Let me first start by saying that I and my girlfriend only stayed here for 3 nights, as I had spent 4 nights previously at 'The Royal Playa Del Carmen' so my review is not based on a particularly long stay. Also, as a side note, some of the pictures of the resort are outdated. They have hedges planted along the lagoon edge, so there's no lagoon view in the Spa Pool Villas. The beachside pool also has a higher hedge for some reason, so it's not quite so "infinity"
When we arrived at the resort, we were greeted by Guadalupe, who was very friendly and provided us with much needed cold drinks and cold towels. We were there as part of our celebrations for our 7th anniversary and we were given an upgrade from a 'Courtyard Villa' to a 'Spa Pool Villa' which we would come to regret. Our first evening, we made reservations for Tamarind, and contrary to a number of the other reviews, we very much enjoyed the food. Our first evening was quite relaxed and enjoyable.
On our first "day" there, we woke up early and had a very nice breakfast at Oriente and then went back to our villa to change into our swim wear. It's at this point, after changing, that we found..!
An army of ants had appeared, marching out of the walls of the closet into all the drawers, our clothes AND into all of our luggage. We absolutely panicked initially, and called housekeeping to figure out a solution. It took over 2-3 hours to "resolve" the situation, as initially only a staff member with a bug spray canister came to the scene. It took us elevating the issue to the head of housekeeping and accommodations before someone realized it wouldn't simply be a "spray" problem, as there was no way I was taking these guests back home with me from Mexico. Eventually the situation got handled, and appeared to be handled well - all our clothes were laundered, we were given some clothing to wear from the gift shop (we were only in our swim wear) and we were moved to another villa. An appropriate response, which we were satisfied with, but the whole event consumed much of our morning. We were told our clothes would be ready by the evening and we made reservations at Saffron that night. We were also asked that if we wanted to check out late or extend our stay as we had lost so much time to resolve the issue - unfortunately we had a hard flight out and couldn't stay longer.
We spent the day at the beach and enjoyed the amazing service at the sands and by far the most delicious flank steak sandwich I've had in a very long time. My girlfriend had the soft shell crab tacos which were also delicious. The staff at the beachside were fantastic, ever ready to adjust our umbrellas and even refreshed our melted drinks for free! Kudos.
When we arrived back at our Villa - there were no clothes waiting for us. We waited. And waited. Called housekeeping. Called guest services. And waited more. Our clothes did not arrive until 11PM. Another issue. We couldn't go to dinner until we had clothes - the restaurant had a dress code, so a late dinner we had that night. We were told when we departed that they were very sorry for the issue with the clothes and had comp’d our dinner that night.
Overall, the resort is beautiful, absolute paradise - and the Spa, wow, absolutely amazing! We did the “Rainforest” treatment as well as a couples massage, and their spa services are as good as I have ever had. Overall the resort is beautiful, a very serene romantic environment that is perfect for couples celebrating their honeymoon or anniversary. Side note: if you're someone who attracts mosquitoes like me - be aware that all of Mayakoba is situated on a lagoon and there are lots of mosquitoes! They provide you natural bug spray so that should provide a clue. There were much fewer during our visit, but will always be an issue for when you make use of the outdoor amenities in the Villa or eat out on the patios/decks in the evenings.
So in closing, I have many many good things to say about the resort, the staff, the food and Banyan Tree overall.. But for there to be such issues at the resort AND to have such difficulty resolving such issues (which ate up a significant portion of our short stay there!) - at such an exclusive high end resort was simply unacceptable! I must say even in closing that I feel conflicted, as the resort was so beautiful, I feel like my vacation there could have been so much more. As I look upon our vacation photos and the photos on Tripadvisor, it makes me feel like I should go back and even recommend the resort to others based on the “good times” that we experienced, but I find it difficult to justify it given what had happened.
- 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 Playa Del Carmen, Mexico - Riviera Maya