Terraced on a landscaped hillside (loma) in Ixtapa (near Zihuatanejo), Mexico, sixteen luxurious suites of the privately owned Loma del Mar Thalasso Spa Resort overlook the property's gardens, waterfalls, fountains, swimming pools and lounge areas, palapa-topped restaurant-bar, and the adjacent Palma Real Golf Course and forested nature reserve.
An extraordinary enhancement completed end of 2008 has transformed this resort hotel into a premier Thalasso Spa Wellness Center.
The centerpiece of the extensive new facilities is the thalassotherapy seawater swimming pool, unique because it is outdoors, taking advantage of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo's perpetually sunny tropical climate. (Thalasso, from the Greek word thalassa, refers to the ancient therapeutic use of seawater.) The mosaic-tile thalasso pool is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment offering various types of curative and relaxing hydromassage.
Additional thalasso-spa facilities are also distributed in a lush outdoor setting amid 2-1/2 acres of gardens, trees and landscaping. A separate, smaller thalasso pool contains a higher degree of salt concentration in the seawater for deep-relaxation flotation therapy amid bubble jets.
A 30-ft long "reflexology water path" (pediluvio) is for walking in ankle-deep water over smooth small stones. The path is lined on both sides with continuous jets of water massaging the lower legs. At the end is a stone platform for hydromassage while standing under three separate "waterfall" spouts pouring from high above with gravitational force.
Steps away, two fresh-water showers of multiple circular horizontal rings surround the body spraying hundreds of stimulating needle-thin water jets.
"Spa" is the acronym for Sanus per Aquam in Latin, meaning "health through water". Several spa facilities, also located throughout the garden area, include two separate outdoor jacuzzis. Two retro claw-foot bathtubs are enjoyed for milk and flower baths, Cleopatra style. In tree-shaded privacy, additional spa treatment facilities include two smooth-stone massage treatment tables with overhead Vichy showerheads for head-to-toe spray. A hydro massage tub has high-tech controls for multiple treatments. A high-pressure water-jet hose is aimed by the therapist at various parts of the body.
Inside a separate spa building, a hallway leads to an alcove with a soothing ambiance of changing colors, providing chromatherapy. A marble basis fills with crushed ice for rubbing on the body before entering the adjacent sauna on one side and a hamam-style Turkish steam bath on the other. Then cool off under the large-head cold-water showers.
Therapists also offer a menu of spa facials, body treatments, as well as special manicures and pedicures.
Med spa wellness programs are created and supervised by an eminent European medical spa director. They offer programs focusing on biological revitalization: rejuvenation, toxin cleansing, anti-aging and anti-stress therapies, weight loss and body toning, and a delicious customized diet menu.
In addition to the thalasso and spa facilities, a 100-foot-long infinity-edge freeform recreational swimming pool features overhead fluvial duckbill spouts and jet spouts for neck and shoulder hydro massage. The water is chlorine-free, and uses European methods of purification by light salt content equivalent to that of a teardrop. At one end of the pool, a jovial swim-up bar has submerged barstools enveloped by thousands of tiny bubbles from gentle jets.
The hotel's spacious one- and two-bedroom suites have living and dining areas, verandas, custom contemporary furnishings, and an array of upscale amenities.
From the wide terraces of their suites, guests enjoy views of the adjacent golf course, tropical forest, and the imposing backdrop of the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains, as well as morning sounds of songbirds and spectacular sunrises. Tree-shaded paths meander through the resort's five-acre property. At night the grounds are illuminated with torches, a thousand tiny lights, and by the "chromotheraputic" changing colors glowing in all three swimming pools and illuminating waterfalls and alcoves. This aesthetic and therapeutic use of light and the full color spectrum dates back to the " temples of light" of the ancient Egyptians.
Ideal for couples and honeymooners are top floor one-bedroom penthouses, one of which has a private minipool by the terrace.
"Two-plus" bedroom suites have one bedroom with a king-size bed, another bedroom with twin beds, plus a mini-bedroom with a pull-out bed, as well as two full baths, a large living room, dining area and wet bar.
The poolside palapa-topped Luna de Shiva Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is known for its innovative continental cuisine, catch-of-the day seafood, and high Mexican-Zihuatanejo-style gastronomy. Natural and fresh ingredients include fruits, vegetables and herbs grown in the hotel's garden orchard. Next to the restaurant, under another palapa, the bar and al-fresco cocktail lounge is a congenial gathering place for hotel guests as well as social locals.
Room service is superb, whether breakfast, lunch or candlelight dinner, served at the en-suite dining table or on the terrace.
Just up the hill, atop a 220-foot cliff overlooking Ixtapa's coastline, Loma del Mar's other restaurant, the romantic La Pampa, features an Argentine-style menu specializing in choice cuts of beef, and is open for dinner.
Loma del Mar chefs, kitchen staffs and waiters have recently completed an intensive course in the Science and Technology of Nutrition and Diet conducted by Maria Jose Moreno Navarro, accredited in pharmacology and dietary technology, and a well-known authority and TV personality in Spain
Loma del Mar entices golfers, thanks to its location alongside the 14th hole of Ixtapa's Palma Real Golf Course. Golfing guests enjoy easy access (a golf cart takes them to the nearby clubhouse for tee-off). Characteristic of its Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, this 18-hole, par 72 course harmonizes with its original setting: a former coconut plantation carefully transformed into a protected nature reserve with lagoons, tropical fruit trees, flowers, and wildlife including cranes, cardinals and other exotic birds, iguanas, and even alligators that live in lagoons and certain water traps (they keep to themselves). There is no need to wait until the "19th hole". Right there on the 14th hole golfers simply park their cart at Loma del Mar's lawn and enjoy drinks, ceviche and taco delicacies made with hand-made tortillas.
The loveliest section of Ixtapa's main beach, the south end of soft-sand Playa del Palmar, is a pleasant five-minute walk along a verdant path at the edge of the golf course, or a quick ride via golf cart. A special beach palapa lounging area is exclusively for Loma del Mar guests for swimming, sunning, sunset cocktails, and even weddings.
For adventurous guests, just up the hill, a scenic zip line leads to a tower and hanging bridge with a spectacular ocean view.
Spectacular banquets and fiestas can be set up in the gardens or poolside, and staff wedding planners organize weddings on the grounds or on the nearby beach.
For small meetings, the large living rooms of the suites feature a wall-mounted 42-inch plasma TV screen to which a laptop can be connected (VGA cable provided) for presentations, internet projections, sales and think-tank usage, as well as international video conferencing. Next to the screen is a full home-entertainment multi-speaker audio-DVD system. Special seating can accommodate up to 20 persons for video-monitor viewing, and approximately 40 with customized setup.
All rooms and public areas, including poolside, have complimentary high-speed wireless (WiFi) Internet connection!
Water skiing, parasailing, windsurfing and kayaking are available, and there is world-class surfing and bodysurfing both nearby and up the coast . The concierge service arranges sportfishing, scuba diving, horseback riding, romantic sunset cruises, and visits to the charming bayside Mexican town of Zihuatanejo, just 4 miles down the coast. Exclusive excursions are offered to an important recently discovered archeological site, presently in excavation.
The Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Airport [ZIH] is just a 40-minute flight from Mexico City with convenient connections worldwide. There are also nonstop scheduled flights from Los Angeles San Francisco, Houston and Phoenix, as well as seasonal charters nonstop from the Midwest, and Canada.
For reservations and information, call toll-free from USA: (866) 496-1082, toll-free from Canada: (866) 984-6571 or direct: +52 (755) 555-0460, fax +52 (755) 555-0461, or email
Loma del Mar is located in Ixtapa, 4 miles up the coast from Zihuatanejo, in the State of Guerrero. (This tropical vacation "dual destination" is known as Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo).