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“Enchanting hotel but watch out for some tricks”

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Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Ranked #3 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Enchanting hotel but watch out for some tricks”
Reviewed January 17, 2013

Stunning, breathtaking, impressing and a lot more from the majestic banyan tree in the middle of the lobby to the nature in the laguna surrounding the whole Mayakoba property. The staff is so helpful and always willing to help and anticipate your needs!!
All the rooms have private pools unfortunately not all are heated up, great amenities e.g. you get your own beauty case daily refilled with a brush, a sponge, mouthwash, shaving kit, toothbrush and toothpaste. U also get a night gown, slipper and flip flop, a purse to take to the beach and also a nice little bag where u can put your wet swimsuits. THEY JUST TAKE CARE OF ALL.
The spa is fantastic, I warmly recommend to get a Thai classic massage with Aim or Fernanda, thy are the best terapists ever: 90 minutes to forget the world and focus only on your wellbeing. On the Other side I won't suggest to go for the rainforest: sure, it's nice but definitely not worth it.
Breakfast is incredible: one of the best hotels I have ever been for pancakes, really delicious. Where do the tricks come from?
First, if you expect a crystal clear Caribbean water: u won't get it. The sea is always wavy and many times you cannot even swim. The beach club has a pool which is small and quite crowded.
Second, all the prices have two add ons: service charge 15% and taxes about 10%. I found a bit too much pretentious assuming 15% service charge on prices which are already pretty high
Third, for a 5 stars hotel the restaurants should offer a better food quality. The food is good but I expect something delicious. The bar la Copa is the best in my opinion: very good tuna, sushi rolls and also spring rolls, great hambuger and french fries. Tamarid was ok and Saffron was disappointing. The only great highlight at Saffron is the sticky rice with mango and coco milk. I have been in Thailand also at Banyan tree thus I can recognize original thai food from surrogate. I went once to dine at Casa del Lago at Rosewood and I could feel the difference in the care taken for food. Just try yourself and let me know.
Fourth, never go for the excursions sold by the travel agency in the hotel: prices are ridiculously high and what you get it's not worth. For chichen iza go with Yukatreks( max 11 people for 114dollars including lovely lunch in a fantastic place outside the buzz of the tourists spots-deeply Mexican original style, drinks and snacks the whole day+cenote visit and Valladolid. The hotel asks almost double for being with 50 people)
Fifth, choose upfront your villa as some have an unpleasant smell being directly built on the Laguna. I suggest to go for rooms in front of the spa 400' which are all one bedroom
6th, rent a bike to go around the Laguna Mayakoba is really a good experience but you pay 5$ per day per person on top which I don't find appropriate considering the already high rates.

Go for it if you are golfer, nature lovers, spa freaks. Don't go there for snorkeling. Be also aware that Mayakoba is not playa del Carmen: it takes about 20 minutes can ride for 230 pesos about 18$

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank queen_s_bys
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 review, January 21, 2013
Dear Queen s ,

Thank you very much for staying recently at Banyan Tree Mayakoba and writing here about your vacation.

I am very pleased to read that our associates have taken care of all your needs so that you could just relax and enjoy our services and facilities. The Chef of our restaurant Oriente is delighted of your comment about the breakfast – unfortunately we may not tell you his secret to prepare the pancakes, but I am sure he will safe you some every morning on your next visit!
I have taken note of your observation concerning the Thai food and we will work to improve this culinary experience for you.

It will be a pleasure to welcome you back soon in our resort.

With best wishes,

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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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (416)
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Oyster Bay, NY
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Just returned from our fifth trip to the beautiful Banyan Tree. As in times past, it did not disappoint. My husband and I have been blessed to travel to many wonderful places all over the world and the BT remains my favorite. Every detail, from check in on is perfect! The public space is nothing short of amazing, and the vantage point from your table at either of the fantastic gourmet restaurants, Saffron or Tamarind, cannot be topped. The villas don't miss a trick--they even smell great!
I cannot say enough about the staff. Every request is met with a smile and a reply of "with pleasure." Taking our bikes down to the beach every morning we were greeted with more "Buenos Dias" than you could count.
The spa experience is spectacular, immaculate and serene.
Alas, the only possible negative is that Mother Nature is doing a bit of a number on the lovely beach. Very unfortunately the changing tide has eaten up much of the property. When high tide is in, there is little room for a chaise lounge; it's even worse at the neighboring Rosewood resort. Hopefully this issue can be addressed with the installation of a jetty or man-made sand bar (like at the Grand Velas next door).
The price is not for the faint of heart, but hey, some things are worth it!

Room Tip: I like villa 101, 102, 103--close promimity to the pool and restaurants...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tyme4atrip
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 review, January 21, 2013
Dear Tripreviewergirl,

Thank you for your preference of choosing Banyan Tree Mayakoba and taking a few minutes to write your review on this website.

We were delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay and wish to thank you very much for your gracious comments about our hotel services and associates. We are very proud of our staff and believe they are the finest in Riviera Maya. Your comments endorse this belief and are a great testimony to our team’s dedication and professionalism. The sand which was missing due to wind and tides has been brought back by more favorable currents, and we are enjoying a beautiful white beach again.

We look forward to welcome you back to Banyan Tree Mayakoba in the near future. Hopefully we could meet each other in person during your next stay.

With best wishes,

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.
Ekaterinburg
Level 6 Contributor
89 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Our short summer expired 2 days ago and we returned to cold winter. The Banyan Tree hotel is very nice place to stay near Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It's the part of territory named Mayakoba (it means House on the water). You can visit both places: Cancun and Playa, they are not far from hotel. Also you can visit for lunch or dinner 2 neighbor hotel's restaurants (Fairmont and Rosewood). Banyan has special reservation service for that. The nature is great, we lived at Courtyard Pool villa and we saw many fish and birds there. Also you can have a boat trip every 1 hour around Mayakoba. We saw many exotic birds, crocodiles and iguanas.
We had breakfasts at Oriente restaurant, food was fine, international and mexican cuisines, me, my wife and our son could find dishes for everyone's choice. Special thanks for our favorite waiters: Cesar, Alberto and Luis.
In-villa food is also good. And we had a New-Year's evening in Saffron restaurant. It also was excellent. Thai-spa is very-very good and big.
Staff is very friendly and house-keepers make their job excellent. Also I want to mention Elena and Cheri from reception, they are very friendly and were very helpful.
Historical places, great cenotes and party areas (in Cancun or Playa) are near this place.
That was great trip and we enjoyed to stay there every 14 days. We didn't dissapoint our so long way there. Hope someday we'll return to this quiet beautiful hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Mikhail N
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 review, January 21, 2013
Dear Mikhail N,

Thank you very much for visiting our hotel and writing a comment on this website.

You and your family had a wonderful time at our resort thanks to some special persons you are mentioning in your review. We will share your appreciation with the team. I am pleased to read that you liked the villas, the restaurants and the service of our associates.

Hopefully you will come back soon to refresh your memories. It would be a pleasure to be of any assistance for you to organize your next visit.

With best wishes,

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.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

We just returned from 8 days at the Banyan Tree. The resort was absolutely lovely. The whole experience of the spa was beautiful and the massage I had was out of this world. The architecture was very Asian in style and the lobby area had a real 'wow' factor. We loved the food, especially at Saphran (the Thai restaurant on the water.) One of the highlights was cycling to the beach every day over the mangroves, looking out for crocodiles. The beach was long and beautiful- we enjoyed walking for hours along it all week. One downside (only minor) was that the beach pool was a bit small and a bit crowded.
We look forward to returning one day.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank JandA28
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 review, January 21, 2013
Dear JandA28,

Thank you very much for staying recently at Banyan Tree Mayakoba and sharing you experience with us.

I am glad that you had a lovely time at our resort, especially with the wonderful treatment at our Spa. As I can see you also enjoyed the nature of Mayakoba, which is really the heart of our resort and which gives his visitors peace and tranquility.

We would like to see you again soon in our hotel and to amaze you a little bit more with our service, our food and our sanctuary for the senses.

With best wishes,

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.
washington dc
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2013

We really loved our stay at the Banyan Tree. The service was superb and the restaurants (especially Saffron) are just outstanding. We rented the townhouse and when our kids left, we stayed in one of the villas. I both cases, the accomodations were lovely and well maintained. We've stayed at the Rosewood, and Banyan Tree is warmer and more inviting. We will defintely be back.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with BanyanTree.com

Helpful?
1 Thank tennisplayer1
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 review, January 14, 2013
Dear tennisplayer1,

Thank you very much for staying recently with us and writing a review about your vacation.

I am very pleased to read that you enjoyed your days at Banyan Tree Mayakoba. It is a compliment for us to be described as a tremendous resort with nice villas and exquisite food.

Please let me know if I can assist you in any way to organize your next stay, perhaps I may welcome you back soon in our hotel.

With best wishes,

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.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

The grounds are as beautiful as advertised. But I purchased a 3 day stay in December at the garden villa because of the private pool. I was unaware that the pool was unheated, or even needed to be heated. It was so freezing we called it La piscina de muerto, or pool of death. When I complained to the front desk they laughed, and explained that I was not the first to fall for the same scam. I also received mixed messages of "other villas were sold out" or "200 dollar upgrade charge." I was then told that the various pools are being upgraded slowly. In the meantime, buyer beware.

Room Tip: Make sure pool is heated
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank hgross5118
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 review, January 31, 2013
Dear hgross5118,

I wish to thank you very much your feedback in regards to your experience with us over the recent days. Your comment about the pool has been noted and you are absolutely correct that not all the pools are heated in the hotel. However the main pools are always heated, and the majority of the individual Villa pools is heated as well.

I am hoping that we welcome you back in Mayakoba or any other Banyan Tree around the world.

With best wishes,
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.
DC
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

There were 3 of us. It was cheaper to get 2 1BR suites than one 2BR suite for some reason. We did note that 2BR suites have a hot tub while the others only have unheated pools. The rooms are nice and spacious, very large bedroom with ensuite bathroom and massive outdoor tub that you probably won't use. Large doors open to the pool. THe rooms clearly have flooded as there are water marks on the rugs. Ours did not smell but our friend's did slightly and many reviews note this complaint. Overall, the rooms are great.

The facility is weird in that the beach and pool are far away. Strangely, they give you free, labor-intensive golf cart taxi service but charge you for bikes. I think if they are going to charge it should be for taxi and have bikes be free. But whatever, it's only $5 a day for bikes. It was about a mile to the beach, which was fine but some may have an issue with that.

Since everyone has private pools, many of the public pools are empty. I found the private pools to be way too cold (and ours had no hot tub), and all but the beachside pool are also unheated. Hence, lots of kids and people at the one small heated pool. They need to heat all the pools. THe beach is really nice. Small but nice.

The restaurants are all OK but very, very expensive. I don't care how good your Thai restaurant is, Pad Thai should be $15 max (it's $30). I thought the restaurants in general were solid and unexceptional. Lots of great reviews here on the Thai restaurant but in any major city in the world it would be a yawn. It's straight up solid food. The breakfasts are crazy good with a massive buffet like you see in in good asian hotels (accommodating all cuisines from the world). Service all around was great. I was there on THanksgiving and the hotel offered a $100 dinner. We went "next door" (in Mayakoba, but a 10 minute car ride) to the Ritz Carlton for a $40 dinner. (They even let you charge it to your Banyan account). That gives you an idea of how expensive this place is, when the RItz is where the budget-minded go. (Note - the Ritz also has a sandwich shop!)

The gym is awesome and harldy used. It's not huge but it has everything you need including freeweights. THey should provide yoga mats in the gym; I know the hotel offers yoga for a price but they should have some mats for those who don't want to take a full class. The spa is top notch but pricey by Mexican and even US standards. However, the massages are really insanely good. We all had massages and all agreed they were top 5 we've ever had. The golf course is really nice but I didn't see a single person playing all week. Maybe they should cut the $200 greens fees a little and they might have someone actually play the course. (We asked about the $100 deal mentioned in reviews here and they looked at me like I was from Mars).

Overall, I thought this was a lowkey, nice place close to Cancun but away from the hustle. Having a heated pool or hot tub would have made it way better, so if you are a group get a 2BR suite.

Room Tip: Go into town for dinner. Walk along the beach to the Ritz (to the left) and get sandwiches there fo...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank greeper
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 review, January 9, 2013
Dear greeper,

Thank you for visiting Banyan Tree Mayakoba and sharing your valuable comment on this website.

Defining our massages as insanely good is a high compliment for our Spa and we are very thankful for this appreciation. I am pleased to read that you enjoyed our lovely decorated villas and the nice beach and that all of my associates provided you an excellent service.
Your comment of the unheated pools and the pricing is very important to us, thank you for mentioning it. I will take care about this issue promptly.

Our team is looking forward to welcome you back soon for a refreshment of your memories.

With best wishes,

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

Property: 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:
#2 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#3 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#3 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Banyan Tree Mayakoba 5*
Number of rooms: 118
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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