UFOs, tarot cards, past-life regression—there are lots of reasons to go crazy over this picturesque playground.
INTO THE MYSTIC: When it comes to Sedona, kooks flock and skeptics balk, but such is life in a “spiritual Disneyland.” The small Arizona enclave in gorgeous red rock country counts among its unique attributes a collection of highly concentrated energy centers known as vortexes. And, as the energy flows, so does the influx of healers, artists, and other New Agers. Internationally known spas dot the landscape, and the city boasts a thriving arts community. On the flip side, however, you’ll also encounter such oddities as Ye Olde UFO Store. But don’t let the little green alien brigade scare you off. After a few days here, even a cynic won’t deny Sedona’s power to heal.
LAND OF ENCHANTMENT: Begin your path to wellness at Mii amo, a destination spa at Enchantment Resort in scenic Boynton Canyon. As you near the spa, you’ll notice a panic-inducing lack of cell service. Get over it. After just one day in the phone-free zone, you will wonder how you lived with all the beeping, buzzing, ringing, and vibrating. Mii amo’s choose-your-own-adventure approach means guests pick a three-, four-, or seven-night package and opt for one of five “journeys” featuring spa treatments and services geared toward a variety of themes. Rejuvenation and Ayurvedic Balance are options, as are Healthy Lifestyle and De-stress Mind & Body. Of course, because this is Sedona, there’s also a Spiritual Exploration journey on the menu, including a tarot card reading and past-life regression.
SERENITY NOW: Each day at Mii amo begins with the morning ritual. At 8:15 guests and staff gather in the Crystal Grotto—a circular “sacred space” designed to optimize meditation—to set their intentions for the day. This includes writing down your goals on a piece of paper and dropping it in a basket. Want to relax and release the worries of the real world? Write it down. Then let it go. As your “journey” progresses, you’ll find that second part increasingly easy. Although nearby activities abound—a hike in Boynton Canyon and a shopping excursion in town rank high on the list—the spa is what it’s really all about. Treatment rooms offer views of the red rock mountains, and services include a vast selection of facials, massages, and spiritual healing treatments. Try the signature facial for a refreshed complexion and the aromatherapy massage for light bodywork that includes scents you choose. It’s also worth noting that the dress code at Mii amo can be categorized as bathrobe-chic. Every morning before your first spa treatment, you’ll find a fresh robe and slippers waiting in your locker. That’s pretty much the uniform for the duration of your stay. And trust us when we say you haven’t really lived until you’ve been seated in a dining room while wearing a bathrobe.
SMART COOKIE: The menu at Mii amo keeps with the theme of health and wellness, yet chef Steve Sicinski shuns the concept of spa food. Instead he serves “intelligent cuisine.” Sicinski uses no butter, cream, or lard in his dishes and aims to cut calories and fat without sacrificing flavor. The apple and cottage cheese griddle cakes (just 251 calories) can really start a day off right, and dishes such as low-fat vegetarian chili and barbecue duck taste nothing like diet food. Careful, though—the menu may be smart, but overindulgence is still a distinct possibility. Two big culprits: the gratis bread that comes with meals and the very un-spa-like wine list. But, like everything else at Mii amo, it’s nothing to get worked up about. Their motto: “Have it, metabolize, and move on.” Feeling better already.
In an effort to pay homage to the area’s Native American cultures—the Apache consider Boynton Canyon the tribe’s birthplace—Mii amo and Enchantment Resort offer an extensive Native American program. For a one-of-a-kind experience, sign up for the medicine walk with Bob Bear. You’ll meander around the resort grounds in the company of the Apache elder as he reports on the healing properties of various plant life. Listen closely as Bear barely speaks above a whisper. And forget about taking notes. “That’s not the way it’s supposed to be,” he says. For a culture connection of the spa variety, book an Inner Quest session. During this specialty service, a therapist wraps you in a blanket and places warm stones near seven points on your body, creating the “essence” of a sweat lodge. She also burns sweet grass, bangs on a drum, and whisper-talks about summoning the tribal grandmothers. Then she leaves the room, and for 15 minutes you lie on the table with instructions to “go inward.” Sure, nothing happens, but for those truly looking to do a little soul searching, those few moments could mean everything.
WHERE TO STAY:
525 Boynton Canyon Rd., Sedona
Packages start at $2,190 and include accommodations, meals, spa treatments, and gratuities.
HOW TO GET THERE:
American Airlines flies direct to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. From the airport, drive 110 miles north to Sedona.