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Banyan Tree Mayakoba
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Reviewed 27 April 2012

We just got back from a week at the Mayakoba Banyan Tree and I will try to share a review that is helpful for those considering a visit. The 1) Resort / Area, 2) Accommodations, 3) Service, 4) Food, and 5) Spa...

1) The Resort is about three years old we heard and it is still holding up very well. Entering Mayakoba there are actually three resorts, Rosewood, Fairmont, and Banyan tree. We got a chance to visit/see all three when we ventured out to dinners and more. The Rosewood is more architecturally modern and is a beautiful property we may consider trying next time. It seemed nice, quiet, and a little smaller. The Fairmont seemed more like a massive resort with more typical hotel rooms, large pool, and was definitely busier. Banyan tree is large with a large pool (but typically we were the only two people there which is amazing), rooms apparently have the biggest private pools we were told by other hotels, and it is probably the best out of the three overall. The wooded setting is amazingly nicer than I expected and the separation of the hotel from the beach club is actually a pretty nice idea - and a very short trip. When you want to go they are more than happy to jet you over there on a golf cart or back to your room, the boat is fast and a neat journey as well (although we kept missing it and didn't want to wait for its 30 minute cycle time). Many people rent bikes as well to ride back and forth. The beach club is extremely nice with another smaller pool, restaurant that serves great food, and bar. The beach area in front of the pool (down stairs) is great although rocky in spots - but it is also in the middle of the strip where you can walk either direction for a nice stroll.

2) The room at the Banyan tree is extremely nice and we had the basic private garden villa (still not cheap I guess). You have a large private door into your villa, then another door into your room. The rooms have large sliding glass doors that open up to the patio with hammock and pool steps, and the other direct to pool and with the garden view. The room is setup nicely and they are still nicely equipped and furnished. The bed is comfortable and seemed to be a slight memory foam type bed (although not quite a temperpedic). The bathrooms are extremely nice and roomy although dark a bit at night as they don't have the typical bright lights. All the lighting in the room makes for a great ambiance. The outdoor garden is great as you get a couple comfortable lounge chairs and the pool is wonderful to swim in and quite large. Note though the room pools are not heated and often quite cold but in the hotter offpeak Summer months I'm sure they are plenty warm. Next time we'll probably get a room with the jacuzzi included. There is a great outdoor bathtub in all rooms that makes for a nice experience. Closets in the room are walk in and very large with drawers and plenty of space. Other than that there is the standard flat TV, minibar that is stocked well, desks, Bose wave radio with iPod dock, etc. Overall the room is supurb and about up to a Ritz standard I'd say. Each day the room is straightened up and cleaned very well, even the pool is cleaned every day or so.

3) Service was the best part of the hotel. The staff is extremely friendly always saying hello and wanting to help more than needed. They are also nice to each other which is a great sign. It's a stay where anything you need you feel like they'll be able to help out with. Check-in is pleasant usually with a small tour of the shared areas and everything from the restaurant staff to turn down service is extremely friendly. Turn down is interesting at this resort as they give you a little local artist gift each night a do a nice job at making the room comfortable.

4) The Banyan Tree really only has a few restaurants and that is really the only thing that was frustrating at times, although not an issue. Breakfast (at Orient) is a great spread and changes a little daily. You can find anything you want for breakfast here and its a great buffet. They have a Thai place (Saffron) that is great but its not your traditional Thai back in the US - much nicer spin on things. Tamarind is a more eclectic fine dining restaurant and is also great. Both will typically cost $150ish in range for a dinner for two I'd say. The Beach Club restaurant is a little more casual and serves more Mexican food but even then dishes are more upscale than usual. We did find even our lunches usually around $90 USD or so but its vacation right? The timing of restaurants was a little off for us as Breakfast is from 7-12, then only the Beach Club is open from 12-5, then the other two dinner restaurants are from 6-11 I think leaving some gaps. In room dining is always available though.

We ventured over to Fairmont as well and had a really nice dinner at El Pueblo but it was just about on the same level as ones at Banyan Tree - fine dining. We did get over to Rosewood and had a wonderful dinner at Point Bonita and loved it - as its on the beach with ocean view and food was Mexican and delicious. Definitely try it as well.

The staff is more than happy to take you between resorts with either each resort providing transportation or Banyan Tree making the transfer both ways.

5) We did try the Spa a few times. We had a massage each, had facials again, then also tried the rainforest experience (hydrotherapy type sessions). The massages were great and done well. The resort has 16 small huts where two individuals each get a massage together if you want. They bring you in, sit you down, give you drinks, do a small arm massage and footbath, you pick insense, and then the massage starts. Facials are similar experience. The rainforest session is basically several steam rooms where two can sit together with showers inbetween. They use small showers that have Kohler products that basically change lighting, have music, and a rain shower at the top while the temperature adjust, etc. You finally then end in a larger pool with a few bubble, jets, and jacuzzi options. Overall it is nice but we didn't enjoy it as much. The spa is wonderful although not cheap of course.

Overall we loved our stay at Banyan Tree Mayakoba and loved how empty it was. It was odd feeling like your the only people in a resort at times until you at least see some others at breakfast and the beach. It is definitely a place you feel like you get away to and we liked it much better than the other large mega resorts in the Riviera Maya. Definitely try it out!

Room Tip: The regular garden villas seem to be the most private since they don't have 2nd floors and thus can't see into each other's courtyards (we heard Spa rooms do). Works/boats/divers sometimes go up/down the waterways so don't expect 100% privacy in the courtyard all the time but they seem to turn their back typically when going down the water...
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank TXTravisWilliams
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 10 May 2012

Dear TXTravisWilliams

Thank you for coming to our Hotel and it is great to read that you have had an absolute satisfying experience.

We do thank you for your kind detailed notes regarding our food, associates, installations and other services. We are happy to know that we have been able to exceeded your expectations.

I look forward to welcoming you and your family back to Banyan Tree Mayakoba.

Warmest 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 26 April 2012

We came back to banyan tree a second time because of the unbelievable great experience we had the first time. The service and the hospitality is the best there is. The staff overlooks nothing. My only issue is they have not figured out how to give those of us that want peace and quiet and relaxation a separation from those with children. Maybe I could suggest making the reflections pool adult only. Also, when seating for dinner make sure the children are in a separate area. We wil be back for a third time.

Stayed: April 2012
Thank MDgolfer54
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 10 May 2012

Dear MDgolfer54

I am happy to know that you have come back to our hotel for a vacation and want to say thank you for writing your complimentary feedback on this web page. The suggestions you have made are to be shared with the persons involved.

We will be so looking forward to welcome you back again to this sanctuary of the senses.

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

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Reviewed 23 April 2012

We stayed at the Banyan Tree for 10 days in April 2012. This was my second visit to here and I am so delighted I returned to this perfect sanctuary of peace, with a great beach, restaurants and golf course in a resort where each of the rooms have a private pool and extensive space.
I came back as the service overall in the hotel is fantastic - very hard to beat.

Restaurants:-
The Thai restaurant Saffron is excellent - do have the set menu one evening!
Sands - Excellent for lunch and dinner - try the seafood bbq one evening!
Breakfast - this is always excellent - try the local mexican omelette recipe!
Within the Mayakoba complex you can walk on the beach to the Rosewood - and try the Lobster Tacos at the pool restaurant.

From the hotel you can also walk down the beach to other hotels - the Grand Velas next door has a great Restaurant called Sen Li - but you need to get the hotel to book so you can get through Security.

Playa Del Carmen is about 15 mins in a cab away and there is a lot of shopping and good restaurants there. Diabalito Cha Cha Cha is a bar and restaurant that we would recommend, along with Casa di Aqua and the Blue Lobster.

If you are looking for a modern hotel with Privacy, understated, great beach, food and service (with or without golf) - I think that you would find this hard to beat.

Have fun.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank Suresh P
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 10 May 2012

Dear Suresh P

Thank you very much for your comments on Trip Advisor, It was with great pleasure to read your detailed and positive of your stay here at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba hotel.

We all here at the hotel try to do our best to amaze our guests and when they let us know we have done so, we appreciate it.

Thank you for this review and we look forward to welcome you back

With best regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Área General Manager

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Reviewed 18 April 2012

We chose to go to Mexico on our honeymoon in July 2011 because of it being a short flight from Mississippi to Cancun. We picked this hotel after EXTENSIVE research (particularly on TripAdvisor) and after we saw it was named in the top ten Mexican resorts for 2011. No one we know had ever been here so we were excited but nervous. We are SO glad we went here! We could not have picked a better place to go!! It was one of the nicest places I've ever been. The staff was so professional but friendly. They accomodated all of our needs perfectly. The resort is fairly new so it was as if they looked around at all other resorts and improved upon them and ended up with the perfect resort. We stayed in a 'courtyard pool villa'. You could literally not leave the villa if you didn't want to and have an amazing time with everything you need. It's very secluded. It has a private pool, hot tub, outdoor dining area, outdoor lounge area to layout/read, etc., a hammock, and an outdoor (huge) bathtub. The master suite's large glass doors literally open up into the pool for a very open air feeling if you so desire. The difference between a courtyard pool villa and a garden pool villa is the separate living room/dining room on the other side of the villa from the master bath and bedroom. The courtyard pool villa has this area and the garden villa does not. It is not necessary to have this area but it was nice for when we ordered in and were able to eat inside at night. There are so many ammenities. There's a light switch next to the bed to turn on a light outside the villa door that says 'privacy' so no one will bother you. Every night we would come home from dinner with the bed turned down, relaxing music playing, slippers and robes on our beds with incense lit, the lights turned down and a schedule of the next day's activities, weather, etc. laying on the bed. When they found out we were on our honeymoon they did all of the usual nighttime rituals but gave us a complimentary bottle of wine with a hand written note from the manager and put lots of rose petals in our room on our second night there.
The rooms have everything you need in them. They have a tray of amenities in the large walk in closet (with mirror and dressing area) that has everything from mosquito spray to a flashlight and more. The shower is a huge walk in shower that has a glass wall looking out at the walled-in outdoor tub area. There is a shade to lower if you want to use it, but no one can see in so we never did.
The villas are not on the beach, but we didn't mind this at all. There are golf carts that can be requested and the staff will drive you wherever you like. We usually did this for dinner to take us from our villa to the restaurants on the resort. We could call and say we'd like one at our villa at a certain time or that we need one now and they'd be there in 5 minutes. The resort has bikes that you can rent for 5 or 10 dollars a day that we got for the entire time we were there. The grounds are GORGEOUS so we really enjoyed biking to the beach through the resort, which was probably a 7 minute bike ride from our room. We would often see wildlife on our way, which was fun. There are two pools to choose from in addition to our private villa pool. One is on the beach overlooking the ocean and the other is closer to the lobby of the resort with secluded nooks where you could lay out basically by yourselves. Both pools had swim up bars and would make anything you'd ask for.
The restaurants were very good as well. We ate at each of them and then went to the neighboring Rosewood resort for dinner one night. The resort drove us throught the grounds to the resort in a van at our request- no problem at all. (We learned at that dinner that we had definitely made the right choice in staying at the Banyan Tree.) The complimentary breakfast was amazing. There is anything from traditional breakfast food to pasta dishes, and much much more. Tons of fresh fruits, pastries, sushi, and drink options. Too much to list.
The resort seemed to have a good many people staying at it, but you never felt crowded, nor was it ever noisy. You can see people at restaurants at meals or maybe at the pool but you also could feel very secluded, which was perfect to us. We didn't want to be somewhere packed full of people but also didn't want to feel like we were on a deserted island.
The decor is beautiful! It's all very unique and pretty but also very inviting and laid back. It goes perfect with the surroundings. It's all very open and very CLEAN! It doesn't feel old at all (because it's only three years old).
We stayed on the resort he entire time except for one day. We had the resort call us a cab to go to Playa Del Carmen. We then took the boat from there over to Cozumel, went snorkeling, and walked around by the water. We were very cautious but felt safe the entire time.
Our service at the resort was great! We had all we asked for within minutes of asking for it, and the staff was just as we would like- Everyone was very, very friendly but not over the top chatting so much as if they want to be your new best friend.
We got a couples massage one day, which was great. They did a wonderful job. My husband got a deep tissue and loved it.
We cannot say enough great things about this resort. We were so sad to leave! Before we had left we were already planning our next trip there. I would also recommend this resort for groups of friends. We thought it would be fun to come back next time with a group so that each couple could have their own villa but could also go to the pool/beach, play golf, or go to the spa during the day and gather at night at one of the restaurants for dinner. There were a few families there with smaller children but not a lot. Most people were couples or families with older children. Loved loved loved it!! It was paradise!

Room Tip: if you are wanting to save a little money, you could definitely do a garden villa instead of the courtyard villa. There are still several places to sit, eat, watch tv, etc. without the added separate living/dining room that comes with the courtyard villa. However it was really nice to have such a large villa with two different living areas to go to as you choose. The garden villas are a little closer to the main lobby and restaurants that are there. However, the proximity of the garden villas would not make me choose them over a courtyard villa.
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Ltrane
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 10 May 2012

Dear Ltrane

Having detailed feedback as this is of great satisfaction for everybody at Banyan Tree Mayakoba.

I want to thank you very much for taking the time to describe your experience during your honeymoon with us. Of course all our associates are to be informed about this nice recap, they will be glad to know that the following of our standards is getting good results and giving wonderful impressions to our guests.

I will be more than glad to welcome you back again to our paradise.

Kind regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

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Reviewed 17 April 2012

We stayed at the Banyan Tree at the end of March for 2 weeks, luckily our first week was spent relaxing and enjoying all the facilities as well as our private pool villa which really was amazing! The staff are lovely and helpful and the people of Playa del Carmen are also really helpful and friendly. On our second night at the Banyan we decided to go into Playa del Carmen for something to eat and to have a look around, the Hotel called us an amazing Taxi Guy called Erik and he took us to an excellent restaurant, luckily he gave us his card because on returning to the Banyan my husband realised that he had lost his wallet with all his credit cards and money inside! As you can imagine we were totally distraught not knowing where we could have dropped it, luckily my husband rang Reception and they called Erik our Taxi guy who immediately searched his car, found the wallet and drove back to the Banyan Tree to deliver it to us! Now that is what I call good service, not to mention honesty, he made our trip and we used him for trips to see the Mayan Ruins as well as some stunning locations around Tulum. Thank you Erik we will never forget you! I would highly recommend using Erik C Ramirez, he is the best!

On the Banyan Tree Hotel we loved our Villa with private pool it was really ovely and it was hard to drag ourselves away from it! We had the in Villa BBQ which was great although we could not do justice to all the food! We also hired the bikes and used them every day, they were brilliant to get around in and for us much better than waiting around for Buggies. The guy that sorted the bikes for us was lovely, I am so sorry I have forgotten your name but thank you for all your help and cheerful greetings around the resort when we saw you during our two weeks. The staff at the Oriente are all good guys too, especially Ivan who looked after us for breakfast and helped organise a cake for my birthday, thank you! We also did the eco tour which is really worth doing, the wildlife is amazing and they guys so knowledgeable. We booked the evening cruise which was really romantic and again the guys could not too enough for us, thank you! I loved the Spa the treatments were so good and the therapists really professional and strong! My husband enjoyed the Golf and played twice whilst we were there.


Unfortunately towards the end of our trip a huge Wedding Party of 300 people arrived and that is the only area of complaint we had because the staff just could not cope with such a huge number so service suffered. We really missed not being able to have our breakfast at the Oriente it just was not the same. Also the Beach became too crowded and noisy and it was impossible to relax. One of our favourite things to do in the evening was have a drink at the bar before going for dinner, Cecilia was the best Bar Person and always had a welcoming smile to greet us. Unfortunately the Wedding Party totally took over the bar area one evening so we could not even go near the location let alone get a drink! Thankfully we called Erik who whisked us away to Playa del Carmen for the evening! I really think going forwards the Hotel should warn guests if there is a large party arriving.

Overall though it is a great hotel and well worth visiting, the hotel is also really impressive in it's eco drive and being sensitive to it's environment and wildlife.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank brocqie
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 10 May 2012

Dear brocqie

Thank you very much for your review and the details share on your resent trip to our hotel. I am sorry that you felt that our service delivery during your stay was not even and we will work hard to improve on our standards even when the hotel has a group in house.

I am Happy to note that you enjoyed your stay otherwise and please do let me know when you come for a second visit.

With best regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

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