Caribbean Spas: Beyond the Massage

Ceiba del Mar Beach & Spa Resort, Mexico
By Abbie Kozolchyk
View from the balcony at Ceiba del Mar, Mexico
View from the balcony at Ceiba del Mar, Mexico (courtesy, Ceiba del Mar)

Ceiba del Mar Beach & Spa Resort, Mexico
One of first things you notice at this Puerto Morelos resort is the near silence, the "perfect absence of buzz," as one guest puts it, a mere 20 minutes from frenetic Cancún. Its low-rise traditional Mexican architecture and welcoming, intimate atmosphere conspire to provoke almost instantaneous downshifting.

Given its tranquil surroundings, every stay in the 88-room beachfront resort is a restorative retreat, further intensified when guests partake of services in the 9,000-square-foot spa. The sanctuary offers an impressive menu of locally-inspired holistic and aromatherapeutic treatments, including the Mayan Goddess scrub with honey, beeswax and medicinal plants and seeds, and the temazcal, a Maya purifying ritual that takes place at sunset in a sauna-like terra-cotta hut on the beach.

Ceiba del Mar's spa is also the first in the region to use the Meridian Stress Assessment machine, purported to detect energy imbalances that trigger it to administer painless corrective zaps on the spot. Even traditional services begin with a therapist passing a "biotaser" over your body to determine which way its energy field is spinning and which essential oils are best for your massage, scrub or wrap. But whether or not you put stock in energetic balancing, you won't care once your treatment begins. Submit to the strong and capable hands of masseurs Joel or Nery, and you'll understand why they routinely field marriage proposals from clients.

A 15-minute walk along the sand to small and sleepy Puerto Morelos is good for both body and soul. The water, which transforms from translucent aqua to opaque royal blue in sharply delineated strata, is a backdrop for hundreds of neighborhood pelicans. Power walk or run on the beach, and they'll fly alongside, willing companions on your journey to well-being.

From $390 in low season ($410 high). 877-545-6221


Published: 13 Apr 2009 | Last Updated: 1 Apr 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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