Insider Tips From Local Experts

Scottsdale Stories

Bucket List Spa Experiences

Scottsdale is the spa capital of the country, so when you’re ready to go big before you go home, these are the ultimate spa luxuries in town. Experience some of the best spas around and try out these bucket list treatments! 



The Royal Treatment package is one of the best spa experiences in the world. First, a Town Car whisks my boyfriend and me to the spa. Once there, I peruse the boutique with a personal shopper before heading to the Grand Palace Suite. As chic as a Moroccan riad, it features a fireplace, a tub for two, his-and-hers massage tables, access to the terrace pool and a sumptuous $22,000 bed. A bottle of cava is delivered, which we sip in the pool before lunch at the Terrace Café. An afternoon couple’s massage elevates our Zen. The Royal Treatment sets the stage for you and your sweetie to really relax, connect and simply enjoy being together – what a vacation is all about. While we’re sad to leave the Grand Palace, a five-course, wine-paired dinner at Prado takes away the sting. The perfectly prepared Mediterranean cuisine and wine add a food coma to our Zen. By the time the Town Car drives us home, we’re the most relaxed couple in Scottsdale.



For holistic wellness, Well & Being Spa offers the ultimate experience. My morning begins with a trip to the BodPod to analyze my body composition, measuring fat vs. lean mass. Based on my numbers, the spa’s exercise physiologist suggests tweaks to my exercise program and protein intake. After that wake-up call, I’m thrilled for my booty sculpt class, a full-body workout with elements of barre, Pilates and aerial yoga. I have time to relax by the rooftop pool and enjoy the water circuit in the locker room before a spa lunch of curried chicken salad (59 grams of protein!). My afternoon is devoted to Eastern medicine services, starting with craniosacral. The therapist explains that she taps into my cerebrospinal fluid rhythm, which allows her to regulate my stress response through light touch. She tells me that my energy is fast (an understatement) and holds different points for several minutes to slow me down. I don’t know if she made me Type B, but I do feel chill afterward. Next is cupping to release trapped toxins. The ancient treatment is used for everything from sore muscles to cold/flu relief. Cups are adhered to my back with heat suction. The therapist explains that my skin turning red indicates mild toxins, and the purple color even more toxicity. After 25 minutes, the cups are removed and the color thankfully fades. And my overall toxicity is low – whew! I finish my day with dinner at Toro, the property’s Latin American restaurant and rum bar, where I sample the ceviche and sushi. I even toast to a perfect wellness day with some rum (alcohol toxins be darned!).

Dena Roché is a luxury travel journalist and speaker who has lived in the Scottsdale area for nearly 20 years. You might run into her at the spa, on the trail or sipping a glass of Arizona wine around town.