Villa del Palmar – Island of Loreto

By on June 1, 2015
Villa del Palmar

Took an enjoyable two hour Alaska Airline flight from LAX direct to Loreto Mexico for a celebration of good health that included original mocktails and personalized menus of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free recipes during a Wellness Week Retreat at Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto, a magnificent property that sits majestically overlooking the Sea of Cortez. A gathering of women (and one husband) from the California and Seattle area were among the group sharing my week of good health with me.
Villa del PalmarThe focus on healthy eating and drink was orchestrated by food and beverage director Oscar Torres, who designed a beautiful collection of healthy mocktails, and Executive Chef Alfonso Peregrina, and his dedicated team, who prepared diet specific culinary delights to meet the individual requirements of our group. During this amazing escape to wellness week our activities included a full schedule of yoga, hiking, kayaking, water sports, exercise programs at the spa, massage treatments, as well as individual healthy menu planning.
Villa del Palmar Loreto
Executive Chef Alfonso Peregrina, who spent ten years working as a chef in Cancun and a year in Spain is a native of Puebla, and has become a specialist at creating wellness program recipes for hotel guests. The talented chef and his staff of one hundred cooks and eighteen chefs make their own gluten free breads, buns, rolls and delicious pizza daily. Vegan and vegetarian requests are responded to with beautiful and delicious culinary creations to please any health conscious gourmand. Chef uses hotel garden grown herbs and produce for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night selections. The gluten free pizza offerings are outstanding.
Three hotel restaurants, including Casa Mia, Market Restaurant and Danzante Fine Dining Restaurant provide a bevy of delicious menus and beverages to please the palate of every guest, and the staff present special weekly events including an Italian night dinner buffet filled with fantastic pasta dishes, salads, pizza favorites and more. They also offer a weekly beach party barbeque with a live musical review and a fire dancer.
Villa del PalmarDaily yoga therapy and stress reduction classes for the Wellness Week Retreat are held on the beach to stimulate the mind, body, and spirit connection, led by expert Michelle Collins; a certified yoga instructor who specializes in pranayama breath work & meditation, a Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach and USUI Reiki Master with extensive knowledge of Ayurveda. Michelle, assisted by her husband Glen, take guests on a daily sunrise and sunset yoga journey of inner peace and relaxation before indulging in pampering spa treatments or a bevy of water activities, which can include PADI-certified SCUBA diving lessons and snorkeling tours in the waters Jacques Cousteau called the “Aquarium of the World.”
Water travel through the Loreto Islands area to snorkel offers literally a birds eye view of the amazing beauty of the home of the Blue Booby Birds that are indigenous to these waters. Snorkeling is always a joy here, with so many colorful fish, and if you are lucky a family of dolphins may swim by. Lunch on the Honeymoon Beach is a sun kissed meal, unless one of the birds wants your sandwich. One of our group had her lunch snatched by a bird, and we all laughed because she was yelling at the bird not to take her first gluten free sandwich bun prepared for her by the hotel chef.
Villa del Palmar
Villa del Palmar LoretoSabila Spa and Wellness director Claudine Riemer proudly announced that this beautiful property is currently listed as number eleven on the Trip Advisor ‘Best Spa in Mexico’ list; I will personally predict it will be #1 before the end of the year. According to Riemer “the Wellness Week Retreat at Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto embodies an organic healing process for the mind, body and soul.” The therapists at Sibila are experts who focus on individual body issues and specific needs, using fine Pevonia products and the latest new treatment aids. Claudine Riemer and her staff cheerfully assist guests with individual workout and diet regimens to implement during their stay at the resort. Signature treatments include a delicious chocolate massage, and stress reduction facial, as well as a full menu of additional treatments.
The chic green and white Sabila Spa is an impressive temple of health, crowned with an elegant atrium chandelier as you enter, and offers panoramic views of the exquisite hotel property from the expansive state-of-the-art exercise area. Lush jacuzzi pools include cold, warm & hot, as well as inviting eucalyptus and lavender baths, plunge showers, saunas, chic steam rooms, and spacious massage and treatment rooms. Their comfortable juice lounge offers refreshing beverages including the oh-so-delicious ‘green drink’ of parsley, spinach, celery, orange and pineapple juice that becomes a daily ritual for hotel guests. An adjacent beauty salon within the spa offers all the latest products and services to keep you looking sensational during your stay.
The exquisite pool is in the shape of a turtle, the turtle body being a large main pool, and the feet and head serving as a salt water pool, private guest pool, jacuzzi and a colorful pool for children. The ambiance of the pool is blissful, only interrupted daily by a very entertaining water aerobics instructor. The pristine beach offers swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, yoga classes or just relaxing by the sea, where a bar staff provide cooling refreshments. It is from the beach that snorkelers, scuba divers, and fishermen depart to enjoy daily pleasures of the islands in the indigo waters of the Sea of Cortez.
Villa del Palmar LoretoInstruction in making delicious mocktails are offered by Oscar Torres and his staff at Casa Mia. Some delicious drinks include a Serrano pepper martini, watermelon margarita, sangria sunset and more. For Tequila lovers or guests wishing to learn more about the favorite drink of Mexico a “Tequila Tasting Course” is presented by Tequila Master Oscar Torres. The hour long course was designed by Torres to provide a complete understanding of the various tequila flavors and their uses in today’s dining and entertainment scenes. Torres was born into a Tequila making family, and has a vast knowledge to share with anyone interested in a ‘hands-on’ experience of how to savor fine Tequila.
A shuttle transports guests to Loreto daily to shop at the collection of little shops, enjoy chocolate clams with cheese at restaurants, and visit the historic Loreto Mission, founded in 1697 by the Jesuit Fathers, which features a magnificent painting of Our Lady of Loreto. The Mission is connected to an historic museum containing maps and the details of the founding of Baja, California. Historic buildings and a tree covered lane leading to the center of town offers a memorable look at this historic destination.
It is really impossible to communicate adequately the exquisite beauty of this property and the surrounding area. The color of the Sea of Cortez is extraordinary as it changes from indigo blue to emerald green, and the sunsets will remain a vision in my mind always. All this in combination with a well planned menu and a health activities regimen designed by experts to guide you is a sure prescription for a renewed outlook, and a stress free body, mind and spirit experience. Visiting Villa Del Palmar is a gift to yourself; a respite to gracefully restore your own good health. For retreat or reservation information visit their website.
Bonnie Carroll is a travel/health/food/lifestyle writer who contributes to a bevy of Food & Beverage/Travel and Lifestyle magazines, and online publications. She is the founder and editor-in-chief for Bonnie Carroll’s Life Bites News, founded in 2005. Her travel reports can be heard on Around the World Travel KZSB 1290. 

About Bonnie Carroll

Bonnie Carroll has been a food/travel/lifestyle writer since 1983. She is the founder & publisher of Bonnie Carroll’s Life Bites News, does travel and food reporting on KZSB1290 radio, and contributes to a variety of national and international travel/lifestyle publications. Her first children's book C.C. Charles was published in 2002 and she is currently working on a second book. Her first great grandchild is expected this summer. Contact her at [email protected]

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Villa del Palmar – Island of Loreto