Since our last look at the Sedona spa scene in December 2005, three new spas have opened up – at Amara Creekside Resort and L’Auberge de Sedona, as well as the Infusion Spa in the Village of Oak Creek – while four area favorites have spiced up their menus with new restorative treatments featuring the latest and greatest products and techniques. More than ever, Sedona spas say they are focused on results. An afternoon at the spa is not just about a few hours to escape from the kids and the cell phone; it’s about wellness at Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa, healing at Sedona Spa at Los Abrigados, celebrating romance at Sedona New Day Spa, and detoxification at the Spa at Sedona Rouge… with a pinch of stress relief (and peace and quiet) tossed in for good measure. We’ve got the inside scoop on recommended treatments at all seven of these alluring Sedona spas. And, as a special bonus, learn what it’s like to spa from a man’s point of view – it’s not all about bubble baths and scented candles, guys!
Amara Resort and Spa
Right before Christmas, Amara Resort cut the ribbon on its brand-new 4,000-square-foot spa, one of only five U.S. spas affiliated with Elemis of London (www.elemis. com) – and the first in Arizona. Elemis specializes in aromatherapy and a philosophy of “sensory heaven” tied to “rituals of ancient understanding.” Treatments incorporate the Ten Cultural Touches of Elemis, massage techniques of Bali, Thailand, China, and elsewhere.
“Elemis trainers from London came to the spa for two weeks and all our therapists had to pass extensive training courses in order to work here,” explains Melissa Siet, Amara’s spa director, and project manager for its construction.
Every Elemis treatment at Amara begins with a dry body brush – made with cactus needles, but don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt – to slough off dead skin cells. We tried the 60-minute Elemis Exotic Coconut Rub and Milk Ritual Wrap (see Recommended Treatment at left), based on a Bali ceremony in which the skin is drenched in Frangipani oil and exfoliated with a coconut-based rub. After an application of a hydrating milk lotion your body is loosely wrapped in foil while you are treated to a facial pressure point massage and a scalp treatment. After a brief in-room rinse in a shower with six adjustable jets, a rich lotion is applied to the body. Other popular treatments include the Elemis Visible Brilliance Facial and Ear Candling, a process from ancient Egypt and Tibet in which a slow-burning cylinder is placed in the ear, removing toxins and wax build-up – again, not painful and leaves you feeling balanced.
Amara’s spa has women’s and men’s locker rooms with showers, a steam room, and private changing rooms. The waiting room is adorned with statues of Buddha, art from Andrea Smith Gallery at Tlaquepaque, comfy lounge chairs, snacks, and antioxidant-rich green teas. Colorful sarongs adorn treatment room tables. The spa has a sunny room for yoga classes, and a manicure/pedicure room with lovely red rock views.
Amara Resort and Spa
310 N. Hwy 89A in Uptown
Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa
Hilton has a big focus on wellness this year,” says Marlene Hubbard, fitness supervisor at Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa. “We want to teach people to work their body and be nice to it at the same time in order to be healthy.”
To that end, the spa recently began working with individuals one-on-one to pair personalized fitness programs with its spa treatments. With a variety of workout rooms, weight rooms and classrooms within the 20,000-square-foot facility, there’s plenty of flexibility to find the right regimen – for example, a private instruction session on yoga, pilates, or T’ai Chi coupled with any of a variety of spa treatments, including two new ones with specific goals: the 90-minute Timeless Repair Facial and the Integrated Massage.