Nighttime shot of wellness resort. The building is made of rocks and floor to ceiling windows.
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Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort, Tucson

Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort, Tucson in Arizona is an ideal spa destination for a relaxing getaway for health and beauty. Read the Indagare review.

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wooden couches built into a wall with grey cushions and purple silk pillows. There are books and magazines out to read. The wall is stone with a large circular art hanging
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Mii amo

Mii amo is an intimate spa that nourishes mind, body and soul with spiritual healers as well as hiking and facials.

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The entrance of Miraval is white adobe with two large palm frees framing the front door. There is a fountain in the middle of the courtyard.
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Set on 400 acres adjacent to Catalina State Park in Tucson, Arizona, this destination spa is easy-going and fun.

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Pool at Arizona Biltmore, Arizona, American West

Arizona Biltmore

Although Frank Lloyd Wright’s name will be forever associated with the Arizona Biltmore, he himself stated that he was not the architect. That credit goes to one of his students, Albert Chase McArthur, who consulted with Wright during the months Wright spent on the property while the hotel was being built. The most visible evidence of the master’s influence can be seen in the “Biltmore Blocks,” with their pre-cast geometric design, that were used in much of the construction, although some stain-glass window work and the replica lawn sprites have a Wright connection, too.

The 716 rooms and suites were renovated in 2014 by the Los Angeles-based interior design firm of Smith & Firestone Associates, who added a contemporary vision with a bright color palette, sleek lines and Art Deco touches.

The Biltmore has all the amenities many people expect at a classic Arizona resort: eight pools, golf just a few steps away, a full-service spa, and a restaurant that uses local ingredients creatively (Frank & Albert’s perhaps being the only dining venue anywhere named after not one but two architects). It also has a great location, in a neighborhood of some of the most upscale estate homes in Phoenix, that will help reassure guests that old money is here to stay.

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A view of Castle Hot Springs

Castle Hot Springs Resort

This newly revamped retreat, which has attracted Hollywood stars and East Coast tycoons, is known for the healing powers of its natural hot springs.

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Exterior view of Enchantment Resort, Sedona, Arizona

Enchantment Resort

Located in a stunning red rock canyon in Sedona Arizona, the 70-acre Enchantment Resort is great for families or for those who want to sample some of the spa services at sister property, Mii Amo.

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Living Room at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, Arizona, American West

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

In the desert foothills north of Phoenix/Scottsdale, the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North projects enough southwest ambience so that guests know where they are, but not so much that they feel they ought to be wearing a cowboy hat.

The 210 rooms are housed in 25 adobe casitas, dotting the landscape, and the most popular are situated located on the second floor near the pool, offering sunset views out across the Sonoran Desert. The predominant hues are blending shades of desert sand, set off by wildflower-like shots of color, inside and out. Guests will leave knowing what a saguaro is, and an agave.

Named by Golf Digest magazine as the top golf resort in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, the Four Seasons is adjacent to the Troon North Golf Club, where resort guests get special privileges. A few minute’s stroll from the property leads to the base of Pinnacle Peak, whose 1.75 mile trail, one way, with an elevation gain of 1,300 feet, gets the heart pumping, but rewards with spectacular views of the Valley of the Sun.

Since dining off-property requires driving, most Four Seasons guests stay put for meals, which makes dinner reservations important, especially if there’s a wedding or conference going on. The menu at the main restaurant, Talavera, tends toward steak, but the ahi tuna with a blueberry ancho Chili sauce works for lovers of both seafood and Mexican. A unique element at Talavera is a glassed-in wall of fire, most visually pleasing on nights when the air turns nippy.

Like much about the property, The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale is understated and intimate. But if even a treatment doesn’t help guests get the big-picture perspective on things, there’s always an evening beneath the stars, with one of the resort’s telescopes.

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Suite at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, Arizona, American West

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, A Gurney's Resort & Spa

The aptly named Sanctuary might have a (much-deserved) reputation as a serious spa destination, but the property is far from hushed or precious. Rather it strikes the perfect balance between high-end and laid-back; serene and buzzing. Sprawled across 53 acres of prime Paradise Valley hillside, the Sanctuary has 105 rooms and six private homes, all with incredible views of the surrounding landscapes, including of Camelback Mountain. The property has a long valley history; it was famous as a tennis ranch in the 1950s and 60s and remains privately owned today. At its heart sits a slender building with floor-to-ceiling windows that holds Elements restaurant and the hip Jade Bar. The infinity edged pool, casitas and suites, and the spa frame the building.

Rooms are divided into Spa and Mountain categories. The twenty-four Spa casitas and suites were added in 2001 and showcase a more modern design sensibility than their Mountain counterparts. Stone floors, gas fireplaces and light wood–paneled walls make the rooms feel airy, while soft blankets and throws and deep chairs and couches add a cozy touch. The larger suites come with a separate living area, balcony and al fresco bathtub; all rooms come with serious bathrooms with rain showers and custom Red Flower bath amenities. It's minimalist but very comfortable.

Being close to the spa, dining facilities and large pool has its advantages but the view is not one of them. That is decidedly better in the higher-up Mountain casitas and suites. Interior-wise, these rooms are dated, with a darker color scheme and wood floors, but suites come with kitchenettes (a nice touch for families) and wood-burning fireplaces (a nice touch for romantic getaways).

Of course the spa is truly excellent. With just twelve treatment rooms it feels intimate and personal, and the rooms open up to gorgeous courtyards, so treatments have a healthy dose of natural healing incorporated. The massive treatments menu excels in such specialized offerings as Tok Sen (a Thai-inspired treatment using vibrations) and a Natural Facelift Facial using Naturopathica products. There's a monthly calendar of classes, including Pilates Reformer, yoga and hiking and biking in the stunning nature nearby. Wellness and health seekers will be very happy at the Sanctuary.

As will foodies. Elements restaurant is the one dinner you should not miss in the area, partially because the setting, with sunset views across the valley is truly spectacular. For special occasions, the private dining room XII has a clever curtain divider that reveals a glass-paneled door to the kitchen, so it's possible to turn the rather serious room, clad in velvet and chandeliers, into a chef's table, surrounded by the buzz of cooking activities. Drinks at the Jade Bar are another favorite for visitors and locals.

Best of all is the overall vibe at Sanctuary. At dinner at Elements, it's not abnormal to see women in towering heels and sweeping dresses clinking Champagne glasses at one table and a boisterous family with teenagers clad in jeans at another—and everyone is having a good time. Add to that a wait staff that takes care of all guests with competence and kindness, a vista of looming mountains, and you get one of southern Arizona's most exquisite—and exquisitely comfortable—hideaways.

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Waldorf at The Boulders, Arizona, American West

The Boulders

The Boulders is almost an hour from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, but guests don’t seem to mind, as many are coming to breathe the desert air and escape the urban creep of Phoenix and Scottsdale. Certainly, the iconic resort’s surroundings have changed since the days when about the only thing you would see along Scottsdale Road was the occasional bounding jackrabbit, but the buffering effect of The Boulder’s 1,300 acres allows it to retain its almost retreat-like serenity.

The Boulders’ most notable feature, as it has been for the past 12 million years, is the huge, naturally-sculptured rock pile that gives it its name. And the genius of the human designers who came along considerably later was to incorporate the man-made additions so well into the natural background that from a distance it is hard to tell one from another.

Standard accommodation occupy adobe casitas, all with wood beamed ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces, and Sonoran Desert views, with the better views found in the free-standing or second floor Sonoran Casitas. One-, two-, and three-bedroom villas and haciendas offer more space and amenities, including full kitchens.

There’s nothing overly fancy about dining at The Boulders, its main restaurant, Palo Verde, serving Southwest fare emphasizing local, organic ingredients, with a pleasant view, out across a duck pond, of one of the resort’s prettier golf course fairways.

The golf, tennis, and spa facilities rank among the best in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. And while the smallish main pool can be crowded, it is always possible to get a golf cart ride to the less frequented spa, club, or villa pools. There's also a small courtyard-circling area of shops and restaurants, known as El Pedregal, which is a stroll from the resort center, and visitors can also explore the little towns of Carefree and Cave Creek, five minutes or so away by car.

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Bedroom at The Hermosa Inn, Arizona, American West

The Hermosa Inn

Thanks to exquisite gardens and an intimate size, the Hermosa Inn feels beautifully tucked away even though it's a short drive from all the Phoenix/Scottsdale activities. The boutique hotel grew out of a private home (belonging to Western painter Lon Megargee), and the traditional adobe hacienda, dating from the 1920s, has been lovingly restored and remains the heart of Hermosa.

Thirty-four rooms and casitas occupy low-lying buildings on six acres, and the lush landscaping ensures a feeling of privacy. There are four types of rooms, and the best are casitas that come with a small patio and separate sitting room. The decor is more Western than some of the other Scottsdale properties, but it's all quite tasteful and understated. Bathrooms are large and some come with freestanding tubs.

One of the great pleasures of staying at the Hermosa Inn is the accessibility to Lon's restaurant, one of the area's most acclaimed and—surely—most romantic, with an open air patio framed by colorful gardens. When temperatures soar and prohibit al fresco dining, there's the cool wine cellar, with stone walls and a square table that can host fabulous private dinners. Throughout the property, original art work of Megargee's, adding more personal touches to the public space.

There's a tiny spa on the property, as well as a small round pool, but travelers expecting comprehensive facilities should book at one of the larger resorts nearby. The Hermosa Inn is perfect for those who are planning on spending most of the day exploring, and who like boutique properties with a personal vibe.

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The Phoenician

Conveniently located near the airport and shopping, but tucked up against Camelback Mountain, the Phoenician is a sprawling place with impeccable service.

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