PURE AND DECADENT
Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
While best known for its iconic Frank Lloyd Wright–inspired architecture and hosting every US President between Herbert Hoover and George W. Bush, the Arizona Biltmore is currently writing its next chapter on modern American luxury. A standout of the resort’s $70-million renovation is the newly built Tierra Luna Spa and Sol Garden, a place to fully embrace the desert’s spiritual side. The multi-acre, saguaro-speckled Sol Garden spans indoors and outdoors, available for pre- and après-spa relaxation. Further enhance your experience by going between the outdoor hot tub and cold plunge pool, lazing in a sun-drenched lounger, or cooling off in misted gardens. After reflecting in the sacred crystal zone, order a detoxifying tea (or retoxing cocktail) at the Well Bar.
Among treatment options, choose the Luminous Quartz Cryo and Thermal Facial, a Chakra and Sound Massage, or one of a trio of gemstone-driven soaking rituals. Each promises a transformative experience through sound, touch, and energy healing, often underscored by the power of crystals. In-depth cosmic experiences courtesy of the resort’s resident astrologist (who performs both full natal birth chart readings as well as mini-sessions) bring light to current planetary energy. arizonabiltmore.com
Castle Hot Springs, Arizona
Rewind to 1896 when Arizona welcomed its first wellness resort, Castle Hot Springs—a small property rooted in ancient thermal hot springs and tucked into the cacti-cloaked splendor of the Bradshaw Mountains, an hour north of Phoenix. Now, more than 127 years later, a new light-on-Earth version of the resort remains grounded in the mindful, luxurious experiences today’s travelers crave.
In its current incarnation, Castle Hot Springs is a 34-room, campus-style oasis cast over 1,110 acres of rugged desert terrain. The cornerstone of the greater wellness and spa experience here is a series of healing, mineral-rich springs. Long soaks are encouraged daily, especially before scheduled spa time and select massages, including Watsu (an in-water floating treatment). Other body rituals and energy therapies take place in canvas-topped cabanas, the highlight of which is the Lavender Lemongrass Journey, a two-hour exfoliation, wrap, and massage experience incorporating products made with locally harvested desert lavender and lemongrass. To further stimulate a mind-body connection, guests participate in desert hikes, horseback riding, yoga, meditation, and stargazing. Meals focused on clean eating are prepared with just-harvested ingredients from the on-site organic farm and greenhouse. castlehotsprings.com
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Arizona
Within the master-planned, eco-sensitive golf community of Troon North, this Four Seasons honors its desert surroundings through design and thoughtful programming. Adobe-style architecture carefully blends into the arroyo- and boulder-strewn landscape, best admired poolside or along the scenic walking trails snaking through the property. A partnership with REI Adventures fortifies the bond with nature through activities like the Pedal to Peak E-Bike & Hiking Tour, a half day of guide-led cycling through the McDowell Mountains and hiking Tom’s Thumb Trailhead.
At The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, try locally inspired therapies such as the Nopal Massage, in which vitamin-rich cactus paddles are warmed, halved, and used as instruments of both nourishment and massage (imagine a fresh aloe vera experience on steroids). The Prickly Pear Renewal is a gentle exfoliation with a prickly pear body polish followed by a calming massage using prickly pear oil. For golfers, a highlight is teeing off on the scenic 7,009-yard, par-71 Pinnacle Course and the Tom Weiskopf–conceived, Jay Morrish–designed, 7,039-yard, par-72 Monument Course. During the 90-minute Golfer’s Massage, therapists roll and knead warm golf balls into muscles, releasing tension in areas prone to golf-related stiffness. fourseasons.com
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, Arizona
Find this favorite of the West Coasters sprawled across 53 acres of red rocks, palm trees, and saguaro cacti on the northern slope of Camelback Mountain. A mix of soothing, minimalist casitas, suites, and villas come replete with travertine showers and subtle accents, nodding to the local monarch butterfly population. At the Sanctuary Spa, embark on a mental and physical journey to Asia by way of Scottsdale.
Twelve outward-facing treatment rooms frame a serene, Zen meditation garden and stone-lined reflection pond. Therapies steeped in Thai technique feature the Luk Pro Kope, an advanced Thai massage employing a heated herbal compress. Rooted in Japanese tradition are the Zen Shiatsu and energy-balancing Reiki treatments; or there’s a Chinese-Japanese hybrid like the Golden Lotus Balancing Ritual. Alternatively, opt for a remixed version of something more familiar: The two-hour Wild Lime Blossom is a blissful, full-body relaxation massage—with dedicated time blocks for the scalp, neck, shoulders, and legs—using warmed wild lime oil and performed at the pressure level of your choice. www.gurneysresorts.com
Ensconced between the rust-hued bluffs, mesas, and canyons that dominate the Arizona-Utah border, Amangiri is a remote, ultra-luxe escape that fosters reconnection with nature and self. Enhancing views of the Colorado Plateau and its dramatic geological excess, the transitional indoor-outdoor design incorporates relaxation nooks, retractable floor-to-ceiling windows, and doors, plus structures hewn into the sandstone itself.
Immersion into desert tranquility peaks at the Aman Spa, which draws on the Navajo concept of hózhó, a state of being in tune with oneself and balanced with the world. Recalibrate with a Purifying Massage for lymphatic drainage and nerve point therapy using arnica, palo santo, and seaweed oils. Or rejuvenate with the Desert Calm, a two-hour experience that includes a full-body exfoliation, a red Sedona clay body wrap, a scalp massage, and an oxygen facial. In all cases, plan for languid afternoons in the spa’s water pavilion, home to a hot-and-cold hydrotherapy circuit and a heated pool perfectly etched into the earth below. aman.com