Punta Cana’s Perfect Spa


A new kind of relaxation

By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor

If I were any more relaxed I’d slip into a coma.

That’s what I’m thinking as I laze on a chaise, swaddled in a waffle cotton robe and gazing out at the Caribbean just beyond my slippered feet.

I’ve just emerged from a massage at the L’Occitane spa at Club Med Punta Cana, where my therapist, Nani, has kneaded my runner’s body into blissful submission.

As I lay on a massage table in a second floor spa suite, its glassed fourth wall offering an Instagram-worthy view of the swaying palms and soft sands of the famous beach, Nani expertly loosened the kinks in my muscles, making me feel as relaxed as a newborn. Using long smooth stokes lubricated with scented organic oils from the French company (which opened their first branded spa in the Caribbean here in 2012), she let her hands and fingers do the talking, compensating for the language barrier between us (she speaks Spanish and French; I’m dismal at both) with attentive ministrations that needed no translation.


Instead of that vaguely irritating New Age pan flute stuff you usually hear at spas, my soundtrack came courtesy of Mother Nature: the roar of the foaming surf in the distance, and the gentle rustle of wind through towering coconut palms. And between this tropical lullaby and Nani’s attention, I quickly found myself in that magical place, suspended between being awake and asleep, aware but completely carefree. Que bueno!

And now, after 50 minutes of heaven, I’m here on the spa’s breezy terrace, a cold glass of cucumber-infused water in my hand, surveying the palapa-roofed treatment suites that line the sand in front of me.

I feel more relaxed that I’ve been in months, totally blissed out, my muscles as limp as overcooked pasta.


I know I should peel myself of the chaise and shuffle back to my room. There are articles to be written; trapeze lessons to be taken (the resort has a partnership with Cirque Du Soleil); cocktails to be sampled.

But for now, I think I’m just fine right here …

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