Bowls filled with freshly picked flower petals are found throughout Spa Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit. // © 2012 Mindy Poder
Slipping in and out of consciousness was not in the description for my Magnetic Diamond Treatment at Spa Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit. “An incredible sensation of rest,” however, was promised. Nothing — not even the scrub filled with diamond dust or the introductory blessing involving the elements — can receive the full credit for the treatment’s success. My eventual relaxation was a collaboration of factors, starting at the very beginning of my time at Spa Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, a member of the Leading Spas of the World.
The spa measures 16,500 square feet, which is spacious enough to pass the better part of the day here without getting restless. In the check-in area, I was served a flute of anise-infused water as I watched the water cascade down the room’s centerpiece wall. Escorted by a member of the spa staff, I made my way inside the facility for women. While some spas’ interior decor strives only to induce relaxation, Spa Grand Velas also aims to be aesthetically beautiful, winning over me and my companions with its large, flat circular bowl filled with individual flower petals arranged as one large, multi-colored flower. The spa staffer guiding me through my spa experience told me that these are created by hand, daily.
She also guided me through the hydrotherapy room, which ensured that I would try out everything and in the appropriate order. First, it was off to the rain shower for a quick spritz of cool, well-pressured water. Then, I spent about 10 minutes in the sauna before my guide retrieved me and sent me to my favorite part of the ritual — the chromotherapy steam room. After the door closed, the sides of the room began emitting more steam, drawing attention to the only visible part of the room, the center. At the center is a giant, beautiful crystal that changes colors. The thickening, disorienting mist, sensation of wetness and silence is strangely effective, as it forces you to concentrate on the beautiful change of colors. Though the steam room was a tough act to follow, I enjoyed the subsequent series: a tub that massaged my feet and quadriceps as I sipped on delicious fruit-infused water; a Jacuzzi; and two plunge lagoons. About an hour had passed, and my guide was getting me ready for the next chapter of my spa experience. After I changed out of my bathing suit and into the soft, oversize spa robe, she led me to a chaise lounge chair and placed an aromatherapy pillow around my neck and cucumber slices over my eyes.
I was just getting warmed up — I wasn’t even half-way through my time at the spa, which is what I had to remind myself as my guide asked if I was ready to get up. She then took me to the waiting area — I didn’t wait for the therapist; she was waiting for me. Paola, a therapist who has worked at the spa for seven years, led me to one of 20 treatment rooms and blessed me using freshly-picked citrus and other representations of the natural elements. As if there had been any doubt, she assured me that my Magnetic Diamond Treatment was going to be all about me. What followed is a blurry collection of half-conscious thoughts as Paola spent about 100 minutes massaging me using semiprecious stones, a scrub with diamond powder and the power of her own hands and intuition. While the effects of a treatment are typically quick to dissipate, my skin stayed especially soft for a few days, with sparkles from the scrub slightly detectable against my freckles.
After the treatment was over, I didn’t want to leave, which I am sure is not an original sentiment. Luckily, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is celebrating its 10-year anniversary for 2013 and is now treating spa guests who have purchased one of the spa’s top 10 treatments to additional services for only $10. The top 10 menu includes, at $280, the 80-minute Four Hand Samunprai Treatment, the 100-minute Magnetic Diamond Treatment and the 80-minute Deep Tissue Massage. At $235 are the 80-minute Time Expert Facial, the 80-minute Spa Prestige Facial, the 80-minute Inhibit Facial and the 80-minute Diamond Facial. At $213 are the 80-minute Metsere Treatment, the 80-minute Chocolate Body Wrap and the 80-minute Men’s Facial. For $10 extra is a choice of 25-minute treatments: the Back Massage, the Tired Legs Massage and the Face and Head Acupressure Massage.