My husband, 6 yr old, 8 yr old and I stayed at this hotel for 10 nights in August 2008. We loved this hotel! We picked it based on its close proximity to the better north part of the beach in Playa.
We were very pleased with our room #207 when we arrived. It was clean, roomy and had a mini fridge (which did make some racket at night…not the hotel’s fault, just needed some TLC I guess). We were very impressed with the available storage—a large closet with shelves and a dresser. We were able to fit all four of our empty suitcases into the closet, and all our stuff had a home on the shelves and dresser. The fridge was a great amenity as we purchased some food items from the nearby Walmart, Mega and small convenience stores for other breakfast/lunch options.
We found our north west room was very quiet which was perfect with kids in tow. However we did notice there seemed to be more noise on the south and east part of the hotel... Just a heads up for those who want a quieter room!
In regards to ants….yes there were lots of ants! I discovered those one day as I finished a bowl of fruit loops and saw an ant at the bottom of my bowl… I inspected the box and bag of cereal and saw it was swarming with the tiny ants!!!! I guess I can now say I’ve eaten ants! Needless to say they were pretty small since I didn’t even notice them as I was eating my cereal! Strangely enough we didn’t have any problems with the ants getting into our food on top of the fridge, even when it was partially opened. Not sure why! But all food that was left on the dresser or around the fridge seemed to attract the ants instantly. They were VERY tiny though and the only place we really noticed them was in one spot, right by the light switch and top of the dresser…and of course wherever crumbs of food/open boxes of food were left!
We had to chuckle when we saw the small pool! It certainly just a bit bigger then a bathtub!!! But the kids LOVED it! They played in it nearly everyday. We were very thankful for itJ Not sure if adults would find it much of a benefit though.
We found the maid was very helpful, friendly and prompt. She would leave towel creations everyday, which really impressed the kids! One of my favorite parts of this hotel was that staff seemed to be present at all times. The housekeeping staff would hang out in the lounge area between rooms being cleaned. It made us feel that there were always trusted individuals available to help which was great. We tipped the maid 20 pesos each day.
The complimentary breakfasts were served down in the restaurant. They start serving at about 7:45am until 11am. They provided a basket of toast with jam/butter, an orange juice and your choice of coffee (capaccino’s were yummy!). Tips were expected so it wasn’t exactly “free”, but was adequate. We just left 10 pesos each morning.
The hotel requires a deposit for safety deposit box (located in each room’s closet) and also for beach towels. We didn’t get any hassels getting the money back. Also, in regards to room key being held at front desk…we never heard that was required and never did it!
The location was great in regards to close proximity to the north part of the beach. It was a short 5 minute walk down to Mamita’s beach club. It cost us 60 pesos to get four loungers and a palapa. Mamita’s is a pretty crowded, noisy beachclub…..but it is also on a fabulous part of the beach and has a great restaurant with fairly inexpensive food items. The kids also really enjoyed the pool at Mamitas. It was a small pool so more geared towards children. Just a few minutes walk from Mamitas is a fabulous place to snorkel at Zubul Bar Reef, just before Cocoa Bay Resort. We had a great time there one morning. Also, the beach just past Cocoa Bay Resort is beautiful and quiet.
The location was a bit of a hassle in regards to getting down to the ADO bus station area with the kids in tow. We wouldn’t have minded walking all the time if it weren’t for the kids (a good way to keep the weight under control with all the fabulous food!!!). However it was a bit tough on the kids so we opted to take a lot of taxis. We had read at playainfo.com that there were zones for the taxis and it would be about 12 pesos to get from our hotel to centro… However, it appeared that it was no longer the norm…35-40 pesos seemed to be what they normally quoted us. We inquired of people on the playainfo site and locals/regular PDC visitors insisted that 15-20 pesos would be adequate, so we decided to stick with that price. We would walk up the block to 10th and flag down taxis, say “20 pesos, ADO bus station?” etc. and most drivers accepted that. We were able to get some taxis for 15 pesos as well.
In regards to transportation we highly recommend using the “collectivo” passenger vans that are located at 2nd and 15th. They are very inexpensive, quick and direct. It costs 20 pesos/person to get to Akumal area, 30 pesos/person to Tulum, 40 pesos/person to Cancun. You just flag down any passing collective on your way back to Playa. They seem to come at least every 10-15 minutes, if not sooner. They are very handy and a great way to get around!
We visited a lot of places while in Playa. We went to Puerto Adventuras for the dolphin experience (booking it through the hotel). Akumal bay is the perfect place to snorkel and see lots of sea turtles, large fish etc….and should be a “must see” on everyone’s list if you like to snorkel…plus its all free! Ask the collectivo to take you to Akumal playa, walk about 5 minutes to the entrance to Akumal bay and the turtles are swimming right by the boats, in the sea grass!!! No need pay for a tour! To the left, along the shoreline, is lots of coral and large fish. We also went to Isla Mujeres and a turtle farm there. A day trip to Tulum, to the El Paraiso beach club, is another must-see! Amazing beach there! We love how Playa is a great home base and you can branch out to see so many amazing things in the surrounding area!
We loved eating out at some of the restaurants on 30th/30th as well. El Tacorocito was my favorite. El Fogon is also right across the street. Tacos al Pastor are amazing! And these restaurants are really very inexpensive and serve delicious food. We visited Alux cave restaurant this year and were absolutely blown away by this restaurant! It is really something everyone should check out at least once! Beautiful and extremely unique!
We really enjoyed our time at Hotel Fiesta Bananas and would certainly consider it for future trips. It really was our home away from home!
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- Also Known As:
- Banana Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Hotel Banana Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico