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El Santuario, an unconventional resort

Article - November 5, 2012
Michel Domit’s El Santuario (or, The Sanctuary) resort is as unusual as its founder.

Nestled into a quartz-veined mountain near Valle de Bravo, two hours from Mexico City, the resort promotes itself as a place for spiritual replenishment, an oasis of tranquillity and luxury away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

“This is a place that alters your life,” says Mr Domit, who confesses that building the resort was a sort of personal spiritual quest, and adds that he always follows his intuition when making business decisions. “For me, it was the project of a lifetime. It was a very hard time in my life when I had to choose between my head and my heart. My heart told me ‘Yes, you have to do this.’”

Mr Domit sought to develop a new tourism paradigm based on the co-existence of man and nature. Perched on the mountainside, El Santuario is surrounded by water: a 50-metre waterfall cascades nearby, while the mountain itself looks over the lake in Valle de Bravo below. An ecological reserve covers 85 per cent of the site.

The resort, which has been blessed by the Dalai Lama, has none of the austerity of a traditional retreat, seamlessly blending spiritual harmony and with luxury and convenience. Facilities include 64 hotel suites, Latin America’s largest and most luxurious spa, a golf club, a marina and yacht club, an equestrian club, and a convention centre.