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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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