On the other side of the doors and gates displayed in my post, Take-Two at Termas Papallacta, hotel guests can explore several options: take a dip in the hot springs pools outside their rooms or cabins; visit the public baths that include nine thermal pools and three cold water pools; enjoy a typical meal of Ecuadorian food or international cuisine, with fresh ingredients from the hotel’s organic garden, in the hotel restaurant; take a self-guided tour, or walk with a native guide, along a path of flora and fauna discovery; OR head for the spa.
Here’s the best part, though: when you stay for three days and three nights and the weather cooperates, you can take advantage of most everything the resort has to offer. But because the weather was rainy and cold during my visit, I borrowed a couple of books from the hotel bookshelves, and spent much of my time either reading, submerged in the hot springs pool right outside my room (which I had completely to myself) or at the spa.
Walking into the spa is healing in itself. Guests can relax in a small waiting area, complete with fireplace, while waiting for their appointment.
Roses are abundant throughout the facility, a nod to one of Ecuador’s top industries. After checking in, I was led to another waiting area where I slipped on disposable shoe covers over my sandals before being handed a robe and disposable two-piece bathing suit. After changing, I entered the inner sanctum for my spa experience.
Let’s just say that I started at the top with my first choice of treatments – the chocolate body wrap. I was slathered from head to toe in one of my favorite treats, cling-wrapped and swaddled in hot towels. OMG . . . The only sound I heard was a whisper in my ear: “Would you like your face covered, too?” She had to ask?? I drifted in and out of a Willy Wonka coma before coming back light years later to the present. A high pressure body wash coupled with my best imitation of a Blue-footed booby mating dance removed all evidence of what had been an extraordinary indulgence.