We booked this hotel in a heartbeat after finding a stellar deal on cancun-dot-com for approximately $34 a night, in low season, following the swine flu hype. I would pay more with no hesitation. I felt guilty for paying that amount after our arrival, for the price was well below half the price of the normal rates that time of the year. The hotel seemed well occupied with many guests.
My only concern prior to our arrival, was the location, its on the less crowded side of 5th (north), located in the “Little Italy” district of Playa. Given the June heat, we did opt for a taxi for walking more than 10 minutes away during the day to depart for day trips via the bus station or colectivo area, but at night we had no problems with the vicinity, walking to near 2nd street and near the bus station. The taxi’s ranged a little more than one dollar US for most of the areas around 5th Ave, so very cheap!
We travel to the Playa area very frequently and have never rented a car, and don’t suggest it, everything is in walking distance and public transportation is very cheap and very clean.
HOTEL GROUNDS / SERVICES
It’s a small, quaint, yet very nice hotel with rooms available facing 5th or their courtyard. The hotel is adjacent to a very affordable restaurant, selling excellent Mexican food and offers 2 x1 drinks. The noise of the restaurant was never in issue. In fact, we had a room facing the street and I slept soundly with no earplugs. (In areas around 5th it’s hard to find a quiet area). The lobby was very cute with artistically decorated décor, paying special attention to detail. The pool was cute and served it’s purpose when we dipped in after walking back to the hotel in the June heat. It is rather small, but clean and refreshing. The hotel offers a simple breakfast of toast, jam, juice and coffee, but we didn’t take advantage of this so therefore, I cannot comment on it. On the 2nd floor there is a beautiful veranda offering nice, pleasant breezes, a very small selection of books mostly in Spanish with seating and tables and purified jugs of water. The hotel also offers tour services and can help you arrange any day trips / excursions. The lobby has many resources for traveling- brochures, business cards, trip / travel books. The hotel has a partnership with Mamitas beach club offering a discounted rate for guests. It was a couple blocks away, very close. There is an Internet café less than a block south that we utilized frequently at a very cheap rate. The hotel offers beach towel service, yet we didn’t use, so unable to comment. The hotel is staffed 24 hrs with someone available at the front desk. When arriving late at night, the man always appeared very tired and sleepy, almost as if he had snoozed, but that didn’t bother us, safety was never an issue. The hotel asks that you hand in the keys when leaving and you ask for it when you return which was so convenient; you never have to worry about a hotel key!
The staff was always extremely helpful and kind. I had a sore stomach and a kind worker gave me alka seltzer and encouraged me to take it and sure enough it worked! The maids did an excellent job cleaning the rooms daily and adorned the beds with the infamous towel art found in the Caribbean! When asked, the staff offered Speedy Gonzalos laundry service that picked up our laundry via bike and dropped it off the next day at an unbelievably cheap rate.
Our room was a deluxe plus, offering a balcony with 2 chairs facing 5th Avenue. The room came equipped with cable television (some channels in English), a dresser, roomy closet to store plenty of luggage, a king sized bed, 2 end tables and a private bathroom with wall attached blow dryers. The bathroom came equipped with many essentials not avaialble in some budget hotels, such as plentiful towels, soaps, conditioning shampoos and bath gels. The room came equipped with a mini fridge which was used frequently, given the heat we’d fill up water and have ice cold water to drink at all times! There was also a ceiling fan that was quiet and easy to use. The air conditioning worked wonderfully and I turned it down and off many times since it got chilly in the room!
Obviously, hands down I highly recommend this hotel and I look forward to staying here in the future. I’ve read people paying $120 for rooms here around the Christmas (high season for Mexican travelers), and I’m not sure I would pay that amount to stay here, its not a luxury hotel. Hotel Banana is a boutique, budget hotel with a positive vibe that offers that original “Playa-esque” feel.
Any questions regarding Playa, the Yucatan or this hotel, I would be more than happy to help. My husband and I travel to this area 2-3 times a year. My husband fly fishes and loves fishing in this area, if you have any questions regarding a guide, spots or shore fishing, he's a good resource
Have a great vacation!
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- Also Known As:
- Banana Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Hotel Banana Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico