I don't recall how I stumbled upon the Mayan Clay Spa website - as if something drew me there. Even after our massage, owner Maria asked me how I came upon them ... I couldn't recall. A google search? I told her tripadvisor, but i don't think that was it. No matter. I mention the reservation process because I really like the honesty of this place. Perhaps Maria would not like me mentioning this, but I called the spa from the states and placed our couples clay massage reservation and asked if she would like a deposit and she said that I sounded trustworthy and that she will see me in May. Wow - good - cause I am trustwothy and I don't cancel unless there is an emergency.
The cabana we stayed at in Tulum was right across the road (Hip Hotel Tulum - they were great), so we just meandered over. We were led back through the jungle to a netted off area right in the middle of the spa where we were asked to get undressed while they laid towels over us and we waited for the masseuses, Maria and Maria Elena (coincidence, my name is Maria Elaina - we were in good hands already ;)) to start our journey.
First our feet were washed and then we were laid back and the clay massage began. I closed my eyes and I still remember the heaviness of the towel and the sound of Maria mixing the clay with water and then her starting the massage. This is somewhat of a deep tissue massage with the clay totally absorbing into the skin. I will let my Georgia girl out and say that she massaged me from the "rooter to the tooter" - not a bit of me was baren. You could tell that Maria has not only given the Earth her love and visa versa, but has also studied with some of the best of them in the massage world. She really knew how to bend the extremeties and work her hands into the deepest parts of your muscle. Don't like something touched? They will ask before the session begins. I aint a modest mouse, though.
When we were completely covered, we were both sat up and we looked at each other. My husband let out a light chuckle and said I look like the monkey he has always called me in the past - but no - I really looked like a soaked muddy monkey. Excellent!
To de-monkey ourselves, Maria y Maria Elena took Maria Elaina y hubby Giles across the street to the ocean. Once we were there, she instructed us to take our Jesus cloths off and completely wash the clay off in the ocean. She said we would love it, and we did. Something about being nude in the ocean always makes me feel like I just got a breast lift. So up they went and down with the clay and back on the sand to swaddle ourselves and cover our bits again. Maria spoke to me and told me that she noticed when she was massaging me that one of my sides was - how shall I say - higher than the other and that in my opposing hip she noticed it was also affected/tight. Amazing! A year prior I had been in a nasty car wreck that jammed that shoulder. Spot on and bravo, Maria! She told me how to work on it and I really appreciated that.
We walked back to the jungle and she had us take a shower in the outdoor facilities. Again - naked in the jungle - loving this. We went back to the netted hut and she gave us some cool water and told us to take it easy for the rest of the day because the clay is really absorbed in the skin and we should be careful to not sun bathe or drink too heavily.
After we dressed, Maria was kind enough to offer her recommendations on what to do and where to visit while in Tulum. One of her restaurant recommendations - Hartwood - ended up being one of the best dining experiences of our lives. She also recommended some cenotes.
All in all, this was the most original and memorable massages of my life. If you find yourself in Tulum, you *must* visit Maria and her team. You will remember it forever.
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