FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Embark on a Wellness Trip to Meliá Punta Cana Beach Resort

by Kelly Magyarics

Aug 31, 2020

PHOTO: © MELIÁ
PUNTA CANA BEACH RESORT

August 2020

My blissful sojourn started hours before I arrived at the oceanfront resort in the Dominican Republic. It began at 35,000 feet to be exact, engrossed in the soothing voice of a relaxing airplane meditation app on my phone. I’d received the app from my Meliá wellness host, and it put me in the right mindset for the upcoming days of personal development I’d be spending by the sea.

Wellness Hosts — called santhi in the native Taino, which translates to “server” — perform an integral role in the new Wellbeing 360 Experience at the 465-room Meliá Punta Cana Beach Resort. (The word also means “peace” or “tranquility” in Sanskrit.) Designed so guests can connect with all facets of themselves — physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, social and environmentally conscious — Wellbeing 360 encompasses accommodations, meals, programming and more at the all-inclusive, adults-only resort and spa in the Dominican Republic. It’s the first of its kind in Punta Cana.

My santhi connected with me days before my journey to glean my preferences on culinary offerings, activities and in-suite amenities. After I arrived, she welcomed me, assisted with check-in, gave me a run-down of the days to follow and helped procure spa reservations.

PHOTO: © MELIÁ
PUNTA CANA BEACH RESORT

She also led me to my home for the next few days, one of 24 accommodations dubbed The Level Wellness Suite by Staywell. My posh suite not only included a welcome and guided meditation from American author and wellness advocate Dr. Deepak Chopra and mood-enhancing aromatherapy but also dawn simulation with light and sound to gradually wake me for those early-morning yoga classes; productivity-boosting circadian task lighting; an air purifier to remove allergens, toxins and microbes; and a shower infuser that reduces chlorine to keep hair and skin softer. But I most looked forward to the daily spa treatments included with a stay in one of these tranquil spots.

Massage and wellness are two intrinsically linked terms, and the newly launched 2,200-square-foot Yhi Spa is about as zen as it gets. Each one of the seven suites boasts a private outdoor shower, and three couple’s suites feature private Jacuzzis. I was drawn to the Atabeyra Water Emotion area where I found seven water-focused rituals with pressure jets, steam rooms and a sauna to soothe tense muscles and ease stress.

Treatments at Yhi Spa use Moringaia, a locally sourced skincare line containing oil from the seeds of the moringa tree. Referred to as the “miracle tree,” moringa is rich in cytokinins and zeatin; both promote cell regeneration and stave off aging by nourishing cell tissues. Not only are these products amazing for your skin, but the company also helps sustain the local economy by providing jobs and donating a portion of the proceeds toward reforestation efforts along the Haiti-Dominican Republic border.

I booked the luxurious Well Unplugged offer, which started with a lesson in Pranayama breathing. Rooted in Hinduism and Buddhism, Pranayama can involve several techniques including alternate nostril breathing and ocean breath (deep breathing into the lungs followed by an audible exhalation from the throat), all designed to reduce stress, increase mental clarity and put practitioners into a meditative state. Since I wasn’t particularly used to this style of breathing, it was a bit distracting at first; once I grew more accustomed, I found it easier to become more mindful. Afterward, the therapist scrubbed me with Dominican-harvested cacao then donned warm gloves full of natural herbs for a heady and healing massage. Staff told me another favorite among guests is the Coffee & Sugar Please, which uses sugar cane and an organic coffee scrub from the island’s east coast to remove dead skin cells, followed by a hydration treatment using moringa seed oil.

Spa cuisine can elicit thoughts of deprivation or rabbit food, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover Meliá Punta Cana serves new healthy options at five of its 16 restaurants, which appealed to me. As a guest of The Level Wellness Suites by Stay Well, I also had exclusive access to Quimera, a dining concept with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options as well as a DIY smoothie and juice bar with superfood fruits and veggies and add-ins like chia seeds and turmeric. And I was able to imbibe well with healthy elixirs created by a mixologist and naturopathic doctor. The digestion-aiding and inflammation-reducing Gin-Well combined ginger, pineapple and cucumber; Moringa Mojito muddled rosemary and mint; and the Mom and Juana offered a zero-proof take on the Dominican Republic’s local hooch Mama Juana, macerating red wine, rum and honey with cinnamon, clove and other spices.

PHOTO: © MELIÁ
PUNTA CANA BEACH RESORT

In between sipping and spaing and savoring, I found lots to do via daily programming guided by experts: yoga, meditation, bike tours (use of a bike was included with my suite), a stroll and workshop in the botanical garden, and a fire ritual. Silent Spaces helped me turn off my inner monologue — and my cell phone — with sound healing, solo painting and reading pods; and I always find walking a labyrinth highly restorative. And since I happened to be there on a Wellness Wednesday, I attended an oceanfront yoga and meditation session given by local holistic expert Kyra Montagu, who owns Ki-Ra Yoga Retreat Center, Spa and Hotel. Afterward, I slathered myself in mud sourced from the Rio Yaque del Norte, purportedly great for skin, circulation and removing toxins. After washing it off in the refreshing waters of the Atlantic, I felt refreshed and rejuvenated, just like the Wellness 360 experience itself.

In response to the global pandemic, Meliá Punta Cana Beach Resort adapted operations to guarantee safety for guests and compliance with regulations, including additional cleaning and hygiene measures and adjustments to procedures and spaces, which may affect some services.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Oct 28, 2020

Combat Election Day Stress with Favorite Cocktails from Hotels & Resorts

Between COVID-19 and the upcoming election, are your nerves shaken and stirred? As we master the art of at-home mixology during the pandemic, try a few of these favorite fall cocktails from different hotel and resort bars to fend off election jitters, pandemic frayed nerves and virtual learning stresses.

Peace of Mind

IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.

Daily
Oct 27, 2020

6 Reasons to Say #WelcomeBacktoTravel in Charleston, South Carolina

As more destinations around the globe reopen to travelers, we are ready to get back to one of our favorite activities. Join us over the next several weeks as we take you to places around the world saying #WelcomeBacktoTravel. Take a visual journey through Charleston, South Carolina, with us.

Daily
Oct 27, 2020

Velas Resorts Offers Corporate Buyouts

Velas Resorts’ new Group Takeover Program offers a spin on the classic working vacation. With so many industries going fully remote and leaving the office for good, companies can now take advantage of the flexibility with offers like Velas Resorts Group Takeover Program, guaranteeing exclusive, private use of the hotel for corporate functions, meetings and group events.

What To Expect When Flying: oneworld Debuts Information Portal

Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.

Daily
Oct 26, 2020

New Technology Enhances American Airlines Customer Experience

American Airlines is improving its website and app to make it easier for customers to access an electronic wallet, use mobile ID and talk to a virtual assistant in real time.

eFlyer Deals
Oct 21, 2020

Work, Learn, Play & Unwind at Ojai Valley Inn

Ojai Valley Inn in Southern California has two offers for families, couples and friends, allowing them to revitalize their weekly routines.

The Perfect Fit

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.

eFlyer Deals
Oct 21, 2020

L’Auberge Del Mar Offer Mid-Week Sneakaway

Get away mid-week at L’Auberge Del Mar with its new Mid-Week Sneakaway offer, available when guests book a stay Sunday through Thursday. Extra perks include ocean-view dining, plenty of outdoor activities and more.