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.
Stay here and you’re just an olive stone’s throw from Cancún’s hotel zone. That means a hive of bars, clubs and casinos – and yet this tranquil resort could be in the middle of nowhere. Rooms and villas are sprinkled among acres of beach and mangrove-lined lagoons. Our favorite crash pads are the ocean-view junior suites with infinity plunge pools. Honeymooning? Try an intimate pavilion villa – these open onto private pools and decks with high walls to keep out prying eyes. The spa is sensational with its Mayan-inspired treatments, while nearby the tranquil yoga deck surveys pristine Caribbean mangrove forest.
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.
Basking between jungle expanses burbling with tree frogs, and a long spur of pearl-white Caribbean beach, BeTulum is as soothing as a piña colada under the stars. Rustic-chic rooms are made for intimacy – decorated with palm-thatch and polished concretes. You’ll relax on ocean-and palm-tree-view decks with comfy rattan chairs and breakfast tables before wallowing in private plunge pools hidden behind lush foliage. Restaurants mix fine dining with feet-in-the-sand informality and the Yaän spa packages its excellent 21st-century pampering as ancient Mayan, which sprinkles extra magic over your stay.
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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.
The St Regis Hotel, Mexico City employs a dash of New York Upper East Side opulence: on the menu are butlers for every guest and suites with carpets you can sink your toes into, as well as vast picture windows framing a skyscraper skyline. They even have their own private elevator entrances. Book above the 15th floor for the best views, or sip a mojito in the al fresco rooftop bar. The location – overlooking Paseo de la Reforma – is corporate-minded, but you could spend hours pampering, steaming or swimming in the pool in the Remède Spa, with the city at your feet.
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.