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Stays that Put the "Ahh" in Spa

When life has you tearing out your hair and going, “Ahh!,” it’s past due time to get somewhere that will have you sighing “… Ahh.” And that means one of the many amazing all-inclusive resorts found only a few hours south of the U.S., where R&R is taken to the next level of serenity and bliss in upscale spas the likes of which are not often found nor easily accessible here in the United States.

Most all-inclusive properties now have their own on-site spas, as well as European Plan resorts, and that works in travelers’ favors. Every brand seeks to outdo its neighbor, or even its own sister hotels, which means vacationers can take their pick of unplugged vibes. On the other hand, too much choice may make it hard to narrow down their top selection from the hundreds that dot Mexico and the Caribbean!

As always, the well-traveled team here at ALG Vacations® is happy to help. These are some of our favorite, most comprehensive on-resort spas for those seeking to feel real well real soon.

Hotel Xcaret

Going to this resort is like stepping into a whole other world, putting you one step closer to wellness by virtue of just that. But of course, the further deeper you go, the further they go. Muluk Spa is absolutely incredible, set in one of the naturally occurring caverns that are one of the resort’s signature features. Not only does the impressive open-air lobby overlook a serene, private waterway of jade green, many of the treatment rooms do, too. These are built into the rock that forms the entire structure of the spa, including its hydrotherapy circuit, which includes a sauna, steam room, hot and cold jetted pools, “emotional” showers, a cold room, and flotarium, complete with mud and salt rooms.

In line with this nature-driven theme, treatments are called journeys here, and can take you through Mayan traditions—including temazcal—and holistic Ayurvedic ones, as well as more contemporary non-invasive services. But if you want your wellness to go beyond a surface polish (which they offer as well!), join their excellent instructors for outdoor yoga at 7:30 AM daily. It’s on the rooftop of one of their three—yes, you heard right; three!—fitness centers and the peacefulness of taking deep breaths overlooking the dramatic church and its ocean views is an incredible way to set the tone for a day in an otherworldly paradise.

Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts By AMR™ Collection

This member of AMR™ Collection is exclusively centered around the Art of Life®, with wellness right in the brand name. No wonder, then, that relaxation is an elevated experience at any of the properties under this brand! A complimentary 20-minute wellness service is included with every stay, as is access to included yoga and meditation, daily afternoon tea with live plant infusions, and gourmet cuisine prepared with organic ingredients.

However, if you need a deep decompression, Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya and Zoëtry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres may be the ones to choose. There, you can experience Thalassotherapy, which cleanses and invigorates your body through the use of heated seawater, seaweed, and marine mud that infuses the skin with minerals and nutrients. They also offer the Zoëtry Exclusive Facial, which starts with an enzymatic detox to steam open and purify your pores. Even more special is the Mayan Ritual Spa Package, available at Zoëtry Paraiso. This full-body scrub uses Mayan herbs and mineral salts, continues onto a wrap with algae and clay, and ends with a massage.

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun All-Inclusive Spa Resort

The Gem Spa truly is exactly that, with a Forbes Award to back it up. It’s inspired by the healing energies of natural treasures from around the world, and its signature treatments include therapeutic gem treatments from three distinct regions as well as signature quartz-infused therapies. This element also makes it into the flowing design of the facilities, where luminous Italian mosaics, sand marble, and black granite feature all through its impressive 40,000 square feet, making it the biggest spa in Latin America. Within those walls, there’s a 10-step hydrotherapy circuit, a full beauty salon, and an enormous menu of rub-downs inspired from as far away as Asia—Thai, Balinese, Herbal Oriental, Russian with Malachite,—and as close as traditional Mayan with Rebozo, Mayan Chaya mud, and Taino Sacred Obsidian Hot Stone Massages. That’s not even to mention body treatments that incorporate elements like copal resin for hydration and spiritual revitalization, gems and marbles with Chaya for sunburn, and chocolate to uplift your mood.

Of course, with a spa this grand, this is far from the limit of the wellness options available to guests. There is, of course, a state of the art gym and use of non-motorized water sporting equipment at their on-site marina, but they also offer daily morning yoga on the sun deck, stand-up paddleboard yoga thrice weekly, and an elaborate smoothie bar at Vina del Mar.

Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos, An All-Inclusive Experience

At the first resort purpose-built for the brand, you best believe that the brand’s legendary Rock Spa® does indeed rock. This West Coast property is the latest addition to AIC’s lineup, and its wellness focuses are even more amazing than one would expect. Its expanse measures 3,000 square feet, and within its blueprint are 36 treatment rooms and a complete hydrotherapy center with whirlpools, steam room, and sauna.

But although the white noise of splashing water might be music to one’s ears, guests also have the option of actual music in their ears during their spa treatment. Their famous tunes-driven Rhythm and Motion program is wholly unique to this and her sister properties, an immensive menu utilizing amplified vibrations, pressures, and patterns to guide the pace of the treatment. And then there are the facials and Rituals for one and for couples, which are collections of pampering experiences set to dial down the static of real life.

Meliá Punta Cana Beach, Adults Only

Thought over-the-top spas are exclusive to Cancun? Think again! The YHI Spa—named after the goddess of light and creation—at this adults-only enclave has mastered the blend of ancient wellness traditions, contemporary treatment, and modern ambiance. Any visitor can jump into one of their many services for a fee, but it’s worth it to upgrade to The Level if you’re looking for inclusive R&R. All guests in The Level Wellness Suites by Stay Well and The Level Garden Suites by Stay Well receive a complimentary 30-minute treatment daily! Meanwhile, those who choose The Level Suite Beachside and The Level Master Suite Beachside accommodations receive complimentary access to the Atebeyra Water Ritual, a water circuit that includes a sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, “Vitality Pool,” cold bucket shower, and cascade shower. Plus, in this category, those staying for five nights or longer also receive a 30-minute treatment from the resort’s proferred selections.

Outside of the spa, let’s not forget that this is a Wellness-Inclusive resort. What this means is that there’s a wide range of healthy activities to take part in no matter what room category you’re in. From different types of yoga—including hatha on the ground or even paddleboard on the water—to mud cleansing, meditation, boot camp, aqua gym, pole fitness, beach volleyball, bicycle tours, and more, there’s no end of ways to stay moving and fit. Book a stay during any of the special wellness events and weeks for a more zeroed in focus. For example, last year, they hosted a Detox Wellness Weekend in August, a Fitness Week in November, and more, with something special happening every month.

RIU Hotels & Resorts

For tried, true, and accessible, there’s the widespread RIU Hotels & Resorts chain, every one of which has a Renova Spa on site. All locations offer facials, full body wraps, massages, and more conducted by wellness professionals in individual treatment rooms, and any that are equipped with the facilities also offer complimentary hydrotherapy and steam room access to all guests. But why not go for the whole immersive spa experience when the brand is offering a $35 spa credit toward booking an 80-minute Renova Combination treatment per adult per stay? This combines different massage techniques such as relaxing, deep tissue, Lomi Lomi, reflexology, and Shiatsu stretches and pressures to come together as an incredibly complete massage treatment.

Active relaxation is also available to everyone. Within their RIU Fit program are yoga programs, including those that focus on stretching, and sūria namaskār (Sun Salutation) and chandra namaskar (Moon Salutation) sequences, where instructors take you through a series of asanas performed in a formal order to flow to relaxation. For something more overtly invigorating, there’s also the fitness center, TRX in RIU Fit areas for properties outfitted with one, and rumba-style dancing lessons, to name a few.

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