Sonoran Desert Spa Secrets

By local contributor
Kelly Triplett

The curative properties of Sonoran Desert botanicals have been celebrated for centuries. Try one of these innovative treatments that blend indigenous ingredients and traditional Native American healing techniques with modern-day indulgences.


Peaceful Healing

This profoundly calming and centering treatment at the Spa at Talking Stick Resort begins with a gentle massage using heated stones gathered from the Salt River. Next, warm, moist Pima cotton poultices filled with fragrant desert lavender, herbs and essential oils, such as clary sage and sweet orange, are applied in rhythmic compressions along the body’s energy meridians. Following a closing massage with aromatic oils, you’ll feel at once deeply relaxed and effortlessly revitalized.


Adobe Clay Purification Treatment

Inspired by ancient Native American healing rituals, this treatment from The Spa at Camelback Inn exfoliates, nourishes and detoxifies the skin and body. To begin, an aromatic conditioner is massaged into the hair and scalp. Next, pure adobe clay is applied to the body to relax muscles and draw impurities from the system. A Southwestern-inspired soap and cactus fiber cloth is used during a shower to remove the clay and is followed by a gentle application of warmed juniper and sage oils. Relaxation in the sauna completes this purifying ritual.


Jojoba & Prickly Pear Body Polish

This luscious treatment at The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North uncovers your skin’s natural glow and is rich in jojoba and plant antioxidants. Prickly pear sugar scrub is applied and then rinsed under a Vichy shower. The treatment continues with a loofah-applied prickly pear body wash and concludes with a nourishing finish of prickly pear and jojoba body butter.


Agave Body Glow

Banish dry skin and show your glow with this full-body polish at Agave, the Arizona Spa at The Westin Kierland Resort. Your treatment begins with a gentle exfoliation using a polish infused with citrus essential oils and jojoba beads. An application of rich body cream lightly scented with neroli and orange blossom seals in moisture and nourishes your skin.


Turquoise Wrap

The Spa at the Boulders Resort offers this unique treatment based on the Native American belief that turquoise stone carries the vibration of protection, self-confidence and positive energy. A revitalizing desert salt exfoliation supports a nourishing warm turquoise clay wrap that purifies and refines the skin. During the treatment, the therapist performs a smudging ceremony, a traditional Native American practice in which sage, sweet grass and cedar are burned to purify your body and spirit.


Havasupai Falls Rejuvenation

At Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, you can unwind with this two-hour rejuvenation experience. Your journey starts with a sage smudging ritual to rid your body of any unhealthy energy. Next, an exfoliating scrub of essential oil-infused desert salts is followed by a massage using creamy jojoba body butter to  prepares your skin for hot river stones that release and soothe tired muscles. You’re then cocooned in a warm herbal wrap and a Sedona clay detoxifying mask is applied on your face. The service concludes with a soothing scalp massage.