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Dozens of luxury spas make Scottsdale a true spa destination

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A truly spa-centric destination, Scottsdale has something for almost every spa enthusiast.

A destination once synonymous with golf, Scottdale is a desert city now flush with luxury spas. Take those top spas combine with fabulous hiking, biking and great weather, and Scottsdale makes it to our A-list of wellness destinations. Here are the spas we personally tried, liked and recommend!

Sanctuary Spa, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain

Sanctuary SpaSet in the mountains in the shadow of the Praying Monk – a rocky, red outcropping perched high above the grand infinity pool – the Sanctuary Spa at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain (www.sanctuaryoncamelback.com) is a stylish resort with a Zen twist. One of the features we really liked about the spa is the way it embraces nature. Waiting area and most treatment rooms have doors that open onto a Zen-inspired courtyard.

In keeping with its Eastern theme, one of the spa’s signature treatments is the Table Top Thai Massage. Another is the Onsen Longevity body treatment which includes a full body exfoliation, a foot treatment with self-heating seaweed to help with detoxification, and the application of a firming gel applied to the entire body.

Another point of distinction at Sanctuary is The Sanctum, a circular stone enclave open to the sky. With its open fire pit, hot tub and showers, it’s the perfect half-day or day-long hide-away for couples seeking a combo of pampering and privacy. 

The guest rooms at the Sanctuary and the first-rate gourmet restaurant Elements – offering a romantic 180 degree view of nearby mountains ranges – are just as pleasing as the spa.

Willow Stream Spa, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

This flagship Willow Stream at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (www.fairmont.com/Scottsdale) is also the birthplace of the spa chain’s golf treatments. Before heading out to the resort’s championship course, try the Golf Enhancement Treatment. 

After a day of trekking the dusty trails with Arizona Outback Adventures (www.aoa-adventures.com) – or even if you’ve just been trekking around on of the many local malls – we loved the Havasupai Body Oasis Experience.  The treatment begins with a warm waterfall shower in the Oasis Courtyard.  Tired feet are then bathed in a eucalyptus footbath, as you – the weary trekker – sip herbal tea. A chamomile exfoliation, an herbal bath, an aromatherapy wrap including a face and scalp acupressure massage, gets any body back in-the-groove. Following this treatment you’ll be ready to trek up to the rooftop, adults-only pool area, plop yourself down on a comfy lounge in one of the private cabanas, and nap.

A full gym facility, a café (go for the Bento Box lunch), hot tubs, a cold plunge pool and a Eucalyptus-infused, hammam-style, inhalation room excellent for the respiratory system round out the spa experience. 

Alvadora Spa, Royal Palms Resort

Royal Palms ResortIf there is one resort in all Scottsdale designed for romance, the Mediterranean-style Royal Palm Resort (www.royalpalmshotel.com) is it. A mix of Southwestern and Tuscan style with Moorish influences, the resort seems to embrace you from the moment you arrive. There are vine-covered trellises, voluptuous Jacaranda trees dressed in blooms of soft peach and rose, covered walkways draped in Bougainvillea, private cabanas set up for poolside massages and shade, and lots of private corners with seating for two. Everything on this intimate nine-acre property speaks to romance and attention to detail.

This gem of a resort rates at the top of our “most romantic” list and so does its Alvadora Spa. In addition to two couple’s suites, the intimate Alvadora houses seven treatment rooms with private patios or balconies, three outdoor treatment areas, a cozy waiting room with fireplace, expert therapists and a full range of spa services, including the ultimately sensual Botanical Ritual with its bath-a-deux. The facility is in perfect romantic harmony with the rest of the resort.  Of course, it also helps if you’re there with the right somebody.  

Spa Avania, Hyatt Gainey Ranch

To the best of our knowledge, Spa Avania  (www.spaavania.com) is the first spa anywhere where just about everything is based on the science of time and the body’s natural biorhythms. Broken into time zones of Morning (awakening and revitalization), Midday (restoration and balance) and Evening (relaxation and repair), the entire spa facility – everything from treatments to music and design – has been artfully and meticulously choreographed to correspond to the body’s changing rhythms and requirements.

There are 14 different music zones all programmed to change with the three different times of day. Even the adjoining gym has chilled towels infused with different scents selected to complement the various times of day.

The spa’s centerpiece and signature space is the dramatic outdoor central court with its French Celtic mineral pool,wood-burning fireplaces, bougainvillea-covered trellis, lotus pond and black granite waterwall.  A truly lovely spot to relax, take a dip and enjoy a tea service that rates among the best I’ve had anywhere. While most every spa offers herbal tea, Avania takes the service to a ceremony usually reserved for fine wines or champagnes. The tea menu includes exclusive, first-flush high antioxidant teas from the Himalayas, China, Japan, Italy and Egypt.

Want to book a trip to Scottsdale? Check out the tripatlas.com/new Trip Builder where you can request a quote local travel agents who are waiting to offer you custom prices on your trip.


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