I was already well on my way to a state of relaxed bliss even before I sauntered casually through the doors of the Banyan Tree Spa. It was only day two of my stay at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba, but the beachfront resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya was definitely working its magic.
The property, the first in North America for Singapore-based Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts (the company recently opened a second, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco), takes the concept of Asian hospitality to heavenly levels. Situated within the gated resort development of Mayakoba, Banyan Tree may well be the most romantic resort I have ever visited. Our private courtyard suite overlooking a secluded lagoon featured a tranquil plunge pool, an al fresco day bed and a waterside dining area. And that’s all before we even entered the guestroom with its sliding glass doors overlooking both the pool and the lagoon. Its sky-lit bathroom featured artistic ceramic fixtures, a separate shower, water closet and dressing area and an outdoor claw-foot tub surrounded by a privacy wall fairly dripping in candles.
As I said, I was well on my way to a state of relaxed bliss before I even entered the spa — and then my sensuous experience continued. I was relaxing in the reception lounge when Chaba, a petite Thai woman whose stature belied her strength (a fact I subsequently discovered during my traditional Balinese massage), approached to escort me along a wood-plank runway to an over-water bungalow/treatment room. Once inside, Chaba showed me where to change and proceeded to prepare a scented foot bath — a signature element of the Banyan Tree Spa’s treatment regimen. As I settled into the soothing bath, Chaba offered me a selection of several fragrances. I selected champaka, which I later learned is known to “refresh the mind and calm the spirit.”
Throughout my 90-minute Balinese massage, Chaba plied deeply into my muscles using a combination of thumb and palm pressure and sweeping strokes. I know I was relaxed because deep-tissue work usually causes me some discomfort as the therapist works to release tense, knotted muscles. On this day, though, I floated blissfully through the treatment, sinking deeper and deeper into a state of repose. The 90-minute session flew by; and before I knew it, I was dazedly walking back along the wooden runway toward the lounge reception area, where Chaba served honey-sweetened ginger tea accompanied by fresh carrots and melon.
My blissful afternoon at the Banyan Tree Spa was not by happenstance. The company is serious about perfecting the spa experience. Therapists at Banyan Tree Spas throughout the world are immersed in the brand’s Asian-inspired spa philosophy during 400 hours of training at the Banyan Tree Spa Academy in Phuket, Thailand.
A leader in the evolution of spa treatments, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts also introduced The Rainforest at Banyan Tree Mayakoba. The hydrothermal experience combines traditional European spa and hydrothermal therapy with the essence of Asian wellness philosophy through a circuit comprised of eight alternating hot and cold thermal cabins — Rain Walk, Aroma Steam Chamber, Finnish Sauna, Rasul, Brine Cavern, Ice Fountain, Experience Showers and Vitality Pool — each offering a different experience.
Pass through the Rain Walk under a generous cascade of warm water into Aroma Steam room where a salt scrub enhances the detoxification process. The Herbal Sauna promotes circulation; and the Rasul chamber, illuminated by twinkling starlights, continues the detox regimen with mud therapy. Move on to the Brine Cavern where a combination of steam and salt clears respiratory passages, then slide into the refreshing Ice Fountain to bathe in fresh ice. The Experience Showers offer a choice of Summer Storm, Arctic Mist and Tropical Rainbow, each designed to complement the overall hydrothermal experience. Finally, proceed to the Vitality Pool to target water jets on knotted muscles and acupressure points.
Banyan Tree Spa
Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Km. 298, Ctra. 307
Mayakoba, Riviera Maya
Quintana Roo, Mexico 77710
tel 984 873 4907
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Southwest Airlines is adding new flights to, from and within Hawai’i, beginning mid-January 2020. The airline will add a new daily service between Sacramento International Airport and Honolulu (HON), plus new non-stop flights between Oakland (OAK) and San Jose (SJC) and both Kauai (LIH) and the Island of Hawai’i (KOA).
The Luxury Collection welcomes its eighth property in China with the opening of Na Lotus Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nanning. The property is situated in the capital of the Guangxi Province, in a high-rise landmark building in the business district.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 24 key metrics to determine the best destinations for an upcoming Oktoberfest celebration. The brand’s study found the estimated cost for an American to attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is $5,000. Munich boasts a $1.43 billion annual economic impact on Munich. During Oktoberfest, nearly 2 million gallons of beer are consumed and more than 510,000 whole roast chickens eaten.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Qantas will start using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its Sydney–Santiago route starting in late June 2020.