Before I even step out of the car in which I’ve travelled from the Cancun airport to Solidaridad, Mexico, my personal butler, Alvaro, is handing me a cool towel and an ice-cold hibiscus drink. Already feeling refreshed, I set foot in Etéreo, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection. Maybe it’s the creamy lime-washed walls or the fragrant cloud of sandalwood smoke enveloping me—a welcome ceremony that nods to a Mayan purification ritual—but I notice my shoulders instantly relax. I couldn’t feel further from the office or the hundreds of emails no doubt piling up in my inbox. Everything about this place is begging me to unplug.


As its name suggests, Etéreo—Spanish for “ethereal”—was devised to provide guests with the most serene stay possible. Case in point: the heavenly massage awaiting me right after I check into my room. There’s no better way to set your mind to airplane mode. Suddenly, my to-do list shrinks down to just two items: read and relax.

But back to that room. As plush as can be, the 65-square- metre space—which comes complete with a sprawling balcony overlooking the ocean—would probably be better described as a “loft.” Design-wise, the vibe is part modern minimalism, part traditional hacienda. From the stone to the wood to the bamboo, every material in the hotel was sourced from the region. The same goes for the artwork that adorns the walls, giving the entire resort a feeling of warmth and authenticity.


Feeling blissfully relaxed post-massage, I head toward the resort’s private beach. Though it boasts every amenity you could ever want (including cushy lounge chairs and daybeds draped with floaty curtains), it looks like the luxe equivalent of a desert island—utterly peaceful and pristine. With no phone or laptop in sight, I slip my book out of my bag and relish the moment I’ve been dreaming of for weeks. The hotel’s signature cocktails—zippy concoctions crafted with locally distilled tequila and mescal—make the whole thing even sweeter. I get to sample some of these spirits the next day in a little tasting put together by Alvaro. I learn all about their production and the differences between their many iterations—some as clear as water, others tinged with amber. Did you know some bottles of tequila cost more than a designer handbag?


As a huge fan of Mexican fare, I’ve been looking forward to sampling the hotel’s cuisine ever since I booked my flight. Once again, Etéreo doesn’t disappoint. The three on-site restaurants offer delectable dishes made with the freshest local ingredients. Itzam puts an elevated, contemporary spin on Mexican classics. Che Che combines Japanese techniques with Mexican flavours. (The tataki tostada is a standout.) And El Changarro, where you can tuck into lunch with your toes in the sand, serves up catches of the day—and one of the best ceviches I’ve ever tasted—in a spectacular seaside setting.

On my first morning, after a run on the beach, I meet Armando, barista of the adorable Chu Chu Breakfast truck. (“Happiness on Wheels” would be a more apt moniker.) Think fresh-pressed green juices, granola, Mexican pastries and every milk alternative under the sun for your latte of choice—iced or hot. Just when I thought this place couldn’t get any more perfect….


I kick off the following day with a yoga class and meditation session led by yogi Jesús Aguilar. The studio, with its large windows looking out on a luxuriant garden, invites you to abandon any worries and fully immerse yourself in the moment. I decide to keep the relaxation going and make unwinding the theme of my day: I swim, doze off in a cabana, read, contemplate and dream. After the sun sets, I recline on a net floating over mangroves and stare up at the stars as waves crash in the distance. I’ve finished my book, every last shred of tension has evaporated from my body and stress feels like a distant memory. Etéreo has certainly delivered on its promise: I feel lighter, more at ease and ready to get back to my real life…albeit a bit more mindfully now.

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