Condé Nast Traveller UK - Chablé, Yucatan, Spa Resort Review
CN Traveller UK Spa Guide 2017
This place is quite something: a destination spa in 750 acres of steamy Mayan jungle, half an hour from the Yucatán state's capital, Mérida. Ten years in the making, it's a hotel of two halves: a stunning modern spa and painstakingly restored 19th-century hacienda. The original walls now form spaces in which to practise Ayurvedic yoga, walking meditation, qigong or t'ai chi. The grandeur of the main house has been pristinely maintained and rolling lawns frame the building, which includes a library, bar, wine cellar and plenty of corners to kick back in while sipping one of the aged local spirits (Chablé has the world's largest private tequila collection).
It's not all hedonism and headaches though. This is one of the only spas in the world with its own cenote - a natural limestone swimming hole celebrated by Mayans as the entrance into the sacred underworld. Hypnotic three-hour rituals blend traditional Mayan therapies with Eastern healing methods plus a healthy dose of modern technology (bespoke flotarium; hi-tech gym). If you want to embark on a hardcore detox programme or seek profound transformation, there are hand-picked therapists offering every possible treatment, such as chakra therapy, reiki, Mayan rebirth massages, sound cleansing, three different types of temazcal - a pre-Hispanic sweat-lodge - and sessions with local spiritual guides.
But if your idea of wellbeing is staying horizontal by the spa's pool, or eating and drinking extremely well, that's covered too. The consulting chef is Jorge Vallejo of Quintonil in Mexico City (currently number 12 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list), and his right-hand man, Luis Ronzon, is in charge of all three restaurants. As well as using the hotel's own organic vegetables and herbs, Ronzon has sourced the best ingredients from around Mexico and keeps menus light and inventive (carpaccio of grilled mamey fruit and avocado; venison tartare with bitter orange and habanero-chilli vinaigrette). Bed down in one of the 40 villas, each with its own pool, hammock and outdoor shower. Just down the road is the village of Chocholá, where you can pick up delicious honey, and Mérida, with its wonderful museums and restaurants, should definitely not be missed.
Fireflies take over the lawn leading to the guest rooms at dusk during summer months. It's the perfect spot for meditation