After the past year-and-a-half, we’re all in need of a little R&R. For me, a week in late April at three wellness spas in Arizona was just what the doctor ordered. Having my twin sister join me on the trip made it even better. After flying into Phoenix, we picked up a Jeep and drove to Andaz Resort in nearby Scottsdale. We had just enough time to unpack in our spacious bungalow before heading to Palo Verde Spa for a soul essence massage, which started with creating a custom essential oil mix at the spa’s blending bar.
Andaz’s Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen offers culinary specialties inspired by the Sonoran Desert. My favorite was the blue corn pancakes with an orange poppy seed sauce. Within walking distance is another terrific restaurant, Fat Ox, which features upscale Italian fare. Try its roasted bone marrow, Rosso Crest di Gallo (with dandelion greens, duck sausage, and huckleberry), and signature brick-grilled organic chicken or one of its dishes featuring cuts of Linz Angus beef.
A quick drive will take you to the stunning Desert Botanical Garden, which features more than 50,000 plants. If built landscapes are more your style, visit Taliesin West, the winter home and studio of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. For shopping, check out the quirky shops (and a few tourist traps) in Old Town Scottsdale. Be sure to stop at The Mission for some of the best guacamole you’ll ever have. The roasted corn gorditas are another must.
After all the eating and drinking in Scottsdale, my sister and I drove to Civana Wellness Resort & Spa in tiny Carefree, Arizona. There, we burned off every calorie with classes like cardio flow and aerial yoga and hikes on the Metate Trail, which meanders among giant saguaro cacti. Recovery experiences included an aqua therapy circuit and massages at the spa, a peaceful gratitude circle in the rose garden, and sunset sound healing. Due to its remote location, all meals were on campus. But the “veggie-forward” offerings did not disappoint. Especially delicious were the mushroom-lentil paté and hemp-crusted tuna.
Our trip took a magical turn when we headed to Enchantment Resort in Sedona. Nestled in the breathtaking red rocks of Boynton Canyon, the property truly lives up to its name. Joyful hummingbirds can be spotted throughout the pristine grounds during the day, and on clear nights, the sky is otherworldly, perfect for stargazing.
At Enchantment’s more formal Che Ah Chi restaurant, Native American ingredients are showcased in menu items that are presented as works of art. The Sous Vide Lamb Loin and Yuma Spring Vegetable Chili were spectacular. At the more casual Tii Gavo, standouts included an elote appetizer and tamale bowls with mole-braised short rib or chile shrimp.
What makes Enchantment truly exceptional, though, are the unique wellbeing classes and spa treatments and the resort’s gifted therapists and guides. Experiences include reiki energy healing, seven chakras massage, and medicine wheel meditations. We also did Qigong, hiked the red rocks, made prayer arrows, attended a vortex lecture, and tried our hand at mandalas and Zen art. At Enchantment, your mind will quiet, and your heart and soul will expand. As I later described it to friends, it was the best summer camp ever.