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“Romantic Perfection”

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Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Ranked #3 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
York, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
319 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
“Romantic Perfection”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2013 via mobile

Banyan Tree Mayakoba exceeded all expectations. Not a single need went unmet. The staff was ever present but not intrusive. Privacy is nurtured here. The spa pool villa is amazing with a great pool and hottub. Nice pavilion with TV (which never got turned on) mini fridge coffee wine cooler etc. Daily fruit was nice. The included buffet breakfast excellent. Make sure to rent bikes and check out the trails. Enjoyed the ride to the beach club where service was excellent. Not one fault with the hotel. Housekeeping was great and always seemed to know when we left the room to make it up or do the nightly turndown. We have been to many great hotels (Viceroy Anguilla, Capella Ixtapa, Ritz Tahoe, Grand Velas RM etc) but this was the best. Can't wait to come back. If you are thinking about it, definitely book the trip.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (382)
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English first
Bedford, Texas
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2013

We were last there in October 2010, and very rarely return to the same hotel twice. A few of the reviews on TA were critical of the room upkeep and service, so with a little trepidation, I booked for a week in May, as my first-choice dates in April were sold out.

The good news is that this is still an excellent resort. From reading most of the critical reviews, it looks like the service and room upkeep fell away in March and April of this year, which from trying to book, and talking to employees, the resort was running at 100% capacity. But from our experience, the room was absolutely faultless (522 - Courtyard villa), and the service was, almost without exception, truly excellent.

For us (coming from Dallas), the Banyan Tree is an ideal destination, since it's easy to get to, and we like the Asian-inspired influences all around the hotel. As other have mentioned, this does lead to a cleaner, more minimalistic décor than some other more opulent hotels, but we like that.

Arrival was handled perfectly, we passed on the orientation tour since we'd visited before. The room was clean and very well maintained, as were the pool and landscaping areas. The housekeeping service throughout the trip was very thorough.

Breakfast remains the best we've ever had. the choice is very broad, and the key dishes change each day. Selection ranges from thai yellow curry, to hummus, to sushi and everything in between. Obviously, there's Mexican choices, as well as the usual pastries, eggs and cornflakes. The wait staff are excellent, and will ply you with various sparkling wine cocktails during the breakfast. What more could you want?? As we did last time, we tended to have a late breakfast, making it a brunch, which easily saw us through to dinner.

Dinner choices are limited. We ate at the excellent Saffron (thai) 3 of the 6 nights, going with the chef's fixed menu a couple of times. The food is excellent. If you love thai food, then you'll be very happy. Expect to pay $100 per person though, more if you have more than one glass of wine. Tamarind is their other main restaurant, but we didn't eat there, I guess the description just didn’t really grab us. On the last night we ate at Sands, their beach restaurant, but the service and food were average (for the price) at best. The one night we had room service, the food was excellent, and compared to the restaurants fairly well priced. I had the pizza, which was surprisingly good.

So, as you can probably tell, this trip was all about relaxation, so we didn't take any tours (aside from the hotel's eco-tour around the mangroves - excellent). We did use the gym a few times, which is very well equipped with the latest Life Fitness equipment. The hotels pools are very nice, and the main pool does afford quite a bit of privacy - there's no endless rows of sun loungers here, but when you have your own pool at the villa, there's not a lot of reason to venture out.

We walked to the beach a couple of times, it was a solid mile from our villa, which was on the north of the resort. Of course, you can get a ride there, and you'll be offered a ride by any cart that's passing. It's a nice walk, alongside the pristine golf course, so I've no problem with it, though if you really do want to be on the beach, this is not the resort for you, unless you can afford the beach villas, which look amazing. The beach itself is nice enough, and each of the hotels maintains their own section, but it's not stunning compared to other Caribbean locations.

Overall, if your main objective is to relax, around your own private pool, and have some good food, then this is an ideal location. The rooms really are excellent, and, of course, having your own private pool - which is fairly large - is just fantastic. We specifically asked for a Courtyard room, as those have the heated pools - I'm not sure if this was really necessary at this time of year, but I do know that in October the pool is quite chilly without the heater.

We met with Carlos, the new GM, during a cocktail party he and his team hosted. He's from the Ritz Carlton, and has only been at the Banyan Tree for a few months. From talking to some of the staff, and from what we saw, he seems to be doing a good job. On our last day, he's hosted an early breakfast for the staff that work there overnight, and we frequently saw him taking breakfast with other staff members. During the same cocktail party, Brenda, the PR Manager, picked up that it was a special trip for us, and sure enough, when we got back to the room it was made up with rose petals, candles, a milk bath and some wine. Such a nice touch.

So, we'll be back, we truly love this place, and it was good to see that it's aging well, and that many of the staff that were there nearly 3 years ago are still there. In particular, Cesar is our favorite waiter at breakfast, and we remember him from before. Such a nice guy, and seems to genuinely enjoy his job. Aaron was great on the eco-tour, and Omar always seemed to be the guy that was shuttling us around – always happy and chatty.

Our other top tip, is try the chocolate tamale dessert at La Copa bar. if you need a chocolate fix, then this is perfect!

With all of that said, some small things that could be improved...

- Aside from in-villa diner, there's really not a casual dining option. You can get snacks at the bar, but it would be nice to have a casual restaurant option as well.
- As most people spend most of the time at the villa, it would be nice if the housekeeping visits were either at a similar time each day, or could even be requested at check-in. Generally ours came between 10-12, but was as late as 4pm on one day.

This is a beautiful resort, a taste of Thailand in Mexico. Luxurious yet unpretentious. If this is your thing, then you will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: The Courtyard rooms all have heated pools.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pwhite8314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clayton, North Carolina
Level Contributor
31 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2013

"Perfection in Paradise" are the words that comes to mind when I think about our stay at Banyan Tree Mayakoba. My wife and I stayed there to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Upon arrival we were greeted by our resort hostess who seated us in the open air reception area and offered us a cold drink and moistened cloth to cool us down in the tropic heat. We stayed seated as she handled all the check in requirements. No standing in line at a counter waiting for someone to yell “Next.” Everything at Banyan Tree is personal and intended for you to feel that your comfort and convenience are the only things that matter. The hostess gave us a brief walking tour of the main complex explaining where the restaurants, spa and other amenities were located. She then escorted us to and inside our villa. Only then did we sit down and sign any check in paperwork.
The villa was incredible. We stayed in a Garden Pool Villa and it was beautiful, stylish, clean and well maintained. There was a private pool of surprisingly large size, an open air cabana and a private courtyard which in our case was very well screened with high walls and landscaping giving us a feeling of total seclusion. Inside was a large high-ceilinged bedroom which opened directly to the pool, a reasonably sized walk-in closet, luxurious bathroom, and an outdoor bathtub surrounded by walls.
We tried every dining experience available on the property and each was unique and enjoyable. We ate each morning at a sumptuous breakfast buffet in Oriente. Each day at lunch we were at the beach so we had our meals by the pool at Sands. Our first night we ate inside in Tamarind, our second night we ate outside over the water at Saffron, our third night we had a private In-Villa Barbecue and our final night we ate on the Ixchel private dining boat. It would take much too long to describe each meal but suffice it to say that the food and service were outstanding.
As for the other amenities, my wife had a manicure/pedicure and we together enjoyed a couples message in the spa. As with everything they do, each of these experiences was treated as a special event that we were to enjoy and savor. For spa treatments we were greeted by a friendly staff that offered us seats and drinks to help us relax. We were then escorted a short distance down a beautiful pathway to our individual spa treatment building. It extended over the water and was airy and well lit. Our massage was comfortable and relaxing.
A couple of special treats come to mind. Upon returning to our villa the first night after dinner, we found the bedroom prepared with soft lighting, romantic music, a bottle of wine and rose petals strategically placed on the bed spelling “Happy Anniversary.” It was well done and quite nice.
On another night we asked for a bath to be prepared when we returned from dinner. The outdoor tub was surrounded by candles and filled with flower petals. Robes and slippers were laid out for us.
A final word about the staff. Everyone was friendly and helpful. We were always greeted with a kind word and a smile. No request was ever ignored. More importantly, it seemed that the staff could anticipate our needs and were constantly at our side offering assistance before we even asked.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ArchieTSB32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2013

I would have to rate the Banyan Tree Mayakoba resort among the top 1 or 2 we have stayed to date. The complete staff, from maintenance personnel to front desk was extrememly friendly and helpful and the grounds were amazing. GREAT STAY!!!

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

Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2013

It simply doesn't get any better than this. Your private oasis for rejuvenation. We came for a large wedding and honestly I was skeptical of the value for the price. However, that skepticism was completely without base. This is the friendliest, most helpful and polite staff I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. Everyone was so happy and the service was on point. The 3 bedroom villas are immaculate and perfect for small groups (or families). One of the many highlights was the breakfast buffet - the quality and selection of foods was simply incredible. Very high quality & something for everyone. If you are visiting Cancun/Playa del Carmen & looking for luxury. This is the place for you!

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

Helpful?
1 Thank Joshua T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2013

This was our last resort out of 3 we stayed at in Playa Del Carmen and let's just say, 'we saved the best for last'! We were hesitant going to Banyan Tree as we had just stayed at Secrets Maroma Beach Resort and Fairmont Mayakoba which were both amazing. So we had high expectations given where we had just stayed and we are so glad we didn't cancel last minute. Some of the reviews on here made us hesitate but can I just say that any of the negative reviews were completely wrong! We didn't experience not one bad thing in 5 days, everything was immaculate and impeccable and we can't wait to go back.

We stayed in a courtyard villa which we were so happy with. It was absolutely huge, with a beautiful big room, very high ceilings, hammock, huge heated pool (garden villa pools aren't heated which we found out about once we were there so we upgraded and so glad we did), heated jacuzzi next to pool, outdoor lounges and table, beautiful big bathroom and walk in robe, huge shower which looks outdoors to the massive outdoor bath tub (it's more like the size of a small pool it's that big) and of course the amazing separate pavilion across the other side of the pool, complete with a huge lounge, tv, wine rack, fridge, dining table etc. Each area is fitted with a/c and heating and to complete your stay, room service plays music and lights incense so when you arrive your room smells and sounds beautiful. Room service also leaves you a small gift each night with your turn down service such as a small ceramic trinket box or wooden turtle which are all locally made and support local communities. The bath has a wall behind it with small holes that are fitted with tea light candles which is so romantic and perfect for a honeymoon. You can have a bath under the stars with candlelight!

We were surprised one night with rose petals in our room, on the bed and leading to the bath tub. They also put our slippers and robes out, and had filled the bath with bubbles and rose petals with a bottle of champagne in an ice bucket. It was an amazing surprise to come home to on our first night after dinner, and all complimentary! Everyone was so accommodating and nice and the quality of service and food was unlike any other, and we've traveled a lot! I've stayed at the 3 bedroom villas at the Sheraton Laguna in Phuket which is now Angsana and been around Europe, Bali etc. and nothing compares to this. The lobby is breathtaking, the variety and quality of breakfast is amazing and service just perfect, i never had to carry my plate to my table. They also offer boat rides through the mangroves which is a must see and if you want to splurge I highly recommend the breakfast on the boat which takes you for a ride for 2 hours through the mangroves with a private chef to cook you breakfast. We are so glad we had this experience to finish off our stay at Banyan Tree. We also had a massage at the spa and did the hydrotherapy circuit which was fantastic, another must do! Also the pool area, particularly the pool by the beach is great, and out of the 3 Mayakoba resorts, Banyan Tree has the best location on the beach by far!

Basically, we couldn't be happier with our experience here and can't recommend it enough. It exceeded our greatest expectations just with the villa and hotel itself, then add the amazing and friendly service and it makes for a perfect honeymoon or romantic trip! Great for families too but we didn't see many, so perfect for couples we think!

An absolute winner!!!! A must see!!!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Amanda_and_Dan16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2013

Still here. Room 105. Shady, but perfect amount if sun. Close to lobby and no noise. Staff is as courteous as you will find. Food so far is average but seems fresh and prepared on site. Beach is narrow and quiet. Still lots more to explore. But after 1 full day, it's great!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jbjdharris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#3 Luxury 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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