Mexico’s most enchanting new spa retreat, Chablé Resort & Spa is filled with soul-lifting surprises: Parota trees hung with lanterns; wild iguanas scampering about; and fireflies flickering in the moonlight. There’s nothing abstemious about it; no fixed meal times nor calorie restrictions. Here, it’s all about living well, enjoying the moment and fully immersing oneself in nature. The sprawling 750-acre estate took 12 years to convert into what it is today: a five-star wellness retreat overflowing with charisma. With fitness classes, facials and feel-good vibes to rival the world’s top spas, there’s no limit to the health benefits of a stay at Chablé.
Splendidly away from it all, tucked down a long rural track, Chablé is about 27 miles (44km) from the pleasant city of Mérida (served by daily flights from Mexico City). In the surrounding area, there are crumbling haciendas to visit and freshwater sinkholes (or cenotes) to swim in, and further afield, ancient Mayan ruins lie in wait, perfect for a day trip. The closest beach is an hour away.
Accommodation at Chablé
Mexico City-based interior designer Paulina Moran has taken a whimsical but bold approach to Chablé. At the heart of the resort lies a restored hacienda filled with original features, quirky antique tiles and cool contemporary art. It houses a bar, library and reception area.
Casitas feature petit private pools
Accommodation comes in the form of 40 individual casitas decked out in smooth limestone, sisal matting and soft linens broken up by flashes of topaz and jade. They are vast, cool and high-tech, enveloped on all four sides by giant leaves and snaking branches. Featuring walk-in closets, spacious living areas and large outdoor patios with lap pools and dining/lounging spaces, you could easily hole in one up for several days. Bathrooms – essentially gleaming glass boxes, but with WC thankfully partitioned – benefit from dual indoor and outdoor waterfall showers and an excellent range of amenities created especially for Chablé from organic ingredients. All guests are provided with Havaianas and stylish linen rucksacks.
Facilities in the spa 9/10
Twelve modern treatment pavilions jut out over an ancient cenote encircled by dense vegetation and hanging vines. The whole spa is a love letter to nature, with the gentle creaking of trees and chorus of doves and Chic Buls audible from every corner. The only downside to the spa’s magical location is the high volume of mosquitos (it’s best to keep the sliding doors closed). The spa has its own infinity pool, fitness studio and gym. Complimentary morning classes (from 7am-12pm) include yoga, matt Pilates, combat fitness, salsa dancing, HIIT, spin and animal motion. There’s also a steam room, sauna, flotation room and salt chamber plus an al fresco restaurant serving gluten-free and vegan dishes and a selection of smoothies. Beyond the spa, there’s a 1.4km running/biking trail and a tennis court. A beauty salon is currently under construction.
Stylish, glass-walled bathrooms are one of the property’s hallmarks
The treatments 9/10
Complementing the high doses of chlorophyll and Vitamin D you absorb here, all Naturopathica and Body Bliss products used in the spa are natural and there’s a small spa kitchen for blending your own herbal compresses using local ingredients. Treatments vary from western-style lymphatic flow massages and remineralising facials to eastern therapies using precious stones and energy lines. For something more outré, and cleansing on a deeper emotional level, Temazcal ceremonies are conducted upon request in one of three igloo-like ‘sweat lodges’ dotted around the estate. These rituals, carried out by visiting shamans, combine chanting, drumming, fire and very high temperatures, and are not for the faint-hearted.
Yoga at Chablé
Food & drink 9/10
Excellent. From the Mexican pastries and fresh fruit delivered to your villa each morning as a friendly wake-up call, to the hand-rolled tortillas served in traditional leks (hollowed-out gourdes), every dish is prepared with love and local flair. Canchés (raised beds) provide herbs and vegetables for the kitchen, and the sizzling flavour combinations are down to chef Jorge Vellejo (of Quintonil, Mexico City). Wholesome fibrous dishes are served with smashed black beans, green chilli sauce and corn every way, and there’s always plenty of avocado and lime knocking around. For formal dining, flaming-hot Ixi’im restaurant provides a modern spin on traditional Yucatán recipes – and plenty of tequila.
The resort’s garden
Doubles at Chablé Resort & Spa (+52 55 4161 3085) start from £870 in low season; rising to £1,700 in high season, including breakfast. Facials from $180 for 60 minutes, massages from $180 for 60 minutes.
Red Savannah offers a week at Chablé Resort & Spa from £3,346 per person including breakfast, return flights with British Airways and Aero Mexico, and private airport transfers.