Scottsdale is perhaps the most famous wellness destination in the country and offers something for everyone
Scottsdale, Arizona is a true Spa Mecca, perhaps even the most famous Spa destination in the country. Hands down, it seems there are more Spas per capita here than anywhere else, with the number increasing—and Scottsdale increasing-at a fantastic rate. What about this particular part of the American Southwest? It’s undoubtedly beautiful, but according to Sylvia Sepielli, founder of Spad (Sylvia Planning And Design) and creator of several of the world’s largest Spas, including Arizona’s Mii Amo and Joya Spa at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, the answer is simple: “It’s time. And people move to Arizona for their health.”In other words, where there are health-conscious people, there are Spas. In recent years, Scottsdale has also become an upscale dining destination, with FnB’s Charleen Badman, a James Beard Award winner, and Salt’s Branden Levine leading the way. Scottsdale also offers beautiful Red Rock hiking trails, cultural landmarks such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin, mountain biking, museums, and of course Golf—over 100 courses— for which it is famous. With its beautiful Sonoran desert landscape and Spanish Flair, no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it here.
CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN RESORT
The first thing you need to do when you arrive at Sanctuary is to look at the steep mountain of Camelback with its red stone hills and the “praying monk” rock that stands to the side. Then, assuming you’re in the right season-fall, winter or spring—pull on your swimsuit and head to the spacious hot tub next to the infinity pool near the spa to let the jets dissolve any muscle tension while perfectly positioned to take in the impressive mountain. If you want to warm up your bones-like me from a cool New York winter-after that, head to the 12-room Spa and take a seat in the spacious eucalyptus steam. Then try the magic wild linden flower massage, a 90-minute massage that starts with an emphasis on the head, scalp, neck and shoulders, and then turns into a relaxing full-body massage. The treatment room features two beautiful stone wall panels inspired by the praying monk on Camelback Mountain and meditative silence.The 24 beautiful Casitas Spa-the youngest building on the property—are spacious and comfortable and close to everything, including the famous Jade Bar with fireplace and mountain views, and the fantastic Elements restaurant, extremely understated and romantic. Chef Beau MacMillan hails from Plymouth, Massachusetts, and his farm-to-table menu includes many bright, light and innovative touches of Asian classics, including tender carrot and millet pot stickers, Rockefeller Asian oysters with spinach and Hijiki, and Korean barbecue Wagyu beef. Whether you want to hike, Spa, go into town or just relax on the property, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort is just that: a true sanctuary. sanctuaryoncamelback.com
OMNI SCOTTSDALE RESORT & SPA IN MONTELUCIA
Entering the resort, you will immediately feel transferred to Spain: orange trees, Spanish tiles, even Paella on the menu. In fact, The Inspiration for The Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa in Montelucia came from Granada, Spain, because the original owner thought there was an affinity between the land of Scottsdale and this part of Spain. The complex is a quiet and pleasant place where you can spend the whole day by the pool and feel a deep and lasting feeling of peace. Designed and built by Sylvia Sepielli in collaboration with Scottsdale architect Mark Philp, the 31,000 square meter Spanish-Moroccan inspired Joya Spa is a true gem and, like any rare and priceless gem, spectacular to live and see. Enter the Spa and start in the Joy of Intention Room where you stop to set an intention and choose from five healing stones to set the Tone of your day. The cleaning room is next and contains a beautiful 55-pound quartz crystal that emits colorful light, with a constellation that reproduces the stars of Granada, Spain. Guests put both hands on the crystal, take a deep breath and exhale Stress and negative energy. A series of stops and departures are designed to slow you down and put you in a more relaxed and contemplative state. There is a wonderful Steam room and a hot and cold hydrotherapy course not to be missed. Whatever Spa treatment you choose, make the Hammam a part of your trip. “Because the Arabs had such a rich heritage of hamman and healing in Spain, the concept really demanded that,” says Sepielli. “The intention was to give the impression that the hotel had been there for a while, and it is,” says Sepielli. “It transports you.” omnihotels.com/hotels/scottsdale-montelucia
After a major multi-million dollar renovation, the huge, state-of-the-art Phoenician Spa recently reopened with a brand new 37,000-square-foot three-story Spa, which took nearly a year to complete. It has a rooftop pool, which is a great place to have lunch alone or with friends before or after treatment. There is also a Drybar, 24 treatment rooms, a rest suite for couples, a quiet relaxation room, changing rooms with Jacuzzi, steam and Sauna, a fitness center, an exercise studio and a nail salon.The characteristic 80-minute body and mental treatment introduces organic lavender, sage and arnica into a therapeutic Massage aimed at relieving muscle pain and inflammation, with warm towels and essential oils that balance body and mind. The Phoeni-cian Athletic Club, a state-of-the-art two-story complex with stunning desert views, offers everything from virtual workouts to Yoga, Tennis, Pickleball and more. The award-winning J & G Steakhouse, a gourmet restaurant that is part of the Jean Georges Group, has also been refreshed. (If you are not a meat eater, you can enjoy an excellent fish dish.) It is an elegant place to enjoy a unique Cocktail at the friendly bar and look out the floor-to-ceiling windows. The Phoenician is huge, and has several other Restaurants, a lobby lounge, shops, nine pools, and a very family atmosphere.