Banyan Tree Mayakoba
What We Love
- 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
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
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.
How to Get There
I have visited this place 4 times now, the service is out of this world, you really feel special no matter how many customers they have. The amenities are great, so many restaurant choices, buggy transport around, free bicycles. There is a shop on site, and food and drink available on the beach. you really do not need to leave after you arrive.
We went out one night to "Catch" which is in playa del carmen and does the best fish ever, this was a recommendation from the hotel.
This is a true 5 star experience. the spa is insane! And you can do the rainforest thing which i think is a little gimmicky but a good laugh with friends. The massages are high quality and the treatment room are beautiful.
All the restaurants offer really high quality, so whatever you do, you will not regret it.
We had a room with private pool which was cleaned daily and they provide insect repellant and candles to make you more comfortable. the turn down service is also really good!
I highly recommend!
Just returned from a four day visit to Banyan Tree Mayakoba and it was one of the best four days of my life. The grounds are absolutely beautiful, well maintained, and eco friendly. We stayed in the Bliss Pool Villa, which was amazing. Private pool, beautiful "yard", spacious room, closet, and bathroom. Outdoor bath, which can be drawn at your request. The room was spotless, as was the room grounds. Each villa provides two bicycles to tour the property, immediate "buggy" service upon calling, beach towels and beach bags (among other basic necessities). The breakfast was amazing, and each of the restaurants we ate in was of high quality. The staff went above and beyond, and the word "no" does not exist here. I had the opportunity to take the courtesy boat "tour" that visited each of the Mayakoba properties and to do the 45 minute kayak tour. Both were super relaxing, beautiful, and worth the time and money (kayak). I was here for a wedding, which was by far the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended. The ceremony on the beach was flawless, as was the reception - the setup, decor, dj, staff, and food were phenomenal. This place far exceeded my expectations in every way possible.
It seems that all the rooms at this location are private villas. With private pool, lounge chairs, hot tub, and spacious accommodations, you could spend your entire vacation in solitude and not see anyone else if that's what you prefer. They upgraded us to a two bedroom villa (308) and my daughters were quite jealous that they didn't come along!
Everywhere you turn the villa exudes luxury from the decor to the linens and towels to the outdoor moon tub and huge soaking tub on the upper level (separate entrance if you don't want to be sharing the space with your kids or friends.
The living room is about twenty feet from the bedroom on the other end of a path that passes the pool area. Aside from the infinity pool, there are two lounge chairs with a canopy on the upper level along with a 4-seat table for coffee, hanging out or whatever, and a few feet lower, two more loungers facing the lagoon which is at the end of our own personal boat dock.
Every staff member seems focused on your total satisfaction. English is spoken very well by nearly every employee and they call you by name (even if they mangled my confusing last name a bit.)
Heading to the spa, beach, or lobby is as simple as calling the front desk to have a golf cart come pick you up. When I called I was told there was a refrigerator in the room which was not accurate, but they did empty the minibar for me which worked decently enough. Someone told me they'd furnished him with a microwave so I guess it's good to ask.
One thing I found conspicuously missing was USB ports. The only outlets near the bed are rather far under the night table so make sure to bring a longer cord with you. Voltage in Mexico is the same as U.S.
Housekeeping was excellent and they did a great job cleaning up without moving all of our things to crazy places. I wish there would have been better trash facilities. Because the waste cans are small and don't have plastic bags (maybe environmental reasons?) I felt uncomfortable putting food waste in them so we sort of stacked dirty paper plates on the desk until housekeeping came. We usually keep our laundry in a plastic garbage bag when we travel but I was afraid they'd throw it out.
We went to the beach twice. There was a lot of seaweed but they had a specially-trained team with nets, pitchforks and a tractor to combat it and I was able to go into the water the second day. Again, at the beach there was fantastic service and great amenities. Numerous chairs and umbrellas line the beach as well as a small pool nearby. When we arrived, staff jumped into action to spread out towels for us and bring us a cooler with ice and bottled water. (Bottled water is free, as it's still Mexico and you can't drink the water. They told me the ice is purified or filtered and we encountered no problems with that.)
We enjoyed the spa and I definitely recommend the signature "Rainforest experience."
We also took the free "ecological tour" which was a relaxing 45-minute boat ride along the canals of the compound. We saw some turtles, exotic birds and a couple baby crocodiles. Either way, it was lovely.
TIPPING: I was never asked for a tip nor made to feel that I had to. When someone went above and beyond or when I had smaller bills I did tip. I suggest bringing a lot of singles and five-dollar bills as you will be helped by a dozen or more staffers in a given day.
What can I say? You get what you pay for and this vacation was amazing.