By Eileen Ogintz
TWO SPAS IN BELIZE — It’s pouring rain outside but the birds are chirping and for the first time in weeks, my aching back—the after effects of breaking nine ribs four months ago—is feeling good.
It’s the secret Maya healing oil, the massage therapist tells me at The Lodge at Chaa Creek in Belize.
I love this place because it is so unique and because of its commitment since the beginning to environmental practices. And I love the hilltop spa next door to the resort’s Butterfly Farm where kids learn about their life cycle.
The last time we were here, 11 years ago, I had a memorable massage outdoors in the breeze, birds chirping. This one was just as memorable.
My husband, not usually a spa guy, acknowledged that this one unkinked the knots in his neck.
There isn’t anything like a massage, I think, to help you de-stress, especially when traveling and I’ve had some really memorable ones—reflexology in Hong Kong that helped my aching feet after days of sightseeing; a hot stone massage at the Cliff Hotel in Snowbird after a day of skiing where the steam helped clear my sinuses; the historic Fairmont in Sonoma where we also could soak in all of the natural mineral pools….
But two amazing massages in one week is a record for me, I think. For my husband too. We’re ending our week in Belize at Cayo Espanto, a private island resort just off the coast from San Pedro on Ambergris Cay with its famous Hol-Chan Marine Reserve. We are staying in a villa—an extremely private villa—where we are looked after by two housemen and where the two massage therapists arrive to give us couples massages overlooking the sea and our plunge pool, the louvered doors open so we hear the ocean and the soothing music they have turned on.
Does it get any better than this? Is there a better way to spend a cloudy day in paradise? And after two massages in a week, my back feels better than it has in months.