CHABLE RESORT & SPA
BEST FOR: A RELAXED APPROACH TO WELLNESS
NOT FOR: THOSE WHO HATE THE HEAT – IT’S PRETTY HOT AND HUMID ALL YEAR ROUND
Set bang in the middle of the Yucatán jungle is Mexico’s shiny new destination-spa jungle retreat. A short half hour hop from the state capital Mérida, this slick hotel is all about health meets hedonism. With everything from brilliant yoga, an exceptional spa and world-class treatment menu to fabulous food, quirky cocktails and the world’s largest tequila collection.
Weaving through the Mayan village of Chocholá, bumping along a lengthy dirt track, past turkey farms and scrappy jungle, you can’t believe a super swish hotel could exist within such modest surroundings, but it does. A pretty lantern-lit path leads you to the main house – a converted 19th-century hacienda. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful: bright red and fabulously grand – so typical of the era’s splendour. Step inside and the main house has been lovingly and lavishly restored to its former glory – floors decorated with zingy hand-made tiles in a rainbow of colours from bright yellows and blues to pretty pastel pinks. The soaring ceilings complete with original wooden beams are offset by mod-Mexican furnishings: plush fabrics, patterned upholstery and local trinkets.
There are so many places to chill here – the long veranda which overlooks the perfectly manicured walled garden is one of the many places to kick back with a cocktail (a smoky cinnamon-infused margarita is a must). Every part of the hotel has been respectfully and painstakingly reinstated, incorporating as many of the hacienda’s original features as possible and the gardens brilliantly reflect this: the soaring gateways and gnarled umbrella trees frame the rolling lawn and lead through to a hidden lagoon and poolside restaurant.
Discreetly dotted amongst the lush flora and jungly palms are the 40 hidden villas. As with everything at Chablé, it’s all about complete contrasts: from the old-worldy charm of the hacienda, the individual casitas are cool and contemporary but totally in tune with the spectacular setting. Designed by the award-winning architect Jorge Borja and interior designer Paulina Morán (Las Estancias), each villa is built with white roughhewn limestone, floor-to-ceiling glass and comes with a private sparkly turquoise infinity pool. Inside, the interiors set the standard with modern art, bright fabrics and crisp linen. The bathrooms are magnificent with vast outdoor monsoon showers, huge polished stone basins and more glass. Cute touches set this place apart – guests are given their own Havaianas flip flops in Chablé’s signature jungle green hue which are perfect for mooching from room to spa.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a medical MOT or simply want to indulge in spot of pampering, Chablé caters for both the dedicated detoxer and those wanting to relax and unwind with a few mega massages along the way. The spa is state-of-the art and as spoiling as they come, once again fusing more gleaming limestone architecture but built to cleverly incorporate a private and natural Cenote. The freshwater sinkholes are considered sacred by the Mayans and the natural pool formation inspires every part of the spa. The Mayan-themed treatments, ancient healing techniques and local ingredients are mixed with modern know-how and access to a glossy new high-tech gym. There are nine treatment rooms, a steam room, sauna, salt cabin, floatarium and spa restaurant serving all sorts of delicious ‘clean-eating’ dishes such as amaranth and seed toast with microgreens from the Chablé Maya Gardens.
From chakra re-balancing therapy and a myriad of Mayan-inspired massages to first-rate facials using native ingredients, the extensive treatment menu is top notch. Choose a tailor-made package: The Chablé Signature Ritual aims to purify the body for internal balance – combining a Mayan welcome ceremony and spine-tingly scrub using herbal salts and volcanic clay. The Forest Detox Massage is a real highlight: the spa savvy therapists use deliciously-scented oils to rhythmically knead every limb top-to-toe. When it comes to fitness, Carlos, the personal trainer is on hand to create a bespoke plan to kick start your body and mind transformation. From hardcore 30 minute HIIT classes to personalised pilates, the spa’s fitness offering is outstanding. Soul-searchers will adore the ultra-healing yoga which takes place daily at the cenote, real-deal sun-rise meditation outside the hacienda and soothing stretch classes.
Foodies will love Chablé. With chef Jorge Vallejo of famed Mexico City restaurant Quintonil at the helm, you can eat and drink really well here. There are three restaurants, Ixi’Im, Ki’Ol located poolside and the spa restaurant. The ever-changing daily menu is always designed using the hotel’s own organic vegetables, herbs and the best locally sourced ingredients. The menus are concise and interesting, offering eats such as white cucumber, black aguachile, raw shrimp and scallop ceviche and the focus on wellness runs through each dish on offer. Breakfast is a real highlight: create your own fresh veg juice (we love the vibrant greens) and snack on scrumptious avocado on toast with tabasco and celestún salt. Pure Bliss.
CONTACT: +52 55 41613085; www.chableresort.com
PRICE: Prices start from £835 per night based on double occupancy. Includes breakfast
NEAREST AIRPORT: Merida
TRANSFER TIME: 45 mins
First-Hand Visit Write-Up By: Arabella Dupont