Arizona Spa Escape


Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale
Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale has a Moorish vibe, reminiscent of the south of Spain.

In the heat of the Arizona desert, a relaxing spa is an absolute must. We’re impressed by Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, which evokes the classic grandeur of Spain’s Andalusia region. (And we’re not the only ones: We hear that A-listers like Ice-T, Jay Z and Beyonce, Taylor Swift and even President Obama have stayed here.)

We recommend rooms with a full Camelback Mountain view, one of the major local landmarks. (Don’t worry—the resort has more than 100 rooms with mountain views, all of which have spacious balconies for soaking up some rays.) The two-bedroom suites are best for families, and have private patios and lawns for unobstructed mountain views. (Note: These suites must be reserved directly through the resort.)


The Grand Palace Spa Suite
The Grand Palace Spa Suite can open to a terrace and rooftop pool.

The two Presidential Suites—the Andalusian Suite and the Camelback Villa—are the top digs: The former has a private swimming pool and the latter a private event lawn (great for reunions or business events). Note: Guests who pay “rack” rate for either of the Presidential Suites will be provided with butler service.

Joya Spa

But the resort is only half of the Resort & Spa, and the other half sounds even more amazing. The Moroccan-themed Joya Spa sprawls out over 31,000 square feet and consists of 19 treatment rooms (including five suites), a fitness center along with motion classes, boutique, salon, rooftop pool and a terrace. In addition, the spa also reportedly has Arizona’s only authentic Hammam. The spa uses a wide range of products, including Layla & Qayes (signature to Joya Spa), Natura Bisse, Eminence Organic and Jan Marini.

We hear the most requested treatments at the spa are the Custom Massages and the Signature Facial. The signature treatment is the Joyambrosia Massage, which uses organic oils, including Morocco’s “liquid gold” argan oil, Spanish citrus, Moroccan mint, and spices applied with circular movements and gentle stretching. The spa also offers an anti-aging Amira Jewel Facial.

Guys are in luck, as Joya has plenty of masculine facials, massages and body treatments. Sportsmen will appreciate the Golfer’s Massage, which focuses on the neck, shoulders and lower back. They can also try a sports-focused manicure or pedicure—after all, a guy can’t play tennis with a hangnail, can he?

Sound Mind and Body

Wellness is a dominant theme at Joya, and there are plenty of programs to promote both physical and spiritual well-being. Guests can choose from private meditations—the Seven Path Labyrinth sounds fascinating. Also, the Hemi-Sync Meditation reportedly aligns both halves of the brain to help promote a focused mindset.


CamelBack Mountain
CamelBack Mountain sets an exotic southwestern backdrop to the spa.

Those looking for a different sort of spiritual wellness might want to consider some mystical sessions, including numerology, tarot cards and even lip-print readings. (Did you ever think your lips could say so much about you when you’re not even speaking?) And those who need some subliminal help in their lives might want to try an hour-long hypnotherapy session.

On the fitness end, guests can try nutritional counseling, personal trainings, comprehensive fitness assessments, and nutritional counseling on body composition and meal planning.

Spa Suites

For daylong spa experiences, suggest your clients book a spa suite, which includes beverage bars, food service from Joya Terrace, top views and private restrooms. We say these digs are perfect for a girls’ getaway, romantic escape, pre-wedding party or even a corporate event.

Top pick is the apartment-sized Grand Palace Suite, which has a king-sized bed, So Sound treatment tables that vibrate to the beat of the guest’s music choice, a fireplace, flat-screen TV, and a private restroom with shower and bath. Bonus: The Grand Palace glass wall can be opened to the Joya terrace and its rooftop pool overlooking Camelback Mountain to become the ultimate open-air cabana.

Joya Suites One and Two both have private terraces, outdoor showers and bath or a romantic antique hammered copper tub and daybed. The Terrace Suites come with direct access to the Joya pool, and the glass doors can be opened up for an open-air massage.

Before or after their therapies, guests can relax on the Joya Terrace and try a healthy snack or meal. And we don’t mean celery sticks: Gourmets can choose from yellow gazpacho, king prawn cocktail, quail leg salad, a grilled lobster flatbread or even a spinach quesadilla. 

Fun for Families: While several of the treatments are off-limits to kids, younger guests are welcome in the salon for hairstyling, manicures and pedicures.

Head Concierge Terril Kelley ([email protected]; 480-627-3200) can tailor-make just about any kind of experience your clients need, from hot air balloon rides over marriage proposals written on a huge banner in the desert to Pink Jeep tours into the Red Rocks for a private barbecue (with the equipment already set up).

Luxury travel advisors should reach out to General Manager Matthew Hart ([email protected]; 480-627-3102). 

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