Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Banyan Tree Mayakoba is one of the four luxury properties tucked into Mayakoba resort, a lush 620-acre enclave along Mexico’s Riviera Maya coastline. Accommodations blend nature and luxury seamlessly with each one designed to feel like a private oasis. Each of the property’s 123 villas have a heated pool, outdoor tub/shower, landscaped garden, and lagoon, jungle, or ocean views. Things are fairly spread out (all the better to ensure that sense of privacy) and individual bikes are provided to help guests get around. If you feel like socializing, stop in at any of their nine gourmet restaurants and lounges. You’ll also have access to all of the Mayakoba offerings, including the 18-hole Greg Norman-designed championship golf course (first PGA TOUR golf course in Latin America) and their private yacht.

What You Need to Know

The Look

Aside from the oceanfront, the resort is surrounded by lush jungle and the property’s minimalist Asian aesthetic features sleek airy spaces that open directly into nature. Don’t be surprised if a tropical bird joins you for your happy hour cocktail. They spent 2020 undergoing significant improvements, including the new Sands Beach Club and decadent new Beachfront Suites with direct access to the Caribbean Sea – as well as an outdoor shower and private solarium with a heated plunge pool. This summer, the property will debut its first overwater villas with sunset views.

The Vibe

Relaxing and romantic, the surroundings here are lush and botanical as the air literally hums with birdsong and the sounds of ocean surf. No one is in a hurry as couples wander from spa treatments to wine and tequila tastings, stopping by the boutique for a locally sourced find or hitching a boat ride through the lagoons. Service is subtle and smiling and no one will judge if you spend the day by your private pool (they’ll even bring dinner to you with their signature In-Villa BBQ). Every guest gets a bike, perfect for cycling the nature paths to the beach or to dinner. Be warned: Returning to the airport on departure day can be a bit of a shock as you try to resuscitate your sense of urgency. 

Who Will Love It

Honeymooners, couples, and families will love the tranquil setting, gentle ocean surf, and year-round balmy weather. Activities are always on hand for the sporty types – including golf, snorkeling, tennis, and yoga.

Who Might Not 

Restless urbanites who need a steady drumbeat of diversion and distractions will not easily embrace the tranquil surroundings here. Singles might find the scene rather lonely. 

Best Amenity

Water experiences might be among the finest amenities at Banyan Tree, whether it’s the private pool (an actual full-size pool, not an oversized bathtub) in each villa or the world-class hydrothermal therapy circuit at the spa. The circuit features ten different hydrothermal experiences including vitality pool, sauna, ice fountain, and a spectacular Rainforest Walking Trail. And, every guest will enjoy the tranquil Caribbean Sea, open 24-hours a day.

Money Matters

What’s Included

Room rates include complimentary in-villa daily aromatherapy with scented oils and incense, bicycles, bottled water refreshed daily, and a daily assortment of whole fruit, coffee, and tea. High-speed Wifi is complimentary throughout the resort and in all villas.

Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About

Valet parking is complimentary. Banyan Tree Mayakoba does have a service charge of 15% of the rate, and it’s quoted on every reservation.

How to Get a Deal

The resort’s Blissful Escape package offers the best deal with 20% off best available rate and other special amenities. 

Getting There

In the Neighborhood

Mayakoba includes four luxury hotel properties, including the Banyan Tree, connected by a series of lagoons, roads, and bike paths. Boat and car shuttles are available for all guests to points throughout the resort so a personal car is not necessary. Drivers can be arranged (and are recommended) for nearby off-site excursions such as Tulum. 

Nearest Airport

Cancun International Airport (CUN) is the nearest airport. Shuttles are offered through the hotel’s concierge. Rates are $150 one way or $266 round-trip for Normal Private Service (maximum eight passengers per van) or $185 one way and $370 round-trip for Deluxe Private Service (maximum five people per SUV). 

Nearest Public Transit

There are buses that go from the airport to Playa del Carmen, and from there guests can take a taxi. However, the resort always recommends direct transfer. 

The Bottom Line

This destination is a serene, luxurious, oceanfront oasis with access to a world-class spa and championship golf for those who value privacy but still want premium activities on hand.

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