Roam+Board :: Banyan Tree Mayakoba

BanyanTreeMayakobaTripStyler

[trip style = sun + beach + luxury]

Editor's Note: The last scenes of my Expedia storybook were shot at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba, a hotel I specifically hand-picked for the project. Once you drool over this styled stay, enter to win it! The contest runs June 24, 2014 - Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 at noon PST.  

What
The 107-villa Banyan Tree Mayakoba epitomizes the jet-set lifestyle {and it has a treasure trove of Gold-List awards to prove it}. When every room's footprint starts at 3000 square feet and comes complete with its own private plunge pool and Italian espresso machine, the lap of luxury lingers in every moment.

Thankfully, its brand of Caribbean-chic is understated meaning you won't see Saint-Tropez-tanned men clad in white-linen ensembles or women wrapped in bedazzled beach coverups strutting the grounds like resort-wear models. On the flip-side, you will find a tranquil elegance marked with Thai taste and Mexican mi-casa-es-su-casa hospitality. 

I've been eyeing Mexico's Yucatan Banyan Tree since I visited the region four years ago. After taking a gander at the beachfront pool and eating in Tamarind restaurant, Mr. Trip Styler and I vowed we'd one day return.

Our recent stay confirmed our trip styled suspicions. Set beside a series of natural canals meandering between mangroves, the resort has a village-on-water wherewithal nearing mystical realms.

Rooms carry on this aesthetic with celestial-high ceilingsours was near three storiesprivate indoor-outdoor living, and bathrooms the size of city apartments. In other words, there's no reason to leave your foxy plot, unless of course you're a beach-, spa- or restaurant-lover. Trip Styler approved. 

Where
Mexico's Riviera Maya, 40 minutes by car from the Cancun {CUN} Airport and 15 minutes from Playa Del Carmen. 

Trip Styler Tip: Taking a cab from the hotel into Playa Del Carmen costs approx. US$23. If you like err on the side of soft-core adventure, consider taking an air-conditioned Colectivo, a fleet of 15-passenger vans that transport people from A to B. To catch one, simply ask the hotel to drive you to the main road, stand on the side in the direction you want to go, and one will stop. They come every 5-10 minutes. {I took one all the way to Tulum!}. That same trip into Playa now costs 30 Pesos or US$2/person. 

When
While 95% of the year is near postcard-perfect along the Riviera Mayahome to the second-largest coral reef in the worldthe region does rest on the edge of the hurricane belt. This area *can* get stormy from June to November, with August and September being the worst offenders. However, even during this sometimes-tumultuous period, the weather is still beautiful *most* of the time.

Who/Why
Space and design matter to you. So do beach treats à la lemongrass popsicles, and the option to skinny-dip in your personal plunge pool. 

Cost
Rates start at $365/nightI spotted this price on Expedia in Juneand inch up into the $1000+ range in high season. Each stay includes complimentary resort-wide WiFi, twice-daily fruit delivery, bottled water, in-room Lavazza espresso machine, use of stand-up paddleboards or kayaks at the beach, and transfers to the restaurants at the other hotels {Fairmont and Rosewood} on the Mayakoba property, as well as the Banyan Tree beach and pool. If you want to use one of the on-site bikes, that will set you back $6/day. Kids welcome.

Photos

 The lobby

The lobby

 Another shot of the lobby, which is set back from the ocean. Boats leave every 15 minutes for the beach (or, you can walk, hail a golf cart or bike}. 

Another shot of the lobby, which is set back from the ocean. Boats leave every 15 minutes for the beach (or, you can walk, hail a golf cart or bike}. 

 The beach

The beach

 Our villa's private plunge pool {every villa comes standard with a private pool}

Our villa's private plunge pool {every villa comes standard with a private pool}

 Feather-down beds anchoring a headboard soaring up to the villa's ceiling

Feather-down beds anchoring a headboard soaring up to the villa's ceiling

 Our villa 

Our villa 

 The apartment-sized bathroom with Mexi-gorgeous earthenware sinks

The apartment-sized bathroom with Mexi-gorgeous earthenware sinks

 Private outdoor bath

Private outdoor bath