Debuting recently is the $15 million architecturally striking spa at the new Grand Velas All Suites & SPA Resort Riviera Maya, inspired by the jungle and natural water pools of the Yucatan Peninsula. Mexican Architects Ricardo Elias and Alexis Elias of EliasElias AR preserved the stone, plants, and streams specific to the Riviera Maya landscape, and incorporated them into the curved, organic design of the new two-level, 89,000 square-foot spa, which also has a 40,000 square-foot Water Lounge.
Riviera Maya, Mexico (PRWEB) May 13, 2009 — Dramatic meets organic. That’s the result of the $15 million architecturally striking Riviera Maya spa at the new Grand Velas All Suites & SPA Resort Riviera Maya , inspired by the jungle and natural water pools of the Yucatan Peninsula. Mexican Architects Ricardo Elias and Alexis Elias of EliasElias AR preserved the stone, plants, and streams specific to the Riviera Maya landscape, and incorporated them into the curved, organic design of the new two-level, 89,000 square-foot spa, which also has a 40,000 square-foot Water Lounge. “The unique terrain and the resort’s jungle and seaside location entirely dictated the design and materials,” says Ricardo Elias, who set the spa just below ground level to allow a living rock wall with plants and flowers, and even a small stream, to form part of the spa’s structure.
Then they raised the ceiling 30 feet to allow for a visual connection of the entire spa and to allow natural light to smoothly flood the central hydrotherapy space, as well as the treatment rooms on the level above. “There is a spatial transparency from the exterior landscape and the interior garden slopes to the water features, which permits perception of the spa in its wholeness, while walls of varying heights and materials–slatted hardwood to handmade stone tiles–provide intimacy and privacy,” says Ricardo Elias.
EXQUISITE MEXICAN AND BALINESE DETAILS IN DESIGN
Guests enter on the spa’s top floor, at the Balinese-inspired lobby. They are then led through a plant-filled courtyard to amply staffed lounges and changing areas, where they are given slippers, robes, and herbal tea. A wooden bridge that overlooks the Water Lounge below leads to the forty spa treatment rooms and marks the transition from public to private spa-going areas. Dark hardwood furnishings, shallow water-filled bowls that float deep red hibiscus flowers, and colorful Mexican and Balinese wall stencils, art and accessories give the spa a modern international feel.
Specialty spa treatment rooms include a suite for couples with a double Jacuzzi tub and another with a small pool for Jansu water-massage treatments. All rooms are generously sized and have floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as natural light. “The spa treatment rooms were designed to capitalize on the feeling of expansiveness, and provide views of the organic features and Water Lounge, while offering complete privacy to guests during their services,” says Ricardo Elias. After their treatments, guests relax with a cup of herbal tea and a warm buckwheat neck pillow in the tea lounge or on a Balinese carved-wood chaise lounge in the hydrotherapy area.
GUIDED WATER JOURNEYS
The natural subterranean level is the center of the spa and is entirely dedicated to relaxation and the restorative facilities that comprise the Water Journey . Almost 40,000-square feet are given to men’s and women’s sides, each with custom-designed amenities including a Clay Room, a circular glass-tile-lined steam room with a fiber-optic “star light” ceiling, an Ice Room with floor-to-ceiling window, and hot-and-cold Experience Showers. A central infinity pool has powerful massaging faucets throughout and carved-stone chaises with jets set just underneath the surface of the water on which guests recline. Two stunning slate-grey stone-tiled walls bisect the central hydrotherapy pool, dividing the equally spacious and especially private men’s and women’s sides.
Each treatment (of 50 minutes or more) includes the hour-long Water Journey , a relaxation ritual built around the use of the eight, specially designed water-based facilities. A personal spa valet is assigned to each guest to provide bottled water and towels but most importantly to provide guidance. “The spa valets provide personalized direction to make sure guests get the most out of the truly relaxing hydrotherapy experience– such as how to alternate the various hot and cold rooms and pools, and how long to linger in them–which might otherwise be a bit mystifying,” says Maria Elena Zayas, Spa Director, whose experience includes managing top spas in Mexico.
SPA TREATMENT MENU OF SEVEN INTERNATIONAL JOURNEYS
World-renowned spa consultant Diana Mestre conceptualized the international spa menu, which features Seven Journeys, each one a flight of signature treatments, which include Mediterranean Voyage, Travels through India, Nature’s Aromatherapy Trail, World Travels, Men’s Journey, Inner Journey, a Rainbow Journey for teens, and a Journey through Native Mexico. Customized treatments created exclusively for the Grand Velas Riviera Maya Spa include luxurious facials by Natura Bisse, a high-end skin-care range from Spain, and one-of-a-kind Mayan rituals that use energy work and massage techniques that draw on Mayan history and lore.
The spa also has a full-service hair salon, a manicure and pedicure area, a dedicated barber chair for men’s grooming, and a bridal suite. A retail boutique carries sophisticated beauty brands such as Natura Bisse, an exclusive range from Spain, French aromatherapy line Decleor, the American Ayurvedic range Sundari, and Comfort Zone products for men from Italy.
About Grand Velas All Suites & SPA Resort Riviera Maya
Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort Riviera Maya represents the latest and most sophisticated iteration of the ultra-luxury, all-inclusive resort experience. Building on the success of its AAA 5-Diamond-ranked sister property in Nuevo Vallarta, this Leading Hotels of the World designated resort is the preeminent one of its class boasting 493 suites, each more than 1,000 square-feet, in three separate ambiances– adult-only ocean-front and ocean-view Ambassador Grand Class Suites, family-friendly ocean-front and ocean-view Ambassador Suites and Master Suites embraced by the flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula’s jungle. The resort presents a gastronomic tour of the Yucatan, Europe and Asia offering seven restaurants with world-class chefs from France, Spain and Mexico; dedicated butler service for each guest; and a 91,457 square-foot convention center ideal for business and social gatherings of all sizes, including weddings. The resort was designed by lauded Mexican architecture firm Elias and Elias AR and features the sleek and modish interiors that fuse the serenity of the Caribbean with the vibrancy of Yucatan cultures. The resort is 40 miles from Cancun International Airport and five minutes from Playa del Carmen. For more information on Mexico’s most refined Caribbean sojourn, visit www.grandvelas.com.