Banyan Tree Mayakoba – Luxury Breakfast on the Mayan Riviera
This is my fourth review of hotels on the Mayan Riviera offering breakfast to non-staying guests. See previous submissions on Esencia, Maroma Orient Express and Rosewood Mayakoba.
I am going to repeat information about Mayakoba that I have written about in my review of the Rosewood, but this will save you from going back and forth between the two reviews.
The Mayakoba development is situated about 10 km north of Playa del Carmen. It is a large resort property built among mangroves, forest, luxury golf courses and a beautiful beach that seems to never end. The large Mayakoba entrance is well marked and you will recognize it by the wide white wall structure housing a security booth and a guard screening entries into the property.
Mayakoba is home to two of the most beautiful hotels on the Mayan Riviera: the Rosewood and the Banyan Tree. The Mayakoba beach, stretched in front of a few resorts, is a wonderful long beach with pure white sand and great surf. Beach walking, shell hunting (find them but leave them on the beach) or a swim (if it’s calm) are fun to do after breakfast at one of these lovely luxury hotels.
Once through the Mayakoba gate turn right and follow a very long lane winding through the dense but manicured forest ending at the reception. Here, as at the Rosewood, you leave your car with the valet and let them know you have come for breakfast. There is no charge for parking but leave gratuities when they bring back your vehicle upon departure.
Banyan tree Mayakoba
Architecturally stunning, this new hotel is a welcome addition to the line of few true luxury resorts on the Riviera Maya. The Banyan Tree is situated south of the Rosewood (with the Fairmont in between) at the end of a long, winding driveway through the “tamed” and cleared jungle. The hotel lobby rises past a pool of water afloat with water lilies, water fountain and two stone walls that frame the view and lead your gaze through the stunning lobby and beyond. The Asian overtones in the architecture and furnishing is mixed with indigenous stone and landscaping and simply takes your breath away. As in the Rosewood, there is no main structure housing the guests. Rather, villas are dispersed throughout the property, built around the lagoons and mangroves and visible only when driving along the path connecting the various parts of the hotel, yet hidden behind the landscape. To get a sense of the scale of this resort (about 130 rooms), go to the rooftop patio in front of the reception. You will see the tops of the villas around and see the scale of the development.
We are here for breakfast and breakfast is served at Oriente, located in the front main building on the ground floor, beside the pool and lobby canal. It’s a fairly large restaurant, offering both indoor and open air dining at beautifully appointed well-spaced tables. The breakfast is served buffet style and is quite special. Eggs can be prepared to you liking or pick the offerings from the hot buffet, from scrambled eggs or poached eggs to various meats, sausages, pancakes and waffles. Freshly made breads and pastries are tempting in the centre section and fruits, cereals, smoked fish and a good selection of cheeses is offered on the left side of he buffet. An interesting item that I haven’t seen elsewhere is served on the center section near the cereals. These are candied vegetables, like sweet potatoes and other roots. They seem to be offered more as a condiment along some jams and stewed fruits. They are sweet and tangy, chewy bits, quite delicious alongside other breakfast items. Another special feature is the Mayan hot chocolate, prepared and served in large hot chocolate pots that line one area. The chocolate is thick, authentic, not too sweet and quite delicious. It’s a nice salute to local tradition and cuisine.
After breakfast we catch a ride on the electric boat to the beach (the boat departs every 30 minutes) for our customary walk on the Mayakoba beach. It’s an opportunity for beach photography as well as discovering new hotels that are being built along the beach. Back after a few hours to the Sands restaurant by the pool for a lunch experience that may include their fabulous roasted baby vegetables salad and catch of the day, followed by the chilled fruit “soup” for dessert. The Banyan Tree is a feast, for the eyes and the palate.
If you are spa connoisseur you do not want to miss the spa experience at the Banyan Tree. More on that later.
Enjoy your Banyan tree Mayakoba experience.