Stressed out in Sedona? Relief is at hand. So lie back. And let go. It’s “me time.” It’s your day at the spa.
Our local spas attract visitors from all over the world, for massage and body treatments ranging from an hour or two of “pampering” to multiday personalized programs to intense therapeutic kneading, all enriched by Sedona’s beautiful landscape and its aura of healing and nurturing of inner well-being.
What makes a spa experience special? As you’d expect with so personal an experience, there’s no universal answer. But one thing you can count on _ it all begins with a professional staff. More than facilities, red rock views, Sedona mud, heated stones, essential oils or what have you, “staffing is No. 1,” says spa consultant Sylvia Sepielli, who worked on the development of Mii amo, the destination spa at the Enchantment resort. “The experience really begins with your first interaction, as soon as someone at the spa picks up the phone.”
Feeling comfortable is key. Spa professionals at all the local facilities we visited express pride in their ability to tune into clients’ needs through listening, intuition and experience. As Catherine Powers, Spa Director at Hilton Sedona notes, it’s OK if you don’t feel like talking much, and are content to let the massage therapist feel you out. By the same token, you shouldn’t be shy about letting a message therapist know what you’re looking for if there’s something on your mind, whether it’s general relaxation or relief from specific aches and pains. Ditto for asking questions, including inquiries about staff credentials – such as their years of experience and the spa’s own training requirements. Starting in July 2004, the state of Arizona will put into effect new standard statewide licensure requirements for massage therapists.
While there’s certainly a New Age element to local spa environments, the basic benefits of massage are age-old, so don’t feel put off if you can’t tell your chakras from your doshas. “Most spa treatments break down to three areas,” says Sepielli. “Relax, detoxify and uplift.”
There are many ways to try to meet those goals; local spas supplement massage with exclusive blends of essential oils, sugar scrubs, sea salt, flowers, aromatherapy, Sedona mud, heated stones and more. To get a sense of the body treatments local facilities offer, we visited five local facilities: Sedona’s New Day Spa, Oasis Health Spa at the Sedona Racquet Club, The Hilton Spa, Therapy on the Rocks and Mii amo. The first three are day spas that offer treatments by appointment. Therapy on the Rocks is as well, but specializes in therapeutic massage; it’s not geared toward pampering so much as chronic-pain relief. Mii amo stands out as a “destination spa,” where guests come for a three-, four- or seven-day getaway of personalized treatments.
Spring Flower Wrap
Sedona’s New Day Spa
Back in the ’60s, everyone was familiar with “flower power.” Sedona’s New Day Spa still is. The spa’s “Spring Flower Wrap” is the climax of a 90-minute treatment, following a half-hour Turbinado sugar scrub intended for skin revitalization and a 50-minute massage using custom-blended flower-based oils.