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
Sep 27, 2022

Where to Go in 2023: Domestic

It’s never too early to plan that next big trip. Look ahead to 2023 with travel inspiration from these domestic destinations.

8 Reasons to Visit Ireland this Fall

Considering an autumnal adventure or Thanksgiving trip this year? Well, with walkable cities, cozy pubs and lots of seasonal festivals, the island of Ireland is calling. And if you need more reasons to Press the Green Button and go, take a look and see what awaits you on the Emerald Isle …

Daily
Sep 27, 2022

Ocean Prime Las Vegas to Open Spring 2023

Cameron Mitchell Restaurants' Ocean Prime brand plans to open its first Las Vegas restaurant, and 18th location, in 2023 as the anchor restaurant within 63, a new, multilevel retail and hospitality complex. CMR plans to invest nearly $20 million into Ocean Prime’s new flagship location, centered at the bustling and iconic corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue.

Daily
Sep 27, 2022

Six Senses Zighy Bay Offers Overnight Private Musandam Voyages

Six Senses Zighy Bay sets sail for its latest out-of-the-ordinary experience. The newly refurbished Dhahab, meaning gold in Arabic, offers one- or two-night voyages for the ultimate sea-hotel adventure.

Los Cabos Sets Your Vacation Apart
from the Rest

Whether you prefer a villa on the beach or an ultra-luxe suite downtown, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Los Cabos.

Slideshow
Sep 26, 2022

6 Reasons to Put Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Your Travel List

It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Minneapolis, Minnesota, with us.

Daily
Sep 22, 2022

Harbor Club St. Lucia Announces Partnership with Isiah Thomas, Cheurlin Champagne

Harbor Club St. Lucia Curio Collection by Hilton announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with luxury celebrity Champagne brand Cheurlin Champagne. Created by NBA star Isiah Thomas and winemaker Thomas Cheurlin, this Champagne hails from the Aube region of Champagne, France. Here, the Cheurlin family creates some of the best low-sugar Champagnes in the world.

The State of Sustainability in Global Business Travel

Much of the global business travel industry has already made sustainable business travel a priority with a focus on reducing emissions and their environmental footprint. But the industry, as well as external stakeholders, such as policymakers, recognize more needs to be done.

Daily
Sep 22, 2022

Tea Experiences in Shizuoka, Japan

Fragrant, soothing and filled with powerful antioxidants, tea is second only to water on the list of beverages consumed around the planet. If your vision of the perfect tea experience includes Japan as a setting, consider visiting the historic tea production region of Shizuoka. Yielding more than a third of all Japan’s tea, Shizuoka lies southwest of Tokyo and east of Nagoya (about an hour by train from either city).