Riviera Maya Luxury Resort: Staying at Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Hot off the press from Mexico
Banyan Tree Mayakoba unveils a taste of Asia in Mexico. Be swept away by the hospitality and exotic setting at this Riviera Maya luxury resort.
On the doorstep of Cancun International Airport, you will find Banyan Tree Mayakoba. This Riviera Maya luxury resort is a short 40-minute drive from the airport, yet you wouldn’t realize it upon arrival. Its located within the gated resort development of Mayakoba and is built around a freshwater lagoon. Tropical mangroves, waterways and beaches make this resort stand out from its Caribbean neighbors. Simply take one look at the main entrance and open-air lobby; it is a testament to the harmonious blend of nature and luxury.
Check out my video tours of Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Private pool villas built into the landscape
There are 122 freestanding villas woven into the landscape along a string of garden paths. Due to the property’s size, the golf cart shuttle service and villa bikes are the best way to get around. Most villas are located inland, about a ½ mile from the beach, unless you book one of the more opulent beach front quarters. With that being said, they are totally private and spacious (starting at 3,000 sq. feet) and feature tall ceilings and Mayan-inspired decor. Each one has its own private plunge pool, garden area and a bathroom with a deep soak tub and rain shower. The ‘plunge pool’ is more like a full-size swimming pool and it is a pure joy!
Dining experiences that are to travel for
When it comes to the human ritual of dining, this Riviera Maya luxury resort overachieves in all regards. Each day is a new culinary delight with many on-site restaurants to choose from. The most in-demand dining spot (and my personal favorite) is Banyan Tree’s Saffron restaurant. It sits on a wooden deck that extends over the lagoon and serves authentic Thai cuisine.
For a taste of Italian fare, dinner reservations at Cello is an easy choice. There is a live pasta station where you can watch the chefs prepare homemade ravioli as you wait for your meal. On the beach, Sands beach club serves fresh seafood and fun Mexican dishes and cocktails. The list of eateries goes on and on, but there is one last dining experience I have to mention. It goes by the name of Ixchel, meaning “Moon Goddess”. The Ixchel experience is a romantic evening aboard a private dining boat that meanders through the canals and mangroves of Mayakoba. Availability is twice daily, for breakfast and dinner, and booking in advance is a must.
Epitome of premium resort living
Banyan Tree is part of the exclusive Mayakoba resort along with three other luxury hotels. Guests can use the golf cart and boat shuttle service or their bikes to navigate around the resort complex. As far as you can travel by one of these methods, everything can be charged to your room.
A mix of cultural, nature and beach activities await kids and adults alike at this Riviera Maya luxury resort. Sands beach club is right by the water with a restaurant, pool, swim up bar and beach loungers on the soft Caribbean sand. Keep in mind though, this facility gets very busy during the day, especially with the kid’s club next to the pool.
Adults can find zen at the Banyan Tree Spa with its award-winning roots in Asian wellness therapies. All treatments take place in private, overwater therapy villas by highly trained therapists from the Banyan Tree Spa Academies in Thailand and Indonesia.
Other activities include:
- A round of golf at the on-site El Camaleon golf course
- Guided boat eco-tour through the waterways – Wildluxe favorite!
- 3-mile long nature trail to walk, jog or bike
- Archery, kayak tour, yoga and tennis
- Visit nearby Playa Del Carmen for shopping, cafes and nightlife
However you fill your days, remember to bring insect repellent to fight off the mosquitoes and binoculars to spot the many bird species that surround the resort.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba experience in summary
Sitting partly on a lagoon and partly on the beach, Banyan Tree Mayakoba offers a unique setting to vacation in style. Everyday feels like a Friday. Lush villas with private swimming pools and dozens of dining options are part of its charm. In fact, there are probably more amenities to keep you busy longer than your vacation allows. Being part of a larger resort development, this property is ideal for families or groups of friends.