An hideaway in the Caribbean jungle
Made up entirely of private palapa-domed luxury villas, Viceroy Riviera Maya has an intimate jungle setting on the Caribbean coast of Mexico, just north of the beach town of Playa del Carmen. When you’re not relaxing in your private pool or lounging on the white sand beach, stop by the resort’s oasis of calm, The Spa at Viceroy Riviera Maya, for an experience that blends lush nature with an upscale retreat.
The spa was built in a circular configuration that calls back to the holistic beliefs and practices of the Mayans who inhabited the region. Here, towering palapa roofs create an atmosphere of jungle grandeur with a slight scent of purifying copal incense in the air.
Winding paths lead to hidden-away massage dwelling entrenched in the tropical landscape, allowing you to indulge in ancient treatments while you’re surrounded by swaying trees, wildlife and serene lantern glow.
Our Inspector’s Highlights
• The spa’s Mayan Rituals collection features a menu of experiences incorporating centuries-old techniques (blanket stretching) and healing ingredients (honey) used by the region’s indigenous people.
• The Tzolkin treatment utilizes the purifying effects of copal, a tree resin used by the Mayans as ceremonial incense. A foot massage leads you into a state of relaxation, followed by a body massage with soothing and aromatic copal mud. Afterwards, rinse off in an outdoor shower next to a small jungle waterfall.
• The Viceroy Signature Experiences menu includes the spa’s most exhilarating services with techniques from across the globe. Experience a facial using Swiss glacial spring water, open your chakras with Amerindian rituals, hydrate the skin with a warm treatment inspired by the volcanoes of Italy, and find harmony with the three-step massage journey known as the Viceroy Trilogy.
What to Know
• The common facilities at The Spa at Viceroy Riviera Maya are complimentary and open for all hotel guests.
• At the Riviera Maya spa, you can purchase bars of organic soap hand-crafted in nearby communities. These soaps are also found in guest suites and come in a variety of natural scents like chocolate and strawberry.
• Reservations for spa treatments and massages should be made 24 hours in advance. If possible, request your service in one of the spacious and calming jungle palapas to take full advantage of the resort’s stunning natural surroundings.
• The main spa building is divided into separate but identical men’s and women’s areas. Each has several shower options with a variety of pressures, as well as a central hot tub, lockers with small safes and a domed herbal steam room.
• In the nearby jungle, the spa has its own hives for melipona bees, a stingless bee that lives only in this region of Mexico. Their valuable honey has been used by the local Mayans for centuries due to its healing effects, which explains why you see it on the spa’s menu.
• An ancient Mesoamerican sweat lodge session takes place in a traditional mortar-and-stone steam house known as a Temazcal. Steam and healing herbs help to purify the body and spirit during a ceremony that combines the elements of earth, fire, air and water. The vapor-filled interior of the domed lodge feels intense at first, but can lead to a calming and purifying sensation once you give in to the experience.
• Secluded outdoor palapas offer a massage experience for one or two people, with jungle surroundings and complete privacy. When you combine this setting with one of the treatments from the Mayan Rituals collection, you almost feel as if you’ve been swept back to pre-Columbian times.
• After being pampered in one of the jungle palapas, you can rinse off in an outdoor shower or in a hand-carved tub made of local black zapote wood.
• Indoor treatment rooms are also available, with options for individuals as well as a couple’s suite.