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Reviving the Magic

by Jason Kessler

At the newly reconceived Mahekal Beach Resort, an emphasis on all things local doesn't just refer to what is happening in the area today. It's also about what happened centuries ago, when the ancient Mayans ruled the Riviera Maya. After three years and $16 million, the hybrid jungle/beach resort feels eminently modern, but the nod to the past is what sets it apart from many other Playa del Carmen properties. 

At the all-new Revive Spa, just opened in March, the local Mayan culture is on full display. Circles represented balance to the Mayans and they dominate the architecture in the 2,500-square-foot spa, where the treatment and relaxation rooms are rounded and the centerpiece is a massive indoor Jacuzzi that sits beneath a gorgeous fiber optic chandelier. The spa uses Kinich products, which are organic and made exclusively in Mexico from local ingredients like aloe vera, coconut, honey, chocolate and copal (an incense used throughout history in sacred Mayan rituals).

The goal of the new spa, says Spa Manager Blanca Morales, is "to find a way for people to unplug and forget about their worries and live an experience of relaxation, peace and serenity." The ancient Mayans would be proud.


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