Tranquil Indulgence at Rosewood Mayakoba

The property's opulent Sense spa provides a true retreat within a lush jungle

A 30-minute drive south from Cancun airport, near Playa del Carmen, the 620-acre Mayakoba (meaning “village of water”) development consists of several resorts dotted within the jungle, and provides the kind of vacation that can only be described as easy. It’s the type of place made for those holidays when travelers just want to fly and flop, to venture mere minutes for meals and to have their most difficult decision be which restaurant or pool to visit. Within this resort community, Rosewood Mayakoba—nestled between lush jungle, a network of lagoons and the Caribbean Sea—boasts everything a traveler seeking relaxation could want. The staff is attentive, thoughtful and friendly. Rooms are palatial. There are eight bars and restaurants, several pools and various experiences within the resort and beyond. There are bikes for guests to pedal around the property and golf carts for those who want to hitch a ride. But the jewel in this property’s crown is the tropical, indulgent Sense spa.

While the entry to Sense is large and easy to find—located on its own mini island and accessible via the bike and walking path—once guests enter the doors and head through reception into the spa itself, the 17,000-square-foot space feels like a world away. Inside, dim lighting, neutral tones and quiet, serene music creates a calm atmosphere, while the attentive and cheerful staff attend to guests’ every need; from explaining carefully how to use the lockers to asking how long you might want to stay in the steam room, pool or sauna (and coming to retrieve you), and offering various snacks and drinks—including a refreshing aloe beverage.

The indoor section of the spa—which houses the lounge, changing areas, pools, steam room and sauna—is separate and labeled for men and women, so if you want to have a soak with somebody who isn’t the same gender as you, it’s not possible, but there are plenty of experiences designed for two in the jungle treatment rooms.

Outside, a communal lounge area can be enjoyed before and after treatments. Agave, chaya, eucalyptus and various herbs grow in the Kuxtal (meaning “life” in Mayan) Sensory Garden, where several of the treatments begin, including the Cenote Temazcal Ritual, the Kuxtal Sensory Garden Ritual and the Eclipse Sun and Moon Journey. The Kuxtal Sensory Garden Ritual treatment begins with the guest selecting the plant they’re drawn to, which is used to create a custom oil blend to be used during the aromatherapy massage.

Therapists guide guests along the labyrinthian wooden paths through the jungle to one of 12 treatment rooms; each is a small cabin with an open-air element, nestled within the leaves, that contributes to the feeling that you’re in the middle of nowhere. Intended to awaken all the senses and create a connection to nature, this three-hour experience is restorative, even emotional, and remarkably indulgent.

With 20+ options available—different kinds of body treatments, facials, massages and more on offer—there’s something for every style, whether guests want to relax or invigorate their bodies and minds. The experienced, thoughtful therapists work their magic, which is only elevated by the rustling of the wind through the jungle and bird song, altogether creating an experience that’s transportive.

Images courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba