Romantic dinners for two onboard the hotel’s dining boat
Playing the Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon, a PGA championship course, which includes navigating over a cenote
Unlike many high-end resorts, this one is very child-friendly and has its own kids club
What To Know
Meals and drinks can be expensive
Some villas are farther removed from the beach than others—though golf carts and bicycles (two per villa) are provided for zipping around the resort
Private group dinners can be arranged and are held in the hotel’s wine cellar
Parking on site
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Romantic, all-villa resort on the Playa del Carmen with countless private pools, an 18-hole golf course, and a stellar spa
It’s hard to find anything missing from this enormous five-star resort, which sits on a stunning stretch of beach on Mexico's Playa del Carmen and whose 118 villas are interspersed with lagoons, mangrove trees, swimming pools, and tennis courts. There’s no shortage of things to do here: guests can take cooking or yoga classes, do a tequila tasting, play golf, go snorkeling, or lounge the day away in the extraordinary spa, which features a hydrothermal circuit of eight hot and cold thermal cabins and includes a “rain walk” and a dip in the “vitality pool,” along with sauna and steam rooms and locally inspired treatments like a massage using honey oil gathered from Mexican bees. The villas start at a whopping 3,000 square feet and mix Asian architecture with Mayan influences and artwork; each has its own personal heated pool, garden, an outdoor bathtub, and several private terraces (complete with hammock). Service is perfectly attentive, but never intrusive.
In the Area
From the Banyan Tree’s location on a prime stretch of beach in the Playa del Carmen community, most short excursions will be to other resorts in the area for dinner or drinks. Guests can easily travel around on the hotel-provided bikes—though renting a car might be best for venturing further afield. A 15-minute drive to the south brings you to the Centro Cultural, which hosts art exhibitions and performances that are well worth seeing. In the other direction, less than an hour’s drive toward Cancún, is the glitzy La Isla Shopping Village, home to over 150 stores arranged around small canals and bridges. The aquarium is another great stop if you’re traveling with children. Several world-class sights, like the ruins at Chichen Itza and the Yucatan cenotes, sinkholes once sacred to the Mayans where visitors can go swimming, are a few hours from the resort—the hotel can arrange trips to both.