Relaxation and release begin before you even reach the guest reception desk at Yaan Wellness Energy Spa, as you leave Tulum’s beach road and are surrounded by the soft chiming of bells and tendrils of white copal smoke, a sacred resin the Yucatan’s pre-Hispanic people burnt to access the divine. The epitome of Tulum’s original mystical, eco-chic vibe, Yaan offers a range of massage, detox, beauty and other modern spa treatments, but the true speciality and focus of the staff is energy healing via indigenous Mexican therapies and shamanistic wisdom.
Developed by the owners of Be Tulum, arguably the best hotel on Tulum beach, Yaan carries over the hotel’s impeccable boho luxe aesthetic, down to perfectly arranged, ubiquitous flower arrangements and wafting incense. Reception staff in floaty, beige-toned dresses hand you over to white smocked spa angels, who explain Yaan’s hour-long water circuit protocol (included in every booking). Using purified water from Tulum’s cenotes and applying the principles of contrast hydrotherapy to promote circulation and detoxification pre-treatment, you begin with 15 minutes in a steam room set with basins of rosemary-laced water, where you are offered a body scrub of honey, coconut oil, salt and sugar. This is followed by 30 (or 15, as the case may be) seconds under a frigid shower and a 10-minute sauna session. From the sauna guests move to a cool outdoor pool surrounded by palm trees with three massage jets targeting the legs, lower back and shoulders, and finish by reclining in the heated indoor pool while they wait for their therapist. (Note that the water suite accommodates both men and women.)
Many of Yaan’s deeply intuitive therapists come from families who have practiced Mayan energy and herbal healing for generations. Treatments are given in large garden cabanas with full wall windows adding to the sense of expansiveness, and incorporate flowers and herbs such as lavender, rue, arnica and sage grown in the spa’s organic rooftop garden.
Exclusive Mexican therapies include Aztec auric balancing and Sobada Maya, a traditional Mayan massage that uses native botanicals, copal smoke therapy, and deep tissue massage starting in the abdominal area to realign organs and foster physical, emotional and energetic release. We highly recommend adding a full 30-minute traditional energetic “limpia” to your treatment, where a therapist will clear your energy field using copal, fresh herbs, crystals and other sacred instruments and rub a shelled egg over your body, which is then cracked in a glass of water to diagnose emotional and physical blockages. A soothing floral or energizing citrus bath in a copper bathtub before you return to the water suite for tea, hot weighted neck pillows and lavender infused towelettes doesn’t hurt either.
In addition to unique Mayan energy cleanses, Yaan’s menu features reiki, sound therapy, life counseling, vibrational healing and more conventional spa offerings such as facials, body masks and colonics. For those who undergo indigenous healing rituals but don't speak Spanish, your therapist will partner with English speaking staff to translate the findings of your treatment. Of special note are the spa’s temazcal, or Mexican sweat lodge, ceremonies, which are held on certain moon calendar dates of each month and are typically booked out at least a month in advance (private sessions can also be arranged). Yaan also hosts drop-in yoga and meditation classes in its tree top studio.
Most visitors to Tulum are looking for some kind of mental, emotional or physical renewal, and if this is what you’re after (or if you just need to hit the reset button after a long night of partying in the jungle), Yaan is a one-of-a-kind, can’t miss experience. Plan to allocate at least four hours in this sun-dappled, luxurious tropical oasis that will melt your stress, open your mind and heal your spirit.