Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Need a winter escape? Discover wellness retreats in Mexico

Feeling the cold bite of winter? Ready to book that beach retreat you promised yourself?  Whether you’re solo, a couple, a family, or a group of friends, these two retreats offer a stunning range of experiences in breathtaking beach locations.

Are you looking for the best wellness retreats on the beach that Mexico offers? 

Mexico is brimming with natural beauty, beaches, and sunshine, not to mention the glorious food and the country’s history of traditional healing practices.  No wonder it’s a popular place for wellness tourism and retreats – and there’s a gazillion of them!  We went in search of Mexico’s most beautiful beach locations, seeking what’s out there on the retreat scene, from the affordable to luxury.  

The many therapies and experiences available to you – from yoga, fitness, meditation, nutrition, curated Indigenous healing experiences, forest bathing, sound healing,  temazcals, chakra and crystal therapies, cacao and plant medicine ceremonies and even puppy yoga – deserve their own series of articles.  

But let’s begin our series on Mexico’s best wellness retreats with two outstanding, top-tier and very different beach retreats where you can whet your appetite for your winter wellness getaway plans to escape the year’s coldest months. 

Want the gold star in luxury? One&Only Mandarina in Nayarit is an out-of-this-world retreat.

One&Only Mandarina, Nayarit. (Mandarina)

Why should I come? 

If nothing else, then for the spa. A spiritual consultation can lead to a bespoke multi-sensory wellness experience for you, with a menu of practitioners to choose from. Or just pick and choose and curate your own healing and pampering experience.

Six treatment rooms, built within a volcanic rock garden – all inspired by ancient rites and pre-Columbian culture – offer treatments and immersive wellness ceremonies. From a long and tantalizing list, you can choose between a traditional temazcal ceremony, breathwork, meditation, astrological readings, sound healing, ayurvedic treatments, a tarot and oracle ceremony, massages and steam and jungle hot stone treatments. 

For families with children, the in-house biologist provides tours of the world of insects and butterflies. Other curated journeys include Mexican cooking classes, fishing, diving and snorkeling, horseback riding, jungle forest bathing and guided tours to beautiful local sites. Unsurprisingly, this hotel retreat and spa was ranked eighth in the 2023 edition of the World’s 50 Best Hotels awards.

Where will I be? 

Right on the Pacific, up the coast from Puerto Vallarta with the coastal mountains of the Sierra de Vallejo at your back. You’ll be greeted by a private car at the Puerto Vallarta airport and the secluded retreat center is just less than an hour away.

One&Only Mandarina, Nayarit. (Mandarina)

Give me the tour

105 villas are set amidst treetops and perched on coastal cliffs, and each boasts a private plunge pool, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, al fresco dining areas, outdoor bathing facilities, and around-the-clock butler service. Guests can choose between four restaurants; Carao, the most upscale of the eateries, is helmed by award-winning chef Enrique Olvera of Mexico City’s Pujol. A complimentary beach shuttle ferries you to an on-site beach club, which offers cabanas, sun loungers and umbrellas.

Affordability

Prices range from US $1,400 per night for a 2-person treehouse, to US $28,000 per night for a villa for ten. This is luxury pricing, and you can understand why. Curate your wellness vacation with add-on treatments and experiences to suit your wallet. 

Any other special features?  

Mandarina places special focus on sustainability and preservation of the Riviera Nayarit’s biodiverse environment. The villas, treatment rooms and communal spaces are designed around sustainable principles and low energy consumption. The entire resort runs on renewable solar energy.

Verdict

Jaw-droppingly breathtaking and the ultimate in curated wellness experiences in Mexico. 

Want to restore and renew as 2024 approaches? Amansala in Tulum offers yoga, fitness, community and wellness treatments.

Bikini Bootcamp Fitness Retreat in Tulum, Mexico. (Amansala)

Why should I come? 

Amansala’s Bikini Bootcamp retreat is a hot favorite, even with celebs like Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore.  Billing itself as a “perfect mind, body and spirit overhaul in Tulum,” this 6 day retreat offers beach walks, creative journaling, yoga, fitness, dancing, boxing, pilates and healthy and delicious foods. Their program is about giving yourself the time and the treat of connecting with yourself, nature and like-minded travelers, being as communal or private as you like, whatever fitness level you’re at.  

The resort is perfect for couples, an escape with the girls, or a solo retreat. Their Restore and Renew retreat offers a complete program to unwind and rest with mindfulness and movement techniques, healthy food, detox and self-care practices and pampering with spa and massage treatments.  Group rates for bachelorette getaways and birthdays are popular with sophisticated girl groups from places like the United States and Canada looking for health, healing and some Mexican magic.    

Where will I be? 

In Tulum, right on the beachfront. The two properties, Grande and Chica, are situated between cabins, communal areas, palapas and restaurants, surrounded by lush, tropical vegetation.  You’ll be very close to some of Mexico’s most ancient Maya ruins, cenotes and charming towns, which you can visit on excursions you’re able to  book as part of your retreat package.  

Give me the tour

Amansala is Sanskrit for “peaceful waters.” All rooms are beautifully styled with a bohemian, eco-chic feel.  With a light and airy beach vibe, the white sands seem to flow into the wood interior spaces: workout studios, yoga shalas, two restaurants and relaxation areas. There’s plenty of space to be private, but Amansala’s communal spaces foster gatherings with friends and family. In line with their philosophy of eating “from the earth to your plate,” the dining room offers food that ranges from paleo to keto to vegan and uses local ingredients like avocado, jicama, pumpkin seeds, chia and chaya.

Affordability

Mid-range pricing. Ranging from a beachfront King bedroom at US $725 per night to a 3-bedroom share at US $415 per night. These prices represent an all-inclusive package for the Bikini Bootcamp retreat.

Any other special features?

Created by U.S. expat Melissa Perlman, who started a pop-up retreat hotel 20 years ago as Casa Magna and turned it into Tulum’s most iconic hotel. Don’t be put off by the word bootcamp. Breathwork, Tulum’s only cold plunge therapy, meditation, journaling, beach strolls, massages and spa treatments are also on offer also. Your dog is welcome – that gets my vote –  and you can give the gift of a retreat voucher to loved ones. Yes, please! 

Verdict

We loved their compelling claim that guests will “return home with a glow that will last long after your tan fades” –  and the proof is in the pudding: returning fans make this their special annual destination for a rejuvenating wellness experience, making it something of a hip social scene without the hard partying.  

This winter, the world is full of a few more woes. With the speed and stress of modern life, Mexico’s coasts offer multifaceted wellness escapes to renew the mind, body and spirit. We’ll be exploring more of those escapes in further articles. 

As someone currently wintering in England, the Riviera Nayarit or a slice of the original magic of Tulum are calling my name – and probably yours too. 

Henrietta Weekes is a writer, editor, actor and narrator. She divides her time between San Miguel de Allende, New York and Oxford, UK. 

1 COMMENT

Have something to say? Paid Subscribers get all access to make & read comments.

All you need to know about Eastern medicine in Mexico

3
Traditional Chinese medicine in Mexico is bigger than ever, with licensed practitioners all over the country offering a variety of techniques.

What do I need to know before undergoing laser skin treatment in Mexico?

0
Medical expert Dr. Lara returns to share her advice on how to find the best laser skin treatments in Mexico.

Beauty and wellness apps to help you look and feel great anywhere, any time

0
From destination wedding makeup to relaxing couples massages, these apps let you pamper yourself in style, anytime or anywhere.