Travelers looking to immerse themselves in
Mayan culture while enjoying luxurious amenities might consider
staying at one of five Yucatan Peninsula hotels that make up the
The group, part of
Starwood Hotels & Resorts' Luxury Collection, this year
introduced new and expanded spa services performed by people in the
local Mayan community.
"Our spas are the
result of actions we've taken with the communities to preserve and
recover the values of the Mayan people," said Reto Kade, spa
facilities director for the Haciendas.
therapists are Mayan Indians trained by the Fundacion Haciendas
Mundo Maya A.C., a nonprofit organization established in 2002 that
aims to help poor residents.
In addition to
traditional massage, the hotel spas now offer exfoliations,
hot-stone massages and what the group calls "Mayan energy
massages," according to Daniel Mellado, director of sales and
"When clients found
out that the massage therapists are Mayan sobadoras (therapists),
they wanted to know even more about them," said Mellado. "The
facilities we have make any treatment a truly unique and authentic
The new spa menus
are basically the same at each hotel, said Mellado, "although
because of the natural setting of each hacienda, each offers a
Hacienda San Jose
has massage rooms that are restored Mayan casitas. Hacienda Temozon
has the only cenote spa in the region. Cenotes are sinkholes found
on the Yucatan Peninsula.
performed inside an ancient cenote, where the atmosphere is very
special," Mellado said.
to learn about the Mayan community abound at the Hacienda
experience-based packages, during which the client interacts with
the local people, including cooking classes, demonstrations," said
Mellado. "Some tours include visits to Mayan villages and craft
workshops where visitors can speak with local people and watch them
properties are small and set in the manor houses of former henequen
plantations. The Yucatan was once a major producer of henequen, an
agave plant used to produce rope and twine.
offers a special experience and its own distinct atmosphere,"
Mellado said. "Temozon is the most spectacular because of its
architecture and its buildings, which were built in 1669 and
restored beautifully by the owners. It's ideal for families, small
groups and individuals who want to use it as a base for visiting
the nearby archeological sites and cenotes."
information, call (011) 52-999-923-8089 or visit www.thehaciendas.com.
contact reporter Mark Chesnut, send e-mail [email protected].