A Second Honeymoon at Azul Blue, Mayan Riviera,
Bold turquoise letters spelling "Azul Blue" greeted us as
our driver pulled up to the white stucco entrance of one of
the finest spa resorts on the Riviera Maya. After a scenic,
45-minute ride from the Cancun airport, my husband and I had
arrived in Tulum, Mexico at Azul Blue Hotel and Spa, a luxurious
vacation sanctuary created especially for rest, relaxation,
tranquility and rejuvenation.
passing through the wrought iron gates we were greeted
with glasses of champagne . Palm trees and green foliage
line the walkways heading up the stairs to the pool
area. Blue tiles frame the Infinity pool with a picturesque
view of the ocean, as if the pool empties out into the
ocean. Complete with a swim-up bar and oversized lounge
chairs for two - this is the epitome of resort relaxation.
A smile spread across my face as I realized just how
amazing our three-day stay was going to be at Azul Blue.
Friendly staffers gave us a tour of the lush resort
grounds along the way to our final destination, Villa
Words cannot describe the exclusivity of this resort
let alone the attention to detail paid to the villas.
A butler led us up a short marble staircase to our eight-room
villa, equipped with a large, flowing waterfall in the
atrium and breathtaking views. This "dream house" is
"fully loaded" with a plasma TV, marble floors, a double-size
hydro-massage Jacuzzi tub, luxurious showers
with "rainshower style" heads, a selection of aromatherapy
scents and soaps, an iPod with downloaded music
and docking stations, topped off by a big canopied bed
dressed with premium Italian cotton linens After the room tour, our own private butler
explained that if we needed anything at all, he was
simply a phone call away.
Excited for our spa services we left our lap of luxury
and walked the short, tropical path to the 10,000-square-foot
Azul Blue Spa. Certainly no shrinking violet, the white
stucco building faces the ocean and offers 360°
views with glass windows on all four sides. We walked
through the entryway to be greeted by yet another soothing
waterfall and a lavish, airy reception. With an "hola"
and a smile, the receptionist checked us in for our
first appointments. We sat down in white wicker chairs
and took in our surroundings. I noticed an on-site yoga
room and fitness facility branching off from the reception
area. Built-in wood shelving units house a variety of
beauty and skin care products from Decleor and Creative
Nails to Back to Basics hair care.
A few seconds later, a nail technician introduced herself
and took me through a large oak door. My eyes were immediately
drawn skyward as I noticed the 30-foot ceilings and
grand stairway leading up to the eight treatment rooms.
White orchids served as the décor - simple but
exotic. As we reached the top of the landing, the technician
poured me a glass of fresh juice complete with fresh
fruit pieces floating at the top. She took me to the
nail room where I sat down on plush, white cushions
and was given the remote control to a plasma monitor
perfectly positioned for reclining and watching TV.
She pulled out an extensive color assortment of Creative
Nail colors, and I landed on a bright fuchsia shade
before she set to work on my stiletto-cramped, street-beat
feet. Sliding off my flip-flops she started the jets
of a warm pedicure footbath with fresh roses petals
floating around the surface. The scent was heavenly.
She indulged my feet with a spa pedicure complete with
lavender scrub, mint foot mask, papaya leg massage and
finally, meticulously applied coats of fresh polish
and topcoat on my tootsies.
My second service for the day was a spa manicure. Similar
to the pedicure, it was filled with tropical scents.
A technician helped me slide on my spa sandals and escorted
me to the manicure station. Taking my seat, she placed
my hands in warm jet water bowls for softening my cuticles.
After about five minutes, she dried my hands, removed
the existing polish and massaged in a coconut-infused
cuticle softener. After trimming and a quick rinse,
she filed and squared off my nails and prepped me for
a lavender exfoliator followed by a mint mask and an
expert hand massage. The treatment was finished off
with a sheer pink polish and topcoat. Her steady hand
made this manicure swift and effortless so I was ready
to set out and enjoy the rest of the day at the resort.
I was escorted back to the reception area and offered
another fresh juice to sip while I waited for my husband.
The staff never wavered in its consistent efforts to
meet my needs, be it food, drink or reading materials,
and I was anxiously looking forward to Day 2 of my Azul
Blue Spa experience.
With much persuasion, my husband convinced me to try
something more adventurous than my usual spa choices
like traditional facials, massages and nails. So when
in Rome, or Mexico as it was, this was a rare opportunity
to experience something unlike anything else in the
world - the Temazcal treatment, which involves a Shaman
and stone hut where we would rid our bodies of toxins.
My husband noted that within the first two days of our
stay at Azul Blue, whenever someone mentioned the word
"Temazcal" their eyes became large and a smile took
over their faces. This was not going to be a typical
spa service but an experience that would touch us physically,
mentally and spiritually.
We returned to the white, stucco spa building and met
another couple waiting for the same treatment. A minute
later a staff member led the way to our respective locker
rooms where we were given robes to wear over our bathing
suits. This treatment is performed off the premises,
just a short walk in our robe and slippers. Changed
and ready to go, we met our Shaman in the lobby. He
wore an open linen shirt and matching pants and greeted
us with a big smile. His English was broken, but through
his friendly yet serious tone and few recognizable words,
he made it apparent that we had chosen something special
and very unique.
ot knowing what to expect, I spoke to the other woman
along the way who had been persuaded by her husband
to try something "spiritual" too. He led us down a winding
path that brought us past a beautiful view of the sun
setting on the horizon of the ocean.
Once at the sacred spot, he instructed us to stand
in a circle. He then explained that as part of this
ancient ritual, we must thank the four natural elements
- air, wind, water and fire - for their cooperation
and in doing so, we stood and turned our bodies to the
east, west, north and south. He completed our chant
by blowing on a salmon conch shell and leading us to
the igloo-like stone Temazcal structure where the real
to the Temazcal was a stone hearth with burning lava
rock. Ancient symbols carved into the hearth tell stories
of this tradition. Our Shaman lifted an Aztec rug, which
covered a small opening, and asked us to climb through
and be seated Indian style around an open pit dug into
the earth. The four of us removed our robes and sat
down. Our Shaman entered with palm leaves, shells, incense
and a clay bowl of water. Already slightly nervous I
started to ask questions. The Shaman explained that
each of us would take turns explaining what kind of
stress and toxins we wanted to get rid of and why we
were here. Meagerly I told the group that I had a LOT
of toxins to get rid of and was anxious to spend time
away from blackberries, computers and faxes. Our Shaman
had quite the challenge ahead.
The ritual began as the Shaman placed the glowing rocks
from the fire burning outside, in the center of the
pit. After piling on several, he closed the makeshift
blanket door of the Temazcal, and it became pitch black
inside. He first filled the air inside with smells of
fresh herbs, and then sprinkled water on top of the
glowing rocks that emitted heavy steam that quickly
surrounded our bodies. He began chanting, and we repeated,
"I am in control of my destiny.I am in touch with my
own frequency." The intensity and volume of each chant
slowly increased, and more water was sprinkled on the
steamy rocks. The chants were self-motivating and increasingly
aided our breathing through the engulfing steam.
For the next 45 minutes we went through a series of
four different rounds of pouring water and heavy steam
that released every toxin in our bodies through our
own perspiration. After the fourth round, we all thanked
the four elements of nature - earth, wind, fire and
water - and stepped out of the Temazcal into the cool,
breezy ocean air. Feeling somewhat shaky given the amount
of perspiring that just took place, the Shaman gave
us bottled waters and had us sit under a big showerhead
that released cold water.
At the end of the Temazcal treatment, the sensation
I experienced was unlike any other. I felt completely
cleansed, and a sense of calm washed over me. It was
the most intense steam I have ever had, however it was
both the emotional and physical release that surprised
me. We were then led back to the spa to change and head
to dinner. Later on, I felt an unexpected desire to
sleep. Not realizing how exhausted we were, my husband
and I agreed that night's sleep was the best in years.
The Temazcal is a very unusual, unique treatment that
is uncommon in the spa industry, so if you have any
interest in trying a cultural, spa experience such as
this, Spa Azul is the place.
My third and final spa experience at Azul Blue was a one-hour
Reflexology treatment. This was a first for me. The definition
of Reflexology is " the practice of stimulating nerves on
the feet, hands and ears in order to encourage a beneficial
effect on some other parts of the body, or to try to improve
When I arrived at the reception area, the technician
welcomed me with a glass of water and led me to the
women's locker room once again to change into a robe
and spa sandals. After meeting her back in the relaxation
area, she escorted me up the staircase to one of the
massage rooms equipped with a hydrotherapy tub, incense
and a massage table. She asked me to get comfortable
under the warm covers and leave my feet exposed. After
a soft knock, she returned to the room, drew the curtains
and placed a cool, damp cloth over my eyes, and I felt
myself beginning to relax.
Warm, eucalyptus hands shielded my face, and I was
instructed to breath in the scent to calm and soothe
my tired nerves. The technician pulled up a chair and
placed a rolled towel under each of my knees to prop
my feet up. For the next 50 minutes, she used warm massage
oil and worked every tender nerve and muscle in my right
foot followed by my left foot. This is a must for the
feet of any urban woman who lives in skyscraper heels
- think Swedish massage-meets-the feet. She rotated
each foot at the ankle, placed pressure on my Achilles
tendon and thoroughly massaged my arches and the balls
of my feet. Never once did I experience any tenderness
or discomfort. In fact, I fell asleep mid-way through
I was awakened by the same sweet smell of eucalyptus
as my technician moved her hands in circular motions
over my face and body. She gently told me to rise up
slowly and that she would be waiting outside the door
with a glass of fresh juice when I was ready.
Azul Blue Hotel and Spa is a top-notch destination resort
with a focus on detail and customer service. For those in
search of tranquility, fantastic amenities, gorgeous ocean
views and luxurious R&R, there is absolutely no "stresspassing"
at Azul Blue.
Azul Blue Hotel and Spa is located in the beautiful
Mayan Riviera, Mexico, a few minutes away from Tulum
and 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. A gourmet
all-inclusive resort destination, nightly rates at Azul
Blue include all meals, snacks, beverages, alcoholic
beverages, 24-hour room service, on-site amenities and
facilities, classes, workshops, live music, butler and
vacation planning services and all taxes and gratuities.
Standard shuttle transportation to and from the Cancun
airport costs approximately $65 per person roundtrip.
The resort also offers private car service starting
at $140 per couple. For more information about the Azul
Blue Hotel and Spa and to book reservations online,
please visit www.azulhotel.com.
To speak to a reservations agent, call 888.280.8810.
Azul Blue Hotel and Spa
Carretera Tulum - Punta Allen,
lote 47 zona costera de Tulum,
Municipio de Solidaridad,
Quintana Roo, México.