Culture / Travel

Inside One&Only Mandarina’s Luxurious Wellness Experience in Puerto Vallarta

A Spiritual and Physical Journey Like Nothing Else in Mexico

BY // 06.16.22

As I rode down a windy highway through the Mexican mountains, heading to buzzy luxury resort One&Only Mandarina, I found myself juggling text messages and emails, trying to stay on top of my social media feeds, and worrying about losing battery life. I caught a glimpse of bountiful rows of pineapple fields and suddenly forgot about my attempt to balance the to-dos of reality. 

Simultaneously, while taking notice of the impressive landscape, my driver offered me an ice-cold, locally-brewed Kombucha sweetened with honey from the area. I realized it was time to let nature work its magic and disconnect from the stress of daily life. 

As we approached the end of the car ride, arriving at One&Only Mandarina, a cliffside luxury Mexican resort that has been gracing the top of traveler’s lists as of late, an hour from Puerto Vallarta, I was welcomed by an immersion in nature and all of its healing powers. 

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The treehouses and villas at One & Only Mandarina are chock full of luxury amenities to provide the ultimate relaxation during your getaway.

The Accommodations

As I began my week of wellness surrounded by lush jungle, my butler, Jorge, drove me in his golf cart to my very own tree house suite. After he gave me a tour of my impressively large accommodations, he cleansed the energy of the space by burning some sage to catapult my time of relaxation while on property. After getting my phone set up with his WhatsApp number where I could message him at my every whim, he departed and I was left to disconnect and be one with the ecosystem. 

Designed by developers RLH Properties along with Studio Rick Joy (who also designed the illustrious Amangiri), each of One&Only Mandarina’s luxury suites are their own singular tree houses or villas, all spread out over acres of cliffside greenery. Complete with plunge pools, spacious patios with panoramic views, enormous bathrooms and seating areas — and my personal favorite an outdoor patio bathtub —, luxury and solitude are paramount, ensuring each guest the indulgent respite they crave.

Aside from the obvious delight a luxury resort can provide, One&Only Mandarina provides unique wellness experiences crafted for reconnection with the help of the endemic flora and fauna and the palpable spirit of the ancient culture surrounding the property. 

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One & Only Mandarina’s immersive surrounding nature provides and wellness experience like no other.

Nature-Inspired Wellness 

The hotel even has a wellness consultant who will customize an itinerary for a rejuvenating retreat. A selection of curated journeys full of wellness classes and spa treatments are available to book before arrival. Curing programming like guided yoga and meditation, ancient healing rituals, and five-star spa facilities allow participants to decompress and reconnect with the soul. 

The options are endless and it is all topped off with a level of elevated, personalized service that One&Only Mandarina is known for.

The Physical

I started my first full day with Mandarina’s signature hiking experience to meet “Abuela,” a 500-year-old tree on the property. The hike was as mindful as it was a fitness challenge. My hiking guide pointed out local species of trees and insects while we climbed to meet this ancient spirited wonder and upon arrival, I was led through a cleansing ritual paying homage to the majestic tree’s influential spirit.

The Spiritual

The resort also offers deep-rooted spiritual experiences like treatments backed by ancient wisdom cures for ultimate purification as well as spiritual transformations like Astrological Code readings, Quantum Frequency healing, and ceremonies exploring Tarot, Oracle, and Divine Femininity. To keep the indigenous culture alive, One&Only Spa’s Temazcal experience harnesses cleansing powers steeped in the 1000-year-old tradition of purifying the body and spirit in this ritualistic take on a sweat lodge. 

A newbie to breath work and meditation, I underestimated my day exploring the alchemy of breath by meditation and Chakra cleansing aromatherapy in the spa’s open-air pavilion. My soulful Spiritual Facilitator named Joy led me through a series of breathing exercises and healing sound bowls followed by an introspective meditation imagining my future self. I achieved a level of relaxation and focus that I had not experienced in a while. It was a reconnection by saturating in my own energy that I didn’t know I needed. 

 

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Spiritual experiences like One & Only Mandarina’s Temezcal are powerful and transformative.

Treatments and Fitness

Fueled by both the ancient tradition of the area’s Mayan culture and the surrounding nature, the One&Only Spa is a peaceful sanctuary with refreshing amenities and an extensive treatment menu you can’t find anywhere else. The expansive complex includes a vitality pool, hydrotherapy circuit, and even a mud grotto filled with healing red clay for an authentic detoxification. 

With natural and non-toxic skincare a priority for the spa, they are the first in the world to feature renowned skincare brand Tata Harper’s Multi Sensory Wellness Journey, a holistic wellness immersion that brings Eastern wisdom, Ayurvedic Practices, Western science, and cutting-edge green technology.

I experienced the Nature Sanctuary Facial as part of this multi-sensory journey that was a full 120 minutes of face mapping therapy, a kinetic face massage, a hand and foot massage, and a tuning fork ritual designed to calm the mind and refresh the skin. It was by far the most indulgent facial I have ever had. 

For more adventurous or fitness-focused experiences, One&Only offers a variety of cardio classes and activities like kayaking along the coastline and horseback riding through the Mandarina Property. 

 

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The farm-fresh food at One & Only Mandarina will nourish both body and soul.

One&Only Signatures — Food, Drinks, and the Butterfly Garden

Of course, to compliment a week’s worth of wellness is One&Only Mandarina’s impeccable curation of culinary excellence and farm-fresh ingredients. Concepts like Alma, a garden-to-plate Pan-American restaurant offers fresh fare all day, while the Jetty Beach Club offers freshly caught seafood and grilled masterpieces. Carao, the signature restaurant led by acclaimed chef Enrique Olvera, focuses on reinvented Mexican cuisine.

Whether the wellness journey includes savoring fresh juice squeezed from fruit grown on property and plant-focused dishes or indulging in traditional Mexican-inspired cocktails and cuisine, the food at Mandarina will nourish both body and soul. 

On my final morning at the resort, I spent an hour in the resort’s butterfly garden, a remarkable mini ecosystem right in the heart of the resort. I am instantly surrounded by hundreds of species of sparkling plants, insects, and butterflies as they swirl around me in harmony. One&Only Mandarina’s biologist explains how, like humans, each of these creatures have life cycles with success dependent upon supporting each other and the surrounding environment. 

After a week soaking up the magic of One&Only Mandarina, it was clear the symbiotic relationship between nature and wellness with a curated level of luxury can cure just about anything.

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