Taking care of ourselves properly involves more than simply eating a rainbow of vegetables and going to spin or Pilates classes — we know we have to do healthy things to feel good. But what about our mental and emotional wellbeing? We live demanding, full, and often stress-producing lives, and finding real ways to uncoil and take a breather is paramount if we want to alleviate tension or remove ourselves from adverse pressure-building contexts. I propose a “spa-cation” — a weekend getaway that is worth every penny. Go with friends, your family, or solo — the point is, go. And, what is one of the best all-encompassing, easily accessible spa resorts? The Phoenician in sunlit Arizona.
The Phoenician, located in Scottsdale at the base of the stunning Camelback Mountain, has it all: world-class dining, commodious luxurious pools and private cabanas, a championship golf course cut in the Sonoran desert, a hefty art collection, and, my favorite, The Centre for Well-Being Luxury Scottsdale Spa.
This Forbes Four-Star spa at The Phoenician provides the fundamental repose that will recharge your batteries and help you take an in-depth look at your overall mental health and happiness. The harmonious menu is full of treatments and services — choose from holistic massages, wraps, scrubs, and facials, or go for broke and get a full package. The Bliss spa indulgence, for example, includes a 50-minute body treatment, a 50-minute massage, a 50-minute restorative facial, a mani/pedi, and a lunch prepared by The Phoenician’s talented culinary team.
This 22,000-square-foot wellness facility also includes a 24-hour fitness studio with classes and health consultations, yoga, Pilates, access to private hikes to Camelback Mountain, a spa boutique, a full service salon and — for further inner-calm — a serene meditation atrium. The meditation atrium is a tranquil space that soothes your senses with calming music, a stunning water fountain, adult meditation coloring sheets, and remarkably, Intuitive Services. These Intuitive Services amenities, located in the meditation atrium, involve the aid of expert and thoughtful guides that offer support and mindfulness through the ancient art of Tarot, individual meditation sessions, astrological chart readings, and hypnotherapy (25-, 50-, or 80-minute sessions available) — all geared towards reducing stress, teaching visualization techniques, and promoting a more free and kind lifestyle.
After your day the spa, you’ll want to fill your belly with the amazing fare from one of 19 (19!) options available at The Phoenician. I recommend a visit to Il Terrazzo for a peaceful nouveau Italian experience. You can relax on the outdoor patio and feel the warm breeze blowing in from the Sonoran Desert. Not to be missed: the colorful yellowfin tuna crudo with basil, mint, avocado, and a sweet chile sauce to start, followed by the filling Faroe Island salmon with tomato jam and tarragon tomato water. You’ll also want to indulge in a glass or two of wine. Choose a bottle from the 2015 Wine Spectator “Best of Award of Excellence” list.
The desserts at Il Terrazzo are fantastic, (especially the warm chocolate cake with sea salt caramel gelato and hot chocolate sauce) but for something really special, walk over to the award-winning J&G Steakhouse, operated by chef Jean-Georges Vingerichten, and order the table-side flambé, best enjoyed with an after dinner espresso or, if you fancy another adult beverage, a golden-brown tawny port. Ask to be seated on the upper deck patio outside — you’re in Arizona after all — and soak in the nice weather and sit as long as you like!
Imagine your mood after taking part in all of these delightful spa services, soaking up vitamin-D by the pool, hiking on a mountain full of cacti and blooming desert plants, and dining on topnotch fare. You’ll be much more prepared to face the daily grind at home with a fresh zen-like perspective. Go ahead, you deserve it!
Pro tip: If you decide to travel with your family or children, you can utilize The Phoenician’s “Funicians Club.” Your brood will love hanging out, playing games, and crafting in the well-designed kid-centric zone and you’ll love getting some quiet time during a much-needed spa treatment or romantic dinner for two.