The Yucatan Times conducted an exclusive interview with Mr. Karol Koloz Fischer, vice-president of the National Chamber of Commerce and Touristic Services of Merida (CANACO SERVYTUR), and owner and General Manager of Merida’s Rosas & Xocolate Boutique Hotel. Mr. Kolosz talked about the recent award that Rosas’ restaurant received as “Best Hotel Restaurant” in Mexico, and also about the Wellness Tourism industry in the Yucatan.
TYT: As Vice-president of the National Chamber of Commerce and Touristic Services of Merida (CANACO SERVYTUR), what can you tell us about the Wellness Tourism industry in the Yucatan?
First of all, let’s talk about the Wellness Tourism industry in a global sense, and then we can move to speak on what’s going on in Merida. Because the “Wellness” business is an existing concept, that can be adapted to different geographic zones.
Wellness is health, we all must have a sense of health in our lives, and it could be interpreted in many ways: in your diet, in the way you exercise or take care of your body and mind, it can be related to attend medical issues too, it is basically a trip to a place where health services are offered.
In today’s world, if you go a hotel that does not offer the wellness concept in some way, that hotel is not going to succeed. Even business class hotels must have a gym, comfortable beds and pillows, healthy food at their restaurant, etc. As a hotel, if you don’t provide a “healthy” service, you are out of business.
Now, speaking of Merida, the culture that comes from the Maya, have always recognized that we have to find a way to Wellness (for example, the temazcal, the Mayan general treatments for skin exfoliation, etc.), so there is a big opportunity in the state of Yucatan for Wellness Tourism if we know how to adapt the Maya traditions to these days needs for relaxation, and body care.
Now, talking about Spas, that is a very big subject for Mérida and the whole state of Yucatán; spas can be generated around natural concepts, like a cenote, in fact there is this new place where they built a spa around one of these cenotes and it’s looking pretty attractive for the Wellness tourists.
The general idea of every spa, is to offer tourists a unique natural experience. So, as I said before, Wellness should be a mandatory product for every hotel in Mérida.
TYT: Now, as a Yucatecan enterpreneur and owner of one of the most renowned boutique hotels in Mérida, what can you tell us about the Wellness Tourism industry in the Yucatan?
Rosas & Xocolates is absolutely the undisputed Wellness experience in Mérida, Yucatan.
The concept is built around three items that have to do a hundred percent with Wellness:
One, (Relaxation): the ability to offer a thematic space, where the guest can live a personal experience while relaxing in the most exclusive accommodations in town.
Two, (Spa): our unique spa concept, which is based in chocolate. The tradition of chocolate has been unfortunately lost over time in Yucatan. The plant of cocoa, that the Maya used to offer to their gods and was only consumed by kings. A bitter cocoa drink, which was not only tasteful, but had a number of important nutrients. It was recently confirmed that if you eat 28g of chocolate daily, the chances of a heart attack decrease by 30%.
Here at Rosas & Xocolate, our spa provides tourists a one-of-a-kind treatment based on chocolate (97% cocoa).
The person is totally covered in two thin layers of chocolate and cocoa, combined with different ingredients, so your body has a chance to absorb all the nutrients and at the end, your skin feels fantastic, smooth like a baby’s.
Chocolate is not only a delicious drink, but also a very important moisturizer for the skin. In our spa, you can find different treatments based on cocoa: facials or full body.
And number three, (our cuisine), to eat at our award winning restaurant is just a wonder
ful experience; and it is obviously directly connected with Wellness.
In our kitchen, you won’t find a single can, everything is 100% natural and 100% organic in many cases. We seek the way to benefit our customers’ health with the most natural meals, and sometimes they do not even know it!
Everything in our restaurant is homemade, the bread, jam, cheese, all dishes, nothing comes from cans. That gives you first class food that feeds your wellness, your health.
Our restaurant is open to the public, anyone can come, many local people come regularly to Rosas & Xocolate to have breakfast, lunch or dinner.
As a matter of fact, we were recently recognized as the best hotel restaurant in the country by CANIRAC.
I just found out I won, a jury in Mexico City phoned me and then sent me the documentation, then asked me to go to Ciudad de México to receive the trophy. On Thursday September 1st, at “Hacienda de los Morales” we were granted this award. It was a great event, where 700 people attended including important figures.
We feel flattered, because it is your colleagues (and competitors) who are recognizing you in this fabulous way.
But this is not easy, we did not get this prize just by chance, it was the result of 7 years of hard work, taking care of every detail, it is a huge task, everyday, paying attention to all the necessary elements to reach the excellence, that is why we got this award.
Merida, Yucatan is a destination that has culture, history, wellness, natural attractions, a world of possibilities. We have the potential to become one of the most important travel & leisure destinations in the country.
And at Rosas & Xocolate we have the best hotel restaurant, and therefore, one of the most extraordinary culinary experiences you can live in Mexico.
TYT: Before we end the interview, we wanted to ask you, how did you end up living in Mérida and opening Rosas & Xocolate?
The first time I came to Merida, I was 19 years old, then did not come back for a long time, I worked, lived my life away from here, raised a family, had children. I was in the sports business for many years, and one of my suppliers opened a factory here in Merida, so I came to see him, decided to retire, and settle down in Merida, where I reinvented myself and started to build the hotel with a vision and a mission.
My vision was to own the best hotel in town, and my mission was to rehabilitate these beautiful, magnificent mansions on the Paseo de Montejo. Maybe you don’t know this, but Rosas & Xocolate won Mexico’s National restoration award a few years back. That’s how this project came to reality and today we have 17 rooms, and award winning restaurant and one of the top 25 spas in Mexico.
And before we end the interview, let me tell you about our gym, because that is Wellness too! We have a professional, fully equipped gym, that meets all interational standards.
Come and visit us you”ll be surprised!
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