rice delights

Yhi Spa at Paradisus Playa del Carmen is wedged both physically and philosophically in the middle of the Cancan to Tulum hi-lo continuum, a potent reminder that sometimes it’s not about the brand but the breeding. Yhi might not be well known in the wellness world but that shouldn’t be taken as a reflection of it’s pedigree – or its commitment to authenticity. The signature treatments in this particular spa are a reminder that maize wasn’t the only grain prized by the local Mayans – they had quite the taste for rice, too. Beyond pairing it with beans, natch. Whether used as an extract or oil, its natural antioxidants were valued for inhibiting free radicals. Used as a water, rice has moisturizing and softening actions, improving the flexibility of skin with a healthy dose of Vitamin E. After an afternoon spent soaking up too much sun, Rice Delight proved the perfect palliative for me: a double dose of exfoliation and massage using rice in all its permutations. Rich in both proteins and amino acids, it left my skin as smooth as silk, proving that sometimes a happy medium is a happy place indeed.

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tulum

tulum beachOne of the best preserved coastal sites of the Maya, the walled city of Tulum is also one of the most heavily trafficked.  It’s proximity to the all-inclusive package pleasuredomes of Mexico’s Caribbean coast means that most any time of day you’ll find a bus – or five or ten – discharging armies of wristband wearing tourists who’ve somehow managed to drag themselves away from an endless supply of Corona and all you can eat beach buffets to see “the real Mexico.”  They’re  unavoidable.  So don’t trek to Tulum expecting to find a private moment communing with the spirits of an ancient civilization that is still – slowly – revealing its seemingly bottomless well of advanced knowledge and mystery.  Unless, of course, it raining.

the ruins of Tulum

the ruins of Tulum

the dense thicket of mangrove that surrounds the city

the dense thicket of mangrove that surrounds the city

one of the fortified gates for entering the walled city ruins

one of the city's fortified gates

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