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“A paradise of privacy, luxury and friendliness”

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Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Ranked #2 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 11 October 2011

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.

Room Tip: Close to the main complex is convenient without any downside
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank Purim
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 5 November 2011

Dear Purim

Thank you very much for taking the time to provide us and other Trip Advisor members your feedback about your stay with us.

We appreciate that you have chosen our resort for your family vacation. I am happy to know that you had an amazing experience at Banyan Tree Mayakoba despite de hustle you encountered with a VIP’s visit.

Regarding your comments on the Restaurants options, this matter will be discussed with the outlets heads.

With best regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed 9 October 2011

There's really not much more we can add to what other reviewers have written about BT - this resort is incredible and very much deserves it's rating as the best resort in Playa del Carmen.

From the moment we arrived and were greeted by valet parking and smiling resort hosts we knew we were in for something special; and we weren't disappointed. Nothing is too much for the staff and they go out of their way to ensure you enjoy your stay. And how could you not enjoy it!

We stayed in a Garden Villa which was close to the main hub and ideal for walking to restaurants and breakfast. Getting to the beach mean't a longish walk or simply jumping on a golf buggy or the boat. The boat was a nice way to see the river and some local flora and fauna. Each villa has a pool and the rooms are very welcoming with tasteful decor and luxurious feel to them. The turn down service at night was a lovely touch as were the bathroom extra's in case you forgot anything. Bug repellant was provided - and needed! This again highlighted that BT goes the extra mile to give you what you need for a lovely stay.

Moving onto the food - we ate at The Sands for both lunch (when at the beach) and for dinner. Tamarind was another lovely meal and we also enjoyed La Copa bar and tapas on our last night. It was fantastic to eat under the stars! We found the prices to be comparable to many other resorts of this standard and not anymore expensive then what you'd pay for a nice meal in London. Of course for Mexico that may seem costly but for what you receive, the service and location it is all worth it. And then there's breakfast! This is a buffet with a difference; the fruit was delicious and changed daily, there was choice after choice of different meal options and they provided take away when we headed out early for the day. And Grandma's hot chocolate is a must try!

Spa - our booking included a 60 minute massage for one which was another luxurious treat and highly recommended if you get the chance. Very relaxing.

Golf - although we didn't play the course looked immaculate and is Greg Norman designed. The hole by the beach looks like quite the water hazard!

Driving into Playa was a breeze and you can find parking for 13-20pesos/hr on 10th Avenue which is only one block up from the popular 5th Ave pedestrian area. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, markets and general shopping to do along with a nice beach to wander.

So what else is there to say? BT is an absolutely stunning resort and we would return tomorrow if we could. Maybe next year!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank thejourneysofar
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 5 November 2011

Dear thejourneysofar

I want to thank you for choosing our property for your vacation. We appreciate your valuable feedback on Trip Advisor regarding your recent visit to Banyan Tree Mayakoba.

We are pleased to read that you had an enjoyable stay and that our staff and our service made you feel special. More over we will be pleased to have you back again in this part of the Riviera Maya.

Best wishes,

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 30 September 2011

As longtime Riviera Maya fans, we just returned from our second trip to the amazing Banyan Tree. Waiting patiently for a deal on Luxury Link, we jumped as soon as it became available and are sooooooo glad we did. The service, public space, food and general ambience is the ultimate in luxury, without being glitzy and in your face. Make no mistake, it is VERY expensive. Plan on spending at least $150-200 on dinner, $75-100 on lunch. My fantastic massage in the impeccable spa cost far more than most ($160 plus gratutity for a 60-minute massage) and the endless breakfast buffet (which most of the time is included in your room rate) was $80 for two! The lobby bar and Tamerind Restaurant afford magnificant views of the lobby/lagoon. If given an opportunity to visit the Banyan Tree, don't pass it up; this is one special place. We can't wait to return...

Room Tip: Our garden villa was stunning...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Tyme4atrip
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 4 November 2011

Dear Tripreviewergirl

Thank you for coming again to this sanctuary of the senses. We are honored with comments like the ones you shared with us. We wish to thank you for your compliments about our hotel facilities and associates services.

It is very gratifying for the Banyan Tree Mayakoba team to know that we could meet your expectations again and that you had a wonderful experience.
We do look forward to welcome you back to our hotel.

Cordially,

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 28 September 2011

Absolutely loved it!! Service was great... Room was spectacular! Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: September 2011
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Thank Meesha1276
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 6 October 2011

Dear eesha127

We are all grateful to receive comments like yours and will be happy to welcome you back again in the near future.

With best regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed 26 September 2011

Great resort. The villas are truly amazing! from the private pool and jacuzzi to the amazing bathroom with outdoor shower and tub to the bedroom doors that slide open all the way. Some people may be put off by having to take a bike or golf cart to the beach or restaurants but its really not a big deal. It is kinda pricey but we got a deal through jetsetter.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Robertorx
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 6 October 2011

Dear Robertorx

I thank you immensely for taking the time to write about your good experience you had here in our hotel.

We were delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay and wish to thank you very much for your gracious comments.

I look forward to welcoming you back to Banyan Tree Mayakoba soon.

Warm Regards,

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Address: Carretera Federal Chetumal - Pto. Juarez Km. 298, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: RM2,703 - RM7,984 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Banyan Tree Mayakoba 5*
Number of rooms: 122
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

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