Authenticity is the hallmark of Andaz, a standout hotel brand from Hyatt with the mantra of being “global in scale while local in perspective” and immersing guests in the cultures of each of its 17 destinations. In the Riviera Maya region, Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya, the brand’s only property in Mexico, is the embodiment of this ethos. From Mexican design and artwork created by local artists to restaurants featuring fresh local fare to a property layout and accents that integrate ancient Mayan astrology and numerology practices, inspiration abounds. Nowhere is this indigenous aspect more apparent than within the 10,000-square-foot Naum Spa.
Mayan customs are the cornerstone of the spa. Named after the god of mind and consciousness, Naum Spa, first and foremost, pays homage to the nature-loving ancient Mayans with its location. It is set within the heart of the resort amid a lush jungle, and each treatment room offers sweeping views of verdant flora and fauna and the nearby lagoon via floor-to-ceiling windows and private outdoor relaxation areas. Even the men’s and women’s locker rooms provide visuals of the surrounding vegetation with windows in unexpected places like the sauna so that nature can be enjoyed while indoors. Guests then walk outside from the locker or coed relaxation rooms to their treatment suites via meandering paths that lead them further into nature. The six treatment suites, including one couples’ suite, are named after Mayan zodiac symbols. They include Kumk’u, or crocodile, a creature that has adapted throughout its existence; Mol, named for the jaguar and a symbol of strength; Zotz, the sign of the bat and fish, two animals that move well in their environments; Muwan, the sign of the owl and of balance; Yax, a sign affiliated with a loving and giving personality; and Kej, a symbol of balance, peace, and serenity.
A trio of ceremonies that are part of all spa services, called Naum Rituals, also hearken back to Mayan traditions and help guests find harmony based on the wellness intention they set upon arrival, whether that be Clarity (Tsoolik), Rest (He’lel), Strength (Muuk’), or Connection (Molcintah). For further customization, guests can take part in an interactive aromatherapy bar from Body Bliss to create their own scent. Once a guest chooses an intention and scent, the therapist then tailors a service designed to help them address their specific needs. “Each Ritual is a three-part experience, alluding to the balancing nature of the number three with a beginning, middle, and end,” says spa manager Daniel Escalante. “The ritual begins with a Mayan Time of Reflection, is followed by the treatment experience itself, and concludes with a Mayan Celebration.” It is at this point guests are served a fresh drink and seasonal fruit on the terrace of the suite to help them balance and reconnect with themselves and the universe.
The Mayan belief systems revolve around nature, thus keeping things natural is also an important part of the Naum Spa experience. Many guests choose to receive their services with their treatment room doors ajar and bathed in the natural light of the Mexican sun while listening to the calls of tropical birds and monkeys. Services are also performed using local ingredients like agave nectar, blue corn, chia, cinnamon, and sugar, and the products used—Body Bliss and Naturopathica—are organic, eco-certified, and cruelty-free. Additionally, the entire property was recently certified by the Rainforest Alliance. “We care about the environment, our workplace, and our community,” says Escalante. “Every decision is made with mindfulness.”
This mindfulness is necessary to spread the word about this inspired retreat amid the crowded spa landscape of the Riviera Maya and particularly the Mayakoba complex, which is home to several impressive spa properties. To do so, hotel guests are introduced to the spa at check in and via a welcome courtesy call, with menus in their rooms, and with daily promotions that take place at the beach and pool. Additionally, Escalante says he and his team of 15 have exciting plans on the horizon, including the introduction of a salon, a coed sensation pool, and a temazcal (a traditional Mayan sweat lodge). “I hope to make Naum Spa one of the best spas in Mexico and the world,” he says. “It is a great challenge that requires the total commitment of all of us, constant preparation, and innovation to have a strong differentiation from our competitors and achieve the loyalty from our customers.”
RLH Properties, Hyatt Hotels Corporation & OHL Desarrollos
10,000 square feet; 6 treatment rooms
Products & Equipment
Body Bliss, Book4Time, Cirrus, Coola, Davines, HydraFacial, Milo, Naturopathica, Oakworks, Pure
Fiji, Taiji Towel Cabinet, Ty Robes, VitaJuwel
Ronald Zürcher, Zürcher Arquitectos (San Jose, Costa Rica)
DAS Concepts (Long Beach, CA)
Jenny Helling, Innovative Spa Solutions (Novato, CA)