Love Thyself

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Spa at L’Auberge

In February, Condé Nast Traveler published a list of the best spas in the U.S., and the Spa at L’Auberge was named one of the best hotel spas in the country. The spa is small with 10 therapists and four treatment rooms, but after a remodel in 2011, it easily competes with the big girls. The new women’s lounge includes a brightly lit steam room and dual-head showers with adjacent – and private – changing areas. The robes are plush and comfy, and we love the soft, oversized bath towels. The men’s lounge includes all the amenties along with two steam showers.

“We’re a petite spa with a grand vision,” says Maria De Simone, the spa’s director. “Our treatment providers have created the treatments and chosen our product lines, which has had a huge impact on who we are.”

L’Auberge is also the only spot in town where you can receive your massage in a private cabana on the banks of Oak Creek, depending on the season and the inn’s event schedule. Like the facilities, the spa’s menu is small and focuses on massages, facials, body treatments and private yoga sessions. It was chilly during my visit, so I skipped the creek-side experience (for L’Auberge de Sedona guests, you can also schedule in-room massages) and opted for the Sacred Stone massage ($195). The 75-minute treatment utilizes warm, smooth river stones to relieve stress and melt tension from the muscles, allowing the therapist to access deeper layers of muscle. “It’s great for pampering,” says Maria.

And she’s not kidding. After changing into a nubby robe, I settled into the relaxation room, which is softly lit with flickering electric candles. The spa offers a lovely selection of teas, fruit and granola so you can nosh before your treatment. I paired the Sacred Stone treatment with an aromatherapy enhancement ($10 extra). Before the massage, my therapist had me choose from a half-dozen different scents; my choices were incorporated into the massage. I would easily rate the treatment as one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve had at a spa. While I’ve tried numerous stone massages (the treatment is a personal favorite), there was just something about this one that made it decadent. The stones warmed my cold bones and Tanya, my wonderful therapist, provided just the right amount of pressure to lull me into la-la land. The hardest part was getting off the table after the massage was finished.

Like so many spas, when L’Auberge overhauled its menu it added more results-oriented treatments. The Sacred Stone, says Maria, is ideal for healing sore and aching muscles, but it’s also the perfect way to relax and relieve stress.

“And we’re worth it,” says Maria. “We work so hard – we do so much for others. It’s time we start learning to do things for ourselves and make that a natural part of our routine.”

Spa at L’Auberge, 301 L’Auberge Lane in Uptown. Call 928-204-4321

Sedona Dental Arts

For most of us, when we think about pampering ourselves, we do not think about our dentist. The whole idea of going to the dentist to be pampered seems counterintuitive unless you’ve experienced “vacation dentistry,” a new concept that’s all the rage in cosmopolitan cities. (Remember cosmetic surgery vacations?) Not to be left behind, Sedona boasts Sedona Dental Arts, a dental practice that has been in Red Rock Country for 25 years and includes a family of dentists. Has your smile always bothered you? In as little as one week, you can have veneers (a layer of porcelain or resin put over your teeth to change their shape, color, etc.). Are you self-conscious about your uneven gum line? Try laser contouring. Have your teeth yellowed from years of drinking coffee every morning? Sedona Dental Arts offers professional whitening services. Or maybe you’ve been putting off a crown because you don’t want to go through the hassle of impressions and temporary caps while waiting weeks for the real deal to arrive. The practice can have you in and out with a new porcelain crown in two hours. Seriously. Now that’s luxury.

“People get busy with everyday life, and they don’t have time to have procedures done,” says Jennette Bill, office manager, wife of dentist David Bill, mother of dentist Tamara Bill Fernandes and mother-in-law of dentist Tom Fernandes. “After you have something done, you usually have to be careful how you eat – it’s an interruption. So why not do it while you are away? Relax about it. That’s appealing to a lot of people.”

The entire atmosphere in the office is conducive to pampering. The walls are covered with professional artwork created by patients alongside family photos of weddings and Grand Canyon rafting trips. Dental chairs face floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Capitol Butte. Patients are offered fuzzy blankets, back pillows, wedge pillows for their knees and headphones. You even have the option of covered parking. “It doesn’t even smell like a dental office,” laughs Jennette.

Sedona Dental Arts, 1120 W. SR 89A, Suite D-1. Call 928-282-1514

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