A spa inspired by Mexico’s Mayan heritage
Ensconced in the tropical jungle and peaceful natural setting of Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Mayakoba is a vast wellness facility that offers a true retreat for those seeking complete restoration and relaxation. The spa takes its cues from the Mayan history and rich resources of the landscape, utilizing local ingredients and purification methods alongside modern spa techniques to create a luxurious balance of the ancient and the new.
The 37,000-square-foot Riviera Maya spa is a freestanding building with just about any wellness amenity you can think of. Located off the spa lobby, the well-equipped fitness center includes cardio equipment, free weights, resistance machines and more, as well as a separate room for group classes.
In the garden just outside, a covered area is home to several colonies of melipona bees, a stingless local species known among Mayan communities for their delicious honey with incredible healing properties. (Yes, that honey is used in some of the treatments here.)
Upstairs, you’ll find the entrances to the men’s and women’s locker rooms, which have dreamy relaxation areas, whirlpools and outdoor Swiss showers. An expansive lounge area with floor-to-ceiling windows is a relaxing space to enjoy a snack or tea before stepping out onto the rooftop hydrotherapy area, where you can indulge in the vitality pool’s soothing waterfalls or take a dip in the sea-mineral soaking pool.
The Couples Spa Suite
The couples spa suite provides a serene space reminiscent of a tropical jungle cabin, complete with its own private balcony, bath and shower. Here, pairs can indulge in the two-hour Yucatan Healing Retreat session, beginning with a relaxing footbath on the balcony.
Next, choose from sea and sand body scrubs for a beach-inspired exfoliation, then enjoy a healing body mask using your choice of local ingredients: cacao, clay or honey and yogurt. Rinse off with a soak in the soothing tub before finishing the retreat with side-by-side tropical oil massages.
The Mayan Treatments
Many of the treatments at Willow Stream Spa draw inspiration from the Mayan heritage of the surrounding Riviera Maya, using ancient local ingredients like honey, clay and copal incense (made from tropical tree resin) to purify the spirit and nourish the skin. The most impressive Mayan spa treatment is perhaps the Cha Chac Rain Ritual, a 90-minute session of deep restoration named after Chac, the rain god. When you enter the Cha Char Rain Room, you’ll experience a traditional blessing and take in burning copal incense (meant to cleanse your energy).
On the rain table, you’ll have a healing mask of clay, oats and cornmeal applied before the skin is exfoliated with ayate (Mexican cloth made from dried agave fibers). You’ll be rinsed off with warm rainwater before a final sage oil massage.
Other Mayan-inspired experiences here include a clay body mask, a bath ritual with an herbal flower immersion, a cacao body wrap and coconut oil massage, and a honey body mask, rainforest rinse and soothing massage.
The Traditional Treatments
There is no shortage of services here, and you’ll no doubt find what you’re looking for on the spa menu. Massages run the gamut from deep tissue and hot stone to reflexology and lymphatic drainage. Several sports-minded treatments are available, including one specifically for golfers that involves massage, stretching and even acupressure.
Facials aim to fight aging, firm, enhance glow and boost nourishing elements in skin. Excellent manicures and pedicures are also available, including a pedicure that uses Mexican obsidian stones.