The best place to start is the lobby. You are welcomed by a huge pond full of lillies as you drive up. When you step out of your car, you are greeted by your "resort host." He/she escorts you to one of about twenty couches for check-in (huge lobby, especially compared to the Rosewood). You receive a complimentary shot of green juice (something delicious and healthy apparently) and cold lemongrass-scented towels. The resort host takes your passports and says she'll return shortly. In the meantime, you are left to stare at this stunning banyan tree in the center of the lobby lagoon. There is a boat that transports guests between the beach and the lobby and another boat (Mayakoba Connection) that takes you between the resorts. After getting checked in, the resort host gives you a quick tour of all the different places that you can see from the lobby, including four restuarants, the lobby terraces (a great venue for the rehearsal dinner), and the pool near the lobby.
We were then escorted to our room by out resort host in a golf cart with our bags. Every room has a huge private plunge pool that overlooks the lagoons. We saw three different rooms. Standard room, still with the huge private pool. Courtyard suite, heated private pool, jacuzzi, and a separate living area with a day bed, another TV, minibar, coffee maker, etc. And a townhome with three bedrooms (master, another king, and a room with two twin beds), three bathrooms, a dining room, living room, and a rooftop terrace with a rooftop pool overlooking the lagoon and the Greg Norman golf course. I promise you this place is amazing!
We also met with the wedding planner at Banyan Tree. Mieko made our stay magical and continues to help us plan our dream destination wedding. Mieko is as good as it gets and for anyone wanting a destination wedding, you must consider Banyan Tree. Owing so much to Mieko and those who assist her, the professionalism, communication, attention to detail, thoughtfulness, and care exceeded my every hope and expectation.
Other comments about Banyan Tree...We ate at Saffron and Tamarind, both were beyond amazing. Breakfast at Oriente was beyond compare...delicious. We would get sushi as a snack each day at La Copa Bar where there is a cigar roller every night. Wonderful atmosphere. Two pools, both with swim-up pool bars.
No surprise, but the service is also amazing here. The lovely staff passes around popscicles, free mixed drinks, etc. poolside throughout the day. As another example, after we came back from wedding planning on Friday, the whole suite was lit with candles, rose petals on the bed, and, a romantic bath (tubs at Banyan Tree are all outside...super cool) with rose petals, a bottle of wine, chocolate oil, the whole sha-bang. We also came home the last night to chocolate covered strawberries from Mieko as a thank-you. The resort definitely let's you know you're in good hands. (Another couple came to the resort and asked about a unique brand of black out shades before arriving. The hotel not only had purchased the shades at no charge but also put velcro on all the curtains to ensure no light got in...this place earns its 5 stars and with a smile all the while.)
Like the other Mayakoba resorts (we also stayed at the Rosewood), food and drinks are rather expensive. $15 mixed drinks are the norm. Champagne is outrageously priced. Essentially, not worth even ordering unless you want to pay $24 a glass. Food at La Copa (for snacks) was about $12-$15 for sushi rolls. Dinner is where they get you though. If you have a couple of drinks, no way to get out under $100 a person. Nevertheless, the food and accompanying service is well worth the expense.
After our stay at the Rosewood, I thought that nothing could top it. I could not have been more wrong. Banyan Tree is beyond magical and romantic and actually has a more lively vibe. My fiancé was sold by the pool bars and food; I was sold by Mieko and the resort's zen elegance.
If you can't decide between Banyan Tree or the Rosewood, go with Banyan Tree. Although you really can't go wrong, Banyan Tree is everything and more. A lovely experience that we can't wait to share with our family in friends.
- 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