Banyan Tree Mayakoba

At some beach resorts the room choices are limited to studio units and suites. At Banyan Tree Mayakoba in the Riviera Maya the question is, “How big will your villa be?”

The only room category that doesn’t have “villa” in its title at this luxury Mexico resort is the Three-bedroom Family Residence. As you’d expect, that one is like a full-blown house.

Banyan Tree Riviera MayaEven though the Banyan Tree opened in 2009, it’s still miles ahead of most others on this competitive tourist coast in Mexico thanks in part to the space advantage for guests. The standard set-up here is a villa with its own entrance that has its own swimming pool (a real one, not a plunge), hot tub, outdoor bathtub, large bedroom, huge bathroom with walk-in closet, and a separate  living room across the courtyard. The options only go up from there, so there’s no need for any guest to have to settle for a typical hotel room layout here.

We reviewed Banyan Tree Mayakoba back when it opened and have been to functions there a couple times since. I got to experience it again during the ILTM Americas luxury travel conference though this year and so we just revamped our review. Thankfully the best parts have not changed. Saffron is still a terrific Thai restaurant, the spa staffed with Thai masseuses still rightly wins lots of awards, and the pool complex with a restaurant by the beach is a wonderful place to spend the day. Thanks to impeccable maintenance and good management, the place looks just as great as it did when it first opened, but with more mature landscaping perhaps.

Guests here have access to the whole sprawling Mayakoba complex too, with boats taking guests through the canals. The grounds include a long stretch of beach, a PGA championship golf course, and the El Pueblito area with cooking classes, a quality handicrafts boutique, and a wedding chapel.

The staff is superlative here as well. If I didn’t have the nearby Rosewood Mayakoba to compare it too, I’d have a hard time imagining that any other resort in the region can compete. Here you’ve got Asian service combined with Mexican hospitality and top-notch international management combining to make your experience really special. In an area where competition for staffers is heavy and new hotels are seemingly opening every few months, it’s a sign of a well-run operation when even the housekeepers and security personnel speak enough English to answer your questions and waiters have enough training to anticipate your needs.

Follow the link below to see the full review and check out the video tour above to get an overview. There are a dizzying number of places to stay in the Riviera Maya, even just at the high end. If you book at Banyan Tree Mayakoba though, you’ll have plenty of room to spread out without even needing to upgrade. Here if someone says, “Every guest is a VIP,” you’ll really feel like it’s true.

See our updated full review of Banyan Tree Mayakoba, in the golf and nature complex north of Playa del Carmen.

See more of the best luxury hotels in Riviera Maya.