There are numerous wellness retreats dotted around the world but it’s hard to find one more comprehensive than SHA Spain, named World’s Best Wellness Clinic 2023 at the World Spa Awards, for its array of wellness/medical analyses and regimens including some pretty esoteric ones. (A notable one I discovered during a stay there: post traumatic stress disorder treatment for kidnapped Russian oligarchs.) All aspects of this clinic are exacting from the skills of the practitioners to the culinary creations, engineered for nutritional aims but with complexity and flavor. It’s casual, though: everyone pads around in their terry robes even in the dining room (with the exception of some women who were dressed to the nines with furs.) And for those who want to experience the benefits of their approach closer to the U.S., a new SHA is opening in Mexico in January; reservations opened this week.
Located in Costa Mujeres on a secluded stretch of the Mexican Caribbean, SHA Mexico incorporates a scenic, serene, waterfront location along the lines of SHA Spain’s on the Mediterranean. Lush tropical zen gardens, infinity pools, a powdery beach, a natural cenote (a sinkhole exposing groundwater, often the site of Mayan rituals) and the largest coral reef in the hemisphere beneath striking turquoise water set the stage.
After initial consultations and tests, the programs begin; four personalized health programs will be offered, similar to the 15 year old Spanish flagship, ranging from four to 21 days (the seven day programs can be booked for additional weeks.) The four day Rebalance & Energize uses technologies and treatments to decrease stress and increase vitality. The seven day Detox & Optimal Weight (with an additional Intensive Detox & Optimal Weight) analyzes metabolic indicators, detoxes the system for optimal health and promotes physical activity to enhance the body’s natural detoxification and achieve an ideal weight. The seven day Well Aging & Prevention aims to slow down the aging process and improve physical appearance and vitality through a combination of natural therapies, traditional Asian medicine, nutrition and well aging medicine. The seven day Leader’s Performance combines scientific and holistic medicine to reduce stress and regenerate cognitive health. Each program is curated through disciplines including holistic medicine, advanced preventive diagnostics and healthy nutrition with ways to continue the program after checking out provided by SHA’s Healthy Living Academy.
The culinary program is also in line with the mothership’s offering menus tailored to each guest’s program but all designed to be healthy, balanced and alkaline utilizing local, organic and seasonal ingredients in ambitious, sophisticated combinations in the main restaurant SHAmadi. Unlike the Spanish center, though, SHA Mexico will also have a second restaurant called Earthy dedicated to live fire cooking with a focus on seafood. It will also be available to non guests when it opens in March.
The accommodations were designed to blend contemporary design with traditional crafts of the region such as textiles and ceramics and to bring the greens and blues of the outdoors in. They number 100 rooms and suites, all with private balconies, and 35 two-to-four bedroom residences, a number of which have private pools and access to the beach. Other facilities include a fitness studio, yoga and meditation sanctuaries, tennis courts, movement studios and a jogging track. But there’s also room for entertainment: a games room and movie theater are also on the grounds to wind down after all the healthy work.