My wife and I, together with our 11th month old daughter, stayed here for 9 nights in late September/early October. It was our first trip with the baby, and at booking, the real selling point was the in-villa pool and our biggest concern was dining and the baby irritating everyone.
The photos do not do justice to the villas or the public areas of the hotel. We had a 2 bedroom estuary apartment (an upgrade) and all I can do is corroborate the opinions so far that the villas are amazing. We did not have a view, but in return we had complete privacy ("Honey, I don't think we need to unpack the bikini :). We were located in a villa very close to the main building, which turned out not only to be very convenient, but we did not suffer from any negatives which I might have associated with such proximity: there was no additional noise or foot traffic that we were aware of.
The breakfast buffet was really very good indeed. A wide range of choices, and a variety of hot dishes that changed on a daily basis. The breakfast staff were incredibly friendly and helpful - offering to carry plates ladened with food, and bringing replenishments of coffee and juices. They were very tolerant of our baby, and I would say that the other guests were also. It is a romantic and couple-ish resort, and there were very few kids there. We tried to be respectful of this and even if we failed, the hotel or the staff did not give us a hard time.
I should add that we did not request a crib in advance, but when we arrived and asked for one, it arrived in no time, was very clean and excellent and high quality crib bed linen was provided. It is a large resort, and there are lots of golf cart buggies driving around, but we felt that when we requested something (champagne glasses, ice, extra coffee) it arrived very quickly and sooner than in a traditional hotel perhaps).
The boat ride to the beach was a wonderfully unique way to travel to a beach and made up completely for the hotel not being a beach front property. I would urge everyone to take the eco-tour, not only because of the amazing wildlife on offer, but because it brings an understanding of the Mayakoba reserve and the how the hotel properties are integrated into nature, the mangroves and the lagoons. It made me glad it was not a beach front property.
Often we would walk back from the beach to our villa in the evening. A really pleasant walk. But we did not do it in the heat of the day when perhaps it would be unpleasant.
If there is a downside to the Banyan Tree, I think it is food outside of the breakfast buffet. This criticism applies with or without a child. The website touts 6 dining options, but really there are 2. The Thai restaurant Saffron and the high-end Tamarind restaurant, which we did not visit as it is adults only. Saffron is definitely not casual dining. For a weekend type stay, perhaps gourmet food everynight is fine, but for longer stays, it is nice to break out a hamburger, taco or a "casual dining' option. We ended up getting cabs to Playa and eating there. One night during our stay, Tamarind was closed so the beach restaurant Sands was open for dinner. This was incidentally the best night of the trip for us. Eating grilled seafood by the ocean in the more relaxed environment of Sands was great for us and the atmosphere was more conducive to younger guests. We just think this resort might benefit from a casual dining alternative and opening Sands for dinner more often. Perhaps they do in high season.
We had a great time here with our baby, she loved the pool and the ocean: the soft sand of the beach and the smiles of the staff. But I would not recommend this place for kids at all. Its just not a kids place and that's fine.
As I mentioned earlier, its a big resort with folks driving around on golf carts executing their daily duties. Restaurants are very well staffed. And I will say this, over the 9 days we were there, whenever we saw someone, be they spa lady, pool guy, gardening worker, chef or waiter, there was always a smile, eye contact and a friendly hello. Sounds small and insignificant, but we noticed it and liked it and we had not come across this before and to this extent in all the places we have stayed as a couple before coming to Banyan Tree.
We also felt very secure here. Gated entry, subsequent security gates closer to the hotel. President Calderon gave an address at the Fairmont during our stay (20 commandoes armed to the teeth on the beach as I approached my putt on the 7th green is a recipe for the yips).
I played golf twice at El Cameleon and had a good time. A well looked after and tended course. Good pace of play and challenging.
We recommend the turn down service (a second room clean, they hang up your clothes, light the candles and always a small gift).
We think we tried everything at the hotel, other than Tamarind and the reflections pool (who needs a large hotel pool when you have your own large pool in villa?) and we heartily recommend this hotel. Its brings an Asian level of service and luxury that we have only experienced at Oberoi's in the past, yet it does so in the context of Mexican friendliness and openness.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, seekda GmbH and HotelQuickly so you can book your Banyan Tree Mayakoba reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Banyan Tree Mayakoba Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Banyan Tree Mayakoba Playa Del Carmen, Mexico - Riviera Maya