Explore the St. Regis Kanai, Mexico’s new luxury resort

When viewed from above, the new St. Regis Kanai resort resembles a deconstructed Olympic logo — a series of circular and semi-circular shapes set on the shores of the Riviera Maya in Mexico.

It’s meant to be a celestial schematic, inspired by the 1,000-plus-star constellation Pleiades and designed by Edmonds International, which was challenged with building a resort that would incorporate — but not interfere with — a seemingly endless sea of protected mangroves that cover the area.

The firm’s solution? A design that hovers over the trees, with a series of elevated wooden walkways connecting buildings and a beach.

Despite being quite grand in scale, the luxury resort — which opened earlier this year (rooms from around $1,300 per night) — exudes a sense of calm. Gleaming white buildings, large expanses of open space, views of the sea from every room and the surrounding lush greenery certainly help.

Water surrounds the soothing grounds of the 680-acre St. Regis Kanai.
St. Regis Kanai Resort

As does being in a 680 acre, gated, luxury community (also home to the Auberge and soon-to-open Edition) with over a mile of private beachscape on a stretch of the Caribbean that houses the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere.

And let’s not forget the resort’s adjacency to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, deemed a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Simply put, the whole place embodies relaxation, soothing all the senses, whether or not you ever set foot in the spa. But it would be a mistake not to. It’s a vast, indoor-outdoor haven (9,500 square feet indoors, 6,700 out) that still feels intimate.

That’s thanks to thoughtful interiors by Toronto-based Chapi Chapo Design (which aims to connect with nature via materials — dark woods, rich veined marble and glass) and views that blur the boundaries between architecture and the landscape.

The exterior features a co-ed outdoor lounge, separate men’s and women’s aqua-thermal circuits and pools that can be experienced away from treatments. Introverts should book this Hydrotherapy pass ($90) and spend a few hours lounging here versus the resort’s other pools.

Relaxation is the name of the game at the exclusive Riviera Maya resort.

The spa’s seven treatment rooms have outdoor terraces, and the locker rooms boast luxurious, custom wood lockers (with separate drawers for small items like watches and jewelry) as well as a host of thoughtful products and amenities.

Upon arrival, guests are offered a welcome drink of prosecco with the option of a hibiscus infusion (or vice versa) and invited to peruse the Scent Bar and select an aroma to personalize their treatment. Chlorophyll water, juice, more prosecco, fruit, cookies and other snacks gloriously cover a table in the relaxation lounge. Staying true to the resort’s theme, most treatments and services incorporate ancient Mayan practices and traditions, as well as local fragrances and herbs from the resort’s garden.

The Secret Garden ritual ($460) allows guests to personally select ingredients from among those plantings to be used in their body scrub and mask. Under Sky ($250) is an outdoor bathing ritual with Mayan herbs and flowers, while the Celestial Energy treatment ($508) was inspired by Mayan cosmology. It incorporates herbal cleansing, hot stones energized by the moon’s light and aromatherapy corresponding to the current lunar cycle.

The spa sports 9,500 square feet of bliss — and that’s just its indoor space.
St. Regis Kanai Resort

Facial and massage options abound, as do salon services, including mani/pedis and hair styling, with special rooms for group “spa parties.” Said party could spill over into the spa’s shop, which offers exclusive pieces from St. Regis collaborations with Vilebrequin (swimwear, tote bags and pouches), plus Mexican brands Temploo (yoga mats) and Banhi (terry cloth coverups).

Best yet — you can book a spa appointment even if you’re not staying on the property, giving travelers passing through the area a way to test drive the proverbial St. Regis waters before taking the full-on plunge.