While high-end resort spas abound in and around Cancun, Mexico, Bamboo Hair & Spa offers a pleasant alternative to the expensive hotel options.
That’s me with nail tech Veronica Espinosa, salon manager Helen Lopez, and nail tech Mariana Schpaliansky.
During my trip to Mexico last summer, I decided to pop over to Cancun on my way to Isla Mujeres. After four weeks in the sand, my toenails had taken quite a beating and I was excited to see what a “typical” nail salon in Mexico was all about. Wanting to avoid the high-end resort spas at all costs, I set out looking for a salon online. And thankfully, through my trusted site TripAdvisor, I found Bamboo Hair & Spa, a fullservice salon located right in the heart of the hotel zone.
After spending four weeks in the bohemian eco-resort town of Tulum, my friend Nicole and I enjoyed some of the comforts of home — like massage chairs and a little pampering.
Open for about seven years, Bamboo has two pedicure spas and one manicure station in the front room, located directly across the street from a large high-end resort hotel. There is also a space to do hair and makeup in the front, and there are three rooms dedicated to massage and facial services in the back. I was happy to hear from salon manager Helen Lopez that the salon follows much of the same sanitation protocol that we do here in the U.S., including cleaning and disinfecting the pedicure thrones after each client and using a dry sterilizer on metal implements.
Hotel Rio Palace sits directly across from Bamboo. Service prices are more than double at the hotel.
While 90% of the salon’s clients are tourists, the small percentage of local clients are people who work in the resort area of Cancun. The salon employs a public relations professional, Hajnalka Volgyi, to help market its services, and she works closely with the hotel concierges to let them know their patrons have other options than just expensive resort spas.
Bamboo Hair & Spa is located on the main drag in the resort zone of Cancun. The owners are opening another spa, called Mayan, a few doors down.
My friend Nicole and I sunk into our comfortable massage chairs while enjoying spa-style pedicures. While some of the service steps weren’t what we’re used to in the U.S. (manicure scissors instead of nippers and no base coat), for the most part, the pedicure was pretty standard. In addition to manicures and pedicures, Bamboo also offers acrylic, gel, and gel-polish services. A spa manicure costs about $20 (USD) and a spa pedicure costs $30. Gel-polish manis (Bamboo uses Jessica GELeration) are about $38. According to Volgyi, gels and gel-polish are becoming more popular with their vacationing clients — especially since it withstands the rigors of sand and water better than traditional polish.