One of my favorite resorts, Banyan Tree Mayakoba, is about 45 minutes south of Cancun International Airport on a stretch of white sand beaches known as Riviera Maya. The resort town of Playa del Carmen is about 15 minutes to the south.
Banyan Tree is one of four resorts that is part of the Mayakoba complex which is host to PGA golf tour stop The World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba.
It shares the 620 acres of lagoons, jungles, and beaches with resorts managed by Fairmont, Rosewood, and Andaz, along with private luxury residences.
Guests at each property have access to sign and use across the larger resort, however, the villas at Banyan Tree may want you to just stay put. The entry level pool villas offer over 3,000-square feet of indoor and outdoor space, oversize bathrooms, outdoor candlelit bathtubs with full size pool, and shaded daybeds.
There is more than a half dozen dining options, although the resort is spread out so you may feel like it is virtually empty even when it is at capacity.
The resort combines Banyan Tree’s Asian roots and the Mexico’s warm hospitality. After my most recent – and third stay, each time in an entry-level Bliss Pool Villa, it’s hard to find fault, from meticulous housekeeping to the expansive space of our villa, and prompt service.
The biggest decision you must make is whether you want to stay by the beach – with direct access to the sand, but less privacy, and the secluded pool villas in the midst of the mangroves, located near the main building, with lobby, fitness center, and meeting rooms.
The two areas are connected via buggies and also wooden motorboats that transport you via a series of canals. All villas and suites come with bicycles as well.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba offers a variety of options: Bliss Pool Villa (45 in total); Serenity Pool Villa with Living Room (25); Spa Pool Villa with Massage Porch (8); 2BR Family Residence (2); 3BR Family Residence (23); Serenity 2BR Pool Villa (9); Lagoon & Beachside 2BR Pool Villa (5); Beachfront Pool Suite (22); Beachfront Sunrise Pool Suite (8); Lagoon Sunset Pool Villa (7), and Beachfront 3BR Pool Villa (5).
Harmony Three-Bedroom Beachfront Pool Villa
The five 5,500-sq.ft. Harmony Three-Bedroom Beachfront Villas includes a private heated swimming pool, bubbling jet pool, fully equipped kitchen, and private pavilion just steps from the Caribbean Sea.
Three-Bedroom Family Residence
The three-story, 2,755-sq.ft. Three-Bedroom Family Residence is an oasis for the family, with secluded spaces surrounded by rich, untouched nature. It features a sun-drenched rooftop lounge deck and a private heated pool with magnificent views of the fairways and waterways.
Serenity Two-Bedroom Pool Villa
These 5,511-sq.ft. Serenity Two-Bedroom Villas features a comfortable lounge pavilion and two bedrooms, each one of them with its independent entrance (not connecting). The master bedroom, featuring a king-sized bed, is located at the ground floor while the second bedroom, featuring two double beds, is located on the second floor.
Beachfront Lanai Pool Suite – King
Sitting upon the sugar sand beach of Mayakoba and featuring unhindered views of the water, the 3,155-sq.ft. Beachfront Lanai Pool Suites are one-bedroom with a heated private plunge pool, and an interior patio.
More suites and villas at Banyan Tree Mayakoba.
Dining and Bars
Banyan Tree offers a variety of full and pop-up restaurants, ranging from local to its Asian routes, Italian, and fire-grilled steaks and seafood. Oriente offers a terrific and extensive breakfast buffet with Mexican, Asian, and International dishes, including freshly made omelets and crepes, plentiful fresh fruits, smoked salmon, cheeses and cold cuts, and baked goods.
Saffron features Thai cuisine while Cello is Italian. Tomahawk Open Fire Latin Grill is situated in the same area of Oriente which isn’t open for dinner, and features steaks and seafood on an open grill. La Copa is the lobby bar and lounge serving Mexican specialties, and then beyond there are various beach and pool bars.
Between the natural beauty of the Mayan Jungle and The Mystical Mangrove, Banyan Tree Spa Mayakoba, try the holistic effects of hydrothermal therapy. The combination of heat and humidity stimulates blood circulation and helps in cleansing and detoxifying your body. Or follow the Rainforest trail, a full body scrub in the spa’s Rainmist shower. Tempt yourself with the Signature Candle Massage. Banyan Tree’s is a past winner Travel + Leisure Best Spa in Mexico award and a pick of best spas in the world from Harper’s Bazar.
At the Banyan Tree is a beach club, gym, multiple pools, tennis, and paddle tennis, nature trails, snorkeling, catamaran rides, a full gym with weights and cardio, plus access to the entire Mayakoba complex, which includes the Fairmont, Rosewood, and Andaz resorts.
The Greg Norman-designed championship golf course spans 7,024 yards. El Camaleon ranks No. 20 on the Golfweek’s Best 2020: Top 50 courses in Caribbean, Mexico list There is also a Jim McLean McLean Golf School offering personalized lessons by certified trainers. The resort is about 15 minutes north of Playa del Carmen, with lots of shops and restaurants.
Meetings and Events
There is 22,690 square feet of meeting space with six indoor and eight outdoor venues for up to 600 guests in outdoor venues and 250 guests indoors.