The Banyan Tree Mayakoba is absolutely the place to go to be pampered and feel relaxed! We travel quite a bit (about two trips a year, out of the country) and although we have never stayed at a place of this caliber; we have stayed at some really nice resorts. The staff at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba get everything right. I would have to say that their service is the best thing about staying here. We would like to give a special thank you to Guadalupe, our hostess; Juan and Reuben, greeters and drivers, and Pang, my masseuse.
From the moment we arrived in a flurry of luggage and stress, we were assured "Not to worry about a thing, we've got everthing under control". And they did.
I won't go on and on about every little detail because everyone else has done a fine job of describing the beauty and specialness of this place but I do want to give you some of our highlights:
*Breakfast/brunch is amazing
*Rooms are gorgeous, private and comfortable (walkiing into your room to check-in with the calming music playing and the oil burner wafting out a lovely aroma is the one of the many ways you are assured you are going to have a wonderful, relaxing experience)
*Massage was glorious (traditional Thai massage)
*Saffron was delicious
*Staff was friendly and accomadating (you can tell the staff really enjoys their job and really want you to have a wonderful time)
*Fresh, cold, lemon-smelling towels when you arrive, while you're sunning and after meals (this was one of our favorite parts, silly as it sounds!)
I truly can't say enough about the cusomer service we experienced. Any resort can be beautiful and have great food but if the service is lacking, it marks your expierence with a negative feeling. And the opposite it true - you can have a bad meal(which we did not) but if the service is exceptional, you will forget all about the overcooked noodles and too salty sauce.
I only have a couple bits of advice:
One, the tipping should be explained by the hostess or in your resort guide. No one else has mentioned this so maybe we were the only ones a little confused. All checks have a 15% gratuity included which is fine. The first time we didn't realize this and tipped an extra 20% on top of the 15%. No big deal. When we had our complimentary breakfast every morning and a complimentary massage, we weren't sure whether tip was included or not and it was embarrassing to have to ask our hostess Guadelupe. Yes, when you recieve a complimentary service, the resort includes a 15% tip for the staff which is terrific and then you only need to decide what you want to tip above and beyond that. Also, I think it is important to know that the staff in the area you're in (pool, restaraunt, etc.) all share the 15% tips. I believe what you tip over the 15% amount goes directly to the person assisting you (at least this is the way it was with the massage). This is a great way to do business and to assure that the costumer service level stays high. Everone needs to do their part because if they don't, their co-workers will be sure to remind them they need to earn their part of the tip.
My second thought is that even though the private pool by our room was a lovely temperature most of the tiime, it would have been great to have a pool heater. The water in the evening and at night tended to be really chilly.
Thirdly, it would be heaven if the villa's outside bathtubs had bath pillows or rounded edges. The bath is so inviting, you want to spend a lot of time in it but the interior edges are sharp and really hurt your neck.
It would also be nice if they would provide the same chair covers as those on the beach for the beach loungers beside your villa's pool. The canvas covering is quite scratchy and hard and a towel covering would quickly remedy this.
Lastly, the oil and incense scents they were burning in our room and all over the resort were not available in the gift shop nor would they be available for quite some time. It seems as though this is a huge error in their business judgement. You really want to cash in on people's impulse to buy. We really wanted one of the oils (lemon grass) and one of the incense scents (night queen) and they were unavailable. We probably would have paid the rather high cost for them while we were at the resort but now that are home it seems a little exorborant.
I want to say that none of these little things diminished our positive feelings about our stay in any way but wanted to mention them since I've noticed that management does read these reviews.
I said I wasn't going to go on and on but I guess I have any way. If you have the chance to go to the Banyan Tree Mayakoba - go! You won't be disapointed.
Thanks again to the wonderful staff. Even though we own a timeshare, we're already trying to figure out a way to come back. We'd love to do as Juan suggested when we left, "Why not come back for Christmas?"
- 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