Guests who really want to maintain their fitness should consider booking a room that caters to them, such as the Wellness Suite at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit. // © 2017 Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Feature image (above): Sweating it out in a temazcal is a culturally immersive way to stay fit in Mexico. // © 2017 Hacienda Encantada Resort & Residences
It’s getting harder to invent excuses for not staying fit when you travel. In Mexico, as in many parts of the world, exercise options have extended far beyond old-fashioned gyms to include an array of open-air, outdoor activities, as well as guided classes and experiences that make the most of the local scenery.
Among the most authentically Mexican options for wellness is the “temazcal,” a modern variation of a pre-Hispanic sweat lodge. The idea of these guided experiences is to cleanse both the body and the mind (although those who suffer from claustrophobia may decide against it). A wide variety of Mexico hotels now offer temazcal experiences, including W Mexico City and The Westin Resort & Spa Cancun as well as Hacienda Encantada Resort & Residences and Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa, which are both in Los Cabos.
In addition to offering temazcal sessions, Westin Hotels & Resorts in Mexico also participates in a partnership with New Balance to loan athletic shoes and fitness apparel to hotel guests — so there goes the excuse of not having the right workout clothes.
Another health-oriented partnership is in place at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, which works with Les Mills — billed as the world’s largest provider of choreographed exercise-to-music group fitness classes — to offer an array of options for guests. A weekly visiting instructor provides three daily classes from a portfolio of 14 training programs, each of which is tailored to individual goals and experience levels.
This summer, Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya also debuted Camp Woodward Riviera Maya, which offers a variety of sporting activities and other programs — including snowboarding and indoor skiing. The facility includes more than 20,000 square feet of equipment, with skateboarding and BMX parks, a tumbling floor and even a DJ booth to keep the beat going.
Water plays a major role in the latest fitness programs at Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort, where AquaForza is the moniker given to a class that combines stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) with vinyasa-style yoga. While standing atop paddleboards in the resort’s lap pool or in the adults-only infinity pool, participants learn to use water, balance and healthy exercise challenges to develop muscles and improve blood circulation.
The crashing waves along Mexico’s Pacific coast can provide their own form of challenging exercise as well. W Punta de Mita offers a surfing program that includes private and group lessons, as well as souvenir GoPro photos as proof of how each guest conquers the great Pacific Ocean.
Fitness fanatics can bring their healthy interests right into the guestroom at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, where the Wellness Suites spread across two floors and are more than 1,600 square feet each. Designed for vacationers who want to “detoxify, de-stress and heal,” the accommodations are furnished with aromatherapy kits with electronic diffusers, as well as a Lifecycle recumbent bicycle and exercise kit. Guests staying here receive one 50-minute massage per person, per stay, and 25 minutes with an in-suite personalized trainer.
Several Mexico hotels offer one-time-only events and packages with a fitness focus. The all-inclusive, adults-only Beloved Playa Mujeres, located just north of Cancun, is hosting a decidedly multifaceted Wellness Week that runs Dec. 11-17. The program offers everything from a Wellness Gourmet Experience to wellness and nutrition workshops, a yoga “journey” and fitness and spa activities.
At CostaBaja Resort & Spa, located in La Paz, Baja California, guests can combine their interest in wellness with a desire to do good for the community, at the property’s La Paz SUP Social Good Retreat in March 2018. Hosted by yogi Michelle Gierst and eco-activist Juli Schulz, both of whom hail from Southern California, the program includes five nights of accommodations, as well as daily SUP outings, yoga and meditation classes and an excursion to swim with whale sharks, baby seals and manta rays. Also included are “social good sessions” in conjunction with Care for Kids La Paz, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of impoverished children and their families.