Ixtapan Spa Resort and Hotel
Vacation at This Resort & Spa Bargain
Here’s your chance to vacation at an all-inclusive spa which harkens back to the days when women spent their vacations and holidays at gracious, old style health resort and spas.
The Ixtapan Spa Hotel and Resort in Ixtapan de la Sal, one of Mexico’s 100 colonial cities, meets the definition of an old fashioned health resort, where spa goers happily de-camp to a true resort and spa far, far away from daily travails.
I choose to vacation and work out at this resort and spa two hours south of Mexico City because my mom went there and raved about it as a great holiday value.
It’s definitely a bargain, given that for the price of four days at this all-inclusive spa is less than what you’d drop in one day at your local day spa.
The Cost of 8 Days At This Resort & Spa
Most spa and hotels nowadays are nickel and diming you with upgrades and extras piled on top of your all-inclusive spa tariff. But here’s what I got for my 8 day package, including all spa meals, my room, classes and activities:
- 7 nights in a huge room with balcony
- 3 meals per day (spa menu or regular dining)
- Classes throughout the day: yoga, water aerobics, Pilates, Salsa, Zumba
- 6 massages, 3 facials, 3 reflexology treatments
- A Loofa Scrub and Fango Mud treatment
- Manicure, pedicure & hairstyle
- Guided morning hikes
- 3 optional tennis lessons
- A day trip to Taxco
- All taxes
- Round trip airport shuttle to the Mexico City airport
There’s also a golf course if you wish to play a round or take lessons.
How Much is the Damage For All This?
I paid only US$1549 for a single room; it’s $1399 for a double. That’s a huge discount over the thousands I’d pay across the border.
As for extras, the only thing I had to shell out during my week were tips for services, three or four bucks for my massage or facial.
Am I Crazy?
Am I crazy? What about the drug wars, the scary headlines?
The answer is no.
I traveled with other norteamericanas from the U.S. and Canada aged from their 30s to an 83-year old San Franciscan on her second visit. In fact, this resort and spa enjoys an extremely high return rate. I watched new arrivals greet the staff like newfound relatives, kissing and hugging. And the staff here is superlative, full of Mexican warmth and hospitality. Whoever trained them did an excellent job.
And, during the resort and spa’s 70th anniversary year, I saw that, despite the age of the resort, it was constantly being cleaned. All areas, from your room to the spa treatment rooms, are pristine. The tropical grounds are meticulously maintained with waterfalls, two large pools, bars, outside spa dining and a shady, hot soaking spa pool.
There is a Downside
During the week, in spite of my overall great experience, I kept being reminded of the adage “You get what you pay for.” This is not the Golden Door or Rancho La Puerta. Or over the top like Las Vegas spas. The rooms, though very spacious, are older basic in the style of a Best Western. The bathroom was redone nicely but had little shelving or storage for all my girly stuff.
The meals were always fresh but the quality was spotty. One night an outstanding salmon in a cream sauce was placed before me and on another, a pedestrian, dry chicken breast in a watery tomato sauce.
The spa itself had a broken whirlpool tub and had, again, the basic design in a Best Western motif. The treatments were spotty, just as the meals were, and depended greatly upon the practitioner. Many practitioners told me that they had been working there for 15 or 20 years but some updating on training and methods would help. Because of lack of a whirlpool, I could opt to soak and shower at the upscale Holistic Spa.
The Holistic Spa
The Holistic Spa treatments are a pricey upgrade. Inside a separate building, you’ll find it just as clean as the other spa but the Zen-inspired elegance just felt better. A snack area offers water, juices or snacks in a waterfall-adorned lounge area. The offerings there were a big step up; for example, a hour’s Stone Massage is a far cry in quality over the basic Swedish at the regular spa.
I think if you want to save yourself thousands of dollars and skip the pricey U.S. and Canadian destination spas, you have a winner.
If you’re a little finicky (that’s me!), then go knowing that you’re not going to get the whole enchilada of a U.S. destination spa but a nice, low key Mexican spa and resort that’ll do the job.
If You Go to The Resort and Spa
Going with a group of women is more fun and you’ll save even more money on your spa getaway. I went with Destinations with Darlene, who’s been bringing groups down for years. I estimate I’ve saved over US$150.00 by going with her.
If you choose to go on your own, here are the packages:
7 Night Spa Classic (same amenities as described above):
4 Night Spa Classic:
You can reach Darlene Newton at Destinations With Darlene or call her at 559.924.2257. She leads groups down to Ixtapan del la Sal several times a year.
Next up… the little town of Ixtapan del la Sal.
Would you go? Tell me!