I like a good pampering as much as the next guy, but give me 10 activities to choose from at a resort and a massage will be far down the list. My wife feels differently, so thankfully she was along when we had a chance to experience what is now the best spa in Central America.
Mukul Resort in Nicaragua will blow away every conception you had about Nicaragua and the spa here is truly fantastic. Designed by industry legend Angel Vezina Stewart, who was responsible for the fantastic one at Las Ventanas in Los Cabos, came out of retirement to create this one, in six private treatment villas. My wife Donna was paying more attention than me to the details, so I let her do the honors of describing the experience on this post. Take it away!
We were instructed to truly experience the spa and all it had to offer. No complaints from me on that! In order to do so, Cristina, the concierge, said we should undoubtedly go for one of the signature spa experiences. We opted for the Indigenous Signature Experience in the Mukul Spa studio. Since we were in Nicaragua, we wanted to try this one based upon the wellness and healing practices of the Mesoamerican ancestry. Treatments in this one utilize the locally available plants, herbs, medicines, volcanic clays, and flowers incorporating them into their treatments.
After undressing and securing our clothing and personal belongings, we stepped into a steam room where we needed to stay for at least 10 minutes to let our pores open up and breathe. Sitting on the cool tile bench, with designs from artisans in Granada, I closed my eyes and breathed deeply as the steam swirled around us and the sweat began to cover our bodies.
With pores sufficiently open and ready for treatment, we climbed atop a massage table draped with a large foil sheet. That was to protect the sheets underneath from the wet volcanic clay that was put all over our skin. Drying quickly, the clay’s minerals soaked into our skin detoxifying the impurities and relaxing our muscles. Afterwards the clay was rubbed off in circular motions, acting as a skin buffer, sloughing off dead skin cells. Finished with the rubbing and buffing, our therapists/assistants wrapped us up in the foil sheet and led us over to an outdoor shower, with views of the pristine beach below, Underneath the showerhead spray we rinsed and rubbed off the remaining black clay from our bodies.
From there we soaked in the warm “Florecidas,” or flower bath. In a large white tub big enough for the both of us, we soaked among the flowers and sliced citrus fruits meant to relax and cleanse the body and spirit. (I took advantage of the natural acidic properties of the fruit slices and rubbed my dry elbows, knees and heels as well). There was also a swimming pool with a view of the beach and ocean, but heated to Jacuzzi temperature.
Smelling fresh and with skin glowing, we toweled off and relaxed on the lounges in our hooded terrycloth robes. Sipping on fruit juice and nibbling on a light fruit snack, we laid back with views from our hilltop patio, taking in the bright blue sky, the dark blue ocean and the creamy brown sand. Sounds of crashing surf and birds flitting from the tree tops made the experience all that more exotic and enjoyable.
Eventually making our way back inside, our spa attendants were waiting for us. First they rubbed a lotion into our bodies to seal in the benefits and effects of the previous two treatments. Now it was time to be massaged! The women gave us what we wanted, asking how we liked our pressure and what type of massage we preferred. I don’t know how long we were on that table but it was heavenly. Massaged with local coconut oil, our bodies felt like limp noodles when they were done.
The final part of the 180 minute experience ended with a brief facial, including a facial massage. Then back into the hooded robes and back outside on the patio lounge where we had yet another fruit drink and a small snack of fruit and sushi. Feeling fresh and clean and relaxed in both body and spirit as the Mukul Spa promises, it was hard to pull ourselves away from this serene place.
The spa offers six distinct spa treatment villas, with no common areas shared by guests. We toured the Hamam one, pictured here, to get a look at what one of the others was like. You can see more photos and treatment descriptions at the Mukul Resort website.