As expected, Banyan Tree didn't disappoint. This resort goes above any expectation from the entrance to the Mayakoba compound to anything else you can think of. During my previous trip I visited also Rosewood, thinking it was the place of my dreams, but Banyan Tree beats it in any possible way.
First, the resort is immaculately kept, a fusion of asian and mexican modern architecture, where every little detail is in place at all times. The main building has a unique charm with the banyan tree on the little isle in the centre and all the common spaces and restaurant amazinlgy decorated on the sides. If you are one of those people who appreciate the carefully studied little details and this kind of perfection you cant avoid falling in love with it. The rooms are villas, each with his own garden and patio and real swimming pool (not just a plunge pool). Again interiors are beautiful, especially the bathrooms!!! It's the furniture, the colors, the decoration that make you feel in a luxury place, not the bose sound system in every villa or the huge flat tv.
Now food and bevarage...on Saturday night we ate at Tamarind. They probably put on a bit of a show for us but it really worked. The manager welcomed us at the entrance, showed us to our table and served with a waiter every course explaining what it was. We had a preset kind of tasting menu with wine pairing (put together by them, since it was not possible to do the wedding banquet tasting this weekend due to the short notice). I am Italian but lived abroad for many years and still like the mediterranean simple flavors. Food was beyond beautiful, not necessarily Italian, possibly continental classic with an eclectic touch, presentation impeccable, wines just perfect and customer service at the top....not the bill unfortunately...but at least now we are sure food is perfect. On Sunday night we had dinner at Saffron, where we just ordered a la carte. I was not as impressed with food. It was really nice but not over the top. And service is not as good as at Tamarind. We also had twice lunch at Sands. The menu is really simple and not particularly elaborated but nice for a quick lunch. Breakfast at Oriente is good, there is a good selection of everything from salty to sweet, from healthy to less so.
As for customer service, I would say it is really good. The experience at Tamarind and working with Brenda and Katherine in the last two weeks in particular really made it for us. All the staff is very helpful and accomodating, from the guy drinving the boat to the guys at the beach club setting up the beds for you. The only thing I would suggest being careful about when organizing your guests' check in is making sure they don't arrive before 3pm because there is little chance they'll get a villa before and risk getting annoyed waiting in the lobby because told to wait 10/15 minutes when maybe it is 1h wait or more.
Well, this resort definitely deserves being among The Leading Hotels of The World.
From a wedding venue perspective, it is just perfect. It has a romantic feel about it. Everything is excellent, so you know that your guests, travelling from very far, are in good hands. They have infinite locations for ceremony, cocktail, dinner, and after party. The quality of food is very high and you don't have to give up to an elegant plated dinner like in most of the resorts where they just do buffet.
I hope this review will be helful. Should you have any questions or want to know anything else, just ask.