In Mexico City you don’t need to sacrifice small luxuries while travelling; no matter what your budget, you’ll find a spa experience to suit you and believe me, you will deserve it after a few days of accustoming to the magnitude, magnificence and mayhem of Mexico City.
As can be expected when visiting any of the world’s biggest cities, visitors to Mexico City can wind up somewhat stressed as a result of all the noise, chaos, traffic and pollution, not to mention all the walking between attractions at high altitude that can easily take its toll on even the fittest of bodies, or so I keep telling myself. So, what better way to calm chaotic minds and revive tired legs than with a visit to one of the city’s many spa options?
Aztec and Mayan civilisations knew the benefits of purifying and pampering the body and many modern treatments are influenced by pre-Hispanic traditions. Even for those of you who don’t normally indulge in spa treatments back home, after a few days of keeping up with the pace of DF, a spa experience is wholly justified in my opinion.
With the aim of providing fellow travellers with an overview of what’s on offer in the city, I selflessly visited three very different spas geared towards various budgets for my video post: The luxurious Spa Marquis located in the five-star Marquis Reforma hotel, the fun and economic Chen Zhi-Fu oriental massage spa in Colonia Juarez, and the medium-range Real Clinic and Spa located in the Parque Tezontle shopping centre in one of city’s suburbs.
Mexico City’s largest day spa is located within the exquisite Marquis Reforma Hotel. As the name suggests, the hotel is located along the elegant Paseo de la Reforma and the spa’s swimming pool, with its glass atrium reveals just enough of the avenue’s famed skyscrapers to allow you to gloat in your bubble of tranquillity. Covering 16,000 square feet and including 10 treatment rooms, the spa also offers visitors a hydrotherapy tub, Swiss shower, Jacuzzi, steam bath, pool and sauna, a fitness centre and a beauty salon.
As much as I would have loved to have tried out each of their 60 treatments including, facials, massages, treatments and scrubs, I had to settle for just one and decided upon the relaxing aromatic massage using grape seed oil blended with my choice of aromatic oil.
The Spa Marquis is Mexico City’s only Leading Spa-certified facility and the service was explanatory. The areas were lush and luxurious and I loved the fresh flowers everywhere, from the superb heady bouquet on the welcome desk to the single rose on my saucer as I sipped my jasmine tea. Between the magic touch of the masseuse’s hands and the cloud-like texture of the duvet I was covered with, I was soon drooling in ecstasy and genuinely resented having to return to reality.
If budget wasn’t an option, I’d have gone for their signature treatment – a Cleopatra-inspired Egyptian Bath package described to me by the receptionist as a hydrating bath filled with real milk that is transformed into fragrant foam in the water.
Overall the Spa Marquis is an excellent option for those travellers to Mexico City who have budgeted for five-star luxuries, however budget should not deter anyone in need of a little TLC in this city; the possibilities are endless, as you’ll see below.
Chen Zhi-Fu Salon de Masajes
Chen Zhi-Fu oriental massage spa in Colonia Juarez offers Chinese, French and Thai massage, reflexology, ionic detoxification and chiropractic, all at extremely reasonable prices. I received a vivacious welcome by the friendly owner before being given a fetching pair of culottes and matching shirt (all patrons must don this attire) and a hot mug of chamomile tea made with real flowers to sip as I relaxed with my feet in a foot spa.
I was then led to the reflexology zone where I flitted between pleasure and pain as the therapist correctly identified and manipulated areas corresponding to my malfunctioning organs. Half an hour later I was led to the massage room for a 40 minute Chinese massage that involved lots of much needed stretching, pulling and cracking. There are a number of beds here so you can go in a group and be stretched, pulled and cracked in unison, like a bunch of very lazy synchronised swimmers (see my video post).
I paid around $25 USD for over an hour of pampering (a bargain in my opinion), and its location means you only have to struggle your way along a few blocks from the historic centre to be transported far from the chaos. My trip to the Spa Marquis was a one-off in the name of research but I am certain that I’ll return to Chen Zhi-Fu before leaving Mexico City.
Real Clinic and Spa
If you’re the type that needs further pampering having shopped ‘til you’ve dropped, just check out the website of the shopping centre you plan to visit and you’ll see that many of them include spas offering a lot of the same treatments you’d find in a day spa. You can self-indulge to your heart’s content under a single roof.
I happened to find myself at Parque Tezontle, a shopping centre located in one of the suburbs of the city while I was preparing for this post and thought I’d use the opportunity to visit a spa in a shopping centre.
It was like stepping into another world as I closed the door on the incessant mall music outside. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was genuinely surprised to find a sauna, relaxation area, treatment rooms and showering area behind the tiny reception area.
I was equally surprised by both the quality and quantity of treatments available. I’d been wanting to incorporate a pre-Hispanic aspect into my ritual, so I chose to be wrapped in chocolate having been cleansed and exfoliated first.
Once smeared in annoyingly aromatic yet inedible chocolate, I was wrapped in what looked like an inflatable sleeping bag and left to drool as I drifted between blissful wakefulness and even more blissful sleep. I love a good power shower and once wakened it was time to blast off the chocolate in the peaceful, dimly-lit bathroom that prolonged the experience just a little longer before reluctantly heading out into the fluorescent shopping centre lights again.
Don’t forget to check my tips section for more details on the spas visited.