Set in the gorgeous Sonoran desert, Scottsdale, Arizona, is a great winter resort city famous for its spas, golf, sunshine, and clubs. Phoenix is just to the west. When you're driving, it's hard to tell when you've gone from one to the other. To the east is wild open spaces that include the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, so it can't grow that way. That is one thing that makes it so beautiful, and an interesting shape -- 30 miles north to south, and just 11.4 miles at its widest point.
Scottsdale is home to some of the best resort spas in the country, and here's the good news: they are open to the public. Prices will be higher than a normal day spa, but you get access to the unusually fabulous facilities. Here are some of the not-to-miss spas in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The newest resort spa in Scottsdale is owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, at Talking Stick Resort. This 13,000 square foot, open-air spa on the 14th floor offers guests unparalleled views of the Valley and floor-to-ceiling windows that can be opened during treatments. True to the heritage and traditions of the Native American community, The Spa at Talking Stick features treatments inspired by products made with culturally significant ingredients. 9800 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, AZ.
Willow Stream Spa is 55,000 square feet of spa with countless amenities. You can wait for your appointment in an aromatherapy room, a cozy and cushioned seating area dedicated to fragrance-induced snoozing. Or head to the outdoors Havasupai Waterfall, which gives you a rare chance to plop your head back into running water and get an unusual spa experience (and a massage to boot!). Carve out your entire schedule for Willow Stream; the gym is fully equipped and makes a wonderful way to start the day, bento can be ordered for lunch service in the courtyard, and the rooftop pool makes the perfect end-of-the-day lounge.
7575 E Princess Dr, Scottsdale, AZ
Tucked away in a secluded Camelback Mountain niche, the spa is elegantly understated and known for zen-induced bliss. The intimate indoor-outdoor facility features Asian-inspired treatments, a Meditation Garden, 14 treatment rooms, a Sanctum, and a unique indoor-outdoor treatment suite. You'll have access to a state-of-the-art fitness center and movement studio, a 25-yard lap pool, and a shop with fun boutique finds you'll want (no, need) to snatch up. Treatments include Reiki, acupuncture, tarot card reading, and table Thai massage.
They also offer Watsu, a gentle modality that is good for moms-to-be. 5700 E McDonald Dr, Scottsdale, AZ
Spa at The Boulders is wonderfully intimate and warm, abundant with places to roam, amenities to try and treatments to go ga-ga over. The entryway's brook and curvaceous architecture envelop visitors and there are many thoughtful touches throughout the facility, including an exotic and inspiring yoga room and an assortment of niches perfectly suited for the cat-napper in all of us. The Labyrinth is an easy-to-miss amenity that is worth seeking out. Utilizing a centripetal walking path for meditation, Spa at The Boulders presents a rare opportunity to experience this age-old meditation tool.
34631 N Tom Darlington Dr, Carefree, AZ
The Centre for Well-Being at The Phoenician offers the classic experience in Valley relaxation and rejuvenation. This luxury resort rising majestically from the spectacular Sonoran Desert at the base of Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona. The spa embodies the spirit and vitality of the Southwest in its landscaping, architecture, and extraordinary art collection. With friends in tow, The Centre for Well-Being offers the perfect full-day retreat. Start with fruit cocktail and juice or tea in the waiting room, then pop over for guided meditation in the atrium, ease into a little whirlpool action in the locker room, head for poolside lunch and drinks, and cap it all off with a treatment a shower, and some primping. 6000 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ
The Spa at Marriott's Camelback Inn captured the hearts of valley residents and visitors well before spa-going was popular. The award-winning 32,000 square-foot facility blends the indulgences of a full-service destination spa within a spectacular resort, offering the ambiance and magic of the Sonoran Desert. Don't miss Scottsdale's only full-service in-spa restaurant, Sprouts. Yes, wine is served! 5402 E Lincoln Dr, Scottsdale, AZ
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa captures the essence of Arizona, beautifully intertwining a zen-meets-desert feel throughout everything from the treatments to the architecture. A full-service fitness center, fun lobby, and catchy spa boutique greet visitors with energy and vibrancy. But once you walk through the spa doors, it's down to relaxation business, complete with lush amenities and indulgent treatments.
Leave your troubles at the door: One of the most endearing elements of Agave, The Arizona Spa, is the handmade Apache Woven Baskets. With one hung at the entrance of every treatment room, guests are asked to place their thoughts, to-do lists, and worries in the basket so their mind is clear and available to enjoy the benefits of the treatment. 6902 E Greenway Pky, Scottsdale, AZ