Uniquely Scottsdale Spa Treatments

By local contributor
Dena Roche

Whenever I travel, I want to experience things that are unique to wherever I am, even at the spa. While a cabernet scrub makes sense in Napa, I don’t want a seashell massage in Scottsdale. Here I want things that speak to all things Southwest. These spas in Scottsdale do it best.

Spa at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale

The Four Seasons is located a stone’s throw from Pinnacle Peak’s trailhead, so the Healing Hiker massage is a perfect way for guests to relieve après-hike sore muscles. The treatment uses the healing power of local sage oil and mountain arnica to reduce inflammation and soothe pain. The 80-minute service is an aggressive massage where my therapist uses a variety of techniques on my many knots, from trigger point manipulation to assisted stretching. I wonder if he is a master at origami as he continually maneuvers the sheet to cover me as my arms and legs are moved like Gumby. At times I hear him groan and his hands crack from the intensity of the treatment. If a Swedish massage is like a lullaby this is like the beginning of Beethoven’s 9th. I have to admit, it’s one of my favorite massages in town.

Agave, The Arizona Spa at Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

Every spa has its rituals, and at the Agave it’s the Burden Basket, which takes place at the beginning of each treatment. The baskets are handcrafted twice a year by Arizona’s Tonto Apache tribe. My therapist invites me to place my worries inside the basket (but it’s so small!) and then he removes the basket, and my stress, from the room. The Agave Enchantment service harnesses the power of local desert plants like yucca and basil in an amazing smelling and ultra-hydrating mud. The treatment begins with a dry exfoliation designed to increase circulation before the mud is applied and I’m wrapped up to let the heat and mud meld. During this time, he does a facial massage using t spheres, palm-sized rubber balls infused with aromatherapy oils. Divine! After showering off, the treatment ends with a quick full-body massage.

Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

The Well & Being Customized Aromatherapy Blending Bar Scrub is one of the most fun, interactive spa experiences in town. Meet with your alchemist/therapist to create a personalized scrub using essential oils. . Scents can be based on your birthday, or on how you want to feel. Answer a few questions and voila, the app spits out a recipe. My therapist blends the Let the Sun Shine formula for me, whichis then used in a full body polish that exfoliates and boasts my skin. The blending bar can also be in the aromatherapy massage or a manicure or pedicure. And the best part is that I got to take home what was left of my blend to recreate the experience at home.

The Spa at CopperWynd

From the CopperWynd Resort & Club you can see the Four Peaks, home to the only commercial amethyst mine in the country. The spa infuses this local mineral into its signature Amethyst Awakening Massage. The recently remodeled spa has a modern, chic vibe I love.  The relaxation room especially is the picture of glamour and high design. As I settle into the massage, I’m covered in an herbal oil made with crushed amethyst. The scent is designed to relieve stress, and the amethyst helps balance the body’s sixth chakra – the center of intuition. I’m given a small Arizona amethyst stone to take as a souvenir of my spa time.

The Spa at Camelback Inn

Performed in the Vichy Shower suite, the Natural Agave Toning Wrap treatment begins with an invigorating citrus salt scrub (Did you know that Arizona is one of only four citrus-producing states?) followed by an application of prickly pear cactus gel infused with ginger, paprika and carrageenan to promote circulation and toning. While the ingredients soak into my skin, the therapist works her magic fingers in a relaxing facial and scalp massage. After the nine-head Vichy washes away the scrub, my therapist loofas my skin and then applies an agave nectar oil that hydrates and plumps my skin.