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Grand Fiesta Americana
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Gem Spa Unveils Maya-Inspired Spa Treatments
By Michelle da Silva Richmond

Since its origins as a sacred spot in the Maya Empire, Cancun and the Riviera Maya have morphed into an increasingly popular destination for travelers with a penchant for primeval pleasures.

Ancient rites and rituals – many of them focusing on healing the psyche as well as the body – are alive and well along these sultry shores, allowing modern-day road warriors a chance to kick back and indulge in mystical spa treatments, guaranteed to cure what ails you.

Fortunately, Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach’s award-winning Gem Spa recently debuted some of these ancient remedies in a slate of newly launched treatments.

Drawing on a host of time-honored ingredients, along with the respected skin care line – Forlle’d – the palatial Gem Spa is showcasing the area’s rich heritage with an array of tranquilizing massages, soothing facials and relaxing wraps, sure to energize the body’s seven spiritual “power points,” known as chakras.


Fit for royalty, this treatment softens and revitalizes skin while incorporating vanilla, used by the Maya as an offering to the gods. It starts with a gentle exfoliation, followed by a tangerine and vanilla mask applied by using specialized massage techniques.


The Maya used chaya, a native plant from the Yucatán Peninsula, as a medicinal herb for centuries. Known for its soothing and restorative properties, it is an excellent remedy for sunburned or stressed skin. A gentle body exfoliation is paired with an invigorating massage using a chaya-based mud.


Also known as the “Yoga Massage,” this curative therapy has been taught, practiced and handed down through generations in Thailand for more than 2,500 years. Thai therapists combine acupressure and stretching techniques, allowing the body’s internal energy to flow more freely, while releasing toxins.

MESOTHERAPY FACIAL by Forlle’d – 80 minutes

Designed or both men and women, this distinctive advanced facial treatment using Mesotherapy, produces an excellent “lift” with a pronounced rejuvenating effect on the skin. Visible results include plumped up, firmer and tighter skin.


Relaxing sounds of the Caribbean beckon as you’re lulled into a deep state of relaxation guaranteed to rejuvenate both body and spirit. The treatment begins with a Caribbean shell massage designed to ease muscle tension. Following the massage, women can indulge in the Amber and Gold Facial, while men can opt for the rich Maya Emperor Facial.

Hydrotherapy Ritual –

Included at no charge to any spa treatment is the 10-step Hydrotherapy Ritual, which incorporates an aromatherapy steam room, clay steam room, ice room, polar plunge and pebble walkway, ending in the comforting “pool of sensations.”

The healing properties of hydrotherapy are based on the “thermal effects” they offer. Generally, heat quiets and soothes the body, slowing down the activity of internal organs. Cold, on the other hand, stimulates and invigorates, increasing internal activity. The combination guarantees a feeling of well-being overall.

The healing Hydrotherapy Ritual begins with a “guided circuit,” starting in the aromatherapy steam room, where you’re enveloped by a sea of warm aromatic steam. Following, step into a multi-jet cold water shower to awaken your senses and close your pores before you’re led into a clay steam room, where you’ll start feeling your exhaustion peel away. When you’re done, rinse off under the water jets of a tepid rain shower, before stepping into the warm embrace of a hot sauna.

A hot sauna and frosty ice room follow – to close your pores and accelerate your metabolism. The final steps take you to a bubbling hot Jacuzzi and a brief ice water plunge, ending in a pebble walk with soft warm water jets caressing your calves and toes.

The “grand finale” lands  you in the Pool of Sensations, where you soak in a large pool filled with bubbles, geysers, waterfalls and cervical water jets, designed to massage your body in four different stages.

When you’re done, chill out in the luxurious relaxation lounge area on plush lounges where fresh juices and fruit await.