Forget about the labored, deadly dull vocabulary drills of old.
Instead, vacationing “students” of all ages can learn to speak
Spanish in situ - as a guest and “language lab” participant at the
Maroma Resort and Spa on the Riviera Maya.
Visitors to this unique Mexican hideaway have the opportunity to
immerse themselves in the Spanish language during their stay.
Donning a special pulsera (bracelet) signaling to resort staff that
they wish to operate in Spanish-only mode, guests will then bring
local language classes to life.
According to Felipe Espinoza, General Manager of the property,
Maroma is the only resort in the region that offers such a program.
“Maroma represents a truly Mexican hideaway, and the language is a
very important way to transmit the culture and legacy of a
country,” Espinoza explained. “Often, it is only Spanish words that
truly capture the feeling and meaning of things.”
Espinoza explained how the language lab enhances a guests
experience. “It gives them the opportunity to learn, have fun and
learn new words they will use in the future when they return home,
and that will remind them of their stay in Maroma.”
To help participants along, Spanish-English dictionaries are
placed in every room along with a “cheat-sheet” of helpful phrases.
Maroma’s two-to-one staff to guest ratio ensures its visitors
plenty of people with whom to practice.
Espinoza noted that while only a few guests have officially
participated in the program to date, many dabble on a casual level.
“On any given day, you will hear staff interacting with guests in
Spanish and casually teaching them a few phrases.”
Those wanting a more intensive language program can arrange for
private instruction on Maroma’s talcum-white beach. Or they may
book excursions to nearby sites, with a Spanish teacher as their
Espinoza remarked that these excursions take guests far beyond
the language. “It’s also a learning experience about the Mayan
Culture, the different ruins of Tulum and Coba, the fortress, the
city, the different stages in the Mayan culture, the jungle and the
ocean,” he stated. “It gives an enormous possibility of going back
home with a better knowledge of such an important culture that is
still alive all around the Yucatan Peninsula.”
When it’s time to do absolutely nothing, Maroma takes relaxation
to a new level with its Temazcal. This ancient sweat lodge combines
a steam bath with mud, creating a cleansing ritual that clears both
the mind and pores.
The 60-minute natural treatment begins with a therapist blowing
into a ritual conch shell. Inside a pyramid-shaped Temazcal, guests
form a circle and the door is closed. As the Temazcal heats up, the
body immediately begins to release toxins. After 50 minutes, a bowl
of cleansing mud is passed around for guests to slather onto their
bodies. And finally, when the Temazcal is opened, guests are led to
the ocean to cleanse both their bodies and minds.
Open to the sea and shaded by palms, the 25-acre Maroma Resort
and Spa offers 64 rooms situated in two- and three-story villas
with thatched roof terraces. All guest rooms provide ocean or
garden views, original art, hand-loomed bedding and rugs, terraces
with colorful hammocks, bamboo shutters, CD players and oversized
handmade bathtubs adorned with Mexican tiles. The resort was named
among “The Best in the World Readers Choice Awards” in the November
2004 issue of Conde Nast Traveler.
“Each Orient-Express Hotel strives to offer a travel experience
that is unique to its destintation, and Maroma is no different,”
Espinoza said. “From the language lab, to the Mexican and Mayan
staff, from the architecture of the buildings to the unique
amenities offered like Temazcal, each contributes to the creation
of a travel experience for our guests which allows them to walk
away with so much more than suntan.”
Based on double occupancy, package rates are from $2,328 through
May 14 and from November 13 - December 17. From May 15 - November
12, rates are from $2,248.