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“Tranquility on the Riviera Maya”

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Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Ranked #3 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
39 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Tranquility on the Riviera Maya”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2012

Banyan Tree Mayakoba is a 5 star resort all the way. Service at this all-villa resort is top notch. Each villa has a swimming pool. The staff is very attentive. The grounds are huge and for those who enjoy walking or running, it's a great place to stretch your legs. There is a buggy service on request for those who don't like to walk. They arrive within minutes. Most of the villas are located in the jungle side of the resort along the Mayakoba river and golf course, which is about 1km from the beach. Beach access is a a few minutes by buggy, 10 minute jog, 15 minute walk, or 12 minutes via river boat.
When you're in the jungle villas, you have more of a jungle feel than a beach feel. We took a townhouse villa on the jungle side which has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, a spacious living room, dining room and kitchenette and pool in the roofdeck. It felt like a mini apartment.
The beach is beautiful, white sands, turquoise waters. There is a beach club with a pool and restauarnt and the staff is extremely attentive passing out water and cold towels. There is a childrens play area with DVDs, games to play and activities. They have kayaks and paddle boards free to use on the beach with someone to assist if you need help. We were there in August and the sea was very choppy so hard for the kids or even adults to swim. We mostly stayed in the pool that overlooked the sea.
There is a golf course and tennis court in the Mayakoba complex and 2 other hotels (Rosewood and Fairmont). There was a shuttle service to the Rosewood and Fairmont for those who wanted to dine there. We ate at Rosewood for dinner one night. For lunch there is one restaurant option, Sands, the restaurant in the beach club. For dinner there are two options, Saffron, a Thai restaurant, which was pretty authentic and you can go with kids and Tamarin, a continental restaurant for adults only. The food at Tamarind was delicious. The only draw back was the limited choice for dinner for a family with kids staying for more than a few days. The breakfast at the Banyan Tree is amazing. They serve continental food as well as Mexican dishes and the freshest fruit from the area. They even make their own granola!
There is free WIFI in all the rooms and public areas of the resort. There is also a gym and a spa. All treatment rooms in the spa are in mini villas.
All in all it was a great experience. The only other thing is that since the villas were not on the beach, it was not a completely beach feeling vacation, you could not hear the waves or see the water. But it was a beautiful resort, very tranquil ambiance and had great service.
I suggest renting a car at Cancun airport to do activities outside the hotel such as visiting Tulum or the water parks in the area - Explor, Xcaret, Xel-Ha. It is easy to get around without GPS. There is one main road and the signage is good.

Room Tip: We took a townhouse villa on the jungle side which has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, a spacious living room...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank angypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTGroup, General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this review, 12 September 2012
Dear angypsy

We are glad to know that Banyan Tree Mayakoba was a good host during your family vacation even though not the whole property is by the beach.

Thank you for giving us your nice feedback about the time you had here and the activities that you had enjoyed. I believe that your suggestions will be very useful for other readers.

I do look for the opportunity to welcome you back again to this hotel,

Wishing you the best,


Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (382)
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English first
Austin, TX
Level Contributor
40 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2012

I am here on my 18tear Anniversary and am a very picky traveler. This hotel is simply amazing! From the time you arrive and greeted to the EXCEPTIONAL attention to the smallest details, you know you are in a place that cares about its reputation as a leading hotel and specially their guests. I have traveled all over the world and, this so far tops my list of service and quality. In my book that says a lot!

The service is the best I have ever experienced at a hotel. it feels like the staff to guest ratio is 2:1 (2 staff for every guest) by how attentive they are to you.

The villas or rooms are absolutely incredible and have been well maintained and again, the attention to detail is incredible. from the courtyards, to your own private pool & sitting areas with hammock , outside bathtub, the usable products in the room etc.,

The spa was fantastic and specifically the massage was the best I have ever had.

The food is simply outstanding! One of the best breakfast buffets I have experienced!

All I can say is : Banyan Tree Mayakoba, You made my and my wife's anniversary very special and we will definitely be back hopefully sooner than later!!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank clay3c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTGroup, Vice President, Area General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this review, 29 August 2012
Dear clay3c

Thank you for choosing our hotel to celebrate your 18th wedding anniversary.

We feel glad when we read that our guests feel pampered and that you received the high end service we are committed to provide during your stay. I want to say thank you for writing your valuable appreciation regarding your visit to Banyan Tree Mayakoba.

We will be happy to welcome you and your wife to this Sanctuary of the senses.

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
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
99 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2012

Staying here was certainly an experience. We stayed in a Garden Pool Villa, lovely. But even with a discounted stay, this place was way too expensive. And then they do the pesos-dollar shuffle. Charge you in dollars, convert that to pesos, and then when you leave they put the bill into dollars on your credit card - leaving you scratching your head as to why you stayed here, as you paid so much money and now they're taking advantage of you again. You are virtually held prisoner by the hotel and its staff and cart pick-up service. They don't tell you that there is an automatic 15% tip given to the staff, so you feel obligated to tip nonetheless until you find out the staff is already receiving a tip. You can't park your own car, even though few people drive there and the lot is within view of the front door. You walk into the hotel, and they immediately sit you down with a glass of wine, which I didn't want. I just wanted to walk up to the desk and give them my card and go to my room. Not possible. Although that is the obligation you are given upon departure. When leaving the hotel, you scratch your head again to ask where the front desk is so you can check-out. Of course, if you could have walked up to the front desk when you arrived, or upon entering if someone pointed out that when you leave, the front desk is behind you in the next room. You can't walk to your room, or anywhere else on the grounds, as there are no signs, and the walkways loop all over the grounds. You have to call a cart to come pick you up to go anywhere. We never saw the beach or any water besides the Mangrove Swamp that the hotel is situated on. Would I stay here again? Likely not.

Room Tip: Perhaps ask for a room with an ocean view. It's weird to stay at the beach and not see the wate...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank LaCruz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTGroup, Area General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this review, 2 September 2012
Dear LaCruz

Thank you very much for your review on Trip Advisor and for taking the time to share with us your views on our hotel. The points you have highlighted in regards to Service Charge and Fee are clearly mentioned in all literature starting from the moment you make your reservation. The charge of USD to Mexican pesos and back to USD is unfortunately a requirement we have to fulfill and we cannot change this.

The location of the hotel next to the mangroves took place out of the environmental reserves, as like this we profit the beach from being overbuild and the mangroves from being destroyed. This is worthwhile to protect the mangroves from destruction as they play a vital role for all the beautiful wildlife you encounter in Mayakoba.

UI do hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back and to slow to you the wonderful nature and surroundings of the hotel.

With best regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Area General Manager
Vice President
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
32 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2012

My fiancée and I decided to take a quick trip (Cancun Airport is 2 hours from Houston) to do nothing but relax after what had been a long summer. The Banyan Tree was an amazing choice--after a short drive, it felt like we were a world away from home. The resort does so many things right: the staff is friendly and professional, the rooms are amazing (we never left except for dinner and the beach, and could have stayed indefinitely), and the beach (like its drinks) was perfection. It was a perfect experience, and one that seemed more like 5-star hotels in Asia than anything I had experienced in North America. I should also note the restaurants: the free breakfast buffet was great for what it was, Saffron (Thai) was romantic and delicious, and Tamarind (Mediterranean/French) was sophisticated and first rate. The sole downside was price: I got a rate that was more than fair for our room, but everything else (e.g., the $200+ airport transport, $20 drinks) added up. Ultimately, though, you get what you pay for, and I can't wait for the chance to return.

Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Ty D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTGroup, Vice President, Area General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this review, 29 August 2012
Dear TGD80

It sounds great that you had enjoyed yourselves during your visit to Banyan Tree Mayakoba and that you had left behind for a while the bustle of everyday life.

Thank you for the time you took to add your opinion at this website.

We sincerely look forward to your return.

Have a wonderful day,

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
Dallas
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2012

This was a 4 night excursion for us rather than a well planned vacation (a short 2.5hr flight from DFW). Most of vacations are long affairs with lengthy travel time to Asia. This one was a simple getaway to relax for a few days, and it was truly a relaxing stay. The stay was in July and the resort was around 15% full, so it we rarely saw more than a handful of other guests. Our room was upgraded to the two room suite. The 100% pool villa suite concept is more reminiscent of Asia destinations and proved beyond expectations.

The Asian architecture was also quite beautiful, but all those iron structures are beginning to gather rust in the salt air. The grounds are perfect. Things are spread out so much that golf cart service is almost mandatory. The best value during our stay was the bike rental. We enjoyed riding around an photographing the wild life. It was also the easiest way to get to the beach any time you wanted. Banyon Tree is on the other side of the property from the golf club house, so we biked over there for a look. The Fairmont and Rosewood were closer to the golf course, but the pool villa concept is one we always prefer, very much Bali-esque.

The only thing keeping it from the 5 star clean sweep was the dining options. The breakfast buffet was over the top good. It included a huge room full of options, which amazed us since we only saw four other guests at any given time at breakfast.

The Saffron had a true Thai chef, but I was underwhelmed with the seafood heavy choices. Once you've had a few weeks straight of Thai food in Thailand, you get a little spoiled. We are also from an urban area that offers high quality restaurants of any style.

The Oriente was never open, accept at breakfast, so the only lunch choice was at the Sands beach club. We made the same mistake as many others there by ordering water with lunch. The only water provided was a 750ml glass decanter bottle of Evian, which cost us $10. The hamburger was $20, not much of a value regardless of the quality. The flank sandwich turned out to be not only different, but delicious. Loved it and much cheaper than the burger. The one evening meal at the Tamarind was quite good, but again a bit pricey.

I was quoted either $210 or $275 for round trip transport from the airport, depending on my choice of shared van size. Again, not a good value. I've hired a personal car and driver for less going from Leon to San Miguel de Allende. I rented a car instead for the same price. This allowed us to go into Playa Del Carmen for dinner and catch a bit of a relative bargain. We had also planned to snorkel a cenote and perhaps visit Tulum. Neither happened since we have done it before and just felt like doing nothing.

The beach area was very nice and we spent most of our time moving between our private pool, the big pool and the beach club, just chilling and loving it. I'm not sure what happens when the 125 villas are full. There really isn't enough beach club for full occupancy. But, not for us this time. It was completely stress free.

I also played a couple of early morning rounds of golf. At the off season rate of $125, it really was a bargain. The course conditions rate a perfect 10. The practice facility is better than most courses in the states. Fairways are fairly wide and forgiving, but the jungle keeps anything that strays in there. At the off season rate it is a very good value.

We have been to Mexico almost 30 times. We generally avoid the mass touristy type venues. This, while not off the beaten path, was by far the best and most upscale resort we have stayed at in Mexico. The best Asian resort not in Asia.

Tip: Rent a bike(s) for the entire stay.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank scorpiofish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTGroup, Vice President, Area General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this review, 29 August 2012
Dear scorpiofish

It was with great pleasure to read that your stay here at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba was a relaxing experience. We are always very happy to know that our services have been appreciated and for providing your feedback, we say thank you.

The remarks in regards on the food quality and choices have been noted with the personnel in charge.

We look forward to welcome you back

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
Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
41 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2012

We spent 2 days at this hotel in Mayakoba.
We were a bit in doubt of whether a Thai background would spoil our first 2 days in Mexico. It did not. Quite the opposite.
The hotel was beautiful, the surroundings (protected mangrove, golf course) nicely private and the employees were EXCEPTIONAL.
We were five so, when I booked, I was given various alternatives, and was pointed out how I could save some money by taking a larger villa (which I though would have been more expensive). It was large, comfy, spotless and had a few goodies for the kids: a private rooftop small pool, wifi, large TV sets...
Breakfast was very good indeed. We chose to have it outside. It was quite warm, but much quieter and helped us adapt to the heat.
Do not miss the boat ecotour in the mangrove: 45-55 minutes of your own private visit to see small turtles, all sorts of birds.
The only small difficulty was that we drove from Cancun late at night and -being tired- we missed the entrance and had to stop twice to ask

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with BanyanTree.com

Helpful?
Thank 36Alfonso36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTGroup, Vice President, Area General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this review, 29 August 2012
Dear viajero de BanyanTree.com

Thank you very much for your recommendations on Trip Advisor, and I am happy to see that our associates’ attentions have been able to meet your expectations during your short stay.

I also hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the near future and with you all the best.


Sincerely yours


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
L.A., CA
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2012

We ended up here on a last minute decision. It's a truly beautiful resort. Our villa had a pool and a separate living room, a roof deck, an outdoor tub and shower - all beautifully designed and maintained. The staff was uniformly gracious, welcoming and friendly. We were there as the Yucatan peninsula was hit with a hurricane. Luckily the country was spared any great damage. We felt completely safe and taken care of the whole time.

What we missed of the Caribbean experience staying here was easy access to a nice snorkeling beach. The hotel's beach is pretty minimal and isn't protected by a reef like a lot of the rest of the peninsula. It's also really far from the rooms. It's not that any of this is bad, its just different. We ended up spending a ton of time in our room which frankly was a pretty awesome place to be.

Food wise, the hotel has a couple upscale restaurants - one Thai and the other Mediterranean. The Thai place is better - even though it feels kind of weird eating Thai food in Mexico it can be a nice break. We never ate at the beach club so not sure what they had to offer. I found myself missing a more casual Mexican place. The breakfast buffet that's included in the room charge is pretty awesome and will hold you easily until dinner.

The spa is fantastic. Treatment rooms amazing. My issue is that travelers paying these prices are usually pretty sophisticated and come having had their share of spa treatments. At least for me, I'd rather get "real" treatments - massages by people who know deep tissue techniques like NMT, etc. Canyon Ranch style stuff I guess. The facials are meant to be relaxing so they don't do extractions. Maybe I'm a masochist, but I really like to have all the crap taken out when I get a facial - otherwise I don't see the point.

Anyway, small quibbles with an otherwise beautiful experience. Surrounded by nature, completely private, extremely calming. All good.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank freaquentflier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTGroup, Vice President, Area General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this review, 29 August 2012
Dear frequentflier

It was with a great pleasure to read your review and complimentary comments. We thank you for your observations and we are sure those are also valuable for other readers.

We look forward to your return to Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Wishing you a lovely day,

Remaining at your disposal,

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

Property: 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:
#2 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#3 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#3 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Banyan Tree Mayakoba 5*
Number of rooms: 118
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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