Stayed in a spa pool villa in early May 2011 for our honeymoon; perfect spot for that kind of thing.
-Privacy (high fence around entire suite, private pool, jacuzzi, outdoor bath with tea candle wall, do-no-disturb switch beside the bed that warns staff outside the front door...). One minor warning--you may be visible from the upstairs outdoor shower during the day--use the downstairs indoor or outdoor showers.
-Suite size: yes, you really do get that entire space to yourself. And it's very nice to have the entirely separate sitting area--one person can nap in the bed while the other relaxes in the pavilion.
-Thai restaurant: Fantastic. I wish I remembered the name of the mini-appetizer the chef sent out the first day. One of the best things I've ever eaten. And we ordered the massaman curry two nights in a row--it was that good.
-Massage services: Had a couple's massage with my wife--her first massage. Both masseuses were excellent, both trained in multiple styles. Our massage room was in a stand-alone building on stilts over the water; much nicer than having someone in the next room. (DIdn't use the spa tables on the 2nd floor of our suite--really too hot in May for that, and I found the massage rooms much more comfortable anyway).
-Room & resort appearance/style: Asian simplicity with hints of Mexican flair. Comfortable beds, choice of pillow types, etc.
-Rain shower/steam shower: nice combo in your room.
-Wifi: worked well in the rooms. Nice when you're taking a break from the sun or looking at excursions. Don't count on Netflix or the like working--those are blocked off in this part of the world by those services.
-Service, cleanliness: both excellent.
Cons (or potential drawbacks depending on your tastes):
-Quiet resort: This isn't the place to party, although the bartenders at the beach/pool bars make great beach drinks. If you don't venture out to the ruins/towns, I'd keep the stay five nights or less. They'll be wonderful, relaxing days and nights...but that's about all the relaxation I can handle. No on-site night life, although you can go to the main complex and have a drink in the open-air bar up top.
-Not on the beach: The beach is nearby--you could walk (long walk), take a bike, take the boat from the lobby, or call a golf cart to take you. Didn't bother us a bit--we took the boat the first day and mostly called a cart for the rest of our stay.
-Limited number of restaurants: we loved the Thai restaurant and the breakfast buffet, thought the poolside restaurant was fine. Room service has a limited menu; tastes fine, but I prefer the restaurants. You can go eat in town or at one of the other resorts in the Mayakoba complex. To me, this is more of a "duration of stay" item.
-Wouldn't take kids: this just isn't the place for them--and by "kids" I mean anything from infants through early teens. I think they might have some kid-related programs during the high season, but given the resort setup and eating choices, I just wouldn't recommend it.
-Cleaning time: ok, this is nitpicking, and some people will love it. The suite is big, and you have your own pool, and they keep both very clean (and put away your shoes, etc.)...which takes a while (even though they send in a couple of people at a time for the room and another for the pool and grounds). And then when they come in for the turndown, I swear they do a quick second clean/straighten. Just be prepared to switch between the pavilion and the bedroom if you happen to be in the suite when they come (i'm sure you could get them to come back, but there's really no need--huge couch/day bed in the pavilion, plus table and chairs. You'll need breaks from the sun).
Final word--we loved the place from the moment we arrived. Really, couldn't pick a better quiet honeymoon spot.
- 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 Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico