Tours, travels, hikes and journeys!

Posts tagged ‘spa’

Spa Experience 8/27/15 Beauty Kliniek, San Diego, CA

I was lucky to get a spa treatment at Beauty Kliniek, last Thursday. The treatment was a re-gift from my present host, a birthday present for me. I’ve experienced many years of giving and receiving therapies, in spas, resorts,  chiropractic offices, and  private practice. On one hand, I am discerning after my 37 years of doing the work professionally myself, but on the other hand, I am easy to please and not directive when I am the receiver.

I was very impressed with how extensive the offerings are here, all the services and the space itself. I asked for and received a tour before my session. The spa is 8000 sq. feet with a Beauty/hair salon, a day spa, a wellness center, a eucalyptus stream room, an infared sauna, lockers rooms, a Vichy shower for body treatments, a hydrotherapy tub, whirlpool pedicure thrones, a couples massage room, a spa boutique, a classroom and two relaxation areas.

Here are some pictures:

wpid-2015-08-29-15.57.29.jpg.jpeg

This is the entrance. It is in a small shopping area on the NE corner of Regents Road and Governor Drive.

wpid-2015-08-29-15.51.39.jpg.jpeg

Here is part of the lobby/entrance.  This area includes the receptionist desk, chairs and several shelves and counters with make up and other items for sale.

wpid-2015-08-29-15.52.52.jpg.jpeg

Here is the salon.  They offer full hair salon services, waxing, nails, make up , all in different areas. They even offer laser hair removal, Photo Genesis and medical laser treatments, Laser genesis, botox, collagen, fillers and other medical beauty/anti-aging treatments.

They have treatment rooms where they offer various facials, and micro-current facial sculpting, too.

Their body treatment list is extensive with various body wraps, salt glow scrubs, and a hydrotherapy tub. They offer deep tissue massage, hot stone massage, Hawaiian Lomi ke Ah Hoku massage, clinical aromatherapy, pregnancy massage, Thai massage, reflexology and manual lymph drainage.

wpid-2015-08-29-15.56.33.jpg.jpeg

This is the couple’s massage room.

I had signed up for the combo massage, which the spa menu stated included craniosacral, energy balancing, reflexology, tui na, acupressure and several other modalities including Swedish.  I am trained in several therapies myself and have received numerous ones over the years, including that list, and only really noticed receiving swedish and deep tissue work in my massage last Thursday. I felt a little disappointed that there wasn’t reflexology and energy balancing, however, I was very pleased with the work I received. Tasia, was my therapist, and I found her pressure firm, nurturing and confident.  The table was VERY comfy and the treatment included nice touches like a warm towel on my back after that area was massaged, a warm towel under my neck when I was face up, a warm pad on my belly, and a warm towel on my feet after the treatment was complete.

wpid-2015-08-29-15.50.07.jpg.jpeg

This was my room.

Along with the above treatments, they have treatments and packages that focus on slimming, detoxing, spa treatments, colon hydrotherapy, packages for Brides, Executive packages, and anything from a few hours long package to all day, including a light lunch.

They focus on the whole body and to support that, they also offer yoga and other classes, wellness programs and acupuncture.

There are two relaxation areas I saw, both set up with water, fruit and hot tea. The chairs were very comfy to relax in.

wpid-2015-08-29-15.54.15.jpg.jpeg

wpid-2015-08-29-15.55.46.jpg.jpeg

They actually mix their own aromatherapy blends according to the needs of the client.

wpid-2015-08-29-15.54.52.jpg.jpeg

When I checked in, I was led to the women’s locker room where I was given a locker with a key, clean slippers and a comfy robe. There was a changing room, a shower area, bathroom, sink area and they had all the amenities anyone could want to freshen up to return out into the world.

wpid-2015-08-29-15.50.52.jpg.jpeg

Here is the classroom:

wpid-2015-08-29-15.52.16.jpg.jpeg

I liked that they offered many supplements, aromatherapy oils, lotions, and other beauty/relaxation support items for sale, to support the benefits achieved at the spa.

If you are in the San Diego area, come check out this award winning day spa. They are celebrating their 33rd anniversary in Oct.!

http://www.beautykliniek.com/index.html

The Grand Del Mar Resort, Del Mar, CA

On Tuesday my friend and I received a wonderful tour from the delightful German assistant front desk manager.  We were lucky to be shown several rooms and suites including the palatial Presidental suites.  This resort is one of only 6 resorts in the world to be given 5 diamond/stars for their spa, resort and restaurant and one of only 23 five star spas in the country. It was built in 2007 and elegant touches are everywhere from the walls, ceilings, floors, floor coverings, lighting fixtures, furnishings, windows, and even mini-bar offerings.

The resort is located next to the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve.  It has several green initiatives and works to support the preserve.  The resort uses energy efficient lighting; recycling; water conservation; china/glass/cutlery/cloth in all business retreats and large gatherings to avoid waste; organic/in season/local/sustainable/fair trade food as much as possible; chemical free dry cleaning; organic fertilization on the landscape; re-use of green waste for mulch;  minimize over watering; use a filtration system at their wash station; and work to protect the wetlands using native re-vegetation and other initiatives. They even have a manager for green initiatives and sustainability.

There is an 18 hole Tom Fazio designed golf course, 7 acres of practice areas, a junior academy and a 50, 000 sq. ft. clubhouse with the Club M restaurant that offers food and entertainment.

Golf course

There are 4 heated pools in the resort, including an adults only relaxation pool located next to the spa.  There is a bar next to a couple of the pools, offering light casual dining. There is also white sand seating.

View of pool from room Adult pool

There are various guest rooms and suites to choose from along with over 4500 sq. ft. Villas.  The guest rooms range in size from 550 sq. ft for $495 a night, to 2840 sq. ft Presidential suites that rent for $5000 a night. The Villas rate is $6000 a night. There are various packages available.

Villas Aug 27 2013 Presidential suite Room 1 Room 2 Room 3 Room 4

There are several dining options including the 5 star Addison, the more casual yet still very elegant Amaya Restaurant,  the lounge that serves afternoon tea and light offerings, pool dining, Club M next to the golf course, and several private dining venues in the wine and Champagne cellars. Here is a photo of Amaya. A friend ate there and was quite impressed with their large vegetarian menu. Of course they have other food as well.

Amaya restaurant

As I mentioned, the spa is also 5 stars. I was unable to tour it.  They have 11 treatment rooms,, have wet and dry areas for treatments, whirlpool, scrubs, Vichy shower treatments, massage, lymph massage, wraps, facials, waxing, a salon, and various packages available combing scrubs, massages, facials and wraps.

There is a fitness center with fitness and movement classes, including yoga and meditation and tennis.  There is an explorer club for children ages 5-12, beach service to transport and set you up at the beach, surf school, kayak tours, picnics, lawn games, and horseback riding and instruction offered.

There are many events available such as: wine tasting; behind the scenes food and wine secret classes at the Addison; a painting and wine event; happy hour; Sunday concerts; movie night; sand castle building on the beach; hikes; Italian movies; perfume making; and an art and architecture tour.

The various ball rooms can be divided or opened up for various size venues for weddings, corporate retreats and other large events.   I love this large lawn area that is available for weddings and the gazebo known to be a place for romantic engagements. The Capella is another beautiful chapel like area available for weddings and business meetings.

The Capella Gazebo Inside the Capella Lawn for weddings

Everywhere you look from the picturesque driveways to the elegant seating areas in the foyers to the luxurious hallways connecting the guest rooms, to the striking stairway, it is all designed to provide a high end resort experience, and yet is still very warm, inviting and friendly.

Staircase Driveway to Villas Part of Foyer

Come check it out as a local or a guest! You can find out more on their website:

http://www.thegranddelmar.com/

Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Ocean Pearl Spa, Carlsbad, CA

On Tuesday I received a tour of the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and the onsite Ocean Pearl Spa in Carlsbad, CA. http://www.sheratoncarlsbad.com/    http://www.oceanpearlspa.com/home 

I have been a holistic therapist, trainer and coach for over 34 years, and have worked in various resorts, so being able to tour a spa is always a special treat. And what a treat this small yet elegant spa is to see. They are  dedicated to using mostly  organic products in all of their treatments and a few of the lines are produced locally.  The spa director, Carol Holguin, described the Kimberly Parry Organics line produced locally, how Kimberly makes up the batches when ordered so they are fresh and how they’ve been able to go to the facility and ask for additions and alterations to the various ingredients to produce signature products for their treatments.  All body treatments are done with Kimberly’s line and all facial treatments are performed with either the Kimberly Perry line or the Hungarian line, Ilike, which is made up  of fruits, vegetables and herbs.  Several lines are carried in the lobby for purchase, too.

Carol also showed us a device used for non-invasive face lifts, called nuface, using a microcurrent.  She has used it and says in five minutes it produces visible results. This is available for purchase in their lobby. She also showed us poultices filled with herbal pearls that are used to perform both massages and facials, a signature treatment.

The spa has 2 facial rooms, 6 massage rooms, including a couples massage room; a manicure/pedicure station that looks out to the lovely pool;  locker and relaxation areas for both men and woman; a eucalyptus steam room.

Various massages, body treatments, and facials are available alone or in a package.  I love how dedicated they are to organic product;  water conservation and other green initiatives;  and all they do to support local guests as well as guests of the resort.  During the summer they have bi-monthly happy hour offerings with various treatments, vendors, and food. During the off season these are offered monthly.  Oct. 4th-6th, they are offering a weekend of wellness with classes, workshops, treatments, and wellness consultations.  My favorite was the special of a  lunch, use of the pool, steam room, outdoor hot-tub and fitness center, all for only $5 added to the purchase of a 50 min. treatment. Most resorts charge a fee of $25 for spa, pool and fitness center use alone.  They also cater to small groups, wedding groups, etc.

Here are some pictures of the spa. All are photos taken from their website except for the photo of the women’s locker room.

Women rest area website photo fitness center website photo Lobby websit photo Manicure station website photo Women locker room

I was quite impressed with the Sheraton Carlsbad resort as well. They are connected with the MarBrisa time share, too, so guests are welcome to use the main pool as well as pools connected with the time share.  They are in the process of building some new timeshare units which adjoin the new two pool area called “The Cove”. The cove is a lovely area with what will eventually be a family pool and an adult pool, a bar, outdoor pool and ping pong tables, and food service at the pool, plus several lounge areas. The pool can be partially rented out for groups.

The first and last photo are of the main pool. The last photo is taken from the website and includes a picture of the rooms.  The other three photos are of the Cove and the new MarBrisa time share units.

Main pool aug 27 2013 More Cove New MarBisa time share The Cove poolCarlsbad-Hotel-Pool and rooms website photo

The Sheraton Carlsbad is located right next to Legoland and has a private entrance to it, plus special rates to explore it.  I love the Mediterranean architecture and how lovely the landscaping is throughout the property. They are also next door to the Crossings Golf course. The resort has ocean views and all rooms have patios and balconies that face beautiful scenes of flowers and gardens, the ocean, the canyon or the fairway.  There is a large conference center and many companies hold meetings and retreats here as well as having business travelers stay here. There is 40,000 sq ft of meeting and event space for corporate retreats, weddings and other large gatherings. There are several outdoor spaces available as a sweet wedding setting.

Looking toward conference center and entrance Conference Center

Their Twenty/20 restaurant has recently been remodeled and has 5200 sq. feet of space, of which 1700 is outdoor dining with views of the Pacific Ocean. The setting is elegant yet casual.  They use local organic produce as much as possible.  I love the resorts dedication to green initiatives such as the Blink recharging system for electrical cars, use of recycled paper products, organically grown flowers, green transportation, sustainable food options, china service for meetings to avoid all the waste that often accompanies these events.  They even donate left over food.   These are photos from their website.

twenty20- restaurant website photo

The rooms range from 488 sq. ft to 915 ft. for the Presidential suite.  Prices start at $199 per night and go up to $639, plus a $12 fee for internet, paper, resort activities, and use of fitness center.  There are 250 rooms. They are pet friendly.

These are photos taken from the website:

Executive-suite website photo traditional-guestroom-choco website photo

I highly recommend these facilities for locals as well as guests either visiting Lego Land, or wanting a mid-range lovely resort option for their ocean vacation.  The airport is close by and soon there will be major airline service there, in addition to the computer jets.  It is very close to the ocean near the I-5 interstate and there is transportation offered to the beach and other local attractions!

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort and Spa, Carlsbad, CA

Last Friday, I was treated to a delightful tour of the resort by the marketing coordinator at the resort.  As you drive in via the main entrance you drive within the Aviara planned community and past the Four Seasons residence club which has time shares.  Real estate is available in this community but the jewel of this property is the beautiful AAA 5 diamond resort and Arnold Palmer 18 hole golf course.

The Spanish Colonial architecture is complemented by the lush landscaping on the 200 acres and the breathtaking view of the Batiquitos natural lagoon and the ocean beyond.  There are sculptures placed around the property and all the guest rooms have either a private balcony or terrace to access these views.  Even the pools are situated to best take advantage of the lagoon, ocean and landscaping views.

There are 329 sleeping room, from the 540 sq. foot guest room to the 855-2140 suites, including the Presidential suite.  All rooms are certified hypo allergenic with special cleaning processes, materials, etc. to provide this clean environment.   When I looked today, the rates ranged from $259 per night to $459 for the Park Suite deluxe, plus the $25 a night resort fee and a parking fee.

There is 78,000 sq feet of indoor/outdoor facilities for weddings, business meetings and events, and 17 meeting rooms. The meeting rooms are  held on one side of the hotel and the guest rooms on the other, to keep a separate and more private space available for guests and attendants.

There are five dining venues as well as in room dining. The Vivace is the fine dining venue, Italian, offering dinners and a Sunday brunch. The California Bistro has a wonderful buffet that the marketing coordinator says is exquisite, featuring locally sourced and organic food as much as possible.  The Argyle Steakhouse is located next to the 18th hole on the golf course.  The Ocean bar and grill is next to the pool and lastly, the Lobby lounge is in the library area and serves tea and finger foods as well as cocktails in the evening. Wed. through Sat. there is live music in the lobby and lounge area.

One of my favorite offerings at the resort is their quarterly Masters of food and wine events.  The event during the summer months is focused on teaching families how to make pizza dough,  mozzarella cheese and decorate cupcakes.  Earlier in the summer it focused on the local Carlsbad Aqua Farm, with a tour, and oyster tasting paired with fine California wines.   Later on the focus will be on Single Malt scotch tasting paired with cigars.  Bridgette stressed that food is one of the main focuses at this hotel, one that lifts it above the rest.

Other facilities in the hotel are various shops, 6 lighted tennis courts, a game room for kids and adults, a golf academy aligned with the Arnold Palmer golf course, 1/2 court basketball court, sand volley ball, movies, and camp Hyatt for the kids.  There is a large and lush family pool and a more secluded adult only Tranquility pool below that one. Another fun offering through the resort is called their Beach Butler service. They offer transportation to the beach, along with beach chairs, towels and umbrellas; a picnic lunch and/or morning coffee service.

I wasn’t able to view inside the spa as it was booked full with appointments but a friend of mine has visited there and says it is lovely.   It is 15,000 sq. ft, has 20 treatment rooms, an indoor solarium lounge, whirlpool, steam room, sauna and a fitness center. They offer various body treatments, facials and massage treatments. There is a salon onsite as well.

I am sharing the photos I took here but if you want more info or pictures, you can go to: http://www.parkaviara.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

This is a view of the lobby and fountain, the view from the fountain and the view of the lagoon.

Lobby and fountain Aviara view from lobby looking west Aug 9 2013 Lagoon view

These last two photos are of the fine dining restaurant and the bistro:

Bistro Fine dining restaurant

Although this is a fairly large resort, it felt very comfortable and intimate to me.  Go visit yourself and let me know what you think!

Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, Ojai, CA

I have researched Wellness centers and resorts for 34 years, interviewing people who started wellness/retreat centers, people who managed them, land developers, organizational developers, construction supervisors, real estate agents who specialize in selling large properties for this use, spa managers,  venture capitalists,etc.  Along with this, I have researched online over 70 resorts, spas and wellness centers/learning centers world wide.  I have done this research to not only prepare to one day create my own, but to also act as a consultant to people wanting to create wellness centers and refer my clients to resorts that fit their budget and desired experiences. The Ojai Valley Inn and Spa was one of the ones I researched and has long been one of my favorites due to their beautiful Spanish architecture and use of tiles. In July I finally got to visit in person and thanks to Ashleigh Tripp, a warm, generous and enthusiastic guide, who works in the marketing dept.,  I received a wonderful tour of the resort. I had walked around a little before hand and took some photos but Ashleigh really filled in the picture for me and was very patient with all my questions.

I loved learning the history of the place…that it was first conceived in 1923 and built as a country club and golf course but the first rooms for the Inn weren’t built until 1934.  I love that those rooms have still been kept intact.   In 1942 the land was used  by 1000 army troops for a training ground and they took over the golf course land, pretty much leaving it unusable as a golf course. The Navy also used the property after that for a recuperation facility.   In 1947 a new owner reopened it after restoring it. The golf course had originally been created leaving large trees and other natural areas left intact and that was kept in mind in restoring it. Through different owners and over the years, all the renovations have kept true to the history and the original architecture.

The resort now has 308 rooms and suites ranging in size from 425 sq. ft to 1200 sq. feet and 1200 – 1900 sq feet for the penthouses.  Along with the rooms there is also a gorgeous villa, called Casa Elar which is 10, 407 sq. ft, has two two-room master bedroom suites, it’s own massage room, 2 bedrooms downstairs, staff quarters, its own pool and spa.  Room rates start at $389.  There are packages available and the resort regularly offers coupon and other offers to locals. The room rate  has an added $25 service charge which includes use of the golf practice facilities, tennis courts , fitness classes, Nest teen center, and activity center along with a few other amenities. The resort is pet friendly and even offers dog training classes.

Everyone I encountered was very warm and friendly, and it was obvious that the resort truly welcomes its guests, both local and from other locales.  The resort even has some onsite housing for employees.

Sustainability is a strong focus and the onsite apothecary makes all the bath products available in the rooms, and recycles any of them left over. Recycling containers are sprinkled around the area and strongly encouraged.  As much as possible they serve local and organic produce, even growing herbs in their gardens onsite and heirloom tomatoes.  They turned an old horse ranch and barn into an organic farm and split the crops with the growers and use the rest in their restaurants. The barn was turned into a wedding venue.  They use only certified fish on their menus as well.

Facilities include tennis courts and instruction, an 18 hole championship golf course and other golf training facilities, 4 pools, ping pong, a basketball court, a game room located at the adult only Herb Garden pool, activities and camps for the kids.  The golf course offers golf academies spread  throughout  the year, catering to different skill levels.  In the building that houses the apothecary and artist cottage, guests can paint glasses, tiles, silk scarves or use mixed media, in addition to personal assistance in creating a hand picked aromatherapy oil to be used in their body treatments or massages. The spa offers the usual massages, facials, salon offerings, along with several spiritual therapies and a unique Native American flavored sweat and clay ceremony/treatment that honors the history of the local tribes.  Guests can choose a room near the spa or golf course if that is their focus for their stay. There are six restaurants scattered around the resort and in-room dining.

With all of its array of facilities and activities, this is a great place for business events, reunions and weddings. There is a large expansive event lawn near the herb gardens and heirloom tomatoes. There is an arbor with seating under it for a cocktail or quiet place to gather.  I enjoyed all the spirited sculptures placed around the grounds and the beautiful landscaping.

The resort even hosts resident parrots that have their own trainer to care for them and educate the guests!  I was very impressed with this resort and it’s attention to sustainability, comfort, variety and beauty!  Come check it out.  It is close to LA, close the beach, close to mountains!

Approaching entrance Entrance Flower on tree in garden Herb garden pool Herb garden Outside patio in gardens Rooms near herb garden pool Rooms on south side of property Stairway to roomsSculpture in garden

The Oaks at Ojai, Ojai, CA

I went to tour the Oaks in July.  I walked around on my own some and then joined their orientation tour for new guests at the spa.  In the orientation were a few guests who had been there before and the spa has a high percentage of returning guests. One woman had been on one of their cruises and along with that she was given 2 free nights at the spa.

Sheila Cluff, an international fitness expert, founded the spa 36 years ago. It is considered a destination spa and it’s main focus is healthy weight loss, wellness and conscious eating.  The daily rate includes 15 fitness classes a day, 3 calorie conscious meals and healthy snacks.  The majority of the guests are women.

There are 46 rooms with an occupancy of 78 guests.  The rates start at $199 a day double occupancy to $345, depending upon the room size and $269 to $319 single occupancy.   Along with the offered fitness classes, there are daily guided hikes and walks for people of all fitness levels, cardio and weight lifting equipment, pilates equipment, an indoor and outdoor hot tub, steam room, sauna, outdoor pool and nightly lectures and activities.

The Spa is located in the center of town on Ojai Ave.  The meals will accommodate vegetarians as well as various food allergies per request. The menus are posted and guests are invited to contact the staff if they need something else or don’t like what is on the menu.  There are cooking demos to assist the guests in continuing their healthy eating habits upon returning home.

The spa offers various massage and reiki therapies,  facials, body treatments, a salon, along with fitness and body composition consultations.  Life awareness coaching and wellness training is offered as well.

Throughout the year various theme and focus weeks are offered.  Cruises are offered that include fitness and weight loss classes.

Jacuzzi in womens spa Path to rooms Pool and outdoors area The entrance Treatment room

Canyon Ranch, Tucson, AZ

In Dec. I went with a friend to tour Canyon Ranch. We received an extensive tour, with a wonderful young man leading the way. He had been working there a little while and loved working there, was pleased with how supported he felt there, how much they encouraged him to grow.

Canyon Ranch was created by it’s owner who still lives in a home on the property, right a midst the rest of the offered lodgings. I was impressed with this.  There are several Canyon ranch facilities in different locations including 2 resorts, one hotel and spa in Florida, and 3 spa clubs at other hotels.  I liked the concept of this family starting this one resort and seeing how much it has grown and expanded to other locations. That must be quite fulfilling. Canyon Ranch Tucson was originally a working ranch, then from the 1930’s to 1970’s, it was a guest ranch.  It now consists of 200 acres including a housing development with the owners able to have access to the spa and activities.

It is nestled at the south side of the Santa Catalina Mountains, near Sabino Canyon.   Facilities include regular rooms to a  2700 sq. feet 2 bdr. home.  The rates are all inclusive and include use of all classes, meals, facilities. They start at $3030 for 4 nights, including $650 service allowance to $6500 for 4 days, depending upon room size chosen.  One of the great room amenities is your choice of pillows from the 20 pillow menu.  for someone who has purchased numerous therapeutic pillows and even attempted to make my own pillow, I loved this offering. The young man told us that there are people who come and stay for a month at a time or more, no matter the cost.

There are 4 swimming pools, including a watsu pool and aquatic therapy pools.  There are three food venues, with all nutritional information and ingredients listed on the menus, with various diet restrictions honored. There are regular cooking classes to teach guests how to cook using more healthy ingredients. No alcohol is served but you are allowed to bring alcohol with you and consume it in your room. The resort is a cell phone free zone.

Their spa, salon, and fitness facilities are VERY extensive, including a large staff of medical professionals, MD’s, chiropractic, acupuncturists, hypnotherapists and others.  You are able to choose your therapies or join in one of the various programs.  There is even a gait and footwear analysis.  The spa also has metaphysical offerings including astrology, tarot, clairvoyant readings, crystal energy sessions, Feng Shui, handwriting analysis, and numerology.  There are various spiritual programs, life enhancement programs and creative arts activities.

While I was there they were building a new ropes course to include in their fitness programs and business offerings.  They have hikes, horse back riding and other outdoor activities.

I was having such a good time on the tour that I only took a few pictures afterwards, so am including a few pictures from their website instead.

canyon ranch main canyon ranch pool canyon ranch room canyon ranch rope course Canyon ranch spiritual canyon ranch

The Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, AZ

I went to see the Scottsdale Princess in Feb.  They gave me a map and I just walked around on my own.  I did receive a tour of the spa and fitness center. This is a newer resort and is a 5 diamond resort.  It has a newly added 53,000 sq foot ballroom and conference center and caters to business meetings, events and business travelers.

The resort has 4 restaurants and a lounge; 2 18 hole golf courses; 2 fitness centers (one free, one fee based); tennis courts; 2 catch and release fishing lagoons; 5 pools, one of them with 2 200 ft. water slides; a kids club and Family adventure center with a playground, sports courts various activities and games and seasonal dive in movies.

The spa and wellness center was my favorite part of the resort.  There was an adult lap pool; various fitness classes including simulated surfing; numerous  therapies including different massages, reiki , craniosacral , body and facial treatments; a salon; 2 wellness MD’s to create a wellness program; and my top favorite, a series of “waterfalls”, with varying water intensities,   that you stood under for neck and shoulder massage.

There are 649 rooms ranging in size from 525 sq. feet to 3150 sq feet and rooms start at $149 per night.

Photos are of the rooms, swimming pool and Wellness center.

Tower at hotel rooms Entrance to the spa, fitness center and Authentic Mexican food restaurant Fountain and hotel rooms Hotel room Pool and lagoon at the Princess

 

 

The Phoenician, Scottsdale, AZ

I went to tour the Phoenician, in Feb. 2013. They just handed me a map and I walked around on my own.  The history is interesting. An artist, Jessie Evans, fell in love with the land up against Camelback mountain in the early 1900’s, built a small house for herself, bought 40 more acres and gave 12 of them to her son and daughter-in-law. They decided to build a unique adobe home that they eventually opened up to visitors. This home still stands on the grounds and was featured in the movie “Raising Arizona”.  Charles Keating, bought the land in 1985 and decided to fashion it into something rivaling grand European resorts. It now consists of 250 acres. He brought in white tiles from Italy, had ceilings etched with 24 karat gold. It is a 5 diamond resort. He brought in workers from Tonga to create the tropical landscape.  The serenity pool is tiled with mother of pearl from Italy. The pool renovations cost $1 million.

There are various sizes of rooms from 530 sq. feet to the Presidential suite within the hotel and is 4000 sq feet. Prices start at $199 per night and go into the thousands.  There is a resort, the Canyon Suites, within the resort that has it’s own pool and a chauffeur driven car for the use of the guests.

Activities include the Family activity center that includes a theater, a basketball court, foosball, video games, pool, etc.; 9 pools that include a river like pool that has several sections, a kid’s pool and water slide; hikes to Camelback mountain, a playground;  a Koi Fish feeding activity; lawn games, bikes, art tours, wine and cheese tasting; tennis courts and lessons; a 27 hole golf course and lessons; fitness center with classes and facilities; a salon; a 22,000 sq foot spa/salon that offers body and face treatments, body therapies, astrology, hypnotherapy, chakra balancing, tarot readings and even golf imagery for golfers I was glad to see the guided imagery on their menu as I have successfully used hypnotherapy and other mind/body therapies for use with golfers.

There are 8 food venues and 5 private dining rooms available. They offer facilities for weddings, business meetings and other events. Locals can purchase membership to the tennis courts and golf course.

The pictures show the resort at the base of the mountain; the river and pool; the fountains and rooms; the landscaping.

Cabanas by pool with lobby and rooms and mountain beyond Entrance Fountain in part of lake with rooms beyond One of the pools next to the necklace lake Part of the grounds

 

Arizona Biltmore Resort, Phoenix, AZ

I also worked here in 1997.  I had less work here, but did enjoy it for the most part. The spa was ok when I was there, but just like the AZ. Grand, they completely remodeled it after I left. (is there a trend here? This also happened at the Cordillera resort where I worked in CO).

I went back to visit the Biltmore in early 2013 and paid to take their historical tour. We had been given a tour as an employee but I’m so glad that I took the extensive historical tour and I found out much more about it’s history.  When the Biltmore was built, it was considered out in the middle of no where. A man from the mid-west, created a car dealership in Phoenix, then gathered investors and started building the resort. During this time the costs doubled, the depression hit, and the man lost all stock in the resort and it became the property of the sole owner, Wrigley, of Wrigley gum.  He has a mansion built next to the resort. My family and I used to drive by it most Easter Sundays, and I loved all the bunnies jumping up and down the hill that the mansion is built upon.

Until the second owners, Talley Industries, had their grand opening in 1973, the resort was only attended by invitation only.  Heads of state, all of the Presidents, movie stars, politicians and sports stars were invited. In the beginning, the dining halls were adults only and families brought their nannies with them to care for the children and they and the children were housed in different quarters than the adults. Irving Berlin composed many songs by the pool, including “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”. Marilyn Monroe considered the Catalina Pool, made with tiles from Catalina Island, to be her favorite pool world wide.

The resort first opened in 1929, with the key in the photo dropped from a plane above. Thankfully, it didn’t land on anyone.  The ballroom and the main room were made with ceilings of pressed gold leaf. The architect had been a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the stained glass display in the lobby was from one of his throw away sketches.  Talisen West oversaw the remodel done by the 2nd owners, after Wrigley sold it to them. During that remodel, there was a fire, and miraculously the remodel was completely redone within 82 days.  All of the original blocks and the remodel blocks were made from an original design, made from sand gathered onsite, and produced on site.

The resort is on 39 acres. It also is surrounded by various housing developments and those home owners have access to the country club and golf course.  In addition, the villas are privately owned, managed by the resort and available to be rented out.  There are 740 rooms, from the basic 400-450 sq foot room with the rate starting at $99 a night, and extend to 78  1 and 2 bdr. villas up to 1600 sq. feet. The various rooms and villas are surrounded by lush gardens.

The spa, salon and fitness center are now in a 22,000 sq foot building.  There are tennis courts, the golf course, croquet, lawn chess, local horse back riding, tours, and numerous classes in the fitness center. The spa has several body treatments, facials and body therapies available.  There are 5 dining options and 8 swimming pools, including the Catalina Pool.

They have a green initiative and serve locally grown and organic food as much as it is available. They are moving toward having all organic gardening. They are available for weddings, business meetings and other events. I love the elegance and history of this place.

Biltmore Block designed by McArthur Catalina pool made with tiles from Catalina Island Ceilling of the Aztec room with copper struts Entrance to the Lobby Key dropped from airplane  for Opening Day Stained glass panel in lobby, from drawing by Frank Lloyd Wright, Saguaro Cactus with blossoms

 

o

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: