Having the time for a small getaway rather than head into Merida where I have lots of wonderful friends that I could share precious time with. I decided to go for the more… leave me alone retreat … you know the feeling, when one just wants to get away from everything that is familiar. Well this is how I felt, so I checked into a place where I knew I could get a massage and still be contacted by internet… Yes, even though I wanted that total getaway it is not really possible to disconnect entirely when one relies on internet for business… but this was the best I could do
A couple of years ago myself and another person, visited the town of Xul where a group of Italians where creating their” end of the world paradise,” to which we know now did not happen. Nevertheless there were ardent believers that this would happen. In brief Xul is the maya word for the end and for this reason the group picked this area to build. It attracted a lot of attention especially when the news leaked out and the government sent overhead surveillance team to take photos and then dropped in on the compound… I say compound because this is what it is.
You can go back to my blog archives and read the story published on 1st November 2010
Now this has been turned into kind of a hotel! And because it was advertised as a eco spa and not too far from me I took the two night opportunity to drop in and stay.
Where The Pickled Onion is situated we are in very close proximity to the ruins of Uxmal.Kabah and all the Ruta Puuc… But to arrive to the hotel which is in the middle of nowhere actually took me one and a half hours to reach it from my place, and I don’t drive slow so how they can advertise that they are in close proximity to the Maya ruins ,well???
I turned into the entrance of Eco Spa Los Aguilas driveway and continued down a very unstable ,rocky road. Living here I am used to these kind of roads so for me not an issue. But from a tourists point of view I am sure they would not like it and feel a little uncomfortable wondering where they were heading for.
I followed the road where one could see electrical posts…lining the side of the road.Eco? Electric poles you say? Yes nothing is as it seems is it?
I entered the walled compound and was met by a huge statue of Athena glaring down at me.I think she was supposed to have a fountain working in front of her but today it was not working.
Then I looked over some and there are two huge Aguilas ( eagles) statue perched on a very tall columns looking down on me… Oh! my what have I done!
I arrived in front of the reception and upon entering a young man got down from his golf cart and asked if he could help… Yes I am going into the reception to see if there are any rooms available for a one or two night stay…
He came in with me and had to make a few phone calls first before he said yes there were rooms available.
Very well then ,I paid for a one night to start with as I cannot say I felt that comfortable upon the initial first greeting. but I always like to give the benefit of the doubt… too early to make judgments .
After filling in the forms there was another wait while someone went to the room with a spray bottle of smelly stuff and returned to say all was well . Oh my ! Again ,I thought… but when I arrived at the room it seemed to be O K .
The room was adjacent to a privately owned house… like an annex if you like a little small but for me it was O K .
I settled my things in… all of two minutes… then headed back down to the restaurant . Before entering the restaurant I made arrangements of a message later in the day.
Main building with reception and restaurant
I thought I was coming to a quiet retreat but I was in for a slight shock when I entered the restaurant for a bite to eat … it was full of chatting,shouting, Italian people who live on the compound, oblivious of any guests that maybe there.Children running around with their tabletas . Adults, walking up and down going nowhere ,so it seemed to me. I did not know who was the waiter or waitress but finally someone came to show me where I would be sitting, in the view of a large photo of Jesus in front of my face and another one of St Michael and the Dragon. Oh !dear, are they trying to tell me something.
The menu, all Italian cuisine, was fine by me. I was glad of the change of food plate.
The ceaser salad was really good and the home made pasta was excellent .
After a short nap I was ready for my massage ,heading down towards the spa things seemed to have quieted down a little… but the signs of children are all around. Bicycles parked, childrens toys, strewn around and cribs in the dinning room. Definitely a compound that is lived in and not just for weekend visits , although I did see people arriving who I summized had their homes here too!
I saw pictures of the swimming pool on the internet… Mmm again not all as it seems.
I thought it would be more in the open but one has to walk to an area where it seems to be hidden from view .Once you find it, it is quite nice but not as open as led to believed.
There are open areas where park like walks have been made around a fountain that was not working and a haven for mosquitos.
The gardens are lacking in maintenance ,grasses overgrowing the shrubs and plants.
The houses constructed in an oval shape , I think taking the maya style and making adaptions. I know they built this with the end of the world in mind but to see metal shutters and doors everywhere seemed a bit strange. When the residents are not at home it seemed they were all closed up.. so one could tell who where home.
One of the properties
The road system itself must have cost a fortune being made in concrete and a lot of them .
Again another wait at the Spa whilst the masseuse arranged the room then disappeared to change into her whites , with small holes in her blouse , that could have seen a stitch or two ! I did enjoy the massage though and I was so relaxed I went to bed quite early and slept well.
The thing that amazed me is it seems to be the women that are doing all the work. One minute you see a helper in the kitchen, then the same person giving you a massage and then as a receptionist.
cheese making in progress
Today I was invited to see where they make their own cheese . Again the ladies where busy doing the work. The waitress from breakfast was busy working alongside the masseuse from yesterday and another lady who told me she would be giving me my facial later in the day! Of course too ,they produce their own honey,
bottle their own essences for use in the Spa , so it is a very organically working commune… not sure about the eco part of it though.
It seems they are encompassing all and every spiritual aspect of the different religions. Saying this though the people are really nice and kindly . Just a different experience to what one would expect at another hotel…. But I had an inclination of what kind of experience it would be before I left my home.! So no surprises for me but for the “normal “ tourists it would seem a little bazar .
At 4 pm I had arranged a bike ride around the area with a guide, to see one of the maya ruins that are on the property. ( Even though the bike ride was extra I would have liked to just hire it and wonder around the compound but this did not seem possible)
.Not sure why 4pm I would have liked to go early in the morning but apparently that was not to be…. So for a cost of 50 pesos we rode bikes for about an hour… I had already arranged a facial massage for 5 pm again not sure why everything happened later in the day… Because the bike ride started late then my next appointment was also late…
The facial was going well and I was totally relaxed until I heard the voices of small children…. The masseuse quickly left me to go and talk with the children and told them to leave the building I was kind of semi comatose because of the massage that I was able to get back into the relaxed state quite easily. But for some it would have been an hindrance.
My last meal at the restaurant again lots of chatter at a table where all the “inmates” congregated , kitchen staff, waitress,and others… People coming in , walking into the kitchen and walking out with food…. Not very hygienic I thought , with all this coming and going.In between serving me ( I was the only guest for dinner) the waitress sat down with the others for chats and eats…
Man made lake for fish
It is different… I did feel like I was an intrusion rather than a guest…
What do you think? Should I recommend this place to anyone.?
I could say no but then there would be some that would think it wonderful…
My reality is not another persons reality but the story is my truth as I saw it.