In our case, the butler who showed us to our villa was also our Soap Concierge but we understand this may be a separate person in some cases. Here's how it works: there's no wrapped bars of soap in your bathrooms -- although there is shower gel in a large dispenser (along with shampoo, conditioner, hand soap and moisturizer). Instead, the Soap Concierge arrives with large blocks of locally made soaps and a big, sharp knife.
Don't be scared! The knife is so she can carve you slices of the different kinds of soaps right in front of you. The process reminded us of cutting off generous chunks of cheese--only the soaps are a lot more aromatic, and, well, you shouldn't eat them.
Made by local residents following ancient Mayan traditions, the soaps are formulated with organic ingredients found on the Yucatan Peninsula. The scents include lemon, chocolate, rosemary, peach, melon, cinnamon and oatmeal. The Soap Concierge will give you enough soap for your stay and you can always request more or another variety by calling the front desk (you can also buy some to take home at the hotel's new gift shop).
We tried the oatmeal, mint and, our favorite, the verbena--which was fruity and fresh and just the thing for lathering up in the villa's outdoor shower...
2012 rates at the Tides start at $605 a night.