So-called sweat lodges are
important elements of some age-old traditions among indigenous
peoples all over the world, where the basic idea is for small
groups to enter a heated chamber and participate in a ritual to
purify and heal the body and spirit.
A number of resort spas offer Native
American sweat lodges and temazcals (the Mexican
analogue), so that anyone with a robust constitution can partake of
these rituals. They work as team-building activities, too: After
more than an hour inside the intense heat, a group will be bonded
together in a new way.
Not everyone will enjoy the activity;
therefore, it is important to ensure participants won’t mind being
ensconced in a small, hot space for a lengthy spiritual
At the 111-room Bishop’s Lodge
Ranch Resort & Spa (www.bishopslodge.com) in Santa Fe, N.M., a sweat lodge
by the river can fit up to 12 guests. The new Skana spa at the
94-room Lodge at Turning Stone (www.turning-stone.com) in Verona, N.Y., has a sweat
lodge that seats 15.
At temazcals in the Riviera Maya, south
of Cancun, Mexico, healers lay herbs on hot rocks, then pour water
over them to create scented, therapeutic steam. Temazcals holding
up to 10 guests are found at the 30-room Ikal del
Mar (above, www.ikaldelmar.com), 90-room Paraiso de la
Bonita (www.paraisodelabonita.com) and 96-room Azul
Blue Hotel + Spa (www.karismahotels.com).