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“Lovely hotel with disappointing service”

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Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Ranked #2 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 23 January 2011

This is the 3rd Banyan tree we've stayed in.

The villas are lovely and spacious; everything you would hope for and expect. The hotel is immaculate. The spa is excellent. The beach is also very nice. The breakfast is outstanding. Clearly it is a hotel for couples, but even so they were very accommodating for families with babies, they had excellent babysitters, high chairs, and even a small kids club. Despite everything we had a lovely week at the Banyan tree.

The achilles heel of the hotel is its service. We had an issue on the first night when to cut a long story short we thought the first villa smelled of damp and it took 2.5 hours to change villa even though there were other villas available. It was irritating because we had a small baby who needed to go to sleep, and by the time we moved we had to wake him because the hotel had no more cots. To cap it off, when we finally moved room and were getting ready for bed, semi-undressed, a security guard walked in without knocking on the door. At 11pm someone called to discuss (in Spanish) the do not disturb sign that I had reported broken an hour earlier. Irritation turned to insult when the manager was unavailable to speak to us at the time, or the next day, or the next. Does the hotel even have a general manager? All customer communications are delegated to the hotel hostesses who are not much more than perma-smiley receptionists. They left the standard plate of truffles in our room which according to earlier reviews seems to be the standard compensation. We didn't even realise it was intended as an apology as we had just come from a hotel that cost less than half that left truffles in our room every night. We started to question if we were being unreasonable, but for nearly $1k per night for the cheapest room we expect excellence. Eventually the very capable rooms manager found us on the beach, said and did all the right things, and redeemed the hotel.

The problem is that the hotel has a chronic service problem. The staff are very helpful and eager to please and I almost feel guilty writing this. If you ask for a buggy, or some ice, to be sent to the room, sometimes it arrives immediately, but more often it takes up to an hour. If you ask for tea with cold milk at breakfast, it may come with no milk, hot milk, or sometimes you get a cappuccino. Only once in 7 attempts did they manage to bring it correctly. We were told restaurants were closed only to find that they were open. Waiters in the restaurants didn't even have a passing knowledge of the menu, if you asked a question about a dish it was as if they were hearing about it for the first time. You get the picture. Things did improve after new years day as the hotel got quieter but a well run hotel should be able to deliver a good service even when full.

The Banyan is going to have to raise its game to stay number one.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank RafBenN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTGroup, General Manager at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, responded to this reviewResponded 1 February 2011

Dear RafBenN


On behalf of Banyan Tree Mayakoba, I would like to thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback following your stay with us.


I appreciate your positive notes about the hotel and was very happy to read that you had liked the villa, spa and other facilities.


I have taken note of your comment in regards to the room change which took too long. This was due to the villa just becoming available and the housekeeping team was cleaning it for your occupancy. You should have been informed of the situation and we apologize for the lapse of communication.


The incident with the security guard was also due to the lapse of communication for the change of villa. He was not aware of the change and thinking that the villa has just been vacated and seeing the lights were on, he proceeded to the villa to switch it off.


Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused to you.


Once again, I really appreciate constructive comments like yours which help us to strive to improve the standards of our services in order to be able to exceed our guest’s expectation.


I hope that despite these issues you had a pleasant stay with us and I look forward to be given an opportunity to personally welcome you back again to Banyan Tree Mayakoba.


Best Regards

Maximilian Lennkh
Vice President
Area General Manager
Max.lennkh@banyantree.com

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1,612 - 1,616 of 2,155 reviews

Reviewed 16 January 2011

The minute we entered the premises we felt the warmth and friendly welcome from staff. They are out to please you 100% all day. We couldn't get enough of the place. The rooms are way more than you expect. Clean modern decor but yet so romantic. Loved the jacuzzi and outdoor bath. Our room wasn't beachfront but that ended up being the best part. We bicycled to the beach,.another day we took a boat ride there and they offer you a buggy as well. We went canoeing on the house! the scenery is not describable. Just picturesque. This is the only hotel we'll be staying at in the future. we are spa people and never had the service we did here. The rainforest was probably the best part of our stay. just so well done! Never been to a place so immaculate( and I'm very picky) which only adds to the relaxation. Definitely have them pick you up from airport. We did not want to go anywhere all day although they have shopping and other activities close by.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank relaxed28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2011

What could i say in addition to everything that has been said in other reviews? That if you are in doubt about where to go for your beach vacation, and you can afford the rates, you must go to this hotel! Also, that I am 100% positive you will not find anything close to Banyan in Riviera Maya or Cancun in terms of service, accomodations, ambience, or overall quality. Not even the neighboring Rosewood which comes to a close second place, but second after all. Being a seasoned traveler that have stayed at St Regis, Four Seasons, Jumeirahs, Peninsulas, Mandarin Orientals and other Leading Hotels of the World, I can guarantee that the service of Banyan Tree Mayakoba equals or outperforms the very best of the formers. Not to mention the rooms (a 4000 sq ft villa, with a mid size private pool, gardens, separate dining/lounge area, enormous and beautiful bathroom and bedroom is your room). Food is excellent in almost all the restaurants (with the exception perhaps of Tamarind which is not bad at all, but has some dishes that can disappoint compared to the excellent level of others dishes of the same restaurant or other restaurants of the hotel). A hint, if you decide to go, ask for Alejandro to be your resort host ( a sort of personal vacation planner but also a butler when you need butler servicing, that the Hotel provides you with) What an excellent and gentle staffer! To say it all, this was my first time there, and already am in the planning of a second stay for this easter season.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank barranqtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2011

This places lives up to all the hype and more. It is a 6-star resort. We stayed in a Spa Villa – the private pool (which is a proper pool you can swim laps in), hot tub, in-door/outdoor showers, outdoor bathtub and the complete privacy all add up to a truly spectacular experience. I’d be happy just staying in the villa during my entire stay.

Since we had a spa villa, we took advantage of the spa setup on our rooftop twice and got in-room massages. The massage therapists from Thailand are the best I’ve experienced.

Highly recommend the in-villa BBQ – you get your own personal chef to come to your villa and prepare a multi-course meal complete with romantic lighting setup around the pool. It was the best meal of our stay and incredibly romantic.

We received outstanding service throughout our stay – it is the type of Asian luxury resort customer service that you just don’t get in North America. Other reviews mention some customer service issues but thankfully we experienced none.

The only negative was the number of mosquitoes on the property but not really sure that can be helped. Six months later, I still have the scars. Recommend taking some strong mosquito repellent with you if tend to attract mosquitoes. The repellent in the villa was not strong enough to protect me.

Overall Banyan Tree Mayakoba highly exceeded our expectations.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Runningshoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2011

I have been meaning to write up a review on this Incredible Resort for months now. I will do my best to recollect - but it was honestly so dreamlike!!!

We chose Mexico for our honeymoon (Aug 17 - 22, 2010) since it was convenient location-wise. We wanted to find the best-of-the-best resort... and we DEFINITELY did. Banyan Tree Mayakoba is by far the most exquisite, relaxing, amazing, private, romantic place I have ever been. It would rank 6 stars on a 5 star scale.

We rented a car from Cancun airport (to save some money and have some freedom) and drove ourselves to the resort. It was an easy to find and no hassle drive and Banyan parked our car for free. Upon arrival we were greeted with fresh towels and delicious exotic juice. Our host, Marian, was the sweetest and most helpful person!!!! She answered all or our questions and even went out of her way on occasion to find us at breakfast and inquire of how our stay was going.

After our tour of the resort and our villa (we were upgraded to the Courtyard Villa!!) we unpacked in our spacious modern-style villa and then rented our bikes to explore. (I highly recommend renting the bikes as it is both fun and exercise :) Otherwise you can opt to be driven by golfcart). The beach was a short ride away - including a restaurant, beach drink service and infinity pool... you are all set!

Each villa has it's own pool and or hot tub, so you can swim privately or at the wonderful public reflections pool. Each night, we received a romantic turn-down service. When we would return from dinner our room would be prepared for a restful and romantic nights sleep.

During our stay here, we ate at all restaurants... ALL AMAZING!!! We even splurged and booked Itchel, the private boat tour w/ private chef. It was one of the most incredible meals I have EVER tasted. The chef was both personable and informative and even gave us privacy at the end for a moonlit tour of the lagoons. I definitely recommend getting the daily breakfast at the Orient - the variety left us stunned each morning. They have the freshest and most unique options!

We mainly meandered between our villa and the beach most days. We also booked a couples massage that was wonderful! However - if you are looking for nightlife all day everyday... I would suggest another resort. Banyan was very private and quite empty during our stay (which is Exactly what we wanted). We did take 2 day trips- 1. Playa del Carmen 2. Tour of Mayan Ruins & Ceynotes

Staff Experience: World Class, 110% attentive and left us 110% statisfied
Ivan waited on us a few nights (Sands & Tamarind)- he was so helpful, nice and gave great meal recommendations. Montserrat at La Copa was so pleasant when serving us drinks and appetizers. She always remembered our reservations and asked if we enjoyed them the day after! Amondo at the reflections pool was so fun and care free - we even signed up for his Cocktail Making class. Another staff member, Daniel, was so helpful to us when our bikes weren't working properly too.

Overall I HIGHLY recommend this resort. We hope to make it back someday!!!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank jadaisy123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#8 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: RM2,727 - RM8,596 (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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