Guest can enjoy a relaxing massage at Casa Velas’ spa. // © 2013 Casa Velas
Creativity is the name of the spa game as Puerto Vallarta’s resorts and day spas strive to carve out a distinctive niche for themselves in the face of ever-increasing competition. More luxurious, innovative, healing native products and botanicals have entered the mix, with treatment menus featuring cornmeal, bergamot, honey, seaweed, chocolate and even tequila.
Your more adventurous clients might consider taking “native” a step further with a temazcal bath. In a traditional sweat lodge, water scented with medicinal plants, such as rosemary and sage, sizzle on heated rocks. Ritual leaders provide the drumming and chants essential to the physical, mental and spiritual cleansing experience.
Terra Noble, a day spa located high above Puerto Vallarta with a panoramic view of Banderas Bay, offers a temazcal ritual along with a full range of massages and treatments incorporating natural ingredients. From its centerpiece Villa Kenya — an adobe-sculpted, architecturally acclaimed structure — winding hillside paths lead to treatment spaces open to nature. Despite the spa’s private setting and rustic opulence, your clients will find treatments surprisingly affordable.
An entirely different spa experience awaits at elegant Casa Velas’ all-inclusive, adults-only, 80-suite boutique property in the exclusive Vallarta Marina district. More than 60 holistic spa treatments are offered in secluded outdoor and indoor sanctuaries. Treatments call upon the earth’s natural mineral elements as well as those extracted from plants grown in the resort’s botanical herb garden. Clients should not miss the spa’s signature treatment, a warming compress made with herbs and seeds harvested from the garden, designed to soothe away stress and fatigue.
CasaMagna Marriott, with 404 rooms, 29 suites and extensive garden and pool areas, is also a Vallarta Marina property. Ohtli, the resort spa, is sleekly contemporary and organic, and offers elegant pampering options. “Ohtli” translates to a “path” or “journey” that leads to peace and perfection, a state of being the resort strives to emulate in its 22,000 square feet dedicated to well-being. Included in the spa’s menu are treatments borrowed from the ancient healing techniques and shamanistic practices of the Huichol Indians, a reclusive tribe living in the area’s Sierra Madre Mountains. The treatments incorporate Huichol incantations and the essence of pineapple, mango, grapefruit and, yes, tequila — thanks to CasaMagna’s agave plants.
Four Seasons Punta Mita’s Apuane Spa uses native products almost exclusively, with cactus pulque applied to the skin using fresh cactus paddles. For chocolate-loving clients, Secrets Vallarta Bay’s world-class wellness center has just the thing: a chocolate and mint exfoliation treatment followed by a warm chocolate wrap, all topped off with a slathering of chocolate moisturizer.
A little competition between spas is good news for travelers. With so many innovations and creations in Puerto Vallarta’s spa scene, clients are sure to find their ideal path to relaxation.