Floatation experiences in a pool made from petrified wood (left); a temazcal sweat lodge is designed to resemble the womb (right)
t the heart of the 3,022sq m (32,530sq ft) facility is a beautiful cenote – a natural sinkhole considered a sacred, healing force by the Mayans and a known feature of the Yucatán Peninsula. It forms the centrepiece for the 14 treatment rooms which are all situated around it and is a popular bathing spot for guests. If they tire of that, that’s also an infinity pool made entirely from petrified wood. The spa was conceived by Amy McDonald, owner and CEO of Under a Tree, Health and Wellness Consulting. “Although it’s really high-end luxury, it’s thoughtfully infused with local culture and nature,” McDonald says. “The treatment
rooms are completely surrounded by glass – you are in the jungle.” McDonald hired Bonnie Baker, owner of Mexico-based spa consultancy Satteva to collaborate on all aspects of the spa, including a wide selection of treatments which use Naturopathica and Body Bliss products alongside indigenous plants. The treatments are focused around three themes: Fountain of Youth (Flow), designed to be relaxing and rhythmical; Tree of Life (Balance), for purifying and de-stressing; and Heaven on Earth (Inspire), which aim to be heart-opening and connecting. Each theme has a signature ritual. The three-hour, US$550 (€486, £422) Fountain’s Flow, for instance, includes a flotation experience, herbal salt exfoliation, lymphatic massage and aromatic anointment with plants, herbs and protocols very specific to the area and to Mayan traditions. “We really want people to come and experience a modern interpretation of traditional Mayan rituals,” says McDonald.
For a deeper spiritual experience, Chablé offers three temazcal rituals performed inside a traditional sweat lodge that’s designed to resemble a mother’s womb. The heat comes from volcanic stones bathed in medicinal teas while chants and oral tributes reflect group energy. The sessions are designed to evoke feelings of purification and liberation and prices start at US$200 (€177, £153) for 60 minutes. Other treatments include guided meditation, a Mayan Rebirth Massage and Energetic Sound and Stone Cleansing. The spa also has a hydrotherapy journey comprising sauna, steam, whirlpool, hot and cold plunge pools, swimming pool, salt room and floatation experiences. A fitness studio, salon, juice bar and cafe serving nutritious food round out the wellness offerings. McDonald and Baker joined forces again when creating the spa at sister property Chablé Maroma which opened late last year. Although half the size, covering 1,579sq m (17,000sq ft) with eight treatment rooms, it promises an equally purposeful experience. Trees, a sacred symbol of life, inspired this jungle spa and treatments look to “assist natural balance”. Signature therapies include the Deep Forest Awakening, an 180-minute, US$540 (€477, £414) full body purification using essential oils from fir, juniper and cypress trees, or the 120-minute four-handed Tree of Life Treatment for US$460 (€407, £353). Naturopathica supplies products at this spa too, while towels are provided by The Madison Collection and loungewear by Zuuja. spabusiness.com issue 2 2019 73