Scottsdale, Arizona has some of the world’s most luxurious resort spas in the world. No one is certain why the area has so many award-winning spas. Perhaps it’s the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert or endless Arizona skies or wisdom of Native Americans who call the Southwest home. Whatever the reason, Scottsdale’s resorts offer unique treatments, many using ingredients of the desert’s rich bounty—adobe clay to purify the skin, agave to soothe dry skin, jojoba oil to heal, prickly pear to moisturize and creosote to cleanse. Here are some of the most luxurious resort spas in Scottsdale.

Waldorf Astoria Spa at The Boulders

Boulders Tipi by Susan Lanier-Graham

Boulders Tipi -Susan Lanier-Graham

The setting for the Waldorf Astoria Spa is magical. Located on the northern border between Scottsdale and Carefree, The Boulders is a secluded retreat surrounded by ancient boulders scattered across the desert landscapes. The Waldorf Astoria Spa embraces what it calls a “Zen Desert Lifestyle”—luxurious yet simple, with an emphasis on serenity, healing and a connection to the Earth.

Here, you can meditate in a Native American TiPi, commune with a shaman, walk the outdoor labyrinth or amble through the gardens and lily pond. The real luxury, however, is the magic that happens in treatment rooms. The spa’s signature treatment is the Turquoise Wrap. Native Americans believe turquoise ensures protection and self-confidence. In this treatment, a turquoise clay wrap follows a salt scrub. The 80-minute treatment is relaxing for the body and soul.

Boulders turquoise treatment -Susan Lanier-Graham

Another signature treatment at Waldorf Astoria Spa is the Desert Zen Signature massage. During the 50- or 80-minute treatment, you start with a relaxing Swedish massage. After your body is relaxed, the therapist uses slow calming strokes for the ultimate peaceful end to your treatment.

For those who want to tap into the unique energy at The Boulders, there is a large selection of balancing and energy treatments. You can choose from acupuncture, chakra balancing, private meditations, or even an astrological soul reading that traces your soul’s journey, using your astrological chart.

For the ultimate luxury experience, book the private Sun Suite for a half or full day. You will enjoy services in the privacy of your suite, which includes a private veranda and outdoor whirlpool, fireplace and steam shower. The suite experience includes a spa lunch.

Even if you forego the private suite, the spa at The Boulders offers a welcoming respite from the busy world. While visiting, you can enjoy the steam room, dry sauna, private heated pool, whirlpool and fitness center. You can also book services for hair and nails at the salon and savor fresh flavors at the spa café.

Waldorf Astoria Spa at The Boulders
34631 N. Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree, AZ
480.595.3500 (spa)
480.488.9009 (resort)

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Fairmont Scottsdale PrincessThe Fairmont Scottsdale Princess opened in North Scottsdale in December 1987. Since then, the Scottsdale Princess has become one of the country’s premier golf and spa resorts, receiving the AAA Five-Diamond award every year since 1990. When you arrive at the resort, you enter a world in which you become a VIP. Fairmont Gold members can check in at the special members-only desk. There are a variety of accommodations, all offering views of either the McDowell Mountains or the golf courses. My favorite rooms are those looking out over the lagoon, which is especially nice during summer visits when you can watch weekend fireworks from your private balcony.

Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa is the ideal place to relax while you’re at the Princess. Well & Being is a unique fusion of spa and wellness. The spa facility, which is located off Hacienda Plaza, is inspired by Havasupai Falls, an oasis deep in the Grand Canyon. The spa includes aspects of all elements—air, water, earth, wood and fire.

Rooftop Pool at Well and Being -Susan Lanier-GrahamThis spa offers an assortment of mind-body classes, including meditation, traditional yoga and the new Aerial Hammock Yoga classes. There are cooking classes in the exhibition kitchen in the spa’s atrium (where you can also enjoy a healthy and delicious spa lunch). A fitness center provides state-of-the-art equipment. One of the most unusual features of Well & Being is the canyon oasis and waterfall treatment area. This outdoor co-ed area has an amazing waterfall that provides you with a water massage, unlike anything you can find elsewhere.

Fairmont Scottsdale waterfall Susan Lanier-GrahamTo embrace the Southwestern setting, you can schedule a treatment such as the two-hour Havasupai Falls Rejuvenation, which begins with a purifying scrub with desert salts infused with indigenous essential oils. After that, you soak in a bath filled with herbal foaming salts, then receive a massage with jojoba body butter and hot riverbed stones. Follow that with a warm wrap, while the therapist streams warm herbal-infused oil over your forehead, followed by a soothing scalp massage.

Another amazing treatment at Well & Being is the Tranquillow Face & Back Experience. In this 90-minute treatment, you receive a back cleanse, followed by warm lavender massage oil drizzled along your spine and dispersed with energizing strokes. Then, you receive a luxurious facial and have warm lavender oil massaged into your scalp.

The spa at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has separate male/female changing areas and lockers, wet steam room, eucalyptus inhalation room, Swedish dry sauna, hot therapeutic whirlpool, cold plunge pool, Swiss shower and a rooftop adult-only pool with private cabanas. There is a full-service salon, as well as services for acupuncture, acupressure and nutritional consulting.

Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale, AZ
480.585.4848 (resort)
480.585.2732 (spa)

Joya Spa at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

joya spa at omni scottsdale resort & spa at monteluciaThe Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia is a Spanish-inspired resort in Paradise Valley, sitting at the foot of Camelback Mountain. Montelucia is Spanish for “mountain of light” and the perfect name for the resort. As you watch the sunset and illuminate craggy edges of the Camelback, you will be in awe of this desert jewel. Joya Spa is the resort’s Moroccan-inspired spa that will transport you to another world.

Joya Spa’s signature fragrance, Joyambrosia, is derived from the cactus flower known as the “Queen of the Night.” This unique flower, which only blooms rarely and for just one night under the light of a full moon, was discovered near the entrance to the spa during its construction. The signature Joyambrosia Signature Massage combines gentle stretching and Thai based movements with the Joyambrosia oil blend to offer a revitalizing treatment.

From the moment you enter the spa, you will find yourself transported to another time and place. Begin your spa journey with the Joy of Purification, which is a 57-pound quartz crystal displayed under a simulated night sky from Granada, Spain. As you pass under the starry sky and pass the crystal, you can leave your cares behind and enter the peaceful spa.

Joya Spa Joy of Purif -Susan Lanier-GrahamJoya Spa offers a selection of facials, massages and body treatments, along with wellness and meditation services such as astrology readings, private meditations, hypnotherapy, tarot reading, acupuncture, acupressure and even an unusual lip print reading. Joya Spa also has a traditional Hammam therapy you can add to any other treatment. The Hammam includes a body scrub, followed by steam, whirlpool, sauna, cold deluge and a tiled warming room.

This Moroccan-themed spa facility includes a fitness center, steam room, dry sauna, whirlpool, relaxation room, one of the most amazing quiet areas—known as a Whisper Room—in all of Arizona. There is a salon for hair and nail services and the adult-only roof-top Joya Terrace Pool, where you can relax, sunbathe, swim and order from the spa menu for lunch or snacks.

Joya Spa Joy Grand Palace -Susan Lanier-Graham

For the ultimate luxurious pampering experience, you can rent one of the spa suites at Joya Spa. The Grand Palace Suite includes a luxurious King bed, two treatment tables, fireplace, flat screen TV, private restroom with shower and bath and a glass wall that opens, turning your private suite into an open-air cabana on the Joya Terrace Pool. The two Joya Suites include private terrace, outdoor shower and bath or hammered copper tub, treatment tables and day bed. The two Terrace suites have the same amenities as the Joya Suites, but they have 8-foot glass doors that open to the Joya Terrace Pool. You can rent any of the suites for either a half- or full-day.

Joya Spa at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
4949 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, AZ

The Spa at Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North

Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North is in far north Scottsdale, with breathtaking views over the entire Valley of the Sun and nearby Pinnacle Peak. Accommodations at this luxury resort vary from desert-inspired casita rooms to one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. Spa guests may prefer to book the one-bedroom Oasis Suites, each of which includes a private heated plunge pool and outdoor fireplace.

Susan Lanier-Graham - Four Seasons Scottsdale

Four Seasons Scottsdale ©Susan Lanier-Graham

The Spa at Four Seasons Scottsdale has 16 treatment rooms, including a couples’ suite and exclusive Spa Suite. Many of the treatments at the spa include desert botanicals, such as the jojoba and prickly pear polish or the Sonoran honey body polish. For a truly unique experience, book the Pinnacle Facial, which uses anti-inflammatory properties of gold for the face and a gold-infused sugar scrub and shimmer oil for the body.

Lanier-Graham - Four Seasons ScottsdaleThe Spa includes a full-service salon with hair and nail services. Guests can also take fitness classes or book guided fitness hikes in Pinnacle Peak Park. For the ultimate pampering, bring the spa to you and enjoy your choice of treatments in the privacy of your own casita or suite.

The Spa at Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North
10600 E. Crescent Moon Drive, Scottsdale, AZ

Alvadora Spa at Royal Palms Resort and Spa

Royal Palms Resort and Spa is a small, intimate resort on Camelback Road, just a few minutes west of Old Town Scottsdale. The resort began as a private residence in 1929, built under towering palm trees in a citrus grove. This romantic establishment has winding paths, little romantic enclaves tucked away throughout the property, an award-winning restaurant and the luxurious Alvadora Spa.

Lanier-Graham - Alvadora - Villa FioreAlvadora Spa is small and intimate, with just eight Mediterranean-themed treatment rooms. The newest spa experience at Alvadora is called SPA DĒHP (pronounced deep), which stands for Developed Expression of Human Potential. SPA DĒHP is an intensive session that unlocks emotions and unblocks the creative flow. It can be a separate session or part of your other treatments. You will find a variety of massages, body treatments and facials, as well as services at the salon for hair and nails.

Aqua Dolce of Royal Palm Resort and Spa in Phoenix, AZOne of the most amazing treatments is Alvadora’s Signature Citrus Ritual. One of the best parts of this treatment is that it is scheduled in one of the spa’s most inspiring spaces, Acqua Dolce—a rock-lined room with private patio. For the Citrus Ritual, you begin with a full body exfoliation on a heated stone table, while water gently cascades over your body from above. You have a chance to relax in the private garden tub and end with an orange blossom moisturizer.

Lanier-Graham - Alvadora Spa - Citrus MassageUnlike some resorts, Alvadora Spa facilities are available to all guests as part of its resort fees. You can relax on a private patio by a roaring fire or enjoy the outdoor 8-foot waterfall showers. The fitness center offers a selection of equipment, daily yoga classes and you can schedule private classes. The pool, just steps from the spa, is open 24 hours.

Alvadora Spa at Royal Palms Resort and Spa
5200 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
602.840.3610 (resort)
602.977.6400 (spa)

To read the Luxe Beat Magazine version of this article click on the title 5 Top Luxury Resort Spas In Scottsdale Arizona