7 Signature Wellness Treatments With A Sense Of Place — Riviera Maya Blog

7 Signature Wellness Treatments With A Sense Of Place

Birdcage spa at Royal Mansour in Marrakech

Birdcage spa at Royal Mansour in MarrakechROYAL MANSOUR

Increasingly, travelers are selecting vacation destinations that not only provide opportunities to enhance their health and emotional well-being but that also offer a “sense of place.” According to a recent research report by the Global Wellness Institute, expenditures for wellness tourism (travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing) grew from $563.2 billion in 2015 to $639.4 billion in 2017.

To differentiate themselves, hotels and resorts are designing signature treatments that are tied to local culture, their unique setting or both. Here are some examples:

The Nik Te Ha Aquatic Massage

Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Nik Te Ha at Grand Velas Riviera Maya


The AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya is set in a lush jungle setting (with a mangrove forest) that meets a wide stretch of white sandy beach on the Caribbean. The resort’s Se Spa offers an 80-minute Nik Te Ha Aquatic Massage, influenced by the customs of the indigenous Mayan people that once inhabited the Yucatan Peninsula. This water massage, which takes its name from the Mayan words for “water flower,” relaxes muscles, increases flexibility and aims to create harmony between mind and soul. In addition, it promises to help alleviate fatigue, insomnia, irritability, stress and mood swings. Included with the treatment is an hour-long Water Journey that allows guests to cycle through seven water-based facilities.

Volcanic Mud Massage

Nayara Springs, Arenal, Costa Rica

Spa pavilion


A stay at Nayara Springs promises romance and privacy. The resort is embedded in a rainforest and guests arrive at the property via a dramatic 250-foot pedestrian bridge built high above the tree canopy. In Costa Rica, it is believed that volcanic-rich mud can nourish the skin and help restore inner peace. Using mud sourced from the nearby Arenal Volcano (some 15 minutes away), guests can enjoy a Volcanic Mud Massage at the resort’s spa before lounging in a private plunge pool that overlooks the rainforest.

Signature Hammam Treatment 

Royal Mansour, Marrakech, Morocco

Hamman at Royal Mansour


Hammam is a traditional Moroccan cleansing and beauty ritual that entails a steam bath (sometimes called a Turkish bath) followed by a rejuvenating massage. The Signature Hammam Treatment at the palatial Royal Mansour takes place in one of two elegant Hammams rooms on the ground level of a three-floor spa that resembles a birdcage. While the guest lies on a marble slab, a therapist cleanses his/her body from head to toe with a black exfoliating soap made from olive oil and vetiver (the latter, an ancient remedy for nerve and circulation problems). Before plunging into an icy cold pool, the guest is scrubbed again with miel d’ambre, an exfoliating and detoxifying balm. The treatment promises relaxation and emotional detox as well as rejuvenation of hair and skin.

Sulphur Seduction Treatment

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, St. Lucia

Entrance to the spa - Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort


Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort is set between Petit Piton (one of two UNESCO World Heritage-listed volcanic spires on the island) and a sandy beach touching the Caribbean Sea. Amidst lush foliage, the resort’s almost 10,000 square-foot Rainforest Spa includes seven tree house treatment rooms and an Amerindian Temascal steam dome. The Sulpher Seduction treatment involves bathing in the black waters of the volcanic sulphur springs, followed by a mud bath, exfoliation, and a rinse-off in the warm Piton waterfalls before returning to the spa for a massage.

Better-Aging Signature Body Massage

La Reserve Geneve Hotel and Spa, Geneva, Switzerland

Interior pool - La Reserve Geneve


Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, La Reserve is set on ten acres of parkland. A team of medical, prevention, and aesthetic specialists developed and oversee the broad range of treatments and programs at the hotel’s 20,000-foot Nescens Spa, the largest in the city. The spa menu spans osteopathy, nutrition, sports, beauty and other health programs. The science-based Better-Aging Signature Body Massage targets muscle and energy routes, coupled with a lymph drainage treatment that promises to release blockages and ease tension through massage.

Red Wine Bath Treatment


Spa with vaulted ceilingBELMOND

Belmond Castello di Casole, Tuscany, Italy

Italy’s Tuscany region is synonymous with fine wines. So it’s not surprising that the Essere Spa at this historic castle hotel proudly offers a red wine bath treatment. Sited in the property’s former wine cellar, the spa has restored stone walls and vaulted ceilings. A fragrant grape body scrub is followed by a hydro-massage enriched with circulation-enhancing wine extracts. All of the spa’s products are organic.

Jamaican Herb Bush Bath

Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Bush bath herbs

Bush bath herbsBUSH BATH HERBS

The spa at the all-inclusive Jewel Grande is housed in a 30,000-square-foot Italian villa, where spa treatments and rituals reflect Jamaican culture. The signature bush bath allows guests to smell and pick-their-own herbs, which are then infused into their hot bath waters. These locally grown herbs—such as Moringa, lemongrass and ginger root—put guests at ease, calm their bodies and help release negative energy.

Irene S. Levine