Arizona is a magical place. From saguaro cacti to ancient Navajo secrets, there’s a special sense of calm and rejuvenation that washes over me every time I visit.
One of my favorite ways to experience the desert is on a wellness journey. Booking at a spa or a wellness center gives you the opportunity not only to enjoy both the beauty and spiritual connection of the desert, but also to have a relaxing massage. Not to mention, in some spots, you can sunbathe by a pool while taking in the gorgeous views of Camelback Mountain.
Scottsdale has some of the best spas in Arizona. You can enjoy the beauty of the desert and witness its stunning sunsets from the comfort of a luxurious hotel room. Here are the five best Scottsdale spas to visit.
Enjoy A Havana-inspired Oasis at The Scott Scottsdale
The Scott is a chic Havana-inspired boutique resort with luxurious hotel rooms and incredible service.
This Scottsdale wellness center has two outdoor pools that are surrounded by luscious flora, including desert flowers and mesquite trees. They even have a sandy beach area where you can kick back in the shade beneath one of their private cabanas and savor a wide variety of snacks, craft cocktails, and local beers.
During the day, you can visit one of their private sun-washed treatment rooms for one of the best massages in Scottsdale. Their salt stone massage includes stones that are infused in Cuban-inspired aromatherapy oil to remove muscle tension. Or experience a detoxifying soak in a copper bath filled with essential oils and minerals.
They also have a full fitness gym for any fitness regime, whether that’s yoga, barre, or weights.
Relax in Style and Enjoy VH Spa at Hotel Valley Ho
Hotel Valley Ho is a charming 1950s retro hotel with a holistic treatment spa. Open Thursday to Sunday, VH Spa makes for a great weekend getaway or couples’ retreat.
You can choose from a multitude of treatments, including a hot-stone massage, facials, nail service, and more. Or come for one of their events, like a private yoga session on the rooftop, and rejuvenate your mind. You can even enjoy bathtub bottle service, complete with wine, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and of course, plenty of bubbles.
The hotel itself is a mid-century building with a contemporary flair. The rooms are bright and spacious, with pops of color that are reminiscent of Arizona’s retro charm. The hotel’s ZuZu restaurant is popular with locals, too, and serves American comfort food, with favorites like avocado toast, BLTs, French toast, and a highly photogenic Show Stopper Shake. What’s more, it’s pet-friendly, so your best friend can also enjoy a weekend away.
Connect With Your Spiritual Side at CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa
One of the best wellness-focused resorts in the area, in my opinion, is CIVANA Scottdale. Located just outside Scottsdale in rural Carefree, CIVANA has nearly every holistic treatment you could want. Surrounded by the Sonoran Desert, you can view the nearby mountains from your room or experience the majestic saguaro cacti during a morning hike through the Arizona landscape.
CIVANA operates on four pillars: movement, spa, nourishment, and discovery. They have an extensive list of classes and treatments. Classes range from art, TRX training and aerial yoga to desert bathing and reflexology. The spa has an impressive 22 treatment rooms, including a Watsu therapy pool, training pool, sun deck and salon.
The rooms are bright and minimal, with white sheets and light wooden furnishings. You can enjoy a meal at one of their two restaurants, Seed and Terras, which both create seasonal meals with ingredients sourced from local farmers and herbs that are grown in their on-site garden.
Experience Luxury at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is probably the most luxurious spa and resort in Scottsdale, if not the U.S. It offers pretty much every luxury you can think of, from a golf course to six swimming pools, five restaurants, and plenty of boutique shops. In fact, the complex is so large that it has an in-house app to help guests figure out how to get around.
The Fairmont’s Well & Being Spa has multiple spa rooms, including a classic steam room, a restorative eucalyptus inhalation room, a Swedish sauna, and cold plunge pool. The fitness studio offers classes that promise to keep you centered, like aerial yoga, Pilates, barre, and spin.
Even more exciting, ultra-luxe spa and beauty brand Sisley-Paris recently opened up a ‘spa within a spa’ at the Fairmont. With six dedicated rooms for guests seeking treatments using Sisley’s exclusive techniques and products, this mini spa offers the ultimate in luxurious relaxation. Even better, you’ll be treated with complimentary Champagne and French pastries while waiting for your treatments.
Escape to the Desert at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain
One of the best spas in the heart of the desert, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa is the go-to place to escape the bustling city life.
Nestled in the side of Camelback Mountain, Sanctuary is one of the top 10 spas in Arizona. The Asian-inspired spa includes 12 indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, a Zen meditation garden and a reflection pond. There’s also a Watsu pool, a women’s quiet room, and myriad unique spa treatments, such as an aquatic massage, or a Thai massage with organic, medicinal herbs.
Rooms are bright and modern, with panoramic views of the surrounding desert. And the dining experience is simply exquisite. And for a truly serene experience, you can dine under the stars on their deck, while enjoying breathtaking views of Paradise Valley.
Take Some Time to Breathe in Scottsdale
Scottsdale has quickly added ‘leading wellness area’ to ‘golf destination’ on the list of things it’s known for. The region caters to those looking for a spa experience, from the spiritual and holistic to the downright relaxing. The sheer number of luxury resorts (there are more than 70 hotels and resorts, and over 50 resorts and day spas both in the heart of the city and on the outskirts of the desert) is how Scottsdale, Arizona, has become a leading wellness destination in the U.S.
Located just 15 minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, it’s easy to get to. Plus, the mild temperatures in winter—around 72°F or 22°C on average—make it an ideal destination in the winter. My favorite time to visit is in January, as the weather is still cool but not so cool that you can’t enjoy an afternoon out by the pool.
Being surrounded by the desert, hearing the song of the quail while the sun washes over the cacti, is itself a calming experience that’s a pleasant reminder of the healing power of Arizona’s natural landscape.