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“Paradise with a Price”

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Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Ranked #2 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 4 June 2011

The Banyan Tree is a beautiful, peaceful and impressive Resort, but very expensive so be prepared to pay for staying in paradise. Stayed their for 1 week from 19th to 26th of May 2011, weather was amazing, overall service pretty good, one or two issues with the service but nothing major. Thought about what to say in this review and best advice/tips for anyone thinking of going, so here goes ...

1) Day Trips - recommend using the hotel travel office, they can arrange trips and activities for lots of things, we did the Mayan ruins tour to Tulum and Coba, cost $600 for 2 people which sounds ridiculous but actually well worth the money as you get your own air conditioned car, local tour guide, don't have to queue etc...

2) Beach Club - in my opinion the best part of the Mayakoba resort and well under marketed on the official Banyan Tree website. The beach is nice, sand not pebbles and the Caribbean sea literally takes your breath away, waves are not big or small, fairly calm.
Have breakfast around 9am (served till 12) and then be at the beach for 10am to get the best loungers, the ones by the trees are good as they provide all day shade.

3) Bikes - a lot of people are annoyed you have to pay $5 per day per person to hire a bike and I agree, when spending $500 a night on a room, it is not fair to have to pay this charge, think Banyan Tree seriously underestimate all the negative PR they get for this. Anyway, bikes are good, its very easy to ride round the resort, down to the beach, to the main reception or the spa, restaurants..

4) MiniBar - is very expensive as all high end hotels are, recommend taking a bottle of whiskey, gin or whatever you like with you and then using the coke, lemonade etc... Its very nice having a drink around 6pm as the sun goes down in your own villa with a lot of privacy.

5) iPods/Music - all Villas have a Bose radio/CD/ipod player so take your own music as you quickly get bored with the Chillout music from the 2 CD's they tend to play everyday.

6) Restaurants - not a lot of choice considering its status as one of the leading hotels of the world. Recommend using the other hotel restaurants at the Fairmont or Rosewood. (there are 3 hotels on the Mayakoba complex) Food choice in the restaurants is fairly limited to be honest and one surprise is there is no mexican food on the menu's. The fish/meat grill was the best thing we eat all week, kind of surf n turf style at Sands, the beach resort.

7) Sun cream - take lots with you, its very expensive in the hotel shop, $50 per bottle !

8) Tips - another controversial subject which gets a lot of attention in reviews, the hotel charges 26% on top of any bill for food/drinks. 11% is for Tax and then 15% is automatically applied as a service charge. So leaving another 10% to 15% as a Tip is hard to accept and another PR issue I think the Banyan Tree needs to communicate a lot better to avoid the regular negative backlash.

9) Bath tub - is huge and well worth relaxing in ! They offer bath experiences in your villa, bottle of champagne, honey and milk oils, candles lit everywhere etc..

10) Wardrobe - you will have a large walk in wardrobe so don't worry about storage space, take as many clothes as you want, there are plenty of drawers and hangers for two people.


Happy to answer any questions, email lloyd.price@gmail.com

Room Tip: There are no rooms, only Villas
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank lloydgprice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTMayakoba, Director General at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded 20 June 2011

Dear lloydgprice
Thank you for taking the time and sharing with us your valuable feedback about our facilities. Regarding your bikes’ comments, it has been discussed with the Rooms Division, Director for his review. Also, we have passed in your suggestions on the menus choices, to our Executive Chef.
It was a real pleasure to serve you, we are proud to know that we met your expectations.

Warmest regards.
Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

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Reviewed 3 June 2011

everything was exellent they trat you as kings,we didnt find anything wrong, it was a perfect vaction to rest!!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank mayakoba2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTMayakoba, Director General at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded 20 June 2011

Dear Guest

On behalf of all the Banyan Tree Mayakoba staff, I want to thank you very much you’re your comments about your stay with us. It is pretty nice to hear that you had a good time in the sanctuary of the senses.
I also want to mention that it was a real pleasure to serve you, and that we are proud to know that we really met your expectations. Allow me to inform that this communication, along with your compliments will be shared with our staff since it is pretty encouraging to know that we have met your expectations.

Your valued compliments will be shared with our staff; it is satisfying to know that we have been able to meet your expectations

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2011

Almost everything about this hotel (the service, the food, the location, the villas, the atmosphere...) was truly perfect. We went with a three year old. She enjoyed it as much as we did. It is in close proximity to playa del carmen, xcharet and tulum (all in 30mins range) I recommend this hotel with no reservations.

Two things could have been improved 1) our hardwood bed that squeaked with every little move - which they could not fix . 2) Childrens club that was freezing cold and very unattractive.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Gurler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTMayakoba, Director General at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded 8 June 2011

Dear Gurler,

On behalf of Banyan Tree Mayakoba team I want to thank you for taking the time to write your comments about your stay with us.

It is our purpose to create good memories in our guests and your review help us a lot and I have briefed the correspondent department heads on the suggestions you have pointed.

Once again thank you for your review and we hope to see you and your family again in the near future.

Sincerely yours,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2011

Our week at Banyan Tree Mayakoba was one of the most wonderfully relaxing, special and amazing weeks ever. First and foremost, I can't speak more highly of the staff, as they are who make the stay so welcoming, accommodating, and stress-free. Everyone was so warm and friendly; we were treated so kindly everywhere we went, whether it be the boat, the beach or the spa. Truly, they were amazing.
And that's just the staff! The resort itself is incredible. Agree with other reviewers that the place felt empty more or less the entire time--but in the way that made it a special secret, just for us to enjoy. The grounds are immaculate, the decor beautiful. Take the boat tour of the canals and see the incredible wildlife! Crocodiles, great blue herons, turtles, everything! With Adrian at the boat's helm and the on-staff biologist (I'm sorry I've forgotten her name!) pointing out all of the incredible birds nesting around, it will definitely be an hour to remember. The beach is too good to be true. The sand is so fine and white and never once is hot to the touch.
The food was wonderful. Darn, that's a great breakfast buffet. Just TRY not going back for seconds. Not possible. And the green juice? You'll wish you had bottled it and smuggled it home (I do). As a vegetarian, I found there were always loads of options at every meal. I do wish they were a little bit better about preparing tofu but really, that's splitting hairs. My boyfriend loved everything (meat included) he ate.
Our villa was amazing. Between the peace and quiet of sitting by the private pool while reading my book and listening to the birds sing to each other in the canal, the incredible bathroom and shower, the beautifully appointed (and inviting!) bed and the outdoor bathtub in our Garden Villa, it was tough to figure out where to roost! Coming home to the turn-down service was a true treat, as well.
And don't forget the spa and the Rainforest! Both were amazing experiences, though I think I'd take a treatment from Aim over the water-park-made-for-adults.
All in all, BT Mayakoba is amazing. My only other critiques would be the $5/day charge per bike (which, nonetheless, were super fun) and the hefty charge for transportation to and from the airport. Seems that when you're spending as much as you are for your stay at the resort, these things would be included.

Room Tip: Indulge in in-room dining at least once!
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank kates1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTMayakoba, Director General at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded 8 June 2011

Dear Kates1010,

We are all pleased and honored with your comments. We wish to thank you for that and for taking the time to share your experience in Banyan Tree Mayakoba with others.

It is very gratifying for the Banyan Tree Mayakoba team to know that we could meet your expectations and that your stay was wonderful.

I have passed your review to the all the staff and we look forward to have the opportunity to serve you again in your following visit.

With best regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2011

This trip was truly one of the most relaxing trips of my life. First off, the hotel is gorgeous and you instantly feel like you want to do absolutely nothing from the second that you arrive. It's really the strangest thing. My wife and I stayed in a three-bedroom villa (although we only used the master suite). It's nice to have the private pool in your room and the rooms are all super spacious and huge. The villa also gave us the ability to have dinner on the top floor at night, which was really nice. The service at this hotel is amazing and everyone is super friendly. The best part of the hotel in my opinion was the spa experience. We booked a 1-hour private tour of the rainforest for just my wife and I. They reserved the entire spa just for us, which was super nice. The massage was also amazing (put a request for Ing if you are scheduling ahead of time). The bike rides were really nice. The pool was small and quiet, but overlooked the beach which was beautiful. The hotel feels empty all the time, which we loved since it felt like we had the place to ourselves. All in all, it was an amazing experience.

One possible downside is that this hotel is a bit pricey when you take into account the 25% charge that they tack on top of the room rate. But if you dont want to compromise on quality, this is the best place to be. Also, the hotel sometimes nickel-and-dimes you. For example, the bike rental of $5 per day and other things like that. When you are paying $600 a night, I'm not sure it makes any sense. Other than that, I cant think of one thing bad to say about this place. It was a super relaxing trip. Also, I'm not sure why May is down season since we were there for 5 days and the weather could not have been more perfect.

Room Tip: Request a room closer to pool
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank iam00sam21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTMayakoba, Director General at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded 30 May 2011

Dear iam00sam21,

We wish to thank you for taking the time to share your experience in Banyan Tree Mayakoba. It is very gratifying for the Banyan Tree Mayakoba team to know that you enjoyed your stay with us and liked our facilities as well as the experience in our spa.

All your comments have been shared with the Department Heads and we look forward to welcoming you back to Banyan Tree Mayakoba in the future.

With warm regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2011

Looking for a perfect place for a second (First) honey moon ? we just found it.
Excellent Service & Food , Beautiful facilities, Private
Not even One single complain, it’s just perfect!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank chup56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTMayakoba, Director General at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2011

Dear Chup56,

We really wish to thank you for your complimentary comments about our hotel facilities, and associates.

It is very gratifying for the Banyan Tree Mayakoba team to know that we could meet your expectations.

Thank you for choosing Banyan Tree Mayakoba, and for taking the time to share your comments with us.

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

With Best Regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2011

I have never written a review before, but based on the some of the others I felt compelled....

First, this place is in an amazing location "Mayakoba" which is definitely the best location to stay in Playa Del Carmen. The weather was great for our stay and the scenery was unmatched; from a world class PGA tour course, to the beach, to the lagoons surrounding the property, the whole thing is surreal.

Upon check in we were greeted by a host who showed us to our villa which was second to none. My wife and I travel 5 star very frequently and have never stayed in nicer accommodations. The villa was like a small guest house complete with a private pool, outdoor tub, lounge and hammock area, etc. The inside was great too....I would say that the villa was about 800 sq. feet and was spacious and inviting.

Food - For us it was amazing. We ate at both Tamarind and Saffron and enjoyed their portions, price, and selection. The staff of the entire resort was what made it for me. As a business owner myself I understand the importance of human capital and that is clearly evident here! The employees love working there and take pride in their jobs. The grounds were lush, the workers were polite and all spoke English, they were all very accommodating all of the time. If anything were to set this apart from other locations we have traveled in the world it would definitely be the people.

Spa - World class...we did a spa day with lunch in between and I would compare it to some of the best spas in the world. The treatment rooms are villas that are private and all of the people working are expertly trained in Thailand. Truly a relaxing experience that was unique to this property.

Beach - Perfect, clear blue water, true (comfortable) lounging chairs, and attentive service at both the beach and swim up pool beachside. Tip....order the soft-shell crab tacos for lunch they are wonderful!

Overall, for us it couldn't be better, of course there are people that will complain about anything but there was nothing to pick on here....the Rosewood and Fairmont are within walking distance for other dining options. You needn't have a reservation b/c the restaurants are never full...you walk in when you are ready to eat and you are seated immediately.

Planning a return trip soon! Enjoy!

Room Tip: Search online as prices do vary....
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank AERICTRAVELS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTMayakoba, Director General at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2011

Dear Aeric Travels,

On behalf of the Banyan Tree Mayakoba, I wish to thank you for taking the time to share your comments about your stay with us.

We were delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay. I appreciate your positive notes about the hotel, and I was very happy to read that you liked the villa, the Spa, and other facilities.

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

With Best Regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Address: Carretera Federal Chetumal - Pto. Juarez Km. 298, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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:
#1 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £441 - £1,236 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Banyan Tree Mayakoba 5*
Number of rooms: 122
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 Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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