The Top Most Recommended Spas in Mexico
For the spa connoisseur, Mexico has become the new “in” place to be. Although considered as a beach paradise, its beaches are not the only attractions that shine. No other place can offer landscapes that vary as much as in Mexico; from mountains, deserts and beaches; that is why it is the perfect backdrop for spas, adding tradition and culture to the Mexican essence. The great Mexican spas are designed based on the traditions of our country to create an ambience that is admired by travelers from Europe, the United States and Asia.
The key starting point is the location. The atmosphere for a spa and hotel is critical. The second point is of course the spa itself. The local flavor is something that many clients appreciate, whether in the form of the spa service or a massage; traditional styles of treatment that can only be found in that culture that makes the experience grow.
Luxury at it’s Best
Kayantá Spa, Ritz Carlton Cancún
Ritz Carlton’s Kayantá Spa in Cancun is one of the most famous spas of Mexico. Found nestled on the beautiful beachside, the Ritz Carlton has just recently re-opened its doors since the hurricane that hit Cancun in 2005. Kayantá is inspired by a Mayan phrase meaning “to be reborn” and this spa has definitely been reborn. Like any Ritz Carlton service is everything and here service is nothing short of five star. The Kayantá Spa features the finest in amenities from his and hers herbal steam rooms to garden patios featuring Jacuzzis and cold plunge pools. But for the ultimate indulgence they offer four secluded terraces where outdoor massages are available or an infusion bath in a hydro-massage tub. But if you are looking to relax while enjoying the ambience of the sea than their massage that is choreographed to the sound of the surf in a palapa pavilion is just what you’ll want.
Do not think though that this hotel has left behind its Mexican roots, with signature treatments such as Alegria Body Scrub, Lol-Ha Bath, a traditional Mayan bridal bath, Zac-Xib Bath Elixir, and the Piedritas Stone Facial, a treatment attributed to the pre-Hispanic cultural rituals, Mayan culture is to be found in their eight luxurious treatment rooms. Kayantá Spa’s treatments are based on Mayan and other Pre-Hispanic rituals to reflect the rich history and mysticism that can only be found in the beautiful state of Quintana Roo.
The Closest Place to Paradise on Earth
Las Ventanas del Paraíso
Las Ventanas del Paraiso is the top of luxury. It can be found located at the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, along the coast of the Sea of Cortez, where it meets the Pacific. With high levels of service and pampering, Las Ventanas gives you what you want before you even now what you are looking for. Guests are welcomed into a sensual ambiance of luxury and pleasure, where the stunning nature is central to the experience from the moment they arrive. Your days will be spent enjoying the natural riches of Los Cabos, including the sea, mountains and desert.
Beginning in 2006 The Spa at Las Ventanas started offering three ultra-luxurious Spa Suites ? with the promise of a “total spa lifestyle” focused on guests’ personal beautification and health improvement. You are immersed in a continuous spa journey with a state-of-the-art treatment room right in your spectacular 3,893-square-foot suite that features two bedrooms, spacious living areas and terraces, and a uniquely created spa ambiance. A specially trained, dedicated Spa Butler devises a treatment and rejuvenation program specific to your needs and wants.
An added benefit of traveling to Las Ventanas is the Romance Department, and yes you just heard me right. This spa and resort has a department to help you out whether it be getting engaged or just celebrating your love over a seaside dinner, they have a staff that is specialized in creating the ambience for that special occasion. Check out such local treatments such as a Nopal Anti-Cellulite & Detoxwrap, a treatment using locally grown nopal to detoxify and rid the body of toxins, Desert Purification, using Mexican clay like the Aztecs and Mayans in purifying rituals, and the favorite for the sweethearts is the Sea & Star Night Massage for Two that encompasses the starlight mixed with the sound of crashing waves. If you can’t leave home without man’s best friend don’t worry, Las Venatanas welcomes pets and even has a special massage for them while you receive your treatments.
Luxury Meets Small Town Appeal
Spa Grand Velas
The 16,500 square foot Spa Grand Velas, a member of the Leading Spas of the World, is the crown jewel of Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort. Located in the beautiful Nueva Vallarta just 15 minutes from Puerto Vallarta where the jungle meets the sea. Many outside activities are offered such as whale watching to tours of small surrounding Mexican towns. After a busy day though there is nothing like a relaxing afternoon in the spa. Guests begin the spa experience in the Hydrotherapy Ritual area which includes a revitalizing shower, herbal steam and Sauna, a dip in the two-temperature lagoon, time in the Jacuzzi and a final multi-jet Swiss shower. Spa Grand Velas features 20 treatment rooms, 80 spa treatments, a high-performance gym and exercise room, spa boutique and a beauty salon. Treatments are grouped into 10 collections, including Wellness (specialized massages that improve health and well-being), New Skin (exfoliating treatments dedicated to revitalizing the skin), and Vital Body (body wraps and treatments that help achieve the perfect body), as well as Nirvana, Aqua, Solar, Prestige, Four Hands, Perfect Forms and Relaxing.
The newest additions to the Grand Velas suite collection are the six Spa Suites (the Ambassador Grand Class Suites) and two Imperial Spa Suites. For relaxation and restoration try the Tropical Bath with Flower Petals, taken from ancient cultures knowledge of the healing properties of flowers and essential oils, or a twist on an old favorite is the Obsidian Stone Massage, believed to bring a profound state of peace and balance.
Still Number One in the Bay
Willow Stream Spa en Fairmont Acapulco Princess
The Fairmont Acapulco Princess helps its guests find their energy through the ancient Aztec roots of the city at the property’s 14,000-square-foot Willow Stream Spa. Acapulco is a beautiful bay where the mountains touch the sea. Willow Stream Spa can be found on the outskirts of Acapulco where some tranquility can be found in the beautiful pyramid shaped Acapulco Princess Hotel.
The mission behind each Willow Stream Spa is to draw upon the natural elements of cultures and land in which it is located and create treatments along this idea. Willow Stream the spa at The Fairmont Acapulco Princess reflects the ancestral Aztec roots. A temple to both spirit and body, the spa captures the energy and healing powers found in the surrounding land and sea, as well as the ancient wisdom of the Mayans, Toltecs and Aztecs.
In this Mexican coastal paradise, Willow Stream the spa at The Fairmont Acapulco Princess offers spa experiences that draw from the energy of the land, the healing powers of the sun and the harmony of the mountains and sea. The following spa experiences were created exclusively for Willow Stream the spa at The Fairmont Acapulco Princess: Nahuatl Barro Body Wrap, Bougainvillea Aromatherapy Facial, and Acapulco Aromatic Massage.
The philosophy for Willow Stream is inspired by the five elements – air, water, earth, wood and fire. These elements are incorporated into every treatment. While each element is vital, it is the balance of all five elements that nurtures optimum well being, health and energy. At Willow Stream this balance is enhanced through spa treatments influenced by the local landscape and traditions, but also through a core, consistent philosophy.
Willow Stream en Fairmont Mayakoba
The sister property of the Fairmont Acapulco Princess is the new Fairmont Mayakoba, located on the shores of the Caribbean in the Yucatan Peninsula. Designed around the natural landscape of mangroves, forest canopies and caverns – “the ecologically chic resort encourages communing with nature while unwinding in the lap of luxury”. The Willow Stream spa can be found inside a stone building inspired by an ancient temple, the spa includes 20 treatment rooms plus two mineral pools and steam rooms. Willow Stream is a spa brand acclaimed for its holistic and locally inspired services.
The Fairmont Mayakoba also offers guided nature walks and stargazing sessions that weave in Mayan innovations, like the calendar, and ancient legends. A treatment that needs to be experienced is the Under the Mayan Moon. This treatment is only offered once a month when there is a full moon but has special meaning due to ancient Mayan beliefs. The ultimate treatment for the couples is the Yucatan Healing Retreat. This signature treatment is offered in your own private spa suite. You will actually help create your treatment with local healing and beauty remedies. Starting with a relaxing foot bath followed by a body mask of choice, than cleansed off by a bath preceding a side-by-side massage.
Luxury Mixed Local Flavor
Spa Marqui en Marquis Los Cabos
Marquis Los Cabos is one of Baja’s largest spa and fitness centers and the only member of Leading Spas of the World in Los Cabos, overlooks the Sea of Cortez. Marquis Los Cabos is all about attention to detail and luxury. Marquis has a contemporary Mexican décor and a beautiful ocean view from every suite.
Spa Marquis features ten treatment rooms where luxury treatments have been designed using local herbs. Cactus oils, agave, seasalt and seaweed from the Sea of Cortez are incorporated in the spa’s unique face and body treatments. Some signature treatments include Marquis Experience Holistic Facial, which starts off with a foot bath and finishes with a hydrating treatment for the hands and feet, leaving you feeling relaxed and ready to enjoy beautiful Los Cabos. The Mexican Herbal Bath uses aromatic herbs and flowers to soothe tired muscles.
El Thalasso Center Spa en el Paraíso de la Bonita
The Thalasso Center Spa at the luxurious AAA Five-Diamond, Paraiso de la Bonita, continues to provide guests with outstanding Thalassotherapy treatments at its 22,000 square foot ocean-side location. Therapists are trained by Thalassotherapy experts and use only genuine Thalgo products imported from Europe. Fresh seawater is treated, heated and pumped into the spa as the principal ingredient used in combination with marine algae, mineral muds and other natural ingredients. Signature treatments include; Seaweed Body Treatment, Aquatic ‘Peaceful River’ Relaxation, Cold Marine Facial, and Paraiso de la Bonita Couple’s Massage.
New to the spa is the Couples Spa Cabin allowing couples the luxury of having side-by-side treatments in an ocean-view setting and gives the couple private post-treatment use of an in-cabin Jacuzzi and adjoining sun deck with double sun lounger where they can order in lunch or dinner.
Every Wednesday and Saturday at sunset, guests can take part in an authentic Temazcal ceremony - a spiritual, ancient Mayan ceremony and sauna - led by a Xaman, using song and meditation to cleanse and renew the body and soul. The Thalasso Center features separate relaxation areas for men and women allowing complete privacy among guests.
Body & Spirit
Aroma Spa, Hotel Esencia
A 50-acre boutique resort in Playa Xpu-Ha, 45 minutes south of Cancun, Esencia is the essence of simplicity, elegance and beauty. Located on a two-mile stretch of fine white sand beach, the boutique resort, has 29 spacious suites and guest rooms with features ranging from private gardens to solariums and deep-soaking plunge pools.
The new organic Aroma spa of Escencia offers an array of face and body treatments and therapeutic baths incorporating pure indigenous ingredients. The palapa-roof spa with five treatment rooms was designed to convey ancient Mayan times. The essence of fresh flowers, herbs and fruits are prevalent everywhere in the spa. An herb garden near the spa is the main source for body treatment ingredients. Mayan-style domed steam rooms and a Temazcal (Mayan sauna) complete the authentic experience. Two of the signature treatments at Aroma Spa are the Lime Ritual and the Cacao Ritual, both showing the local flavor and its use in relaxing and purifying treatments. The Ritual of Earth, Water, Fire and Air, Aroma’s new signature treatment, represents the four elements that are praised for their healing qualities in human beings.
Treatments can be done inside Aroma Spa or in an open air cabin. A Temazcal (Mayan sauna) completes the authentic Mayan experience. What sets Escencia apart is its kids friendly spa which is a new spa offering. Kids Yoga classes are offered where techniques have been simplified into playful movements. The Chocolate Massage for kids features organic cacao oil made locally in the Yucatan. Kids get a lesson in the history and benefits of chocolate. The massage is complete with hot chocolate and cinnamon as a special treat.
In the Top of the Hills and one of our list toppers
Tecilli Spa, Marriott Ixtapan de la Sal
The Marriott Ixtapan de la Sal (Future opening) is located in a mountain retreat rich in salt mines and natural spring waters, only one and a half hours west of Mexico City. Recently re-opened after a full renovation, the property features state-of-the-art television, private balconies and other luxurious touches in the guest rooms and offers the latest treatments in its dedicated spa. Tecilli spa, built on a natural spring of mineral waters, combines contemporary architecture and spa techniques with ancient aztec and nahuatl history and tradition. The opulence of the spa menu is complemented by Tecilli’s superb service, which reflects warm Mexican hospitality and a highly trained staff. Try the signature Ambar massage, the Precious Gemstones facial, the Iztatl wrap with local mud or the Sacred Cocoa wrap.
The lush gardens, wellness activities, and quiet serenity of the property make it a prime destination for couples seeking a romantic getaway, a week of solo reflection and regeneration, or a relaxing vacation for a group of friends.
Last but not least I would like to talk about the spas found in Mexico City, equally as great but not mentioned as much as your destination spas. These small spas are giants when it comes to world class service and hospitality. For those who travel a lot on business or travel with their husbands on business, Mexico City has a nice array of spas within the city. Two of my favorites of Mexico City are the W Hotel’s “Away Spa” and Spa at the Four Seasons Reforma, because they both have incredible service and atmosphere.
One & Only Palmilla
As a peaceful sanctuary that takes advantage of the stunning natural beauty of the Baja landscape the One & Only is the definition of luxury. Situated adjacent to the renowned Palmilla chapel, the spa comprises six buildings surrounded by lush landscaping and features 15 treatment areas, including 13 spa villas & 2 Ocean Front Cabanas, for a private and intimate guest experience. The spa villas are designed to capture the enchantment of Old Mexico, with a soothing mélange of red tiled roofs, whitewashed walls, sparkling fountains and charming elegance.
Each One & Only Spa treatment begins with a Floral Footbath – a symbolic Balinese ritual representing a cleansing of life’s stresses and tensions to prepare for total relaxation. The One & Only Spa also is one of the few spas in Mexico to offer Watsu Massage, a unique relaxing technique that incorporates the philosophy of underwater massage as a means of achieving greater relaxation. The treatment involves a gentle Shiatsu massage while floating in a heated Watsu (short for “Water Shiatsu”) pool, designed in a rough-hewn, Mexican style.
The Spa Cuisine menu has offerings available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Additionally, as dietary preferences continue to evolve, it was very important to ensure creation of a cuisine which was flexible to meet varied guest needs. The One & Only Palmilla Spa Cuisine menu has options to meet the needs of virtually any nutritional preference, from low-carb to no-carb, from low cal to low fat. Whatever the nutritional goal, guests will find the perfect dish awaiting in the Spa Cuisine menu.
Refuge for the Senses
Secrets Capri Resort & Spa
With 300 meters of beach front property, Secrets Capri offers a setting very tranquil in Riviera Cancun. Focused on adult clientele the hotel and spa is excellent for Honeymooners or couples just looking to get away from it all. The resort offers a menu of more than 30 treatments and hydrotherapies to choose from, including a one of a kind spa garden. Secrets Capri combines hydrotherapy with indigenous treatments. With two suites for couples and three private suites, luxury and service meet. They feature whirlpools with cascading waterfalls that allow you to lie in warm shallow mineral water while water jets penetrate the skin. A great treatment to try is the Aromatherapy Salt Glow is a delectable treatment that combines sea and mineral salts mixed with aromatic oils used to exfoliate and hydrate the body.
Trendy, Young and Bent for excellence
Away Spa, W Hotel
The W Hotel is a trendy hotel located in the heart of Polanco. The spa has a great ambience for a city spa and draws from its Mexican heritage with a Temezcal in the center of the spa. Featuring five treatment rooms, from the moment you enter the spa hospitality awaits you. A true spa aficionado would be impressed at the impeccable service offered at the Away Spa in the W Hotel.
Exclusivity and Tranquility in the City
Four Seasons Reforma
Then there is the Four Seasons Spa, small but peaceful. Located in the famous Reforma Avenue, the Four Seasons is all about quality and service and here you get both. Poolside you don’t even realize you are in the middle of the largest city in the world. The best treatment offered is their signature Tequila Facial, it will leave your skin feeling soft and looking radiant. Mexico has so much to offer and is truly a vacation like no other. It will fascinate you and their spas will entice you.
Eden by nature
This is the perfect place for total relaxation where the beautiful landscape the Mayan Riviera conspires to create a wonderful paradise that makes it an unprecedented lifestyle. Located inside Playacar, at Playa del Carmen, this magnificent sanctuary of relaxation, health and well-being is considered to be not only the largest spa on the Riviera, but also in the whole of Latin America. As an attraction of the splendid resort of the Hacienda Vista Real, Vida Real Spa is one of its luxuries and has 28 single and special treatment cabins to provide the care and pampering you deserve, two VIP suites VIP with the unique massage in couples concept, a jacuzzi, a Zen garden, a latest-generation gym, a Talasso, a Hamman, an exclusive lounge on the upper terrace and to top it all off, a private beach club with Vichy showers. The spa has an exclusive gourmet restaurant that specializes in oriental cuisine and the Mexican grill is worth mentioning, which surrounds the swimming pool where visitors can savor the delicious dishes that characterize Mexican culture as one of the richest. Without a doubt, the Riviera is an extraordinary paradise to enjoy the nature that can be breathed in every corner of the Vida Real Spa.
Text: Jennifer Clewley ± Photo: Cortesía de los Spa.