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Reviewed 13 October 2010

My hubby could only get a week off for our honeymoon so I was pretty bummed we wouldn't be able to go too far but now I am glad b/c if we hadn't then we would have never gone to Banyan Tree Mayakoba. It really was the best honeymoon I could have asked for.

I'll say the downsides first since there are very few:
It was quite pricey, dinners out in the restaurants ran about $200 a night and even a burger and a small pizza in the villa were a good $60. Cocktails were $15 and up so I would do what another reviewer said and bring a bottle from the duty free shop to enjoy in your room and just get a nice cocktail or two on the beach. That being said all the food is delicious and I would definitely eat at Saffron even with that price tag again. We went to a bbq by the pool since Tamarind was closed on Sunday and that was good but I think it was too expensive and wouldn't recommend it if you are on a budget.
We did the romantic bath which was nice but we paid for the mud bath which was double the price of the regular romantic bath, we were disappointed with the two tiny bowls of mud that came with the bath that made it a "mud bath"
I still recommend doing a romantic bath if you're on your honeymoon but I recommend getting one of the other less expensive baths.
The beach is nice and very empty so it felt romantic to be just the two fo us out there sometimes but the water and sand was not as nice as it was in Cancun.

Now the good:
EVERYTHING was amazing and felt very luxurious.
Since we were on our honeymoon everyone was insanely nice to us and made us feel very special. We were upgraded to a huge villa by the beach and got a free spa treatment which was the best I ever had(we spent the 2nd half of our honeymoon at Le Blanc in Cancun which in comparison to Banyan tree was awful for a honeymoon and the spa treatment was not very good). The spa packages are really expensive and I'm glad they gave it to us for free b/c I would not have done it otherwise but if you have trouble with your back and really like massages I would not skip it it was amazing my back has never felt so rested even places I didn't know hurt felt relieved. I will be getting another one on the return anniversary trip we're planning.

At Saffron the thai restaurant they sat us by ourselves on the candlelit pier and did a special thai tradition at the end of the night for our honeymoon and brought us free desserts. I was wearing a dress and Saffron is outside so they brought a shawl out without me even saying anything about the weather. The food was really delicious and I would not skip this restaurant if you're there. It definitely felt out of this world and after seeing the room and eating here my husband thanked me for planning the most amazing honeymoon he could have imagined, and that was before we got back to our room where they had put a giant rose petal heart on the bed, set the mood lighting and music, and left a free bottle of wine and a sign that said happy honeymoon.

The whole atmosphere there just exudes romance. There may have been other honeymooners there but we had no idea b/c they treated us like we were their VIPs. I had read all of the amazing Banyan Tree reviews and was still blown away by them.
One of the people that served us on the beach (Manuel) for one reason or another never got a tip(1st day we couldnt find him when we were leaving, 2nd day we ran out of change and when we came back he'd left) yet everytime he would be really nice and it did not feel like their employees were just waiting for their tip to decide whether or not to keep being nice.

As I mentioned earlier we went to Le Blanc for the 2nd half of the honeymoon based on tripadvisors reviews, but it totally burst my romantic honeymoon bubble going from Banyan Tree where everyone was so nice and made us feel so special. Just to compare when we got to Le Blanc and I told them we were on our honeymoon(which I had informed them of prior to the trip) instead of a congratulations they said "we will have to verify that with our public relations manager."

My fiancee and I will definitely be going back to Banyan Tree for our anniversary even if you can only afford 2 or 3 nights there just do it it is so amazing and special!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank minihoneymooner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2010

I would like to recognize this hotel as the most romantic hotel I have ever stayed at. My wife and I chose this hotel to celebrate our 15th anniversary and we made a great decision.

The attention to detail, the quality of the resort throughout and the service was spectacular. I am an avid traveler and have to recognize the beauty of a well run resort where everything flows involving your senses with it. This is quite a unique experience, the spa, the restaurants, the rooms, the kindness of its employees was simply magnificent. We hope to be back for may years to come.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank marvento
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2010

Just returned from 5 unbelievable days at the Banyan Tree. My biggest concern going into the trip was that I had done so much research, and read so many reviews, looked at so many pictures, that I might somehow be let down when we actually went. That did not happen. I tried to keep my mouth from dropping from the moment we saw the front entrance, but it was difficult. SO much has been written about BT, I will just add a few comments, and potential tips for going there.
First, I am now aware of the biggest reason this place is amazing. It is definitely the people who work there......everybody knows your name - everybody has a smile to greet you, even the gardeners and security.....while there, I realized that the employees are so happy because they themselves are treated so well by the company. You can really feel that they want you to enjoy your stay, and are not "faking" it. I spoke to numerous employees who described a work environment that encourages growth, and a positive attitude and pride in your work. BT has gotten this right.

Second, the personal touches blew me away. While having drinks one night at La Copa terrace, our waitress brought a plate of chocolates to congratulate our anniversary, which was great......while my wife was looking at the plate, Tenia(sp?) slipped me a rose from behind her back for me to give to my wife. I gave it to my wife, who wondered where I got it from......Thank you Tenia for setting me up. Amazing.

On our last night, during dinner, Tenia again surprised us by having us write our wishes on a piece of paper......after dinner, she asked us to come outside on the deck, where a couple of other employees were waiting with a small hot air balloon.....they attached the wishes, lit the balloon, and we sent it up into the stars......are you kidding me?? I almost lost it, and I am not too emotional. Again, amazing......

These were two moments we will never forget......they were small, inexpensive gestures by the people at BT, but what a large impression they made!!!

Of course, add in the unbelievable daily breakfast, beach club, villa, etc, and we are still upset that we are no longer there.....

Some quick tips, take them for what they are worth:
---Villas are self sufficient, could stay there all day.....but try and get out and enjoy the grounds, restaurants, bars, beach, etc......walk to the beach at least once, take the boat once at least, bike around.......

---Go to the other properties(Fairmont, Rosewood).....eat lunch and dinner at both- compare the three, and make your judgement......my vote is always for BT, but Rosewood it really nice, Fairmont is ok......they all have pros and cons, just BT had almost no cons......we ate at Punta Bonita at Rosewood for dinner- it was great- ate lunch at Fairmont right on beach, also very good- make sure you try these for sure

---the BREAKFAST buffet is the best I have ever eaten.....words cannot describe it. We almost felt bad that there was so much food, so beautifully set up, that we did not want to mess it up.....the waiters are super nice and attentive, and even brought us complimentary drinks every morning.....usually a sparkling wine with fruit juice- amazing.
Make sure you tip them well, our breakfast was free......again, we tipped extra, and felt like it was more than deserved.....

---You MUST eat at Saffron. Right on lagoon, very romantic, best Thai food I have had, and I have had alot. Service is impeccable......Thank you Rolando and Tenia.....

---TAKE the Eco tour on the boat......not to be missed- it is free, about an hour, and amazing.

---a 15% tip is added to every check within BT.....this money is added up at the end of the month and split between all the employees.....but we felt it was right, and deserved, to tip extra on top of that, as well as a monetary tip here and there when we were blown away by someone(which was often) - 20% is a normal tip in the US, and we have never received the kind of service and attention like we did at BT

---Talk to the employees, they all have interesting stories and backgrounds, and are happy to share with you - all were proud about working at BT, over the other resorts, and are truly happy to be there.

---go to Playa Del Carmen, even if you feel like you want to skip it- it is 15 min by taxi, safe, and a good way to experience a more "real" Mexico....I did not have the best time there, but I am glad we went for a few hours. I will not go back, however.

---The employees must have been taught to look for any sign of disappointment, dislike, etc....they are super attentive, something we are not so used to in the US.....they all know your name, so try and know theirs too.....and try to speak in Spanish to them, even if it is just hello, goodbye, thank you, etc......they really appreciate that you are trying, and will help you with it-

---Golf......if you love to play, play at El Chameleon......service and course are top notch-
there is a cave in the middle of no 1......I mean, a cave.....really??? Ridiculously nice.
Plenty of spectators(Iguanas!) around the course.

---Finally, the beach club.....I am not a "beach" person, but it is hard not to spend your time here.....When you arrive, they ask you if you would like to sit by the pool or beach, and then proceed to set you up with recliners with towels, umbrella, cold towels with lemon, and drinks/food.....you are taken care of.....the pool with bar is spectacular, and the beach has beautiful, clean sand - thank you Eduardo, Carlos, etc....too many to thank all.....

Only potential drawback of BT, in my eyes......the water directly in front of BT is a little churned up, not clear- it may be the time of year, or the weather they had a few days before......the beach itself is super clean, orderly......but if you are looking for snorkeling directly in front of BT, you may be disappointed.....we did walk alot on the beach, and the water is clearer in front of fairmont and rosewood.....again, not a huge deal, we like to just sit on beach- but just something to be aware of- not a negative for us at all. The whole beach club is Amazing. Have I used that word enough??? No.

Pics to follow - email with any questions-

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank JBDB1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2010

From the time you step off the plane you are enveloped in luxury and excellent service. The staff were formal, helpful, fun AND friendly! I went with my family and each of us felt as if it was a dream that we didn't want to wake up from. The grounds are well kept and you are carted around everywhere you go. The resort sets up all of the excursions and the tours we went on were informative and fascinating. Lastly, the beach is only a short distance away and you can take a short boat ride through the stream that weaves through the villas.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank Ashley_Humphrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2010

We took our 3 college aged children to this remarkable place. Upon arrival, you are welcomed by soaring architecture which only improves when you enter the great Thai inspired portal. Everything from the attentive staff, the exquisite attention to detail in decor and environment, and our beautiful condominium... helped create an experience that was like living in art.
The food was incredible. Master chefs have skillfully combined locally sourced Mexican/Yucatan cuisine with that of Thailand to create gourmet delights that surely must be unique in all the world.
We treated ourselves to spa treatments, and dined at each restaurant. Incredible. Our kids went out for a night on the town with a tour that specializes in the nightclub scene, and they had a wonderful evening without us. Dolphin Experience, a trip to Chichen Iza and a visit to Playa Del Carmen are all recommended. However, no need to ever leave this heavenly place.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank LaurensNutshell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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