My husband and I returned from our honeymoon to Banyan Tree this past November. We could not have picked a more perfect resort. Not only is the resort stunning, but the service was impeccable. There's a host/hostess available to you 24-hrs a day, a buggy on-call at your disposal, and all the waiters/servers are kind and trained to the utmost of standards.
The villas themselves were spectacular. We stayed in a courtyard villa which has its own separate breakfast nook with TV, bar, dinner table, large sofa, etc. Outside we had our own pool and jacuzzi. The pool was sometimes chilly (not heated), and the jacuzzi sometimes hot (but they would always send someone to adjust it), but we just preferred the beach and the resort pool anyway. The bedrooms in the villa have a cathedral ceiling, huge bathroom for two, walk-in closet, massive shower, and outdoor bath.
The food at the resort was divine. We ate at Saffron first when we arrived for our stay. They greet the women with flowers for their hair, and sat us at the special table at the end of the dock, overlooking the mangroves. Tamarind was also delicious and quite eclectic downstairs from the lobby. Sands (at the beach club) had a great barbecue night and served Mexican food in Oriente (which was closed for dinner during our stay because of 'low-season'). Breakfast every morning was at Oriente and believe us, you've never seen breakfast buffets like this. Think sushi bar, yogurt bar, fruit bar, bread bar, juice bar, pastry bar, omelet/egg bar, and hot stations. If you have the chance, the 24-hr in-villa dining is actually really good and the presentation is impressive.
The resort has a bar in the lobby, at the pool, and at the beach. The bar at the pool was closed during our stay (again, 'low-season'), but the staff around the pool was happy to order us drinks and bring them down from the lobby. You can get around the resort in the buggy, rent a bike, or walking in most cases from the villas to the lobby. The beach is a bit further and can't be walked to easily, but you can take the buggy/a bike and they do have a boat that leaves from the lobby which makes a really nice trip to the beach club. Definitely take the short eco boat trip which takes you around the mangroves to see the local wildlife.
Last, but not least, the spa. We spent two mornings in the spa. The first was a massage in our private spa villa with a bathroom, shower, and a seat for tea/water before/after the treatment. Really professional staff who are experts in their treatments. The second morning was the 'Rainforest Indulgence' which included an abbreviated 'Rainforest Experience' session followed by another massage in the villas. The 'Rainforest' portion included a cold/hot shower, steam room, full body scrub and shower, salt steam room (brine room), and then a tropical shower, followed by time in the vitality pool.
While staying in Riviera Maya, definitely put a few days aside to make a trip to Chichen Itza and to Tulum. We piggy-backed our trip to Tulum to also go zip-lining, snorkel in two cenotes (a must-do) and eat lunch at a local restaurant. And after Chichen Itza we went through Valladolid, a Spanish Colonial town, for a nice lunch in the most charming hotel, El Meson del Marques.
We spent three days following our trip in Cozumel. While we were anxious to get into a more festive, social environment, we were quickly missing Banyan Tree. We will absolutely look into additional Banyan Tree resorts for our future vacations.
- 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