I’m not particularly into gyms, but I can spend hours in a spa. Even if I’m visiting for the occasional massage, I’ll carve out time to sample the sauna, read a magazine in the lounge and extend my stay for a little longer. Spas aren’t a huge part of my lifestyle, but they fascinate me nonetheless.
Part of the fascination is that I feel like it’s a club to which I don’t belong, so I’ve always got to peek behind the curtain and see what’s going on. The bigger reason is that there are so many interesting practices from different regions of the world on a spa menu. I feel like I’m traveling even by perusing the list of treatments.
One of the best spa experiences I’ve had was in the Riviera Maya. I’d been to the region once before, but focused on visiting the Mayan ruins in Chichen Itza, Tulum and Cobá—so any kind of spa experience was not on the agenda. But last fall, I was able to slow down and see how Mayan tradition is an essential part of the area’s spas.
Check out my feature article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the trip, and see if it doesn’t make you want to hit the spa—anywhere.