By Vince Font
What do you get when you cross a glamorous Asian resort with the Mayan Riviera? Only one of the most upscale and jaw-dropping Riviera Maya hotels you’ve ever seen. It’s called the Banyan Tree Mayakoba Riviera Maya, and it single-handedly raises the bar on exotic luxury and style. From your first approach to your longing farewell gazes, see how this tucked away sanctuary takes your Mexico vacation plans to a new level.
Private all-pool villas
Built in 2009, the resort’s 132 villas — each artfully decorated with handmade furniture — come in various layouts, ranging from cozy couples’ retreats to dreamy three-bedroom townhouses. All come equipped with big, flat-screen TVs and mini stereo systems with iPod docking stations — but that’s nothing compared to this: Each villa has its own private swimming pool. (Some have an outdoor Jacuzzi, too.) And the water features don’t stop there. Mother Nature is part of the blueprints with whopping 5,500-plus square-foot oceanfront villas, and two-bedroom inland nooks which open to verdant gardens and a peaceful lagoon.
Dining and Spa
If you like diversity in your dining, you’ll find even more to love about the Banyan Tree. From the eclectic Tamarind to the posh and sultry La Copa, it’s very likely that even if you book an extended stay you may not even get a chance to try a small percentage of the offerings. One thing I do strongly recommend making time for, however, are the spa services. Here, you’ll find traditional Eastern therapies such as Indian head massages, yoga classes, and the resort’s signature “Rain Forest” hydrothermal therapy.
Vince Font is a travel writer with a deep love of weird, wacky, and off-the-beaten-track vacation destinations — as long as staying in a luxury hotel is part of the deal.