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“Once in a lifetime extravagance”

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Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Ranked #3 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Tucson, AZ
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Once in a lifetime extravagance”
Reviewed December 19, 2009

Banyan Tree Mayakoba provided everything we expected, and then some, in a total luxury vacation. We had booked a "courtyard villa" and -- even though we had booked through Expedia and thus were already paying a bargain rate -- we were upgraded to a "spa villa," which was far more spacious and luxurious than any hotel accomodation we had ever been in.

The "room" -- the term hardly does it justice -- consisted of the following: a large courtyard containing a grassy area, patio, L-shaped swimming pool, separate hot tub and double lounger with umbrella; a pavillion building off to the left containing a mini-bar and fridge, flat screen tv, dining table and chairs, and the largest pillow-surrounded couch I've ever seen; a main building off to the right which contained a king bed, another flat screen tv, direct access doors to both the hammock area and the swimming pool (jump right in if you wanted); an adjoining bath with separate his and her vessel sinks, walk-in clothes closet, steam shower, and separate privacy-walled outside tub area; and a rooftop deck overlooking the golf course with twin massage tables, a sink and bar area and yet another outside shower. All furnished in an exquisite blend of contemporary, Thai and Mexican elements.

The service was was in many ways equal to the surroundings: twice daily room cleanings and turn down/towel replenishment; a small gift left every evening with candles lit, evening robes and slippers laid out and incense set up when we returned to the room following dinner or visits to Playa del Carmen; bicycles left at our door for our use to get around the property throughout the week; an ipod full of music to be played in either our bathroom or bedroom docking stations; and a hostess/concierge (Jadira) who made clear that whatever we needed she and the hotel were there to provide.

I will mention also the breakfast buffet which was, again, unequalled in our experience of similar provisions at other comparable hotels: platters of fresh fruits constantly refreshed; five or six varieites of cereals and granolas; cold seafood including salmon, sushi and other asian delights; a dozen different varieites of cheeses; an omelette/eggs to order station; at least a half dozen hot dishes every day including pancakes and waffles, bacon, suasages and ham, mexican chicken dishes, Thai/asian based seafood pots, muffins, croissants, bagels, at least a half-dozen different fresh baked and self-slicing breads, and a whole separate station of Mexican sweet cookies and pastries -- and more.

The dinner restaurants were also excellent: Saffron was our favorite, for Thai cuisine, and its outside setting was especially tranquil and remorely beautiful; we also enjoyed Tamarind (eclectic Mediterranean, I guess), and Oriente, which I guess I would call fusion. All had novel menus, fresh ingredients, and truly outstanding settings, service and amenities, including complimentary tastings premeal and after dessert. We also had room service in our pavillion one night, and that was a fine experience as well, including personalized service while we relaxed with the tv on.

So, was everything perfect? Well, in a sense, yes. Because at a beautiful property where everyone goes out of their way to cated to your every whim, and where your bargain rate already has gotten you more than you might imagine, plus an unpgrade to even greater indulgence, to point out any of the truly minor things that might be deemed less than 5-star ideal, would seem to me the height of ingratitude.

But a few things for others to note (none of which, as I say, detracted in any way from our week-in-paridise feeling): the breakfast buffet is expensive (about $40/person including service and taxes) and there really is no alternative, so if at all possible get a package which includes that in your rate; the main part of the hotel is not directly on the beach, but about a 15 minute walk or 5 minute bike ride away and the beach area is fairly narrow, though it has an exquisite pool and beach club; and the fitness facility is surprisingly small, with only 4 pieces of aerobic equipment -- 2 treadmills and 2 cross trainers and no bikes or ellipticals. That, I could imagine, might be a problem in the late afternoons when the place is more full of guests desperate to burn a few of the 2,000 or so calories they put away at breakfast. But, it was never a problem while we were there, so maybe Banyan Tree knows its guests better than I do.

One other thing to note -- the staff is trained to react to the slightest suggestion of disappointment, so be careful of what you say and how you say it. One night in Oriente I ordered the Tortilla Soup. My wife found it excellent and finished every drop but I found it just a little too spicy for my palate and so only ate half the bowl. Our waiter of course noticed, and asked if there was something wrong. I said no, just that the soup was a bit spicy for me. He then asked if he could bring me a different appetizer. I said that no, I was fine. Then after our our main dishes had come the restaurant manager came over and again apologized for the soup and offered to treat us to a complimentary after dinner drink or coffee, which we declined. Then, a few minutes later the manager brought the chef over and introduced him, and the chef apologized for my soup and said that please whatever our needs and wants were for our food, we should just make them known and they would do everything they could to accomodate them in any way possible.

Which, in a way, sums up our week at Banyan Tree Mayakoba -- a place that does a pretty fantastic job of anticipating your every sybaritic desire and then goes the extra mile just to be sure it has hit all the right notes.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MAKTucson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Banyan_Tree_Mayakoba, Vice President / Area General Manager Mexico at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this review, March 8, 2010
Dear Valued Guest

We are overjoyed to read the nice description you made about our villas and service. We are glad that our resort in general has pleased you.

I really appreciate your fine comments about our breakfast buffet, we are trying to improve it and make it even better. Regarding your observations about the price of our breakfast, I kindly inform you that we are in similar range price with other luxury hotels in the area, but still bellow other hotels in USA and Europe.

I am delighted to read that our staff went an “extra mile” above to make a unique experience for you at Banyan Tree Mayakoba.

I look forward to welcoming you back to Banyan Tree Mayakoba very soon.

With kind regards,

Pancho Llamas
Vice President
Area General Manager
pancho.llamas@banyantree.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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new jersey and los angeles
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 18, 2009

We stayed at Banyan Tree Mayakoba in a jacuzzi villa. The room had a pool, a jacuzzi, and a media room that meant we rarely had to leave the room. The service and food were top notch. The staff was so well-trained and friendly.

Our stay came with breakfast as part of the promotion and it was incredible. A huge very high-quality buffet (similar in quality to St Regis Monarch Beach - which is VERY high).

The spa villas were over-water, and the couples massage was very romantic.

The boat from the lobby to the beach was fun every time. The tea in the lobby, the fruit in the room. They were so generous.

We can't wait to go back. The resort would be great for a honeymoon, but it was also great to travel with the family. It doesn't get much better.


What a pleasure.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank troutandbean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Banyan_Tree_Mayakoba, Vice President / Area General Manager Mexico at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this review, March 8, 2010
Dear Valued Guest

Thank you for your comments about our resort. We want to create a “Sanctuary of Senses” with the perfect blend of Asian and Mexican cultures. Your comments endorse this belief and are a great testimony of our team´s dedication and professionalism.

I have noticed our breakfast is getting more and more popular, and be sure we will improve it further.

It will be my pleasure to welcome you back for a romantic getaway.

With kind regards,

Pancho Llamas
Vice President
Area General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles, ca
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 18, 2009

I have stayed at Las Ventanas, Esperanza, Palmilla One & Only, and various resorts in Puerto Vallarta, as well as in Hawaii and the Caribbean. Banyan Tree Mayakoba is the best of them all. Definitely visit.

Every room has a pool and is HUGE.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank larefinedtaste1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Banyan_Tree_Mayakoba, Vice President / Area General Manager Mexico at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this review, March 8, 2010
Dear Valued Guest

On behalf of Banyan Tree family, we wish to thank you for taking the time to share such gracious comments about your stay with us.

Thank you very much for placing Banyan Tree Mayakoba above such respectable competitors. We all work very hard to meet our guests´ expectations every day, and we will keep our efforts to reach our goals.

We hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Regards,

Pancho Llamas
Vice President
Area General Manager
pancho.llamas@banyantree.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
encino, ca
1 review
Reviewed December 18, 2009

We went for our first anniversary, but it was nicer than our honeymoon in France. What an incredible resort. Boats, canals, beautiful beach, fantastic food and perfect service.

Saffron's service and food are near perfect. Send our best to Ivan. He'll make your dining experience special with incredible attention to detail.

Same is true for Jorge at the Beach Club (Sands). Really enthusiastic and caring.

Great people and a great facility.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank davidtraveler123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Banyan_Tree_Mayakoba, Vice President / Area General Manager Mexico at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this review, March 10, 2010
Dear Valued Guest

We were delighted to read that you enjoyed your 1st anniversary and wish to thank you for your gracious comments about our hotel services, facilities and associates. We hope to welcome you again for your 2nd anniversary.

I am sure Ivan and Jorge will be pleased to read your comments. Thank you on their behalf.

With your contribution, we have achieved already our 100 Trip Advisor comment, and we are still considered as the #1 in this area. All of us will celebrate this achievement and we would like to share this occasion with you.

Thank you again for choosing Banyan Tree Mayakoba for such a unique celebration

With kind regards,

Pancho Llamas
Vice President
Area General Manager
pancho.llamas@banyantree.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canaria
2 reviews
Reviewed December 18, 2009

Days to remember and already planning my vacation back. Normally, I do not write reviews, but want to say out loud THANK YOU to a number of staff at Banyan tree that made our unique holiday unforgettable. Dafne who escorted us to our astonish villa was making sure we understood all the services that we could enjoy the villa and also assisted us throughout our stay, so we didn´t miss a thing. At Saffron Restaurant, Benjamin took care of us, apparently the restaurant served a record that night and we didn´t ever felt rush, all was served smooth and with dedication. We spent the days at the Sands lying on the sun, while Brenda and her colleagues approached us at the perfect time, when we needed water, when we needed to move our umbrella and the moment we were ready for lunch. We were actually very full after our daily breakfast at Oriente, where Otto was always there offering his biggest smile. We used to wake up late prepare our own coffee at our villa, read the newspaper, have a swim at our enormous pool, then get some bikes and ride to Oriente… and all this was done with no rush at all… they open till 12hrs and then the menu they offered was for all kind of sense of tastes! Isn´t great?

Banyan Tree is part of an integrated resort together with Fairmont and Rosewood, so you have a selection of luxury hotels depending on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a real and unique Experience, or best Spa in Mexico, than Banyan Tree should be your choice. The hotel is not only wonderful and full of Mexican art crafts and colors, but I felt back in Asia, only that this time it was less hours of flight and everyone could understand our language. You don´t need to go further to live Asia´s kindness and attention to details.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ybjordi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Banyan_Tree_Mayakoba, Vice President / Area General Manager Mexico at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this review, March 8, 2010
Dear Valued Guest,

On behalf of Banyan Tree family, we wish to thank you for taking the time to share such gracious comments about your stay with us, and especially about our staff.
Dafne, Benjamin, Brenda, Otto and all our team will be very glad to know that their effort and genuine care for our guests is recognized.

It is always a great pleasure to read through notes such as yours, for they serve as an inspiration to help us in our continued commitment to maintain the high standards you have experienced with the perfect combination of Mexican and Asian hospitality.

Thank you once again for sharing your experience with others, and I look forward to welcoming you back to Banyan Tree Mayakoba soon.


Pancho Llamas
Vice President
Area General Manager
pancho.llamas@banyantree.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ny
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2009

I want to start off by saying that I have NEVER reviewed anything online. Ever... But the ten days I just spent at the Banyan Tree in Mayakoba for my honeymoon have compelled me to post my thoughts.

From the moment we arrived and up until our check-out, the service was top notch. For a new hotel, there are really very few kinks. Everything runs smoothly, and all of the staff members appear to be very well-trained. From bellmen to waiters to the beach attendants, everyone is gracious, friendly, and willing to help with anything, and they do it in a manner that is neither obtrusive nor obsequious. The front office management has done an incredible job with their employees.

The rooms are beyond beautiful, and perfectly designed. Spacious, airy, and well appointed, they far exceeded our lofty expectations. We were in a two bedroom villa and could have easily not left it for our entire vacation. Situated on a lagoon, our villa featured a gigantic pool (this is not the soaking tub that a lot of places try to pass off as a pool- this is a swimming pool, four and a half feet deep and long enough to actually swim) a separate pavilion room with the most comfortable couch/day bed ever,a flat screen tv, dining table, bar area and coffee machine (this was the ONE PROBLEM with the hotel, if I had to site something wrong- it was a huge pain to work). Our bedroom was huge... Two walls of sliding doors open onto both the pool and a patio with a hammock; the bathroom featured a gigantic outdoor tub and shower as well as a very nice indoor one; walk-in closets, ipod docks everywhere...and the turndown service was beyond belief. Every night a crew would show up for an hour, lighting candles, burning scented oils, turning on relaxing new age music... Coming back to the room after dinner was like walking into a spa. Which brings me to the spa. Best. Massage. Ever.

The beach was beautiful and incredibly well maintained ,down to the crew who would cart off seaweed that washed ashore. The beach staff went above and beyond- in particular, the main attendants Jorge and Alex, and the waiters Alejandro and Carlos. They're all great and deserve a special shout-out... We thought that we might be bummed out to not have a room directly on the beach, but golf carts were available to pick us up with not much more than a three minute wait...

The restaurants were all very good- particularly the decadent breakfast buffet, which was more of a breakfast/brunch/lunch buffet which could fill you up until dinner.

Overall, the Banyan Tree experience, and it is just that, is one not to be missed. I can't recommend it enough, and will definitely be traveling back there and look forward to visiting other Banyan Trees.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ms33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
2 reviews
Reviewed December 16, 2009

The resort is world class. The Spa, services, breakfast buffet, villas...all outstanding. We did not eat at the resort restaurants (other than Sands by the beach, the ceviche and appetizers were delicious though). Since we had a short stay we ate dinner in Playa every night (a wonderful experience). If we had stayed longer, the resort restaurant Saffron looked to offer an amazing dining experience. We spent the days relaxing by the beach and the pool. We walked miles each way on the beach and nothing compared to Banyan Tree. The proximity to Playa Del Carmen is convenient; the resort contracted with a Taxi service to provide clean, safe and courteous transportation to town. We'd have a cocktail before or after a night out at La Copa, the resort bar. Sunday evening, after dinner and a night on the town, we watched the Geminids meteor shower from the outdoor patio at La Copa!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ObjectiveTraveller1
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 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#3 Spa 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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