Where to Send Spa-Lovers This Winter

The Hibiscus Spa at the Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort & Spa

The Hibiscus Spa at the Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort & Spa

According to a recent Spafinder Wellness 365 Research poll of more than 1,000 North American consumers, better than six out of 10 respondents say that they would like to take a vacation where healthy activities are the primary purpose of the trip, and one in five report they have already taken a wellness-oriented vacation.

When asked about the most appealing places to take a healthy vacation, 62 percent cited the Caribbean, tops among destinations outside the U.S., while Mexico garnered a healthy 28 percent. Here are some recent developments on those two fronts.

Murielle Parotte-Van Henneigen, newly appointed spa director of the Hibiscus Spa at the Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort & Spa has introduced Pevonia skin care products to the spa, and refreshed the treatment menu to include additional Pevonia facials and body treatments, such as Myoxy Caviar Facial, Luminous C & Sea Facial and several de-stressing, anti-aging and contouring body treatments. The spa’s popular packages include the Hibiscus Rain Shower Ritual, which includes body scrub, rain-shower treatment, hot-stone massage, lunch and a facial. Van Henneigen comes to the property from the Four Seasons Nevis, where she had been the lead massage therapist and assistant spa director.


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A healthful culinary spa menu is also available for Hibiscus Spa guests, including a selection of salads, sandwiches and wraps. The spa is 10,124 square feet with 13 treatment rooms, including a wet room. A cozy relaxation room greets clients as they await their treatments. Hibiscus offers both women’s and men’s locker rooms, steam and sauna.

Through December 21, Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa is offering its new “Discover Your Play Time” program, designed around the following pillars identified by the resort as being of strong interest to today’s traveler: rest and relaxation, nutrition and diet, exercise and fitness, and rejuvenation. A highlight is the signature express massages from the resort’s new ESPA menu at the Larimar Spa. Guests also have access to a variety of complimentary activities, including advanced-level guided mountain bike tours along Aruba’s rugged desert trails on brand-new mountain bikes, stand-up paddleboard lessons, rooftop sunset yoga sessions, and guided morning walks and 5K runs.

The Presidente InterContinental Cozumel Resort & Spa has a new spa treatment available. The Spa—which features indoor treatment suites for one or two, Vichy shower, Jacuzzi, steam room, ocean-side massage huts and outdoor soaking tubs—now offers trendy Ictiotherapy, which is fashionable in Asia and Europe. Ictiotherapy uses the garrarufa fish to exfoliate the outer layer of skin on the feet. The fish generate an enzyme called dithranol, which has a regenerating effect on the skin, promoting blood circulation.

The Spa also offers Mayan-inspired experiences like the Mayan Temazcal and the Mayan Lovers Ritual. A massage menu includes hot-stone therapy, Balinese massage, deep-tissue massage, Swedish massage, sports massage, Shiatsu, reflexology and vinotherapy.

Just last month AMResorts officially opened the doors to the extensively renovated Dreams Sands Cancun Resort & Spa. Set in Cancun’s Hotel Zone along a 650-foot stretch of beach, the resort’s amenities include The Dreams Spa by Pevonia, which offers a menu of treatments, including the latest hydrotherapy and indigenous treatments—more than 30 revitalizing treatments and therapies in all. Guests can also take advantage of whirlpools, saunas and steam rooms, as well as two swimming pools and a fitness center.

For clients seeking an eco-luxury spa in Mexico, HotelitoDesconocido is an ecological resort 90 minutes south of the Puerto Vallarta International Airport. Surrounded by a UNESCO wildlife sanctuary, the El Solecito Spa spans 4,675 square feet and features Thalasso pools, seven cabins (seven cabins for seven chakras—root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown), bubble beds, geysers, waterfalls, baths, saunas, steam baths, an infinity pool and a temazcal. In the temazcal, a Huichol Shaman can conduct a ritual/treatment for up to 12 people and pay tribute to the four basic elements of pre-Hispanic culture.

The 27-room property itself is almost self-sustaining and offers fresh products for its treatments. Most of the treatments are elaborated with natural products, like aloe, avocado, grapefruit, mango, passion fruit and more. Baths can be done with milk from local farms’ cows or goats.

We hear one of the most popular treatments is its Thalasso pools. HotelitoDesconocido uses seawater as a form of therapy. The circuit of four pools works to open pores and cleanse the body of toxins.

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