Story by Babbie De Derian
Photography courtesy Babbie De Derian and Live Aqua
Turning Moments Into Memories
A Place to Immerse and Relax
The curing power of touch is an ancient mystery, as old as the world itself. At the Live Aqua all-inclusive, adults only, resort in Cancun, Mexico, Spa Aqua offers fusion of aromatherapy and traditional massages from cultures around the world. Its mission is to transport guests to a totally stress-free state of being, and a deeper connection to their soul.
From these ancient cultures, the spa has developed an exclusive unique blend of essential oils that are used in treatments to relax, rejuvenate and heal the body, mind and spirit: eucalyptus, peppermint, and Spanish rosemary for relaxation… a mix of Oriental aromas, olibanum tint and incense to calm the nervous system… black coconut and jasmine flowers to clear the mind… a blend of fresh orange, grapefruit, rosemary and ginger to renew the spirit and revitalize the body… and to energize, lemongrass combined with the freshness of spearmint.
Spa Director Jaime Martinez has been creating and running spas for 25 years. He has opened 15 spas in Mexico, and now considers Spa Aqua, which he developed in 2004, “his home”.
On a recent visit, several days of rain did not dampen my spirits as it presented an opportunity to indulge my passion for pampering, and thanks to Jaime’s gracious insistence, my daughter and I spent more time in the spa than originally planned.
My first day in the spa began with a soak in a warm pool. As I rested my head on the ledge, an attendant placed chilled cucumber slices on my eyes, and then covered them with a cold towel that had been soaked in flower water. After 10 minutes of buoyant floatation, I moved to a cool pool to close my pores, and then retreated into the relaxation room. A hot pillow filled with buckwheat was placed around my neck, and I surrendered to the sight and sounds of a waterfall, the smells of aromatherapy oils, and the mesmerizing flicker of candles. When Impala, my massage therapist, came to claim me, I was totally removed from the reality of having flown in from New York, but a few hours ago.
Spa Aqua’s Soffio D’Polesia Ritual. Once under the sheet, lying face down, a hot blanket filled with pockets of sand was placed on my back. Impala’s strong hands then began pressing down on the blanket along my pressure points. This 80 minute ritual was an amazing mix of Thai, Indian, Mayan and Swedish massage techniques, combined with a penetrating infused mix of essential oils: Monoi oil, (considered the "sacred oil of the Polynesians” and traditionally used by priests in worship ceremonies to anoint newborns), tiara flowers and coconut oil for their hydrating properties, and ylang ylang to stimulate blood circulation. I am told the intense floral aroma of the tiara flower instills calmness and relaxation during a massage. Impala stretches and rotates my limbs into yoga positions, strokes deep into my tissues, and then manipulates my head and shoulders into a relaxed state of flexibility.
On Saturday, hotel guests are invited to join Tibetan Buddhist Monk Lama Tulku Dawa for a special meditation and blessing. Lama Dawa, who spent 17 years in a Monastery in India, now travels the world “teaching the ways of Buddha”.
We sit on floor mats in a dimly lit room, listening intently to his message. He tells us: “We collect karma. You need to look deeper inside of you, and to start purifying your feelings and the way you talk, in order to carry yourself to happiness”. We then line up for a personal blessing, he ties a red strand of wool around my wrist, and I buy a string of prayer beads that was made by the monks in his monastery.
In the afternoon, I return to the spa for the Mayan Secret Ritual. Since the beginning of time, many cultures have used the healing power of stones for spiritual balance and restoration. Mayans believed that stones were filled with energy and vitality when water gently flowed through them. This treatment uses the healing power of three large stones: green jade for spirit, shiny black asteria for protection and a mat black stone for energy and water. Alternating from hot to cold, they are dipped in water and essential oils, and then used with deft strokes to balance energy points and eliminate long stored stress.
Cocoa, a traditional seed from the Yucatan Peninsula, is known to promote happiness. Thanks to its high content of serotonin, it is considered to be the ultimate secret element that dissipates stress and depression. I am wrapped in a mixture of coconut and chocolate to liberate endorphins that activate the body’s natural system that eliminates fat tissue. What a great guilt- free way to satisfy one’s chocolate cravings.
Monday’s Caviar Deluxe Facial was by far the most intensive and luxurious face treatment my skin has ever been treated to. After a thorough deep cleansing, exfoliation, steam, extraction and massage, a mix of 100% caviar, pearl dust, collagen and elastin was applied to my face and neck. A thick black mud mask was then brushed over the caviar, and left to set and dry. I could feel it hardening, and after about 15 minutes, my therapist gently pried off the sculpted mold of my face, which I photographed before discarding. My newly restored skin was glowing, plumped up and radiant, but to be perfectly honest, I would have liked a few spoonfuls of caviar and a flute of champagne to top off this decadent ritual.
Spa Aqua’s Apple Temptation Facial uses apple plant stem cells to penetrate the skin’s surface to help preserve the active life of epidermal cells, delay aging and repair UV rays sun damage. I must admit this facial was tempting, but let’s just say I will save it for my next visit.
Jaime Martinez trains and oversees a staff of 40, including 25 therapists; there are 11 treatment rooms, plus the option of a heavenly beach massage. The spa menu is impressive and creative, and it is not surprising that Spa Aqua books and delivers 1,800 treatments a month. Treatments are extra, fairly priced, and well worth the indulgence.
For more info LIVE AQUA Cancun and Spa Aqua
Tel: (011) 52 (998) 881 7629
Fax: (011) 52 (998) 881 760
© August 2014 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.