DAY 2 — I’m sitting in a Jacuzzi tub filled with bubbles in my private tropical garden.
My chocolate infused tea is waiting for me on the thatched-covered outdoor bed. There are swaying palms, flowering tropical plants and birds chirping.
No I’m not dreaming. I’m indulging at one of the most unique spas I’ve ever visited at One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos at the tip of the 1,000-mile long Baja Peninsula in Mexico. I’ve just indulged in the Palmilla Chocolate Synergy which I’m told is inspired by the ancient Mayans with a blend of various massage techniques and Mexican herbal compresses b\plus chocolate oil to release muscle tension.
The treatment started with a foot bath in “my” garden .I choose the oils for my treatment—balance (I could have had energy, or relaxing) the properties of the dried herb compress are supposed to release muscle tension while the warm chocolate oil is supposed to make me feel happy.
All I know is it all feels great. . I’m having my treatment in my own private “casita” inside the garden where birds are chirping. Sylvia, the therapist, tries Shiatsu, and sports massage… AHA…she massages my scalp too.
I don’t know whether I like the treatment or “my” garden better where I enjoy my tea—I chose one with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. There were six different varieties. I had lemongrass tea when I arrived, mango tea in the locker room (terrific sauna and steam) and then my chocolate tea.
“I’ve been to a lot of spas and I’ve never experienced anything like it,” said Sara Colleran, here with her husband from Chicago for their second visit.
There’s plenty for young spa goers too—a Wish Upon a Star facial for $40 a Dancing Feet Pedicure for $30 and an entire array of “family sanctuary” treatments like a massage for mom or dad and head and hand massage for your child ($290) a teen face care and make up lesson ($150) and even a session for a teen with a private trainer.
The families who come here want the service and don’t need to worry about the budget, says spa director Kerensa Langitan, who initiated the extensive wellness program for kids as more and more families asked for spa treatments. “More and more people are conscious of health and it’s easy when they start earlier,” she explained.
I dropped in on an adult yoga class—there are more than one a day–and a yoga class for kids at the kids’ club where a half dozen youngsters were happily trying poses. Stretching like a tiger, standing tall like a warrior, sitting like a butterfly.
“How many seconds can you hold the pose?” asks the counselor to the half dozen kids demonstrating their poses in the huge sand box outside the colorfully decorated kids’ club.
“A lot of children come here and are already familiar with the yoga poses,” observes spa director Langitan. “What we are trying to teach them is that spa is not only about indulgence. It’s renewal and total relaxation.”
Crystal Lourd, mom of three kids aged 5,8,10 arrives to try a few stretches with her children.
“We love, love, love it here,“ says the Los Angeles mom, adding that she’s been here with her family at least a dozen time in the last eight years. “They really nail it for families,” she said. “They have wonderful kids’ food and kids pool and kids activities and there is such a sophistication here for us. My kids beg to come here.”
“There is no other place like it.” And well worth the money, she adds.”It’s expensive but you get what you pay for.”
“It’s not formal…I it’s intimate…I wish we could come more!”
Langitan has got an entire array of children’s wellness programs—from rewarding them for making good choices at the restaurant to teaching them about aromatherapy( how does smelling peppermint make you feel?) to salsa lessons, sessions with the golf and tennis pro ($15 an hour) There are music sessions with a musician demonstrating ancient instruments. Soon, there will be cookng lessons at the outdoor kitchen in the new herb garden
“These kids are our future customers,” she says.
Next: Children and upscale resorts