Mayan retro spa in Cancun

A great massage needs no embellishment. The simple act of kneading stress from your body is enough. Warm Jacuzzi waters afterward complete the experience, especially when washed down with crisp cucumber water. A twist that enhances the experience, though, can matter, as I learned at the JW Marriott’s spa in Cancun, Mexico.

The on-site spa infuses its treatments with Mayan ritual, adding a sense of purpose to what otherwise would be sheer decadence. The therapists add ancient prayers and local ingredients to facials, exfoliation and massages to bring a regional flavor to a luxurious commodity.

The spa itself occupies three floors. The first is open to all guests of the JW Marriott and adjacent CasaMagna. Visitors can swim in the indoor pool, soak in the coed Jacuzzi or hit the weights in the gym. The second floor – where you’ll find gender-specific relaxation rooms, saunas and hot tubs – requires an additional fee of approximately $15. Treatments are conducted on this floor and the third.

The differences between the first and second floors are not limited to the modest fee. As you walk the wide, slightly winding staircase, the softly burning candles and soothing aromas remind you that you’re entering a unique environment, a place where every care you have will evaporate thanks to the skilled hands of a focused masseuse.

Language will not be a barrier when you explain the pressure you’d like, as the team does speak English well. After that first conversation, of course, it doesn’t matter. Once you’re finished and have been presented with warmed slippers and cool water, conversation will be the last thing on your mind. Shuffle back to the relaxation room, and use the view of the indoor pool to see if you want to ease back into society with a stop down on the first floor before heading back to the world.

These are the brief moments, punctuating a hectic lifestyle, that remind you that … just sometimes … you come first.

View the latest deals at the Marriott CasaMagna here.