Sanctuary for the Senses
Banyan Tree Mayakoba Fuses Asian Hospitality With The Magic Of The Riviera Maya
By Noelle Valentine
Imagine a setting with pristine shores, a warm sun and a soft Caribbean breeze where robust species of plant and animal life thrive in the freshwater lagoons, mangroves, natural dunes and intricate coral reefs of an intricately protected ecosystem. Located along the coast of the Riviera Maya, Banyan Tree Mayakoba offers visitors the experience of a true tropical retreat and unrivaled access to an unspoiled coastline.
Located in the heart of a 1,600-acre resort enclave, the resort is built between lagoons and the Caribbean Sea, 40 minutes south of Cancun and 10 minutes north of the lively Playa del Carmen, with 120 elegantly designed private pool villas, several distinct dining options and an award-winning spa. As well, a respect for the virgin environment is a priority. The resort is EarthCheck Silver Certified, PROFEPA Tourism Environmental Quality Certified and a Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Standard-Setter Award winner.
As the first Banyan Tree resort in the Americas and the epitome of luxury resort living, Banyan Tree Mayakoba elevates the Caribbean lifestyle to a new level with its launch of the exclusive Spa Sanctuary Villas. On every level imaginable, this all-pool villa resort is a sanctuary for the senses and sets the benchmark for luxury vacations with the ultimate luxury and legacy of Asian restorative spa therapies.
A SENSORY EXPERIENCE
A stay in the Spa Sanctuary Villas is unparalleled, designed as a fully immersive well-being experience with unlimited treatments and thoughtfully executed rituals to delight guests from the moment they arrive at the airport, where a private transfer is arranged to take them straight to their villa for in-room check-in and a welcome footbath.
Guests will be immediately thrilled by the spacious accommodations, which feature separate areas for spa treatments with two treatment beds for tandem massages, as well as areas for lounging and snoozing. Every villa also features secluded outdoor areas and a private pool. Once settled in, a Sanctuary Host and professional therapists will pay a visit in order to create a custom itinerary for treatment, whether you simply want to relax and recharge as a couple or create a health and fitness getaway complemented by sporting activities.
You’ll begin each day with a morning treatment, such as a neck and shoulder or a Thai yoga massage, followed by an in-villa wellness themed breakfast with choices like organic juice and seasonal fresh fruit. Your stay also includes lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and a stocked mini-bar. Throughout the day, you have the option to indulge in additional treatments at your leisure with treatments ranging from massages (10 unique massage experiences are available), to Personal Hydro Experience and Senses Reviver Foot Massage. Upon returning to your villa in the evening, you’ll encounter the special therapeutic Sanctuary for the Senses turndown amenities that will bring the spa experience full circle.
THE CULINARY EXPERIENCE
Dining at Banyan Tree Mayakoba is also an opportunity to enjoy a customized variety of tasteful and delicious options. In addition to the signature restaurant, Saffron, which serves contemporary Thai cuisine prepared by Thai chefs who bring an authentic Asian flavor to the Caribbean tropics, there are 14 more culinary experiences to enjoy on the property, including 4 restaurants. A few of the favorites include the following:
Tamarind provides a culinary experience which combines fine herbs and spices with an Italian cuisine enhanced by panoramic views of the lagoon. Sands, located beachside, serves up light snacks and fresh seafood for lunch and authentic Mexican specialties for dinner, along with tropical cocktails all day long. Oriente, overlooking the Reflections Pool, offers a casual variety of Mexican and international breakfast buffets. La Copa rooftop lounge captivates with exotic drinks, warm Mexican sunsets and sparkling night skies.
On-water dining options include Ixchel, which serves a fusion of local and international cuisines on a traditional trajinera boat. On the Tapas Cruise, you’ll enjoy magnificent toasts and tapas as you sail through the natural waterways and canals of Mayakoba.
The Catch of the Day allows you to choose the best fresh fish coming straight from the sea as you interact with local fishermen and chefs to customize it to your particular taste. Enjoy either on the beach, in the comfort of your villa or at one of the restaurants.
One definite dining “to do” is the HAAB, a captivating outdoor concept based on ancient Maya traditions and cuisine. This immersive experience brings to life the Mayan culture, customs and cuisine delivered in the heart of the jungle, inspired by the four basic elements of earth, wind, fire and water. Warriors adorned in traditional garments serve as the evening’s narrators and guide guests through a culinary experience complete with a full course meal, entertainment and interactive involvement with the chefs preparing the dinner. HAAB is a one-of-a-kind experience that guests remember forever.
A plethora of activities available to guests are sure to stimulate your senses.
Nature Trail – The trail is three miles long and has been designed so that you can have a walk, jog or ride a bike. Rest areas can be found along the way, as well as bird towers.
Intimate Moments – Stimulate your sense of romance as you discover your villa decorated with candles, delicate flower petals, satin bed linens and gently arousing aromatic oils and incense. Soft background music, wine or champagne, exotic fresh fruit and chocolate further enhance the mood as you reconnect with your companion.
Golf – El Camaleón Mayakoba Golf Club, designed by Greg Norman, proudly hosts the only PGA Tour event in Mexico — the OHL Classic at Mayakoba — and is home to Mexico’s only Jim McLean Golf School. El Camaleón is unique, not just to Mexico but to the entire world of golf, due to the three different landscapes which confront golfers of any skill level — jungle, mangrove and sea. Recognized by the Audubon Society, the course offers up ever-changing challenges and alluring vistas: fairways lined with sand dunes and mangroves, distinctive hazards such as cenotes (subterranean caves), crystal-clear lagoons, and greens on the edge of the Caribbean Sea.
Yoga – Energizing the body, mind and spirit in a sequence of yoga postures performed as one continuous exercise. This graceful sequence starts off slow and eventually builds speed to create a flow.
Wine and Tequila Tasting – Wine and food pairing mysteries are uncovered by a certified sommelier in this educational experience. Or try Mexico’s finest Tequilas and Mezcals while you learn about the history, manufacturing, aging and flavors of this famous spirit.
Other activities include kayaking, tennis, racquetball, boat tours, bird watching and snorkeling.