Arizona is home to some of the most luxurious spas in the country, surprisingly I have lived here for 7 years and not been to even on resort spa! I could never justify why I would pay $190 for an hour massage when I can get one for $60 down the street. Besides my idea of the types of people that go to spas are the hoity toity housewives of the rich and famous who need something to do on a lazy Tuesday after the kids were chauffeured to school. I know, you don’t have to say it, I am well aware that is a stereo-typical, narrow-minded and ignorant perception. And what I have learned to be “mostly” false.

It took a visit from a girlfriend to break through all my resort spa disillusions.
Santuary Resort Spa in Paradise Valley, Arizona

We planned a girls “day at the spa”. I had previously visited the resorts in the area, only to show my tourist visitors the places where the wealthy stayed on their vacations. The top choices for our mini-vaca were The Phoenician, Sanctuary and The Boulders. Which to choose? I settled on Sanctuary due to the hip, sleek style and if it was good enough for Beyonce, Jay Z and Britney Spears to stay there, then it was definitely good enough for me! Hmm…maybe my assumptions were right, resorts are for the rich and famous?

Either way I deserved to act like a celeb for the day.

In order to spend the day at Sanctuary Resport Spa you had to book at least one spa service. We both chose to get a pedicure, frankly because at $85 it was the cheapest service they offered. I wondered what they could possibly do differently than my normal nail joint that charges 20 bucks and includes a brief shoulder massage. Turns out that we were paying for the beauty of the landscape, creativity of their restaurant  “Elements” and serenity of the pool. Ok…worth it!
Annette White at Santuary Resort Spa

Though our pedicure granted us full access to the resort, we opted to spend most of the day poolside sipping frilly cocktails, sun-bathing and snacking. It was a weekday so we shared the pool with only two other women (possibly of the aforementioned type) and a quiet couple on honeymoon. We were able to order food as we tanned, but I am sure it didn’t hold a candle to dining inside at the impressive restaurant. The grub was enough to fill our tummies so the cocktails would not cause us any embarrassment. Five hours, 3 cocktails, 2 magazines and a tan-bordering-on-burn later we left our lavish lifestyle behind agreeing that it was an experience worth a repeat.

Okay, maybe an $85 pedicure turned out to be a bargain.
Annette White at Sanctuary Resort Spa Pool

Have you ever been to a resort spa?

Choose a style that fits your personality. Some spas are sleek and modern, while others are small and homey.
2. Decide if there is an exotic treatment that youare looking for that only certain spas may perform.
3. Do your research on the qualifications of the staff.
4. Check the ingredients in the products they use to make sure you are not allergic.
5. Preview the spa before you book. Most spas will let potential customers take a peek around.
6. Browse the restaurants bunch/lunch menu, it is likely that you will be there for at least one of those meals.
7. Cleanliness is key! Make sure it is safe and sanitary!

The average temperature of the stones used in a hot-stone massage is 130 degrees fahrenheit.

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