An Amazing Spa Experience in the Jungles of Belize!
There are spas and there are spas.
And then there are extraordinary spas, places that not only make you feel wonderful while you’re there, but give a lasting impression that stays with you long after you’ve left.
I found one in Bali, one in Thailand, and another near Sedona, Arizona. But my latest discovery was perhaps the most pleasantly surprising of all. Maybe that’s in part because it was so unexpected, but what really made the Hilltop Spa at the Lodge at Chaa Creek in Belize stand out was the combination of elements that all worked together to create an experience that can only be described as magical.
First, there’s the location. We originally went to Chaa Creek on a sort of second honeymoon after an intense few months of working, house hunting and caring for family member. We were both under stress and needed a break, and we needed it together.
We’d heard of Chaa Creek, and got a favourable impression after checking them out on Trip Advisor. And then, when we saw a post on their Belize Travel Blog about specialising in romantic adventures (and actually having a romance specialist), we were sold.
It didn’t take long after arriving to realise that we made the right choice. The thatched-roof rooms are beautifully decorated and surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the meals are exquisite and healthy, using ingredients they grow in their own organic gardens. And even though we were happy to just go on walks, swim in the pool and spend time together, activities like horseback riding and canoeing turned out to be more fun and romantic than we would have thought.
But onto my biggest discovery – the spa.
I love spas, and don’t mind confessing that I’m a sucker for pampering. To have someone who knows what they’re doing go over your body, caressing out the kinks and strains, anointing your skin with aromatic oils and loosing up muscles and joints is my idea of heaven, and why I seek out spas wherever we travel.
So I was booked into the Hilltop Spa our second day at Chaa Creek. And I was back the third day with my husband, and returned again on the final day.
The first day set the tone with an hour long al fresco massage, with the sun gently warming both my skin and the forest and rolling hills below, releasing subtle aromas of flowers and trees as my masseuse worked her magic while birds trilled around us. The sights, sounds and smells were so beautiful that I struggled to stay awake to enjoy it all.
I came back with such an obvious glow that my husband consented to accompany me the next day, and later agreed that the combination of beautiful natural environment and professional care was almost beyond description. The day after that we toured some of the nearby Maya temples, and I was anxious to squeeze one more treatment in before we left – it was that good.
I could go on for hours about Chaa Creek itself – it really does live up to its reputation in every way. The ambience, the food, the people, the things to do; it is one of the absolute best resorts we’ve been to in the world.
But for me, and one of the big reasons why we’ll return next year, it’s the spa. To find something so amazing, and in the middle of a pristine rainforest, was one of those happy surprises you’re sometimes lucky enough to discover when traveling.
And here’s another surprise. The Gayot Guide calls Chaa Creek’s Hilltop Spa one of the “Top Ten Value Spas” in the world, and when we got the final bill we could see why. It’s not often that you’re pleasantly surprised at getting what you feel is a great deal, but considering everything that was included, and compared to other spas I’ve visited around the world, this was not just a great experience, but great value.
So there’s my most recent spa discovery, and I think it will be a long time before stumbling on something like it again. In fact, since we’ll be going back there next vacation, and this time for one of their “Day at the Spa” specials, it’s going to be at least a couple more years.