A gentle breeze rustled the palm trees, and natural light shone through the doorway. Unlocking the entry to our penthouse revealed a thatch-roofed outdoor living area.
After a short flight from Los Angeles, we had arrived at Cala de Mar Resort & Spa Ixtapa. The 58-room, AAA Four Diamond boutique property is built on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Ixtapa, Mexico.
Here, each of the accommodations and facilities face the ocean, including the four-treatment-room spa, outdoor couples treatment area, yoga and meditation deck, two communal pools and four restaurants. The suites, which start at $280, feature open-air terraces outfitted with private plunge pools, outdoor living rooms and outdoor lounge areas. Among the 58 rooms are five penthouses, each with a hammock on the terrace and an outdoor dining area.
Amenities at the property include a personal assistant, who introduces him/herself prior to the stay to ask about dietary restrictions and any other needs. Another amenity is a 5 p.m. service of chips (seasoned with Tajin chili powder), guacamole and two beers, which can be substituted for a beverage of the guest's choice. For instance, our personal assistant Karla Aguirre said, many guests ask for the property's welcome drink, chilate, which is prepared with chocolate, rice, cinnamon and brown sugar.
An outdoor terrace at the resort. The resort’s Ixtapa Spa offers a menu of couples massages and other treatments.
Rituals and relaxation
Given that most guests are on their honeymoon, celebrating an anniversary or come to propose, it was fitting to get away on a romantic weekend with my boyfriend.
On our itinerary was an ancient cacao ritual and couples massage. We met Lionel and Allyson of Ynergia, who had partnered with the hotel, to experience the ritual. In a secluded area on the property, the couple prepared a cacao concoction that would be the catalyst for our sensory meditation.
The ceremony went for about two and a half hours. During this time, we participated in a sage cleansing, drank the cacao and meditated while Lionel and Allyson played maracas and chanted.
After experiencing the cacao ritual, we proceeded to El Capricho Spa, which we had to ourselves. In one of three couples treatment rooms, we received 80-minute deep-tissue therapeutic massages ($155; $125 for 50 minutes). Our therapists employed heated balls to relieve muscle tension and improve circulation.
Other offerings include a 150-minute detoxifying body treatment, which incorporates body exfoliation, hydrotherapy and a body mask and is concluded with lymphatic drainage and deep-tissue massage ($185). And the property recently opened a temazcal, or sweat lodge, on the top of a cliff near the secondary pool, where more ancient treatments will be offered.