalf of all the associates of the Banyan Tree Mayakoba, I want to express our appreciation for the time you took to write and describe your appreciations of the service we provide.

Thank you for staying with us already twice, and we look forward to be able to welcome you back for a third time.

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 September 3, 2012

This hotel is really stunning! The lobby, spa, and gym are all breathtaking! The villa style rooms are also fantastic.... Done to the t with private infinity pool and jacuzzi. But my amazement stops there. The service was so underwhelming. This was such a shock because we visit Mexico often and are always surprised by the exceptional level f service... We visited during low season... The hotel s huge and you need to get around by cars or golf carts. We always ordered the transportation in advance and they were either late or never showed up. There are two small pools for a very huge resort... The pools were too full for us to fit so we went to the beach which was all rocks in the ocean... The beach itself was beautiful but as soon as I walked into the ocean it was impossible to get in because the bottom was filled with sharp rocks... When we got to our lounge chairs it took us at least 15 minutes to get someone to help us order drinks. From the time we ordered to the time we got our drinks it had been an hour of waiting, and they got our orders wrong. We were 5 steps away from the bar and tried to order there instead but were repeatedly told our drinks were about to come out. I hate to complain so much because the Taft was incredibly kind... But logistically this hotel doesn't have it together. It was a disappointment for such a beautiful property.

Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
3  Thank 683annj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTGroup, General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2012

Dear annjensen5

We were glad to welcome you at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, and we do appreciate your valuable notes regarding our hotel premises and our service as well.

We have taken note of the comments you made in regards to transportation service as well as the service at the pool, and we have changed our procedures to become more effective. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.

I, personally, thank you for taking the time to write on your experience here at Trip Advisor website, and sincerely hope to be able to welcome you back in the near future.

Remaining at your disposal,
Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2012

Incredible rooms, service, food and overall experience. Great hotel for couples. I went to celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary and we had our best trip so far. We didn´t need to get out of our room cause we had everything in there. Our pool, jettub, hamaca, coffemaker, etc

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with BanyanTree.com
2  Thank 187alejandrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTGroup, General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2012

Dear viajero de BanyanTree.com

Thank you for choosing our hotel to celebrate your 10th wedding anniversary, it is nice for us to realize when our guests have a good time during their holidays. At the same time we are appreciative with your fine impressions of our hotel and would like to mention that we will be very happy to welcome you back here at Banyan Tree Mayakoba for more nice memories.

Wishing you a wonderful day,

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 August 30, 2012

I can not describe this hotel you have to see it to bellive it ! several of my friends were telling me about banyan tree but until you see for yourself you will not imaging it how beautiful this property is !!!! It's perfect this is paradise in Mexico ! And you do not have to travel far just 3 hours from Philly or new York ! I am here now with my wife to celebrate our anniversary and this people do everything for us to enjoy it I LOVE BANYAN TREE MAYACOBA !

  • Stayed: August 2012
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2  Thank lux-travel0203
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTGroup, General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2012

Dear lux-travel

I hope you had a wonderful anniversary at Banyan Tree Mayakoba. Thank you for celebrating with us. And thank you as well for giving us your gracious description of the hotel installations and service; we are always glad to read that our guests enjoy themselves and that this case was not an exception.

We’d love to welcome you back,


All my best,

Maximilian Lennkh

Vice President
Area General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2012

The Banyan Tree Mayakoba exceeded all our expectations. From the moment Elena greeted us: we had planned to travel around but instead spent our time simply enjoying the extraordinary atmosphere of this beautiful resort. Every villa has a pool and they are all incredibly private - an oasis of calm. The beach was lovely and the exceptional service was provided with such warmth it hit the perfect note. We'll long remember Meesa bringing us the delicious soft shell crab tacos on the beach.The eco tour of the lagoons surrounding the villas was a delight: we saw iguanas and a crocodile and the nests of glorious birds of the Yucatan. The spa is a must with a superbly trained staff - Noi was my practitioner. Can't wait to return.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank C G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTGroup, Area General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded September 2, 2012

Dear C G

Thank you for coming to Banyan Tree Mayakoba for your Holiday. We fell so happy to read that you have enjoyed yourselves and that you took the opportunity to admire the natural surroundings.

We do appreciate that you have named those staff members that have gone the extra mile and made your stay a bit more special.

We wish to have the opportunity to welcome you back to our hotel,

Best Regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
nyc
15
Reviewed August 26, 2012

The hotel staff did everything to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable.
The hotel and location is a beautiful, luxurious, and tranquil get away.
Exceptional warm and friendly service in a spectacular setting.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with BanyanTree.com
5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTGroup, Area General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded September 2, 2012

Dear nyc

The nice notes like the one you kindly posted on the Trip advisor webpage are very appreciated by us. Thank you for taking some time to express your impressions during your stay at Banyan Tree Mayakoba.
We will be glad to be at your service again soon.
Wishing you a wonderful day,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Address: Carretera Federal Chetumal - Pto. Juarez Km. 298, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#3 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $645 - $2,349 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Banyan Tree Mayakoba 5*
Number of rooms: 122
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Banyan Tree Mayakoba is a site of almost mythical beauty. It flawlessly blends elegance and nature, taking the Caribbean lifestyle to an unprecedented new height. A breathtaking getaway for relaxation, rejuvenation, romance and world-class dining, it is also the region's most sustainable five-star resort. With its revitalized culinary concepts, Thai-inspired therapies at the Banyan Tree Spa, 14 event-venues and the Greg Norman signature 18- hole El Camaleon golf course, home to the PGA Tour Mayakoba Classic, the resort raises the bar for premium leisure options and event planning. Perfect for private getaways, family trips and group events, the Banyan Tree Mayakoba offers 118 villas, ranging from romantic Bliss and Serenity Pool Villas to Family Residences and Ocean Front Villas. All include outdoor areas with private pools and terraces. Inspired by the interior courtyards of houses in the Far East, each villa is discreetly built to blend with the landscape, integrating the interiors and their idyllic surroundings. East meets West in every subtle detail, from the fragrance of flowers encircling your villa, to the softness of a kimono, fine linens and essential oils on your skin. Here, even world-weary guests discover the eloquence of tranquility. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banyan Tree Mayakoba Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Banyan Tree Mayakoba Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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