Chablé Resort & Spa, Mexico
Traditional Mayan culture, architecture and philosophy meet five-star luxury and elegance at this secluded resort in the middle of the Mayan forest on Mexico’s Yucantán Peninsula. Tonje Odegard reports…
Located just outside the historic city of Mérida in southern Mexico, Chablé stretches across more than 750 acres in the Mayan forest, providing the utmost privacy and tranquillity. Embedded in rich history and tradition, the design and offerings guarantee an authentic experience with immersive luxury.
Designed by Paulina Moran of Paulina Moran Design, the resort houses some incredible solutions that are intriguing and aesthetically pleasing, which pays homage to the area’s heritage and traditions.
Overall, natural colours inspired by the hotel’s surroundings have been chosen, which allow for bold and bright colours such as greens, blues and turquoises to be used for the interior details. Materials such as natural stone, wood and metals have been complemented with the use of glass doors to add a more modern feel. The giant floor-to-ceiling windows, which give panoramic views of the dramatic forest outside, allow the greenery to become part of the interior, which is very clever.
The main room is gorgeous – the traditional tiles in an orange shade contrast the otherwise calmness of cream, yellow and brown while the striking lighting feature and the paintings bring the interiors together. It leads into the library, which has a marvellous table made out of a whole tree trunk.
The hotel is comprised of 38 luxurious stand-alone pool casitas, a huge Presidential Suite and an even bigger Royal Presidential Suite. Traditional haciendas have been restored to reflect the culture of the local area, and been integrated into the design.
The stand-alone pool villas have outdoor showers with views of the lush vegetation, and large outdoor living rooms. All of them feature modern touches incorporated with Mayan architecture – warm woods and original 19th century walls of the working hacienda are what make the Chablé a work of art.
The casitas are also fitted with dreamy, custom-made hammocks made of pure cotton which add another blend between luxurious pampering and casual relaxation, and it works as a great design feature too.
The sinks in the bathrooms and the ceramic pieces in the casitas were all hand-made especially for the hotel. The green colour used on the inside of the sinks is inspired by the water found in the surrounding caves, where the spa is built, and the outer brown colour is inspired by the earth.
The decorative pillows are locally made with hand-embroidery from the Merida community. The pattern is traditionally Mexican and seen throughout the resort in wallpapers, soft furnishings and decorations.
The expansive three-bedroom Presidential Suite is more than 8,000 square ft. and features a dining room, living room, outdoor Jacuzzi, lounging areas, pool, private gardens and butler service.
Covering more than 10,000 square ft., this three-bedroom Royal Presidential Suite offers a dining room, living room, spa suite, private gym, media room, private bar and butler kitchen. Outdoor, there is a large pool, dining area, Jacuzzi, lounging areas and private gardens.
The headboard in the main bedroom is formed of the root of a fallen tree the designers found in the hacienda. They recovered it, sanded it, waxed and polished it to enhance the beauty of the wood. The result is stunning.
All the sink structures and the bathtubs in the two suites were made by hand of quarry stone by the locals from Dzitya, a small town near the hotel.
The tubs are lit from above, giving the effect the stone is standing on top of a hot fire, giving a feel of sitting in hot springs.
The Destination Spa at Chablé is considered the hotel’s ‘crown jewel’ as the innovative spa is the first one to be built around a ‘cenote’ – natural cave formations commonly associated with the Yucatán Peninsula, which is considered to be sacred by the Mayans. Residing in the heart of the region, the spa invites guests to enter a mystical world steeped in ancient heritage and wisdom.
The philosophy of the world-class spa draws from this ancient culture to offer a wide range of Mayan-inspired spa treatments, harnessing the powers of the area’s most ancient techniques and ingredients.
The casitas are more like deluxe villas, and play an essential part of the spa experience of harmoniously blending nature, luxury, wellness and an unmistakable sense of place.
The Spa offers nine treatment rooms, a steam room, a sauna, a salt cabin and a floatarium. In addition, the facility offers guests warm and cold whirlpools, a water circuit with varying types of shower pressures, a relaxation area and a pool.
It’s a spa that blends ancient mysticism with modern curiosity to bring out a new language of wellbeing. The spa menu is structured around creating an experience of three main themes: the ‘Fountain of Youth: Flow’ for relaxing and rhythmical exploration; the ‘Tree of Life: Balance’ for purifying and de-stressing; and ‘Heaven on Earth: Inspire’ to practise heart-openings and connections.
Drinking and dining
The food outlets source many of their ingredients straight from the hotel’s on-site gardens. The food is inspired by the traditional and flavoursome Mayan cuisine and presented in an ultra-modern and sophisticated way.
Ixim, the main dining venue, located in the Main House, has some incredible floors. Taken from old French designs, Paulina Moran personally hand-painted and re-coloured them in a more modern pallete. Creating a truly striking affect, it’s matched perfectly by the views of tall, dramatic trees outside, seen through giant floor-to-ceiling windows.
The stone walls are adorned with transparent cupboards displaying fine bottles while beautiful light clusters of dark, half-moon pendant lamps add a contemporary touch to the room. The outdoor dining area adjunct to the restaurant blends seamlessly with the surrounding trees, creating an organic and relaxed atmosphere.
Ki’le, the second restaurant in the hotel, is a more casual dining venue. Tree roots, outdoor tables in the pool, lush greenery and lanterns hanging from the trees make this a fresh and peaceful place to eat.
Chablé is also home to the world’s largest tequila collection, including some exclusive vintages, stored in their expansive cellar, which also lends itself as a perfect private dining and drinking venue. This is mostly due to the striking solution the designers have chosen to store the tequila bottles – reaching from the floor, up the wall and the length of the ceiling above the dining table, are shelves in a wavy construction, forming an art piece in itself.
Chablé is a wonderful resort that has continuity in the design, without becoming repetitive – although the colour scheme is the same, the details make the different areas unique. Overall, Chablé Resort & Spa is a beautiful marriage of wellness, serenity, luxury, design, tradition and heritage.