On Saturday December 17th, 2016, I visited a very special place in Valladolid, Yucatán. This is the story about an unforgettable experience at Zenti’k.
When guests arrive at Zentik Project, they are welcomed with a double shot of tequila aged in their very own barrels, and served in a “guaje” bowl. Once you sip this elixir, you know you’re in for a special treat.
The hospitality of the personnel immediately makes you feel right at home. And as soon as you check in, they take you on a private tour to see the facilities, and our tour began with a visit to the Cave!
The Cave is located within the hotel premises, approximatelly 15 feet underground. We are talking about a thermal water pool, at 34 ° C (93 ° F), with walls covered in a natural resin with medicinal properties. This resin provides the water with the characteristic color and density of the Yucatecan “Cenotes”.
We accessed the cave by a staircase that goes down until you hit the water, and then you see in front of you an impressive stone vault, that lets the sun light pass through, giving it a mystical aspect that attracts your senses.
I don’t need to say that most of our time in Zenti’k, we spent inside the “Cave”…
As we toured the facilities, we noticed that Zenti’k Project is somehow a “living gallery”, where guests can find peace, comfort and recreation in a luxurious, colorful, harmonious and artistic environment, surrounded by fantastic murals.
The work of different artists can be appreciated on the walls everywhere you look. This one-of-a-kind project aims to achieve a permanent display of relevant art works, combining sculptures, crafts and paintings boasting several distinct genres.
Our welcome tour finished at our room, number 9 it was, on an upper floor.
The accomodations are built, designed and decorated based on typical Mayan techniques and using regional traditional materials. Featuring “palapa” type roof and Bajareque walls, our room came with a hammock, and the king-size bed was suspended in midair, tied to the ceiling with thick ropes of natural “henequén” fiber (or sisal as it is known in the US).
This gave our trip a totally new dimension, since it felt like a huge, solid, cushioned, warm, rectangular hammock! You could feel it rocking like a boat as you sleep (or conduct other activities).
Even though the whole room structure and decoration is made of natural materials, we had A/C, and ceiling fans, which are vital in the heat of the Yucatan.
The bathroom was spacious, we had organic biodegradable soap, shampoo and rinse, and the showers were high pressure low impact showers.
Right outside the door, we had our own private deck, with two hammock style chairs, that are ideal to read a good book at any time of the day.
It is clear that at Zenti’k Project they have a particular commitment with the environment. These guys are ecologically serious; that’s why they use technologies such as a Water Treating System that separates blackwater from greywater and pass them thru sludge traps into bio-digesters.
The graywater’s residue is used to irrigate the gardens, avoiding any ecological damage and at the same time, regenerating the underground rivers that form the beautiful cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula.
We were told that the paint used for the murals is 100% organic, made from cactus slime, limestone and salt.
The Spa at Hotel Zenti’k was conceived and developed using different natural ancient exfoliating Mayan techniques featuring mud, coffee, cacao as well as local organic essential oils and herbs. So if you’re looking for a relaxing, rejuvenating and invigorative massage, you came to the right place.
Besides, in addition to these traditional Mayan style treatments, they feature hot stones, Swedish and a variety of alternative massages, including anti-stress, ice therapy, wine therapy, chocolate therapy, etc.
The restaurant is one of the main features at Zenti’k Project, and even locals from Valladolid come by the dozens to have breakfast, lunch or dinner. And the menú is 100% organic, and suitable for anyone.
Valladolid, Yucatán is turning into a big hub for travelers interested in cultural and ecological tourism.
Its geographical location right in the middle of the Yucatán Peninsula is just strategic. It is 40 minutes from Chichen Itza, 30 minutes from El-Balam, one hour from Tulum, 120 minutes from Mérida, one hour from Río Lagartos, Las Coloradas and 2 hours from Holbox and one hour and a half from Cancun International Airport… this peaceful colonial city couldn’t be better located.
And Zenti’k Project is the undisputed, most relaxing and ideal spot to live a sensorial experience that will make you miss it, as soon as you depart. Trust me… been there, felt that.
By Alejandro Azcárate for The Yucatan Times
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