Healthy & Holistic Getaways

By Organic Spa Magazine / January 15, 2014

If you are looking for active, healing, holistic and wholly enjoyable getaways, consider one that is customized to achieve your personal wellness goals.

An Integrative Approach

At the Willow Stream Spa’s Well & Being rooftop pool

Well & Being, in Scottsdale, AZ, features customizable, medically guided experiences combining fitness, integrative medicine, nutrition, wellness and skincare. Guests can choose from a diverse menu (which includes plenty of blissful spa treatments) to create a holistic, personalized program.

“You can come in for a massage and an acupuncture facial, or you may want to find out your percent of lean muscle mass or metabolic rate with our exercise physiologist,” says Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Well & Being Chief Medical Officer and Fellowship Director for the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.

Personalized Intentional Living consultations cover your choice of topics, from nutrition and fitness to Traditional Chinese Medicine and stress management. But there’s also support available beyond a visit for those who want it.

“We’re committed to helping you maintain your health goals even when you leave the property,” says Dr. Low Dog. “You can schedule phone appointments with your integrative doctor, nutritionist, exercise physiologist, acupuncturist or health coach.”


Aerial yoga

Expanded fitness facilities open up the options for guests, from Pilates and CrossFit to Spinning and Ballet Barre. Classes on meditation, tai chi, breath-work and seven types of yoga are also among the studio offerings.

One gravity-defying highlight is Aerial Yoga, a unique style that utilizes cloth slings suspended from the ceiling (think Cirque-du-Soleil-meets-hammock) for support to allow for greater stretch and more inversions, while promoting flexibility and circulation. Whatever your skill level, it’s fun, freeing and refreshingly different.

TRX Suspension Training (a Navy SEAL-inspired workout that develops balance, strength, core stability and flexibility), and immersive Rip Surfer Classes (complete with surf videos and music for inspiration) also give guests a chance to try something new while getting a great workout. For those seeking a customized approach and help setting goals, personal trainers are on hand to help.

High-Tech Health Tools

Data geeks aren’t the only ones who will benefit from the high-tech diagnostic equipment available at Well & Being. The BOD POD, which looks like a giant egg or space capsule, measures body composition (including fat mass) as well as resting metabolic rate, total energy expenditure and more in about five minutes using a non-invasive method while you sit inside it.

Guests can also track workouts and other activities during their stay with a Fit Bit monitor, or gain insights into sleep patterns and get tips for better sleep with a Zeo Sleep Manager headband, worn at night. Both gadgets are available to check out at the spa and can be synched with a smart phone. (Just ask someone on staff to walk you through setup.) Based on the resulting data, experts on staff can help you set goals and monitor your progress if you like. Then again, you’re just as welcome to lounge by the rooftop spa pool or savor one (or more) of those decadent spa treatments instead. That’s the beauty of Well & Being; it’s all up to you.

—Liz Robins

Hawaiian Island Workout

Nalu Kinetic Spa at Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu is stepping up its game with endless fitness activities, newly revamped suites and an indoor/outdoor spa featuring some of the finest local ingredients around.

The newly expanded Nalu Kinetic Spa (nalu means “wave” or “ocean surf” in Hawaiian) at Oahu’s Turtle Bay Resort is just about as close to real-life paradise as it gets. Flanked by five miles of white sandy beaches along the Pacific Ocean, and 12 miles of hiking and biking trails, the newly expanded 11,000-square-foot space situated on the island’s North Shore is outfitted with eco-friendly, reclaimed-wood partitions and floors in a palette of calming earth tones.

The zen-like spa, replete with natural products such as Osea, Naturopathica and Hawaiian-made Ola, features a long list of sparkling upgrades as part of the property’s multi-million dollar remodel: an indoor/outdoor lounge area lined with chaise lounges, three open-air rattan-walled enclosed spa suites fit for seaside massages, a fitness center with ocean views, and a hair and nail salon.

Amazing Fitness Options


Stand-up paddle-boarding yoga

The long list of fitness activities at the oceanfront oasis ranges from Zumba and hot hula (cardio meets hula) held in a new glass-enclosed pavilion atop the bluff, to guided nature walks (there’s a massive Banyan tree to see on the grounds), stand-up paddle-boarding lessons, kayak and surf rentals, and horseback riding.

At the spa, guests can sift through a slew of ocean- and surf-inspired menu offerings to soothe sore and tired muscles such as the Nalu therapy, done atop a high-tech massage table (it’s one of only three in North America) that simulates gentle rocking motions of drifting at sea. For body-buffing scrubs to give off the-just-returned-from-vacation vibe, consider the Lilikoi citrus polish, with Hawaiian cane sugar, shea butter and Lehua honey, or the restorative Sun Undone treatment for over-exposed skin using algae aloe vera.

But before packing up the swimsuit and heading off to the airport, don’t miss the Sea of Life facial, packed with hydrating, organic marine-rich vitamins and minerals, and the Chi Balance and Harmony, a Japanese-inspired body ritual complete with Zen Shiatsu-style stretching and breathing exercises to alleviate stress and promote balance and chi flow.

Think of it like emerging from a year-long tropical escape, only better.

—Jennie Nunn