Mexico is a country with some serious variety, from Caribbean white sands to temple-dotted jungle landscapes and long Pacific beaches – natural landscapes here offer up solace for the work-weary soul. With some of the best spa resorts in the Americas, where better to soothe and pamper? What’s more, they’re all bookable with Culture Trip.
At the southernmost tip of Baja California, perched on a cape near San Jose del Cabo, the One and Only has views of both the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. Every room has over-the-ocean balconies and floor-to-ceiling shutter windows – from the suites – in light creams and taupes, with heavy-dark wood furnishings – to the vast Mediterranean-white villas with private pools. The spa is one of Baja’s biggest, but with lush gardens, a faux-Temazcal (Mexican sweat house) and low-lit treatment rooms it feels serene and intimate.
On Mexico’s eastern coast, Banyan Tree overlooks a milky-white beach and turquoise Caribbean waters. Surrounded by lagoons and jungle, this is an idyllic setting. Yet the bars and restaurants of Playa del Carmen – the Riviera Maya’s liveliest town – are all on the doorstep. So too is an 18-hole Greg Norman-designed golf course. Check in and you’ll find creamy-pale open-plan villas with plunge pools, all walled entirely with glass, allowing light to flood in from beach or lagoon. The multi-award-winning spa has treats coming out of its ears, from saunas to an ice fountain to myriad Asian-style treatments.
It’s big, it’s blocky – and it has some astonishing ocean views. Enjoy the outlook from your bed, through wall-high French windows, or over the hotel breakfast balconies and private sun decks. The most-Instagrammable of all are from the ocean suites – think polished tiles offset with Turkish-style silk cushions, comforters and abstract wall art – as well as the open-plan, semi-al-fresco Casita villas with their very own pools. There are also some captivating views from the treatment rooms in the Natura Bissé spa – along with stay-as-long-as-you-like steam rooms, hot and cold plunge pools and rainfall showers.
It’s worth going in deeper and booking a plunge-pool oceanfront space – or even a simpler casita – at this Puerto Vallarta five-star: that’s because the rooms are built around the views. Open-sided villas and suites frame swaying palms, rocky islets and Pacific waves and sunsets over the horizon. Décor is minimalist – neutral soft creams, raw woods, buffed concrete offsetting the outlook; blue scatter cushions match blue plunge pools, decks have loungers for cheeky nude private sunbathing and cocktails at sunset. First-class facilities include a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course and a superb spa.
Beyond the edgy town of Morelia, it’s hard to imagine a more soothing spot than this hillside millionaire’s mansion turned spa boutique. Speckled with objets d’art left by French former owner Count Philippe de Reiset, this spot offers up the chance to see Renaissance-era carved lions, rococo finials and swimming pools you could imagine Rita Hayworth stepping out of. With dark terracottas and chunky wood furnishings, bedrooms can be described as plush-ranch-house. Standards are compact – it’s worth upgrading to a suite.
This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Lauren Cocking.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.