Andaz Mayakoba Review
In part 1 of this Andaz Mayakoba review I covered an overview of the hotel, our flawed check-in experience and our room. In this part of my Andaz Mayakoba full review, I’ll cover everything else you need to know!
Over the course of our four day stay, we had the opportunity to dine in a couple of the resort’s restaurants in addition to ordering room service.
At check-in we weren’t told anything about our benefits as Globalist members, but I blame that on the confusion and don’t really hold it against them. After finally inquiring with the GM, I was able to confirm that Globalists can take their breakfast at the buffet in the main restaurant Cocina Milagro (Lagoon Side) or order a-la-carte at OllaTaco (Beach side).
We decided to take our breakfast each day in Cocina Milagro since the buffet and menu were quite a bit more extensive than what we could get at OllaTaco. Even though Cocina Milagro is a buffet, they did allow guests to order a-la-carte dishes such as Huevos Rancheros, Eggs Benedict and a few others.
Overall I would say the buffet spread at the Andaz Mayakoba is more sparse compared to what I have seen at other Andaz properties, but the quality of the food was fairly high. We also thought it was nice that they allowed guests to take some food out in to go boxes. We were a bit hesitant to do this, but were encouraged by the staff.
Restaurants & Room Service
Since the Andaz is fairly isolated, we ended up eating all of our meals on property. Several of the restaurants at the other resorts looked tempting, but we never made it to them. On most days we ate the breakfast buffet around 11am which meant we were good through dinner.
On the first night we ate at OllaTaco, which is the resort’s casual Mexican restaurant located on the Beach Side. As I mentioned in part 1, our meals were paid for by the hotel due to the room situation. We ended up having 2 orders of fajitas, rice, beans and guacamole and the total was around $80 USD. The food was good, but nothing special.
On another night we ate dinner (also comped) at Cocina Milagro. For the most part everything was great, but the deconstructed Clam Chowder was cold and gritty. I will say the duck I had was absolutely delicious despite the boring presentation and the rest of the food was very good. At about $250 USD for two appetizers, two mains and two desserts it is pricey though.
For our other two nights on property we ended up ordering room service. Compared to the restaurants, room service was a cheaper option, but we mostly chose this because 2 year olds can only handle so many sit down dinners. Over the course of our two meals we ordered pizza, soup, a burger and a club sandwich and all were fine.
After the room miscommunication the first night I did ask to speak to the General Manager. The next day after we missed his call, he actually set out to find us which was nice. Unfortunately our brief conversation was unsatisfying since he defended his staff and seemed to hint that I had misunderstood them. To his credit he offered us the second dinner at Cocina Milagro, even after our first night’s meal had been comped.
While the service issues at this property began at check-in unfortunately they did not end there. Over the course of the four days, we saw a staff that didn’t seem to understand how to provide great service. Nor did they seem to care. We received slow service on the beach and at the restaurants and also consistently (as in every single day) had to wait for our room to be cleaned despite notifying housekeeping and leaving for 1-2 hours. We also had to wait quite a while for golf carts on several occasions. To their credit, the golf cart drivers were among the friendliest of employees.
The absolute worst service of our stay came during our second comped dinner. Our waitress at Cocina Milagro was among the worst I have ever had at any restaurant. She was rude, disinterested and didn’t seem like she wanted to be there. Our service for breakfast at the buffet was also fairly poor. We often had to wait quite a long time for water/juice and then had to flag our waiter down for refills day after day.
Since our breakfast and gratuity were included as a benefit of being Globalist members, we didn’t tip extra at breakfast and that seemed to hurt us. We did see some waiters giving free stuff to other patrons in exchange for tips and they often would hang out at these people’s tables giving them whatever they wanted. I understand their want for tips, but this shouldn’t happen at the expense of others. The bottom line is the service at this hotel is anything but refined.
The Andaz Mayakoba is split into two sections separated by about 1KM of mangrove jungle. The Lagoon Side houses most of the resort amenities including the lobby, gym, kid’s club, spa, meeting space and two restaurants. The Lagoon area also has two pools and two hot tubs which feed into the pools. This is important since the pools Lagoon side aren’t freezing because of it.
While the Beach Side is quite a distance from the Lagoon, it is very close to the ocean and has two restaurants along with a beautiful pool that unfortunately isn’t heated. While the pool was a bit too cold for everyone, the ocean and beach chairs were nice (although of a noticeably lower quality compared to the other three resorts) and there seemed to be enough for everyone.
The main way guests travel between areas of this massive resort is via golf cart. Most times golf carts are constantly running between areas, although we did have to wait up to 10-20 minutes several times to get between the two areas. Thankfully for those active types, bikes are available everywhere on property. If we didn’t have the baby that would have been a neat way to get around the relatively flat area.
Mayakoba’s uniqueness comes from its canals. Twice daily the Andaz has a boat tour of the canals which I highly recommend. The tour goes through the various canals and during it you will see the other resorts, some of the golf course and at times nothing but jungle. It is fantastic.
Of course the real reason to go on the tour is the wildlife. Despite the canals being manmade, wildlife has really taken over and there are a ton of things to see. During our tour we saw dozens of colorful species of birds, iguanas and even a baby crocodile. It is sort of like having the Jungle Cruise right in your hotel!
While we didn’t have time to eat at the other resorts it is quite possible and you can even charge back to your room to earn points. We did have a chance to tour the other hotels though and they are quite beautiful. The highlight for us was the giant tree at the center of the Banyan Tree Lobby.
All four resorts also share a common area called “El Pueblito”. This collection of shops and street vendors is meant to simulate a traditional Mexican town. While it doesn’t really compare to the real thing, we found it nice and worth a quick visit. For those who are looking to worship, there is even a Catholic Church in El Pueblito which holds a Sunday Mass every week.
Next to El Pueblito is Cenote Burrodromo. From the path you descend a few stairs into the cenote which is full of bats and stunningly clear water. The Andaz runs tours here several times during the week or you can just ask at the Sanctuary and they will drive you over on a golf cart.
Beach or Lagoon Side?
When I researched this property, it was hard to decide which side of the resort to stay on. After having stayed there, I can say I would definitely stay on the Lagoon side unless I had an ocean front room facing the water. There simply is too much waiting and inconvenience when staying on the Beach side since most activities and the better (warmer) pools are up top. If I go back, I’ll definitely stay in a Lagoon View room.
Overall I really enjoyed my stay at the Andaz Mayakoba and would probably go back. I won’t lie, the service missteps really added up and had us frustrated by the time we left the resort. With that said, I feel like the two complimentary meals were very generous and didn’t feel the need to complain further. Oh and did I mention the resort is gorgeous?
In the end I wouldn’t recommend this hotel if you are going for five star service because it simply doesn’t exist here. If that is less important to you and you simply want to enjoy the uniqueness of Mayakoba, then this can be a great choice given its cheaper price tag compared to the other hotels in the complex.
Have you stayed at the Andaz Mayakoba? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.