Suite Dreams

It is believed that the Yucatan Peninsula, which separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, got its name from the Nahuati (Aztec) word yokatlan, meaning "place of richness." Situated on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, 30 miles south of Cancun, is Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun (Mexico), where visitors are treated to an embarrassment of riches. While the Secrets Resorts & Spas brand, which coined the term Unlimited-Luxury, consists of seven properties, Secrets Maroma Beach stands out by being an adults-only, all-inclusive resort specifically tailored to honeymooners and couples seeking a romantic escape. Maroma Beach, with its pure white sand, crystal-clear sparkling waters, and tropical breezes, creates the perfect atmosphere for vacationers, while the resort's amenities prove that all-inclusive can be both convenient and lavish. The all-suite resort, which opened its doors last August, features 412 guestrooms, seven restaurants, two swimming pools, a fitness center, and the world-class Secrets Spa by Pevonia.

 Guests are led to one of the  private Spa Suites for most facial and massage services.
Guests are led to one of the private Spa Suites for most facial and massage services.

The 13,000-square-foot spa offers guests a tranquil escape with ocean views and myriad ways to relax the mind and body using indigenous ingredients and techniques. Although spa services are not part of the all-inclusive packages, most guests opt to receive at least one treatment during their stay. "It is relaxation, above all, that most spa-goers are looking for when visiting Secrets Spa by Pevonia," says spa manager Carla Paladino. On that note, the spa's decor helps guests relax upon entering with its soothing environment consisting of stone walls, neutral colors, dim lights, and candles throughout. Similar to the resort's all-suite guestroom layout, the spa consists of 21 treatment suites, including multi-treatment Spa Suites, indoor hydrotherapy double Spa Suites for couples, a double massage Spa Suite, and an outdoor double Spa Suite with Jacuzzi.

Because many of the resort's guests are couples or honeymooners, it isn't surprising that some of the spa's most popular treatments are designed for two. "When creating the menu, a lot of thought was put into choosing the right services for the people who come to this particular property," says Paladino. "There are no services for teens or children. Most of the treatments are for those who want to relax and be with their partners."

Clockwise: An aerial view provides a look at the vast exican resort; Stone walls and  neutral colors in the men's relaxation room provide a soothing environment pre- and post-treatments; The indoor double Spa Suite features hydrotherapy pools.
Clockwise: An aerial view provides a look at the vast exican resort; Stone walls and neutral colors in the men's relaxation room provide a soothing environment pre- and post-treatments; The indoor double Spa Suite features hydrotherapy pools.

The Relaxing Moon & Stars Massage ($285, 50 minutes), for instance, is the most requested service. Guests have the option of having this treatment in a couples' cabin or in the outdoor suite. In addition to a de-stressing Swedish massage, the treatment for two comes with a bottle of champagne, passion fruit, and chocolate. "Guests can receive this treatment in the afternoon or at sunset," says Paladino. "Either way, it is very romantic."

While the spa's menu is the same as those at the other Secrets properties (there are three in Mexico), one treatment that is unique to Secrets Maroma Beach is the Lava Shell Ritual ($30, 25 minutes), which all clients are encouraged to receive either as an add-on or as a full treatment. The ritual is a take on the traditional hot stone massage but instead combines shells with botanical massage oil to relax the muscles of the back and feet. Another popular option is the Open Spa Bar Massage ($400, four 50-minute massages; $600, six 50-minute massages). Guests who opt for this package receive either four or six massages throughout their stay performed using their choice of techniques including Swedish, deep tissue, aromatherapy, reflexology, and sport. "We recommend that guests only receive one massage per day," says Paladino. "Plus, when guests book a spa treatment here, they have access to all the spa's facilities for the entire day, so they do not need more than one."

When guests arrive at the spa 10 to 15 minutes prior to their service, they don't necessarily have time to visit the spa's hydrotherapy facilities. Therefore, they are allowed to return any time that day to use the spa facilities, such as the sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, pressure shower, and relaxation rooms. Non-spa guests can also utilize the hydrotherapy circuit amenities with a Spa-Day Pass ($55) or Spa-Week Pass ($200).

While all guests are treated like royalty, brides are particularly pampered, with a private Wedding Spa Suite in which they can receive hair, nail, and body treatments. "To calm the bride's nerves, we lead them into a private room," says Paladino. "There is even room in the suite for the bride's mother or friend if she wants company to help her relax on the big day."

If the spa's usual staff of 16 therapists cannot accommodate a large group like a bridal party, spa therapists from other Secrets resorts are called upon to help out. "All the Secrets properties help each other when needed," says Paladino. "We know that when we get therapists from other properties, they are well trained because of the high standard Secrets sets."

It is this high standard of service that the staff at Secrets Spa by Pevonia strives to live up to and exceed each day. In addition to giving quality treatments, therapists are educated on the spa's Pevonia Botanica retail products. Receptionists must also receive the retail training so that they, too, can recommend products to guests. "A lot of our resort guests here have been to spas before," says Paladino. "Because of this, they usually know what they are asking for and have high expectations."

In addition to daily meetings about improving customer service and treatments, Paladino also brings up any guest complaints in order to give the staff the opportunity to talk about and learn from them. "At our daily meetings, we talk about everything, from complaints to small ways in which we can improve customer service, like simply smiling at guests," says Paladino. "We consider each day as an opportunity to be better at what we do to make sure our guests leave the spa happy."

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