Mexico’s The Tides Resort has a luxury soap concierge

soap conciergeWe’ve heard of concierge programs, pillow menus and even hand-drawn specialty baths to help you relax and unwind while on vacation. But Mexico’s Tides Resort in the Riviera Maya has taken luxury and relaxation a step further with a Soap Concierge.

You read that correctly. A Soap Concierge.

Arriving at the Tides, you are welcomed with a “Mayan Blessing” by the luxury resort’s own shaman, and are personally escorted to your villa by your mayordomo. Then the Soap Concierge arrives to explain and provide this special personalized service.

I’m pretty sure we’d need some explanation too.

The simple story: A variety of soaps are presented in different scents and types – each offering a different experience. When you make your selections, the Soap Concierge slices your personalized bars from large blocks of soap.

Very nice. They REALLY want you to be clean.

The artisanal soaps are made in local Mayan communities following ancient Mayan traditions. They are formulated with organic ingredients found on the Yucatan Peninsula. The wide array of scents ranges from lemon and chocolate to rosemary, peach and oatmeal.

Are you hungry yet? We are.

The available scents change with the seasons, from cinnamon in winter to melon during spring. Each also has a unique property; for instance, oatmeal is excellent for exfoliating, the lemon is refreshing, and the chocolate great for relaxation.

We’re still hungry.

Depending on your length of stay, the Soap Concierge generally offers two or more bars of soap, which are cut in front of them. But if you would like to try additional varieties, the Concierge is happy to bring more selections of these aromatic treats.

You ask, the Soap Concierge will give.

If you want to take the soaps home – to remind you of your time The Tides or to share with family and friends – they are available for purchase in the resort gift shop.

Because there’s no such thing as a free soap.

Spring Breakers head to Mexico despite drug wars

Spring Break Mexico

While drug war violence has sent Mexican PR into a whirlwind, spring breakers have been unswayed by the persistent safety warnings and bad press. According to the AP, spring break reservations to Mexico remain resilient in the face of such setbacks, even growing slightly over last year. The big three of the Yucatan peninsula – Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and the Riviera Maya, are the top destinations according to reports.

The students, party-monsters, and brus hit these resort communities for good reason and with high confidence. With patrolling guards and a resort safety buffer, a city like Cancun is likely safer than St. Louis. While the resort areas in Mexico are generally quite tame, Acapulco is a recent example of how bad things can get. Acapulco, the original Mexican beach destination on the Pacific Coast, saw a string of gruesome gang violence earlier this year in the form of 14 beheadings. There is no priceline deal to Acapulco that can fill the void left by that kind of press. Predictably, travel to this region has lapsed dramatically.

The beautiful beaches, low prices, and an 18 year old drinking age form an alliance of desirability that many students adore. This spring break, grenade horns will sound and tank draped bros will mockingly shout “Cabs a’here” at every feasible opportunity, but there will almost certainly be no gang violence in tourist areas. As with all travel, as long as vacationers exercise caution and stay in the resort comfort zone, all will be fine. In fact, I will be visiting the Mayan Riviera in June, and my only concern is whether I will have time to go swimming with Whale Sharks.

flickr image via PriceTravel Pictures’

Daily Pampering: New Year, New You at Tides Riviera Maya

Tides Riviera MayaThink that 2011 is going to be “your year” … you know, the one where you embrace your inner yogi, go car-free and finally learn Mandarin? Sure, we all say that … for about a week. But with Mexico‘s Tides Riviera Maya‘s “New Year, New Your” package, you might actually set up the foundation to continue your healthy-living, culturally aware ways all year long.

The resort, voted as one of the best in Mexico by both Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast, is offering a three or five-day package ($3,250 – $5,215+) to jump start your 2011 resolutions.

The package includes a six-hour detox program for body or soul, a daily healthy breakfast, private yoga on the beach and a healthy cooking class. You’ll also enjoy a choice of a cultural or adventure excursion to places like Tulum and Coba or diving in Cenotes, a Spider Monkey Biosphere tour, or boating trip as well as a recreational activity like horseback riding, scuba diving, or biking. All visitors will also enjoy a traditioanl Tezmacal cemony, an ancient spa detox ritual, as well as a Le BootCamp three-month trial subscription so you can continue the wellness journey at home.

We’re just wondering if we can figure out how to bring a beach, hotel suite and staff of trainers/chefs home with us to continue the journey all year long …

Tweet and win with the Valentin Imperial Maya Resort

Blast your thoughts in 140 characters or less, and you could find yourself under the sun in Mexico. The Valentin Imperial Maya Resort is launching a new contest, “Follow Valentin & Win,” so if you’re a Twitter ninja, this is a user you want to follow – by the end of the month.

The Valentin’s goal is pretty simple: the adults-only resort on in Riviera Maya wants to reach more than 1,000 followers. Make yourself one of them, and you have a shot at being one of the three guests to receive a free three-night stay at the resort. The Valentin will pick three secret numbers. If one of them corresponds to yours (i.e., as the Xth follower), you’ll be on the receiving end of a relaxing getaway which includes a 45-minute Primax swim with the dolphins, round-trip transportation to the resort and a DVD of your experience.

There is a catch … there always is. Each winner will be asked to keep a “Valentin Journal,” documenting the stay. These journals, along with photos and videos, will be popped onto the resort’s Facebook page, showing the experience through the eyes of a fellow vacationer.

The contest closes at the end of April, and the winners will be announced on May 3, 2010. You can follow the resort at @valentinmaya.