Enjoying new ways to stay healthy is the focus for travel in this time of coronavirus and beyond. In Mexico’s plentiful coastal resorts, that’s an easy thing to do. From Shaman rituals and water journeys to secluded beaches and private villas hidden along jungle lagoons, these luxury escapes are designed for wellness.
THE MEXICAN CARIBBEAN
Stretching from Cancun south along the Riviera Maya, turquoise seas, white sands and luxe resorts nourish the body, mind and soul.
Le Blanc Spa Resort – Perhaps the healthiest suite anywhere. The Blanc Wellness Suite pampers with Stay Well by Delos air purifiers and shower infusers that remove 99 percent of residual chlorine; a Wellness Concierge for guidance on fitness and wellness-based activities, a wellness yoga and meditation kit, an exclusive healthy in-room dining menu, mini bar stocked with healthy choices and more. The wellness continues resort-wide at the BlancSpa, featuring a master suite with Hi-Tech hydro-tubs, Pilates Reformer classes, spinning, beachfront infinity pools and haute cuisine at restaurants including Pure Healthy Kitchen.
Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun – All Inclusive – A long-time favorite for its lavish Gem Spa and prime beach location at the tip of the Cancun peninsula (with a private marina and on-site excursions). Distance yourself in one of two premium penthouse levels, each providing private areas on the beach, the huge ocean-front deck and poolside. Then experience the spa’s 40,000 square feet of wellness headlined by the signature chakra-balancing gemstone therapies and Latin America’s only 10-step guided hydrotherapy ritual, including a pebbled foot-massaging maze and enormous “Pool of Sensations” overlooking Nichupte Lagoon.
Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa – Tranquility reigns across 365 acres and nearly two miles of beachy coastline, where canals connect you by boat to your room and public areas, and floating relaxation platforms welcome you with sofa chairs. Treat yourself to an Ambassador Suite with swim-up pool access. Hit some balls at the adjacent Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre – his only North American facility. Indulge in 50,000 square feet of health at Zentropia Spa & Wellness and its extensive thermal zone, from Sensation Showers to an eco-meditative cold bath. Learn to cook healthy Japanese cuisine during live cooking shows at the resort’s Sumptuori restaurant.
Chablé Yucatan – Built around a sacred cenote (natural sinkhole) inland from Cancun, contemporary architecture is paired with a 19th century hacienda, and services combine Mayan wisdom and advanced therapeutic methods to create a complete – and unforgettable – wellness experience. Relax in the private pool and open-space “cube of glass” bath of your garden casita. At the Chablé Spa, bliss out in a treatment suite overlooking the cenote with services from the Spiritual Menu and the Fitness Mind & Body Menu. Unique choices include the “Fountain of Youth Journey” involving a Mayan welcome ritual at the cenote and flotation therapy in the Flotarium tank. Dine at the Wellness Restaurant on dishes made with ingredients from the resort’s Mayan Garden.
The Riviera Maya
Chablé Maroma – White beaches and emerald jungle frame this acclaimed wellness resort, renowned for its luxurious focus on Mayan healing. Unique wellness services, expert health consultants, open-air treatment rooms and airy thatched villas with private pools immerse you in a world of well-being. Uplifting experiences include the “Ya’Axche Forest Awakening Ritual” massage, the “Sound of the Sea” water ceremony including a seaweed wrap and sea fennel massage wax, and the Temazcal steam bath ceremony. Four restaurants continue the wellness, especially Kaban, where the ocean is the inspiration for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya – Famous for being the largest (nearly 90,000 square feet) and one of the best spas in the region, wellness opportunities are nearly limitless at the holistic Se Spa by Grand Velas. Inspired by world cultures with an emphasis on indigenous traditions, its signature services include the Mayan Jade Facial, the Umbal Shawl massage to align body posture and cleanse energy channels, and the eight-step Water Ceremony through waterfalls, bubble beds and other aqua delights.
TRS Yucatan Hotel – Situated 18 miles south of Tulum in the Grand Palladium resort complex, your adults-only experience centers around the Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness. For an extra dose of well-being, check into the Wellness Junior Suite. It’s designed for couples who desire a healthy life in body, mind and soul, with specialized amenities including a personalized fitness program, custom-designed meal menu and couples’ massage. At the spa, enjoy services outdoors on the beach or in the jungle in an Eco-palm Shelter. Indulge in the Water Garden, an avant garde collection of pleasures including a vapor baths pool, eco-meditative cold bath and open-air showers with water cascades.
Rosewood Mayakoba – Shady lagoons leading to private villas (each with a boat dock) and to Sense, A Rosewood Spa, secluded on an island in the jungle, make this 620-acre ocean-front hideaway a health-seekers dream. For optimum well-being, stay on the spa island in a Wellness Suite overlooking the lagoon and let the Well Being Butler guide you on a personalized path of wellness. You’ll also have use of the island’s outdoor serenity pavilion for yoga, personal training, massage and individual sessions with the resort shaman (native healer). In the spa, experience locally-inspired treatments such as the “Mayan Healing Hands: Customized Journey” featuring a private session with a Mayan Shaman, a Shaman-led re-birth ceremony at a cenote and a Temazcal experience.
Kore Tulum Retreat and Spa Resort – Cozy and stylish with only 94 suites, all with Jacuzzis, this adults-only oceanfront find is ideal for a casual healthy getaway. Promote your physical and mental health with the Temazcal ritual, indoor and on-the-beach treatments at the Spa Center, a gym workout, yoga on the beach and more. Get your exercise on free bicycles pedaling around town or to the Tulum Archeological Zone (less than two miles away). There’s also a pharmacy, medical service and a natural cenote on the grounds.
At the tip of the Baja Peninsula, desert and ocean meet in a synergy of sun, sand and sea to relax, restore and elevate the spirit.
One&Only Palmilla – With 13 spa pavilions, each with a sumptuously landscaped fountain garden courtyard with a daybed and soaking tub, plus inside treatment room and shower; the One&Only Spa at this legendary resort comes as close to the Garden of Eden as a spa can. Let the in-house Shaman awaken your spirit with the “Ancient Healing Treatment Consultation with Shaman” service. Featuring a sage smoke ritual cleansing and massage with indigenous medicines and magnets. Or the “Ancient Mexican Remedies” ceremony, including a Shaman-led copal and herb smoke bath, body wrap with freshly harvested aloe vera, massage with healing quartz and a drink of local cactus root tea.
Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort – Relax and renew away from it all at this boutique property within the gated Quivira Los Cabos community on the Pacific Ocean. Breathe in the fresh sea air while sipping champagne on a canopied daybed on the miles-long private beach. For extra seclusion, book The Towers resort-within-a-resort and enjoy your own plunge pool, exclusive oceanfront lounge, beachfront restaurant and ocean-view fitness center. Wellness continues at the Armonia Spa with a diverse menu including the Royal Mexican Lime Deep Body Scrub. Enjoy exhilarating play (only members and resort guests) on the private Jack Nicklaus-designed Quivira Golf Club course, carved out of the ocean cliffs.
Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort – Always a leader in luxurious wellness, new health-conscious options take you to even higher levels of well-being at this famous resort. For instance, the new “Celebrate & Rejuvenate” all-encompassing stay includes three new holistic wellness journeys: “Vitalize,” “Healthy Aging” and “Deep Sleep.” Also, the Speakeasy Lounge is now outdoors floating on a pool. Taste history with the “Barbacoa Dinner,” featuring cuisine of the ancient Tlaxcalan people. Spa at Las Ventanas treatments inspired by the indigenous healers of Baja include the “Spiritual Chalam” journey, a holistic experience originated by Baja Shamans using meditation with crystals and a stone massage to purify the spirit and soul.
Viceroy Los Cabos – A sanctuary of mirror pools, casitas with “Lifestyle Assistants,” an open-air rooftop restaurant with sweeping ocean views and an adults-only rooftop pool, the ambiance is as beneficial as the holistic Spa at Viceroy Los Cabos. Inside the spa, locally-inspired treatments include the “Tranquil Damiana” massage which fuses traditional and ASMR sleep techniques with scents of the local Damiana flower. Be sure to enjoy a healthy – and unique – Robatayaki-style seafood dinner inside the signature birds-nest-like structure, seemingly floating on water.
Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas – Only 45 minutes from the airport and miles from other resorts, this new-build (opened October 2019) is the very definition of a healthy get-away-from-it-all. Low-level architecture (no corridors or shared elevators), rooms with private plunge pools, breezy restaurants (using locally-sourced ingredients) and two miles of pristine swimmable beach redefine social distancing. Take “Guided Meditation” sessions at The Oasis Spa. And the “Meet the Farmers” tour to the resort’s organic farms and orchards to learn the latest healthy growing techniques.
THE PACIFIC COAST
North of Puerto Vallarta, golden beaches, emerald jungles and red sunsets combine to soothe the soul.
Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita – “Celebrating the Mexican culture one sunset at a time.” It’s the motto – and an idyllic path to well-being – at this iconic, newly renovated, hideaway. Begin the day with fresh air and panoramic views of ocean, beach and nearby islands from your terrace. Witness the nightly Huichol Sunset Ritual, performed by Huichol shamans. In The Spa, learn how to train your brain for increased clarity, perception and focus with a “Mindfullness” session. Or take the “Apuane Mud Ritual” on one of two private beaches. There’s also a Surf Coach. And golf on the Jack Nicklaus’ Bahia course, home to the famed Tail of the Whale, the world’s only golf green on a natural island.
Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa – Inspired ocean views, a private beach and personalized services in the Zentropia Palladium Spa and Wellness equal healthy vacationing on beautiful Banderas Bay. Stay in shape playing water polo in the unique Aqua Gym. In the spa, choose among treatments using seeds and essences based on local ingredients. Enjoy a hydro massage or clay treatment or a vapor bath. End the day in tranquility, watching the sunset from the spa pool’s exclusive Water Cascade.
* Lead photo courtesy of Four Seasons Los Cabos Costa Palmas