7 Must-Visit Desert Hot Spots

By Jennie Nunn / August 29, 2013

the Aji Spa pool at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass

There’s much more to Scottsdale, Arizona, than sizzling temperatures, pristinely manicured golf courses, swimming pools lined with cabanas and palm trees. Framed by iconic Camelback Mountain and dotted with architectural gems such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, the city is home to some of the most innovative natural healing treatments at resorts and spas in the country. From healing turquoise-infused body wraps to inventive magnetic exfoliating scrubs to eliminate toxins, read on for spas and treatments to place on the don’t-miss list.

Aji Spa at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass

Located in Chandler (about 18 miles from Scottsdale), Aji Spa at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort offers a Native American-inspired spa menu with indigenous treatments derived from local tribes including the Pima and Maricopa. Recharge parched, lackluster skin with the new Ho’ishp (ha ish) Sacred Prickly Pear Body Treatment (110 minutes; $250-270) with a detoxifying red clay mask followed by a 50-minute full body massage with prickly pear and aloe oil. Then relax with a soothing cup of Prickly Pear tea. wildhorsepassresort.com


Women’s relaxation area at Spa Aviana Hyatt Regency Scottsdale

The Spa at Four Seasons Troon North
After a long day of lounging poolside or hiking on nearby trails, opt for the Healing Hiker’s Massage (80 minutes; $220) with an application of arnica and sage to combat inflammation and achy muscles. The treatment concludes with a warm cup of tea, a heated hand towel, and a chocolate-dipped strawberry. For a post-spa lunch, head to the resort’s newly opened Southern, comfort food-inspired restaurant, Proof. Hint: order the fried green tomatoes, Arizona mixed greens with avocado, Tinkerbell peppers, and pickled onion, or the chicken and waffles. fourseasons.com/scottsdale

Spa Avania at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch
Spa Aviana, replete with a swimming pool (there’s a total of 10 at the resort), a lotus pond, and a 16,920-gallon French Celtic mineral pool, is a veritable playground for spa-goers. At the 12,000-square-foot facility, treatments are customized by time of day: morning, afternoon, and evening. Choose from chakra-balancing and rejuvenation treatments such as the Magnetic Body Ritual (105 minutes; $200) with an application of a crushed diamond dust meticulously removed with tiny hand-held magnets. scottsdale.hyatt.com

Well + Being Spa at Willow Stream Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Just opened this year, the new Well+Being Spa at

Aerial yoga at Well + Being Spa

Aerial yoga at Well + Being Spa

Willow Stream features on-site medical doctors, fitness and nutrition consultations, including a one-on-one body composition test done in a Bod Pod machine, and group classes such as Aerial Yoga done using a suspended, hammock-like cloth. Spa menu options range from an immune-boosting Ginger and Rosemary Bath to the Hacienda Retreat (60 minutes; $179), complete with a yellow corn and lime body polish, a shea butter mask and an application of mojito body butter. scottsdaleprincess.com


Turquoise wrap at Waldorf Astoria Spa at the Boulders

Waldorf Astoria Spa at The Boulders
A labyrinth that takes cues from ancient Hopi medicine wheels, a 2000-square-foot fitness center, and an on-site café are just a few of the offerings at this 33,000-square-foot spa fit for serious spa aficionados. Delve into your astrological chart with an astrological soul reading (50 minutes; $155), or promote positive vibes with the Native American-inspired Turquoise Wrap (80 minutes) with a turquoise clay wrap and a pure honey mask. While cocooned, a harmonizing rain stick ritual is performed to eliminate negative energy. theboulders.com

JW Marriott Camelback Inn pool at sunset

JW Marriott Camelback Inn pool at sunset

The Spa at JW Marriott Camelback Inn

A large stone fountain, and sculptural wind chimes designed by late Scottsdale architect Paolo Soleri (the mastermind behind the city’s Soleri Bridge), set the tranquil backdrop for entrance to The Spa at Camelback Inn. Try the Active Organic Facial (60 minutes; $155) using wild cherry enzymes to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, or the natural agave toning wrap (60 minutes; $165) with a Vitamin E-infused sea salt scrub, an anti-aging agave nectar oil, and a scalp massage. camelbackspa.com

Joya Spa at Montelucia Resort
Designed by Sylvia Sepielli (of the Nob Hill Spa in San Francisco and The Grand Dolder in Switzerland), Joya Spa is fashioned with Moroccan-inspired décor and a dream-like entrance marked by a large, illuminated quartz stone. Highlights include a whisper room lined with comfy beds draped with sheer curtains, a Turkish hammam and a private spa pool overlooking the property. Book a Healing Hot Stone Massage and choose a scented oil based on your mood, or learn about personality traits and characteristics based on individual mouth-shape and lip lines with a lip-print reading. 


Jennie Nunn

Jennie Nunn

West Coast Contributing Editor at Organic Spa Magazine
Jennie Nunn, Organic Spa's West Coast Contributing Editor, is a former editor at magazines including Sunset, California Home+Design, and 7x7. Her work has appeared in publications such as C, The Hollywood Reporter, AFAR, Destination Weddings+Honeymoons, The San Francisco Chronicle, Luxe Interiors+Design, San Francisco Magazine, Gotham, Capitol File, 5280, Houston Brides, and 805 Living. 
Jennie Nunn

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