As states around the US continue to ride the pandemic wave, Mexico, a popular tourist-bound locale to the south, is starting to open back up. Depending on where you live, it might be tough to visit this tropical paradise right now since non-essential travel is still being discouraged. But why not spend some time at home dreaming up or even planning your next relaxing vacation?

Palmaïa is Plant-Based Paradise

Palmaïa – The House of AïA, is a premier vegan-friendly resort is situated in Cancun’s Riviera Maya. The recently launched hotel retreat blends contemporary Mexico with ancient roots, grounded in sustainability, health and wellness. Palmaïa leads with its “Plant-Based Life” motto, offering vegan menus across all its dining establishments, suites free of animal products in furnishings, and holistic programming meant to center and connect guests with the earth.

Palmaïa initially opened January 2020 but closed down shortly after due to the pandemic. With its re-opening on July 1, 2020, the resort is reassuring guests that they are taking safety precautions and limiting the number of guests on the already spread out and largely outdoors spaces. (You can view Palmaïa’s comprehensive Health & Safety program here.)

Even if you have to wait until the pandemic slows down to travel here, you’ll find peace, tranquility and rejuvenation at Palmaïa which is set between picturesque turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea and tropical jungle foliage. You’ll find a secluded sanctuary with oceanfront swim-up suites, a jungle spa, gourmet restaurants overseen by Michelin starred chefs, locally sourced plant-based cuisine, infinity pools and a private beach. While the neighboring area of Tulum has long been known for its plant-based offerings and down-to-earth vibe, Palmaïa offers luxury while still keeping true to a philosophy of sustainability and connection to the earth.

During the pandemic-caused closure, Palmaïa enhanced its holistic programming and added even more plant-based offerings to its menus. The team at Palmaïa also took the time of their closure to create a food program that gives back to the community. In May, Palmaïa founded No Home Without Food, a complimentary plant-based meal service to provide healthy food to families in need in the Tulum and Riviera Maya region. The program delivered nutrient-rich food to approximately 2,000 people every day.

At the re-opened Palmaïa, you’ll find seasonal meals prepared by Executive Chef Eugenio Villafaña at five different dining venues. The signature, fine-dining restaurant LEK serves gastronomic Mexican; Mar de Olivo is the destination for a redefined, Mediterranean cuisine; and the Oriental-fusion restaurant Ume merges Thai and Continental cuisines for an à la carte dining experience highlighting sensual fragrances, exotic flavors, and densely rich hues. (While all restaurants have plant-based menus, there are options for animal-protein add-ons as to cater to all food preferences.)

Su Casa is their signature outdoor beach bar and restaurant strewn across the sand dunes offers a laid-back Caribbean beach ambiance with El Caminante delivering an authentic food truck experience with a daily, rotating menu. In the afternoons and evenings, you’ll find an escape at Eolo, a Mediterranean-style beach club with a bohemian atmosphere while immersing yourself in Palmaïa’s Rituals of Sound music program. Visitors wanting to turn inward can experience Palmaïa’s weekly rotation of classes such as astrology, gong baths, ancient plant rituals, tai chi, and spiritual meditation all guided by Palmaïa’s healers and an on-site shaman.

Palmaïa is kid and family-friendly as well—and families that need a reprieve from the last few months may find their child programming enticing. Palmaïa operates the only holistic, children’s activity program in hospitality that is run by certified, Waldorf Educators. They also have family suites with special beds for children designed to privately cater to each family member’s individual needs.

The resort is also launching “Pod” packages for a set rate that will allow families and/or groups of friends to book an entire floor of rooms to themselves to better enable them to socially distance together. For those with a travel itch looking to escape, Palmaïa is the vegan-friendly resort that should be at the top of your list.

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