The months of August, September, and October are considered the season of birth and renewal at Maroma Bay, on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, because this is the time of year when giant green sea turtles come ashore to lay and hatch their eggs. Jose Luis Moreno set out to cultivate a year-round feeling of rejuvenation similar to that which the turtles’ ritual evokes when he acquired a 200-acre beachfront land parcel on the bay and established his Maroma Resort and Spa, initially as a private retreat for family and friends.
An architect by trade and a spiritualist by nature, Moreno now seeks to impart this sense of renewal through the Mayan healing treatments offered at the recently opened Kinan Spa and through an architectural design scheme that also originated with the Mayans.
Adhering to a distinctive architectural style that they called “sacred geometry,” the Mayans designed their buildings—particularly their temples—with peaked roofs, etched stone, and cool, cavernous interiors, in the belief that such structures would lift the human spirit and engage the imagination. These design elements dominate Moreno’s Yucatán hideaway. “What we believe comes out in our work,” he says.
The property’s Kinan Spa is oriented due east, toward the rising sun, as are the Mayan pyramids at nearby Tulum and Chichén Itzá. (Kinan means “source of the sun” in Maya.) “Every building has been aligned to astrological settings to ensure proper energy flow and to create an environment where the body and soul are at peace,” explains Moreno.
Among the spa’s treatments is an Arvigo abdominal massage that incorporates a technique practiced for centuries by Mayan healers. The massage is performed in a slow, penetrating manner, relaxing muscle tissue in the entire abdominal area, where Mayans believe emotions are stored.
The Maya Touch massage is intended to accelerate healing by balancing the life force known in Chinese as ch’i and in Mayan as ch’ul through the placement of sacred Maya seeds on key points of the body. The seeds have been used for medicinal purposes in the Yucatán for centuries.
The most sacred Mayan tradition practiced at the spa is the use of a temazcal, or steam house, which is similar to a Native American sweat lodge. As the sun sets, individuals or small groups dressed in white cotton caftans enter a small pyramid-shaped structure that is heated inside with lava rocks. The temazcalera closes the door and, in the darkened space, she chants, sings, and sweats along with the guests. After you spend 45 minutes in perspiration-soaked reflection that is intended to cleanse you of the past and prepare you for the future, the temazcalera swings open the wooden, east-facing door, and you emerge and cool off in the Caribbean Sea just a few feet away, feeling physically, if not spiritually, renewed.
Maroma Resort and Spa, 866.454.9351, www.maromahotel.com