Must-Try Mayan Spa Treatments

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This year marks a milestone in Mayan culture as the end of 2012 will also mark the end of the Mayan calendar and the “coming of a new age”-and many Mexican spas are making the most of the occasion. Here are three treatments that stay true to their Mayan traditions:

HEALING RITUALS: Innovative skin care, indulgent rooftop spa palapas, signature rituals and a traditional Temazcal, keep serious spa-goers and luxury seekers coming back to Maroma’s Kinan Spa. For 2012, the spa is offering four new authentic Mayan treatments (all inspired by earth-water-fire-air elements); try the 105-minute Divine Powers treatment, which includes an intense herbs and plants aromatherapy session straight from the surrounding gardens, a mineral foot bath and scrub and a soya oil massage, for the ultimate relaxation experience.

BEACHSIDE BALANCE: Mayan traditions have been the focus of the Wayak Spa at the Viceroy Riviera Maya since its extensive renovation earlier this year (think purification ceremonies by the spa’s shaman and on-site ingredients like honey from the hotel’s bee hive), but spa director Cinthya Alva recently expanded the menu to meld both the spa’s signature collection with some serious skin care, showcasing brands like Decleor and Valmont. Take the experience outside to one of the jungle rain cabanas with the Hunan Kab (Sweet Honey and Rain), a massage that uses herbal bouquets, nurturing compresses and wild honey water drops.

RELAXTION + REJUVENATION: Not your average nature-inspired spa, Sense at Rosewood Mayakoba’s island setting (it’s literally set on its own island in the middle of the resort) is a popular spot for those looking for results-driven facials, multistep body treatments and full-some of which hit the five-hour-plus-mark-experiences. Inspired by the magic of the Mayan calendar, the 2.5-hour Mayakoba Signature Ritual fuses traditional Mayan healing arts with local herbs and massage, custom-designed by your therapist.

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