By Anastasia Mills Healy

Right about now you’re probably yearning for some quiet time for self-care. How about unwinding in a whirlpool under palm trees, in a steam room, or on a massage table with a view of cacti and nearby mountains? Add yoga, tennis, golf, hiking, horseback riding, and dining under the stars overlooking a gorgeous tiled pool. Scottsdale, Arizona is a resort haven; here are some favorites.

I immediately recognized Sintra’s influence on the design of the Joya Spa building at the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia. A family trip earlier in the year to Portugal’s stunning hilltop castle familiarized me with its patchwork ochre- and terra cotta-colored paint, crenellated turrets, tiled alcoves, and lush gardens. The entire Montelucia resort has a distinct Iberian and Moroccan feeling: plazas, fountains, courtyards, azulejos (tiles with designs), and palm trees.

A day at the Montelucia’s 31,000-square-foot Joya Spa begins with walking up a grand staircase, picking a colored stone (each has a meaning that will be described), moving it to the foot of a 55-pound quartz crystal, and placing your hands on the crystal to center yourself. A small outdoor pool and patio with a gorgeous view over the resort, and to the mountain beyond, is co-ed. Encircling a large tiled room in the women’s-only area are a sauna, steam room, whirlpool, cold deluge, and the region’s only hammam. Pleasantly warm but not hot, the hammam has a built-in seating area that’s contoured to the body and covered in tiny iridescent tiles. After making rounds of all the offerings, or if you’re feeling particularly relaxed after a treatment, head to the door marked “Whisper Zone” to draw gossamer curtains around an ultra-comfortable adjustable bed.

If you’re with a few friends or a significant other, a spa suite is a great option. There are five that vary in size and amenities; the Grand Palace Suite has an infinity pool, treatment tables, fireplace, bed, and bathroom. If you can tear yourself away from the spa, the resort also offers Pilates and yoga classes and guided hikes. The Montelucia knows that women like to spa together and has created a Girls Getaway Package that includes discounts on treatments, dining, and boutique purchases as well as a free fitness class and welcome bottle of sparkling wine.

For a completely different feel, the three-year-old Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows is a mid-century modern-inspired property with 185 bungalows spread over 23 acres. It has an L.A. feel: You can picture movie types going over scripts in the poolside cabanas. The resort entrance is a see-and-be-seen experience: A walkway runs next to the glass-walled lobby and restaurant, which faces the main pool.

The Andaz’s Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary is small—only four treatment rooms—but very well executed. As at the Montelucia, there’s a co-ed pool. Each gender has its own indoor-outdoor area with a relaxation lounge and steam room inside and an outdoor whirlpool. Exclusive to the spa, the DNA Growth Factor Exfoliating Facial is a medical grade, amino acid glycolic peel. If a firm massage is in your future, request the very skilled Johnny.

Hotels Notes

The 478 rooms and suites at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess have been refreshed, which includes modernized bathrooms with polished stone and oversized walk-in showers, and upgraded technology: Echo Dots and TVs loaded with 1,000 apps. The 44,000-square-foot spa has an adults-only rooftop pool in addition to a grotto waterfall pool, eucalyptus aromatherapy room, steam room, sauna, whirlpool, and Swiss shower.

A Spa Treatment Room at The Phoenician

The 24-treatment-room spa at The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale has a rooftop pool, V.I.P. Suite, Drybar salon, and fitness classes. Tennis, golf, and the 4,600-square-foot Phoenician Athletic Club will keep active guests busy. 

Opening summer 2020, Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley is a 215-room, 20-acre contemporary design new build. Near Old Town Scottsdale, it will have one of North America’s longest (400 feet) pools and a 16,000-square-foot spa with indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, a private pool, whirlpool, and Vichy shower.

Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley Pool

The Royal Palms Resort and Spa has refreshed its interiors and its 11,000-square-foot Alvadora Spa. There’s a new in-house herbalist managing a botanical program and on-site apothecary that utilizes local plants, herbs, berries, and citrus.

W Scottsdale has a new AWAY® Spa, offering a variety of treatments plus a Spa After Dark concept, with cocktails, glow-in-the-dark treatments, and a DJ.

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