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Reviewed 4 December 2010

This resort was breath taking, relaxing, filled with the best customer service and beautiful rooms....the only negative was the jungle lizards that appeared in the evenings. I mean you take a bath in your outside jacuzzi and everything is beautiful, except for the lizards on the wall. Or you go to bed and hear the sounds of lizards, while one some how found his way into your room.

With a newborn, I was very protective and the resort understood. They moved our room twice and both time In the middle of the night. I just was not ready for lizards! I loved every last thing outside of this...

The rooms were spacious, sexy and they even gave us a baby crib. The swim up pools were perfect, not small at all. The resort was clean, modern and if you're looking for customer service, they mastered it. My husband and I enjoyed he massages too! First time experiencing water jet massage...

The hotel only negative was that it lacked night life...we seemly keep stumbling upon this issue...from Dubai to Bora Bora...

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Travelgouroo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2010

We chose Banyan Tree Mayakoba because of the privacy it affords and we were traveling on our honeymoon. This place is unreal. Very good service! Very clean! The environment and the natural elements which surround this facilitiy are unmatched. We had a great time staying here! We had a Courtyard Pool Villa which is nice because they include hot tubs/Jaquzzi. The base level room/villas only have the pool-no hot tub so do yourself a favor and pay a little more for the hot tub!! :)

We stayed for 5 nights 6 days and got to eat at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba quite a bit. We enjoyed our room service as our first meal of the trip as we were starved for lunch when we arrived in the resort! We also enjoyed Saffron on one evening although it rained slightly that night so we didnt get to eat outside. They have great food and the best Tom kai Gai. We also enjoyed Tamarind another night which was Thanksgiving holiday. It was a nice touch that they included a Thanksgiving menu on top of their normal menu for that day. Our Waiter ----- was great and recommended the sashumi for part of my meal which was exellent! The breakfast buffet is not too be missed! They have it all and serve it till noon which is nice since you dont have to rush out of bed to eat.

We spent a majority of our time in the beach area. The pool is nice at the beach and is heated. We really enjoyed the staff there and they all did a great job. They all knew me by name after a day or so and are a great bunch of guys. Alejandro and the rest know how to fix a drink!

We also enjoyed the rainforest spa treatment as it had a good variety of tempreatures and pressures and is one of the only things that is not expensive there. My fiance also enjoyed an additional spa treatment another day.

The only bad things I could say were one day there was seaweed on the beach but that was the only time i remember seeing that for the entire week. Another one is we had the privacy light on and the house keeping still came into the villa which was a slight intrusion. Finally the hot tub button got stuck so within 15 minutes the repair person was there to fix the button fast. Also it is very expensive but you get what you pay for! I will not let those minor things keep me from staying there again.

We would like to thank all the staff that we dealt with- Prascilla, Ivan, Ceasar, Alejandro, Eduardo, Efrian(sp) and there is more but i cannot remember all the names. We hope to see you again and have the Pina Coladas waiting for us!

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank stoutman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2010

Hotel
New hotel of the prestigious chain has built in a luxury resort (Mayakoba), which currently offers three, five hotels in the long term. Splendid Resort Hotel entrance without names, behind acres of bush, through the many paths. At the end an equally impressive hotel entrance with a water lily pond and flares at night. Ca. 130 villas of different categories (from the Terrace Apartments to Three-bedroom Beachfront Villa), all with pool in various sizes. The main part of the hotel is in an area with a man-made lagoons, which have been milled from the landscape, but they have been preserved their original form. Many animals you can see (alligators to be evacuated if they become too large). State simply dazzling, well maintained, there was obviously nothing to save. About cleanliness I do not have to write here. In the complex an 18-hole PGA golf course is integrated! I recommend to include breakfast in the booking, if it is offered (usually $ 30 per person excluding tips). The guest structure is hardly discernible, because the few customers run into the area, the beach and the villas of languages can be heard in English and Spanish.

Location
Sunset Beach Front and / Estuate-Villas on the beach, the rest about 1 km away (transfer smoothly and promptly by golf cart or romantically by electrical Jetty through the lagoons). Cancun about 70 kilometers (about 40 minutes), Playa del Carmen 15 (17 $ taxi). The hotel has a small shop with accessories from the hotel rooms, soaps, scented stuff, art items, clothing. A jeweler.

Service
Absolutely flawless. Staff always friendly and correct, best manners, courteous. Complaint (faulty IR receiver on the TV) has been fixed within 20 minutes (!) y technicians. Clothing of staff stylish Asian-inspired. On the whole, the impression is always a mixture of Mexican and Asian influences. Buggy service within minutes, perfect service in the restaurant. It must be said: something we have never experienced on holiday, it also excels all German hotels. Housekeeping with two or three people, all will be polished from scratch. Even toiletries are draped over an extra-handkerchief. The turn-down service repeats the service, if needed.

Gastronomy
Four restaurants, many of them two or three dinners in rotation. Two bars, plus "wine cellar" for private functions upon request. Room service (very professional and punctual delivery order) 24 hours. Private dinner in a gondola with live music? Barbeque in your own villa? No problem! The rule is: anything goes.
Evening "Saffron" (Asian), "Oriente" (barbecue and Mexican), "Tamarind" (according to hotel eclectic, but rather international).
How was the food? Absolute gourmet level. Eat fish fillets to kneel down, vegetables, as it should be, interesting and tasty soups and salads. Simply, perfect.
The restaurants are partially open, partially closed. Diner on a wooden pier in Saffron (slightly dark), romantic tete a tete for us by torchlight at Tamarind, Breakfast in the sunshine or in shadow - it was extraordinary.
The amounts can be said that the starters were usually quite abundant, the main courses less. Among the desserts this and that (by the way the scoop: cake chocolate mousse). The room service here, for "in villa dining," conveyed that, actually a little feast that is as tasty as the rest (Recommended: pizza and hamburger with Kobe beef).
Price, yes ... the prices are, as you can imagine, at the higher end. Steep, but not bold, and in my opinion for what is appropriate and proportionate. Examples: appetizers $ 15-30, main courses $ 20-50, desserts $ 10-20. To the prices on a map add about 25 percent tax and service charge to - and tip, if you want to. We ate for $ 100, but also supplied $ 350 per night (but then 3 courses and wine).
Among the drinks then prices are heavy, and upwards, there is hardly a limit. Ah yes, the cocktails were not that great.

Sports Entertainment
Internet available for free via Wi-Fi and a quick line in the whole resort. Entertainment and sport is not to mention. Bicycles can be rented ($ 5 / day).
The beach is not a jewel in the crown. Rather narrow, clean (daily cleaning), only small stones. Better it is where the golf course runs along the beach, you should therefore seek about 50 meters to the north. Chairs (comfortable) and umbrellas are set up by the staff.

Rooms
A dream that for us through a free upgrade (from Courtyard Pool Suite to 2-Bedroom Pool Villa near the beach) was even better. Even the small villas offer more than 200 m² detached area, where you can make to the larger villas are then 300 and more square meters, including a large air-conditioned "Entertainment Pavilion" (mini-bar, wine refrigeration, espresso machine, flat screen, DVD player , dining table, large sofa to slouch for several people), a heated jacuzzi, an outdoor bathtub and shower. Large terrace with sun loungers, umbrella and a pool, terraces with further additional, even larger beds. The villa itself consists of a hallway (desk), bedroom (mini bar, sideboard) with king-size bed and couch. Flat screen TV, Bose stereo with iPod docking station. Large bathroom with two sinks, large mirror in between, toilet and shower (some with steam function). Another Docking Station (both wirking with iPod V). Sliding doors separate walk-in closet (safe, iron / board, umbrellas, raincoats, mosquito means, flashlight). A total of 3 phones. Anyone interested can directly jump into the pool from the bedroom (cooooold!). Air-conditioning to regulate draft-free and good. Furniture in both the home and on the terrace at its finest. English newspaper every day complementary in the mailbox.

I could write so much about the hotel, but it can be summarized: this was an unprecedented holiday, and we look forward to return.

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

What can be said that hasn't been said already? Probably nothing, but I'll give it a shot. This will be a long review, for those that can’t stand it my one word summary of this resort is ‘amazing’. Or ‘relaxing’.

First, coming from Dallas, this place is just a 2hr ride away. We stayed as Las Brisas (Acapulco) earlier this year, but that means hubbing through Mexico City, and adding 5hrs to the journey. Compared to Las Brisas, which is also a great resort, Banyan Tree Mayakoba is superior in every way (including the price, of course, but you get what you pay for).

On arrival, I had opted to use Cancun Shuttle for the private transfer, which worked out to around $100 less that using the hotel service. It’s only a ~30 minute ride, but the vans they use are fairly tatty, I’m fairly sure ours had over 300,000km on the clock, which is impressive, but not ideal. As others have said, it’s chaos outside of Cancun airport, and there’s other companies wearing (much brighter) orange vests, so you need to look hard to find them.

However, once we finally arrived, none of that mattered. The hotel has an amazing ability to just make you feel relaxed as soon as you arrive. Obviously, that’s mostly due to the surroundings and amazing staff, but overall it just works. Staying in October means that the occupancy rate is fairly low, I would guess 35%, and it was so quiet.

This trip was an elaborate set-up to propose to my (now) fiancé. This required a ridiculous amount of subterfuge and planning, and my main accomplice was Michele, the Experience Concierge. Over the course of about a month, and countless emails, we hatched a plan that was romantic, surprising, and just plain cool! More on this later.

The Check-in process was a breeze, and Karla, our resort Host, was very helpful, and rode with us to our room, which was upgraded to a 2 Bedroom pool villa, a mere (!) 5500 sq foot. The rooms are spectacular, huge, and very, very private. The housekeeping staff always respected the privacy sign (controlled by a bed-side switch), and did a great job of keeping everything tidy. The Bose system by the bed has an iPod connector, as does the speaker dock in the bathroom (though ours wouldn’t work with either iPhone 3GS or 4). The in-room wifi is good, and reasonably fast. There’s complimentary water in the room, as well as mosquito room and body spray. The pool, being October, was a bit chilly, I would guess a water temperature of around 82f/28c, which made it more of a dare, than a pleasure, to take a dip, though after a couple of minutes it’s fine. The hot-tub made up for it though.

If I’m being picky (and I will, it’s in my nature!), there were a couple of minor snags with the room. When we arrived, most of the landscape lights didn’t work (this was fixed the same evening). The expresso maker gave out some good electric shocks when trying to use the steam. I was told this was fixed as well, but I didn’t feel like trying it again! The keycard holder, which activates a lot of the room features, was loose, and would hang out of the wall – this is an obvious defect that housekeeping should have reported. Finally, they use re-fillable toiletries, which is a good thing, but the little pumps on the bottles are constantly getting stuck. Honestly, these are all minor, trivial points, but for a hotel that’s not yet 2 years old, I would suggest focusing on some of the smaller details, to ensure it ages gracefully.

The only other criticism is the cost of dining. I know this is an exclusive hotel, with excellent chefs, and great food, but nevertheless, some of the prices are very high. I think a (small) slice of New York Style Cheese cake from room service was $14. It was good, but not that good! For a full meal for 2, plan on $200 minimum, and add more if you have wine. On the upside, the breakfast at Oriente is included in the price, and is as good as everyone describes. If you cannot find anything you like here, then you must be a robot (they have oil, too!) Each day we had a very leisurely breakfast, the staff plied us with whatever the daily sparkling cocktail was, and generally turned it into a brunch, so saving a bit of money by not needing lunch. Ceasar was our main waiter, and was great, just like ALL the staff. Federico, the restaurant Manager, was also exceptionally attentive and friendly. I know it’s their job to greet the guests, and appear happy, but they genuinely seem to enjoy what they do, I can’t even pretend to be that happy about my job :-)
Our first meal was at Tamarind, which I guess is a contemporary Mexican cuisine. For me, it was disappointing. The menu was quite limited (Saffron was closed on our first night), and in the end I had a piece of grilled chicken, which was nice, but absolutely not worth the $28. Later in the vacation we tried the Punta Bonita at the Rosewood, which was good, closer to the Texmex I’m used to, and half the price.

The rest of the time we mostly ate Thai, served by Saffron, though the location varied due to a short visit from Hurricane Paula. We only got to eat at the actual Saffron restaurant once, but it’s a great location, with fantastic service, as always. Thai is our favorite food, and the benchmark dish we use to compare restaurants is the Tom Ka Gai. Here it was amazing, as was the rest of the food. We also opted to do the (free) Thai cooking class, with Jakkree as our patient teacher, who was great. It was a LOT of fun, plus you get to eat what you make – it’s well worth doing.

The engagement was planned around the Rainforest Spa, which is a series of different sensations (ice, steam, heat etc), finishing at the hydrotherapy pool where there’s bubble beds, hot tubs and some amazingly powerful neck/back waterfalls. The playlist I’d sent over started right on cue, and as the ring floated into the pool, I proposed. It was the perfect surprise. Later that day I’d arranged for a special meal at Saffron, but due to the weather was relocated to a private room at Oriente, and while that was happening the room was being covered with rose petals, scented oils and a hot bath with wine. Despite the complicated plan and the weather trying to disrupt things, it all flowed faultlessly. It seemed like every member of staff knew about the plan, and did everything they could to make it as memorable as it now is.

There’s so much more to say, but to keep it short:
- Beach – nice, good for walking along, to go see the neighboring hotels (Fairmont & Rosewood), but not amazing.
- Hotel grounds – very nice. We walked everywhere, didn’t really see the need to rent a bike, the beach is only a 10 minute walk away.
- Spa – we had a Swedish (couples) massage, which really was excellent. Expensive, but worth it.
- Pool – We stayed in our room most of the time, but the main pool is very nice, and when we were there, we had it all to ourselves.

So, in closing, although the hotel is fantastic in its own right, it’s the staff that make this place truly special. I spent hours and hours reading reviews on many hotels, trying to find the right place for my proposal, and I’m delighted to say that I did, and I wouldn’t change a single thing. This is THE place to come if you seek relaxation, privacy, great accommodations and amazing, unpretentious service. I can only remember a few of the staff’s names, but, without exception, everyone was excellent. If you’re looking for a livelier atmosphere, look elsewhere, that’s not what Banyan Tree is about.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank pwhite8314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2010

My husband and I spent a wonderful week at the Banyan Tree in Mayakoba. We felt like we had the place, and the warm and welcoming staff, all too ourselves. While some would miss the buzz and energy of a more crowded resort, we cherished the quiet, the privacy, and the remarkable service at this top-class resort property during a beautiful-weather week in the "low" season (though my guess is that they have sufficient and talented staff to deliver the same experience year-round - high occupancy or not).

In fact, it is hard to imagine this resort property every really feeling "crowded". It is spacious and has many external rooms and spots to relax and enjoy. We were able to enjoy both our own private villa space and the public spaces on the resort - and loved it all.

From the moment we stepped out of the car at reception, we were treated really well. The resort made every effort to make us feel celebrated, comfortable, and pampered during our stay. We were upgraded to a 2-Bedroom Sunset Pool Villa at the beach and took a beautiful and peaceful boatride from the main lobby of the hotel - what a wonderful contrast to airlines, and mass travel in the outside world. In this oasis, they had the right music, scents, scenery and vibe set at all times.

The villa is well-designed, beautifully and simply furnished, and remarkably spacious and private. We felt like we were in a private home - complete with pool, jacuzzi, two separate lounge areas - and that's just what's on the outside. The inside was comfortable and equally impressive - living room pavillion, outdoor soaking tub and shower, and a bathroom you wish you could pack in your luggage and take home.

While you could spend the whole vacation in seclusion in your private oasis, venturing out is a good thing too. Being by the beach club and Sands Restaurant was fantastic. We were able to spend time on the beach, in the pool, at the swim-up pool bar and in the restaurant - with great ease - and again with great service. Friendly, eager to please, and gentle approach all characterized the service from every staff person on the property, regardless of role. It was remarkable to feel so welcomed and looked after - all with great sincerity and interest in the quality of our experience.

The food and restuarants at this resort (and at the neighboring Fairmount and Rosewood) are very high quality. The breakfast buffet at Oriente in the main building is a perfect reason to get out of bed in the morning and to leave the comfort of your own villa. The spread was bountiful, beautiful, and delicious - with nice variety each day. The dinner at Saffron and Tamarind was great, and we really enjoyed the Mexican BBQ at Sands (but served on a patio overlooking the main Reflections Pool area. This BBQ can be ordered into your villa for a private dinner - which we didn't do this time - but will likely try on our next visit.

The spa area and services are wonderful. It is an further oasis within an oasis and we loved the space, the atmosphere, and the expert service provided by the massage therapists (from Thailand) and the Rainforest Experience. Really lovely.

Overall, this was one of the best hotel/service experiences we've had in our travels. We were treated really well, loved relaxing in our private pool villa, and we thrilled to be able to relax on the beautiful sands and waters of the Caribbean sea.

All this - and to feel nothing but warmth and sincerity from the staff - as we are a same-sex couple recently married in Connecticut and chose to spend our honeymoon hear, not 100% sure what to expect. It was perfect and very friendly.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank MM-CTCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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