Starting off 2017 on the right foot; barefoot in Mexico, ridding my body and skin of 2016 toxins and letting the healing energy of the Riviera Maya rejuvenate my spirit. First stop, the Playacar Palace Resort. Despite being only steps from Playa del Carmen’s Fifth Avenue it’s an oasis, home to one of the best spas in Mexico, Awe Spa.
Awe Spa has ranked as one of Mexico’s top three Spas in 2015 and 2016 by Spa and Wellness Mexico magazine. The spa menu is one of the most extensive in the country. You can get wrapped, scrubbed, massaged, hot stoned, primped, plucked and leave with that gorgeous face all a-glow. I started with the Balancing Facial ($213 for 80 minutes). It’s the only facial on the menu that includes extractions and even though they can make your skin sensitive in the sun, my pores always thank me the next day. Next I go the Aromatherapy Massage ($213 for 80 minutes) and the Kulkulcan Mayan treatment. I would plan some extra time before your treatment to enjoy the hydrotherapy pool, herbal steam room and relaxation spaces. You can use resort credit for many of the treatment so the chances are high that you’ll be getting pampered for pennies!
BEACH + POOL
Sunrises along the Riviera Maya’s eastern shoreline are exquisite so don’t sleep in. The sun rises around 7:30 a.m. and looks like this. It’s also a good time to snag a daybed. They seem to get filled up quickly even in the V.I.P. area. Playacar Beach is large so it’s a nice one for beach strolls or a bit of exercise if you’re up for it.
This is the Governor’s suite. I felt tiny in it. It has a living room, dining room, spa tub, terrace and a giant cushy bed that swallows you up. Apple TV lets you order unlimited room service and the perfect pillow. Although I prefer the natural beach waves, Chi hair dryers, straighteners and products are in each room.
One of the glorious perks all-inclusive resorts is the sheer number of dining options, which for someone who has dietary restrictions, makes eating healthy and selectively quite easy. Some of the most delicious things I’ve tried were the poolside ceviche, the greens, veggies and seafood salads at the Cafe Del Mar buffet, and sushi bar at Japanese restaurant, Mo-Mo-No-Ha-Na. The Italian restaurant, Terraza is also stunning.
When I walked into the open-air lobby of the Playacar Palace, the first thing I noticed was the scent. I discovered it was the Palace Resorts own signature scent. It’s got notes of Le Labo’s Santal 33 but its brighter and beachier. You can use your resort credits to buy either a diffuser or a room spray, both around $100.
If you are taking cash out of the ATM machine at the Playacar Palace, or any at any ATM machine around Mexico, be sure you wait for your card to be given back to you AFTER the cash comes out. Unlike in most U.S. bank machines where you get the card back right away, the card comes out last here. I left not one, but two of my debit cards behind in Mexico!