I know I am the outlier here (almost all of other reviews are so over the top about Banyan Tree), but I think this place can be better. It is a great hotel, and we had a wonderful time, but there is room for improvement in a few areas.
A couple of initial thoughts:
(1) The beach is approximately 8-10 minutes (by golf cart) from all of the rooms, other than the large villas which are directly on the beach. I knew this when we booked the trip, but, at times, I found it incredibly annoying to wait for a golf cart to take us to the beach. At times when you called for a cart it would come in 3 minutes, which was great, but sometimes we would be waiting for 10 minutes or more. I think, given the location of all of the rooms, that they need to make sure people are not waiting around to get to the beach (the same can be said of the return trip-- don't make people wait at the beach). A great option is the bikes that are offered as it's a nice ride to the beach, but the shocking thing is that they charge you for the bikes (I think it was $20 per day). Come on, at these prices just lave the bikes at the villas and everyone will have a bike- don't nickel and dime me for a bike (I don't really care about the $20, it's just annoying).
Breakfast Buffet- great, tons of food and all very tasty; service was excellent.
Saffron- we had a great dinner at Saffron- really very good Thai food in a wonderful setting. I reccomend eating outside after the sun goes down (no mosquitoes after the sun goes down) because it is really great outside on their deck.
Tamarind- we had an ok dinner here, they say the food is "ecclectic", to be honest, it just weird and I just don't want food like this on vacation. They need to do something with this dining option, I would suggest making it more authentic Mexican, or a steakhouse or somthing, but Tamarind just did not do it for me. It was nice meal for one night, the food was bizarre, but I cannot imagine eating there more than once per vacation.
Sands- lunch was good, service was good. Dinner- it has to be better- this is the only location they have on the beach for dinner and it's a beautiful spot- I would have eaten here several nigths because it's so nice to be on the beach, but the service was poor (the service everywhere else was great) and the food was really not great. They try to make it Mexican food, but it was really, more or less, the lunch menu all over again with a few additions. They should make this spot into a great dinner option with excellent mexican food and just a nice ocean front atmosphere.
(3) Rooms- generally very nice, I reccomend going with the Courtyard Pool Villa and not the Garden Pool Villa if you are two people. The courtyard pool villa has more room and a hot-tub which is great. Strangely, I think the outside area of the rooms (pool and terrace area) could use some upgrading (new paint, new furniture and cleaned up pool tiles). That said, these are very picky critiques as the rooms are very nice.
(4) Housekeeping- come on, figure out when we are going to be out of the room at night, do not call me every 1/2 hour from 5:00 until we leave asking if we are still in the room. They missed turndown one night.
Look, overall it's really a great place, and the above comments should be taken with a grain of salt (I still gave it 5 stars), I just think it can be made even better. I would recommend it with no reservations, although I do think the food can be much improved (other than breakfast and Saffron which are great).
- 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