by Michelle McDermott

For centuries, the desert has been a magnet for people
in need of healing. For decades, Scottsdale, Arizona
has been answering that call.

I went on a two-day journey of my own to find
serenity, relaxation and restoration.

My first port of call was a drive North of Scottsdale
along the edge of the Sonoran Desert. No sign post
is necessary to find your way to the Boulders Resort
and Golden Door Spa. You will see huge piles of
granite boulders looking like they have been left
behind by giants, 12 million year old giants!

If the Boulders Resort is a lesson in successfully
blending a luxury, 5-diamond resort with the soulful
desert background, then walking into The Golden Door
Spa immediately ticks the serenity box. The
awakening aroma of eucalyptus and the sound of gentle
running water lead me to believe I am in a zen-like
womb of peace and tranquility.

‘Free your body and your mind will follow.’

I chose to ‘free my body’ with a Native American
inspired Turquoise Wrap. My Therapist, Jeanne,
explained that turquoise is the color of protection,
self-confidence and positive energy. After being
exfoliated with Hopi blue cornmeal, a warm ionized
turquoise clay wrap was applied.

As I lay on my back,
in the dark, Jeanne performed a rainstick ritual
around me! Wondering what was going to happen next,
essential oils were then used to cleanse my spirit.

‘Free your body and your mind will follow.’

Finally, the ultimate in lazy pampering, a Vichy
shower was brought over and I was showered as I lay
there on the bed. A full body honey masque was then
applied. Feeling light-headed and stress free, I was
led into the steam room with a glass of lemon water.
All that was left for me to do was to sit quietly and
revel in the moment—restoration box ticked.

Day Two:

From the earthiness of the Boulders Resort, I entered the
glamorous and grandiose Phoenician, home to
presidents and celebrities. No two resorts could be
so wildly different.

At The Centre For Well-Being, I ordered a lymphatic
massage and a Myoxy-Caviar Facial. Cher, my
therapist, informed me of the importance of having
regular lymphatic massage—once stimulated, the lymph
nodes will help to remove toxins from the body.
Drinking water infused with lemon would help to assist
in the drainage of the bad stuff!

Tip: Don’t move too far from a bathroom

Next, my aesthetician, Luanne, introduced me to the
luxurious range of Pevonia Botanica Skincare products (available in prestigious
spas). With ingredients such as caviar, pearl and escutox, my expectations of this facial were sky-high!

100% freeze-dried nutrient rich caviar was massaged
deeply into my skin, then a second layer with added
vitamins A,C and E was applied. As if this was not
enough, a masque was applied and I was instructed not
to move for 20 minutes while it hardened.

I was awoken from my slumber…the result? Plump,
baby-soft bright skin. Relaxation box ticked!

Over the course of the two days, I achieved my three
goals and learned a few lessons in the process.

Lessons I Learned from Spa-ing:

1. By keeping everyday stresses at bay, health will
be restored to the body.

2. I need to give myself a ‘time-out’ on regular basis.

3. We do have options on managing our health. There
is a wealth of holisic and naturopathic knowledge out
there. Sometimes, we have to go on a personal journey
to be able to tap into it.

How to Spa:

1. Arrive early—give yourself time to immerse into
the surroundings.

2. The Golden Door Spa has a purification ritual:
shower, steam, sauna and O’furo (Japanese Bath) before
having a treatment.

3. Respect your fellow guests’ private space—there
is no need to chitchat!

* * * *

Golden Door Spa at the Boulders

34631 N.Tom Darlington Drive.

PO Box 2090

Carefree, Arizona, 85377

480 595 3500 or 800 553 1717

Turquoise Wrap: 50 minutes $165, 80 minutes $205

The Centre For Well Being at The Phoenician

Spa Information: 800 843 2392 or 480 423 2452

Myoxy-Caviar Facial with Granite Stone Massage: 80 minutes $240

Lymphatic Massage: 50 minutes $140

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