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Soak your sea legs post-dive at the InterContinental Presidente Cozumel’s Mandara Spa.

By Amy Drew Thompson

Outside of saucy exercise videos, the bends are not particularly sexy, but they’re a calculated risk scuba enthusiasts run in pursuit of their passion for undersea exploration. Lucky for those looking to spend long blue days with eels and rays along the walls of the breathtaking Columbia and Palancar reefs, many Cozumel hotels come complete with sumptuous spas where Cousteau wannabes can soak, sweat and massage away post-dive exhaustion.

The Mandara Spa at the InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort serves an exotic amalgam of European, American and Asian techniques and treatments with a decidedly Mexican spin. Its signature Mayan Pathway package — a five-hour marathon of indulgence — begins with the Temazcal, a communal shaman-guided herbal steam bath ritual heated with fire and hot stones. It also includes Balinese massage and the Ceremony for the Hands and Feet — spa-speak for “super-fancy mani-pedi.”

Skilled experts at the Sabor Cozumel Resort‘s Islander Spa, whose good works are undoubtedly bolstered by the adults-only, all-inclusive atmosphere, offer attitude adjustments in the form of the Lomi Juma, an 80-minute massage that melds methods from the Pacific and the Mediterranean: hydro-relaxation, crystallized honey peeling, and a shower of trace minerals that release energy, ease stress and improve microcirculation. Transcendent? Indeed, but they probably had you at “adults only.”

Savia Spa, oasis of the Playa Azul — where guests enjoy unlimited complimentary greens fees at the Cozumel Country Club’s Jack Nicklaus-designed course — offers its own menu of post-dive delights. Opt for the Shirodara, an Ayurvedic wellness treatment touted to not only relieve tension but improve sensory perception — which will come in handy while trying to spot sea life on the reef.

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Freelance travel writer and former PLAYGIRL editor Amy Drew Thompson is PADI-, pedi- and Patrón-certified. Visit her compendium at www.amydrewthompson.com.

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