Sanctuary Spa on Camelback

Travel Zoo promo photo
Travel Zoo promo photo

I love a good spa experiance, and I am a sucker for a great pool.  The promotional photo for Sanctuary Spa on Camelback is stunning and serene.  Travel Zoo offered a fantastic deal, so I immediately bought a spa deal and booked an appointment.

Sanctuary Spa on Camelback is nestled at the base of Camelback Mountain.  There is no indication of being in the middle of metro-Phoenix, it feels like you are far-far away.

Sanctuary Infinity Pool
Sanctuary Infinity Pool

This is what the pool really looks like, not as exactly the same as the promo photo using the super wide angle lens to make the pool look much, much bigger.  The slate tile surrounding the pool is beautiful, but dark gray and horribly hot (not a good plan for a pool in Arizona).  The only shade is from the few cabanas (in the photo) and the umbrellas for the majority of the lounge chairs to the left of the pictured pool. The pool was refreshing, but lacking any breeze or shade, I cut my time short.  The pool is shared between the resort & the spa and was starting to get crowded when I left.  The view is beautiful, just not quite as remote as the promo photo indicates.

Relaxation room
Relaxation room

The spa front desk staff were polite and after a quick check-in and payment (the mandatory tip is applied before treatment when using a discount voucher), I was escorted to the Ladies locker area.  I was not offered a tour of the spa facilities, even after I explained it was my first visit, and I had to ask for directions to the pool.

I purchased a voucher for the Sanctuary Jewel 60 minute facial.  The aesthetician asked very few questions and really did not explain what products she was using or why.  One of the masks smelled delicious and she confirmed my theory that is was indeed a Pumpkin mask.  Everything felt really nice and smelled wonderful.  I opted for the additional foot moisturizer and eye treatments.  My face is soft and glowing, so whatever she did, it was a good treatment. Continue reading “Sanctuary Spa on Camelback”

Encinitas Meditation Garden | Experience California Zen with Ocean Views

Encinitas is a quiet beach town located 25 minutes North of San Diego, far away from the crowds and traffic of LA. This beach town is full of amazing views, epic surfing, and Meditation Gardens.

The Self-Realization Fellowship does not sound like a place that I would ever visit.  I imagined skinny, creepy guys with shaved heads that could be in a trance or asleep.  There are large columns topped with huge gold flowers along the road surrounding the Fellowship Temple in the middle of Encinitas, California.  A friendly surfer recommended a visit, so I walked around to the entrance.

Meditation Gardens front steps
Meditation Gardens front steps
Continue reading “Encinitas Meditation Garden | Experience California Zen with Ocean Views”

Luxurious Spa Avania in Hyatt Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona

This time of year can be stressful, we are in a rush to finish projects before year-end, family travelling or just providing the extra “drama” to the day, crowds and traffic for holiday shopping, and many other unpleasant activities.  If you are looking for a great way to relax and recoup your energy, then book an appointment at Spa Avania at Hyatt Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale!  Also a great present if you want to give the gift of relaxing.  The spa offers Arizona residents discounts on certain services, and it is a beautiful resort for our out-of-town visitors (or locals that need a staycation).

Spa Avania gift certificates were part of my Birthday present this year, and today I needed a facial!  Previously, I enjoyed the best deep tissue massage of my life here and the facial was pretty darn good, too.

Spa Avania entrance, Resort lobby to the left
Spa Avania entrance, Resort lobby to the left

Updated August 2015 – During an amazing day of group pool time, eating, and treatments here, several friends commented that it is difficult to find the spa.  Spa Avania and the mineral pool (pictured below) are located in a stand alone building, southeast from the lobby across from the front parking area. Continue reading “Luxurious Spa Avania in Hyatt Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona”