Scottsdale, once a sunny haven for rich retirees and golf buffs, is now associated less with tanned geriatrics and more with Frank Lloyd Wright, anti-aging facials and cosmetically enhanced cleavage. Once a fertile farming community, Scottsdale retains the charm of a small town – stress can't thrive on the 18th hole or any sweet spot where the sun shines more than 330 days a year. The ways to get pummelled, peeled and primped in this town are endless. One of the city's classic feel-good palaces is The Phoenician, the go-to spa to get your Scottsdale glow on.
Discerning spa-goers increasingly make a routine point of inquiring about potential additives or contaminants in the latest treatments. The Phoenician's Papaya Quench Wrap is paraben-free and boasts the papain enzyme to diminish sensitive reactions, making it one of the most in-demand on the menu. Nourishing and regenerative, this organic masque drenches the skin with moisture. My therapist, a no-nonsense virtuoso, begins with a spine-tingling dry brushing to prep the skin for maximum absorption. She then applies a vitamin-rich papaya-based body masque and performs a sedating face massage. A light body massage with a matching lotion finishes off this rehydrating wrap.
Puffy much? Studies show that papain stimulates drainage of excess fluids that cause that bloated look around the eyes and jaw line. A more proven ingredient, papaya has been used for centuries as an ideal exfoliant. Fruit enzymes work as catalysts for a multitude of biochemical reactions in the body, from digestion to tissue repair.
Nestled at the base of Camelback Mountain, The Phoenician Spa adheres to a sleek, clean, contemporary style. Catering to an ever-increasing demand for wraps, masks and salt glows, this impressive full-service facility attracts the top-tier spa talent in the city. If you can swing an overnight, book The Canyon Suites – a higher-end enclave within an already high-end resort. Penthouse-sized suites with a residential feel overlook the most perfect pool lined with cozy, buttercream-coloured cabanas. Chase your spa day with culinary indulgences at J&G Steakhouse; standouts from steamed lobster in Tabasco butter to red-wine-glazed short ribs replenish after a day of lightheaded loafing. Nothing says Scottsdale like tucking into a little something Jean-Georges Vongerichten's kitchen after a vigorous desert scrub.
The Phoenician at 6000 East Camelback Rd., Scottsdale, Ariz., 1-800-888-8234, thephoenician.com, $225 (U.S.) for 80 minutes.
Special to The Globe and Mail