Submitted on 01-15-2017
This and that.
The desk staff in general is really sweet but largely clueless about their offerings; they sorta know about the spa, but classes are an utter mystery to them. When you ask for clarification between two classes, for example, they tell you the wrong thing, because they're guessing, which drives the actual instructors crazy. I was misdirected to a yoga class that was allegedly "harder" when it was not at all. And something billed as Van Gogh and Vino was not an art class but ...
This and that.
The desk staff in general is really sweet but largely clueless about their offerings; they sorta know about the spa, but classes are an utter mystery to them. When you ask for clarification between two classes, for example, they tell you the wrong thing, because they're guessing, which drives the actual instructors crazy. I was misdirected to a yoga class that was allegedly "harder" when it was not at all. And something billed as Van Gogh and Vino was not an art class but a spiritual class on regression or something (I didn't go because I thought it was painting and the painters attending were REALLY annoyed). Part of the problem is whoever makes up the printed schedules just prints whatever, sometimes the same description three times in a row, so you really have no idea.
You might guess when this swank resort's restaurant only manages to rank 8th best of 10 in a town full of taco stands that there's room for improvement here. (To be fair, down the street is Don Tacorriendo, a dump with the best Mex I've ever had EVER ANYWHERE, don't miss that place). I'll just be quick, but hair in the chicken salad, yuck, and OMG the waiters have no training at all, but just brought with them whatever manners they had in their last job, so you get middle of the road cafe, tiki bar, Spring Break, but nobody matches the hype of the exoticized ($75 holiday dinner no variety scallop wrapped in bacon) chef who's way not.
My fave was the waiter who was so intent on pushing the lunch bar that he actually asked me why I wasn't drinking this afternoon. And I said, "I had cancer." And he said, "Ain't that some s---. But at least you said had"--And I said, "you got lucky, I'm guessing some of the AA folks might not appreciate your inquiry," and he said, elaborately, "I am so sorry if I offended you in any way." And he didn't really, but his lack of training did. Somebody needs to step up and educate the waitstaff on whatever standards they're supposed to be aiming for here, because it's impossible to tell.
Though maybe it's not ever appropriate to ask someone who's at least your mom's age anything THAT personal. Just sayin'.
Dani, a fantastic shaman who runs the spiritual program, is worth it alone. I will never forget her drum class which put the spring back in my spirit for sure! It was just a wonderful fun community experience that you can't possibly guess would be that much wonderful. Please don't miss this. She also does a great shamanic journey that's so much fun.
Also Donna, one of the other mystical types, gives accurate and entertaining mini-readings, and the group benefits by her many observations and insights on all things spiritual on a global scale, which makes for a fascinating class, instead of just sitting around eavesdropping on others' lives.
The yoga instructors are all good, though I do hope one of the rumored high-priced improvements will be the abolishing of the cement floor in the dome. Everything else about this venue is perfect, though, especially the elevating roof and the patterns of light on the walls and support beams. If you haven't experienced a soundbath, do that here, too. A wood or bamboo floor acts as a conductor in a way that cement can't, so let's hope...
The 'mud bath' which isn't really mud but peat, also should be experienced, it was creepy as you can possibly imagine, squishing around naked in a tub of hot goo and sticks and rocks, which you can divert your attention searching through for lost diamond jewelry--if you find any it's mine--but the attendants are cheerful and funny and very solicitous, they will help you out of the mire if you need help but respectfully keep their distance if not. It is, after all, a weird and kinda smelly situation crawling out like swamp thing, but I still say, where else can you do this?! Ew. But Yay! You won't forget it, I promise you.
Do note, spa services come with an automatic gratuity, which I did not ever see in the fine print, and I think it's 20%, which I found when I checked out and had already left envelopes, alas. Check your bill, I was charged for a service I didn't have, but it was rectified after a lot of math and screen-shifting.
The grottoes and individual baths are really wonderful, the water which makes the place famous, is the raison d'etre of the whole area, and has the highest lithium content in the world, so they say. Naturally, then, your spirits will be uplifted as you inhale this drug, but in the best way. There were a few young Asian rowdies some nights, and you'll definitely want to learn the naked pool-sex schedule in the evenings, or it could be embarrassing when you turn the corner (for me more than they) but hey, it's a romantic place and that's sometimes what happens. Maybe to you, if you're lucky!
Lastly, the rooms are very nice, with Ace Hotel-ish design, but they do lack any reasonable size tables at to put stuff on, the floors are slick, our sliding bathroom door didn't stay open unless you stuck the tiny trash can in front of it. Form over function here, but if that's your thing...
The other oddity is a $3 charge for 'extra' coffee pods for the weird promotional illy espresso machine that sounds ilke a lawnmower, and packs enough plastic to qualify as a carbon footprint liability. The $6 imported water (really? In a place famous for water?) is also overkill, and they'll keep leaving you more even if you didn't use the last ones. Check your bill. Maybe they'll get the idea promoted by most spas with potable waters and furnish a carafe that is refilled daily at no charge.