Insider's Guide to Spas
The Boulders Resort & Spa

My Spa Experience

My First Spa Experience: Transformation Beyond the Boulders

India Robinson


With another birthday year, came another birthday trip, it’s sort of become a ritual for me now, celebrating my life with a new experience, in a new destination. As much as I plan for pretty much everything, some things, like transformation, you can’t plan for, they just happen.

That’s exactly what happened in November 2012, when I set my sights on Arizona and my best friend and I, along with my sister and her boyfriend, set off for desert adventures in Scottsdale, and beyond. We packed a lot of activities into that five-day trip—James Bond Skyfall premiere at Ipic theater, horseback riding, and an authentic cowboy experience with Western Destinations, a brief shopping stop in Sedona, before we headed to tour The Grand Canyon, and of course . . . a couple of spa visits.

Spa from Morning til Night

During my pre-trip research, I was impressed with the array of amenities and unique treatments offered by the spa at the Boulders Resort in Carefree, Arizona. The spa’s website promises “you’ll find this luxurious spa offers everything you need for soul-stirring renewal.” I mean, being located in a city named Carefree, how could I go wrong? Back then it was a Golden Door spa at The Boulders Resort, and this was one of those scenarios where the spa menu was so vast, and there were so many new and exciting things I wanted to try (services not really available back home in DC), that I literally opened and closed the spa with the services booked.

I had to chuckle when the reservationists questioned if I really wanted to get all of those services on the same day. Though our full itineraries varied, my best friend and I both started our day with Sunrise Yoga and ended with an Astrological Soul Reading. We were the first to arrive when they opened the door at 7:00 in the morning, and the last to leave when they closed at 6:00 in the evening.

The Boulders Resort & Spa

 The 33,000-square-foot spa offered a sauna, steam room, café, outdoor heated swimming pool, fitness center, and more. Additionally, it would be an injustice if I didn’t mention the breathtaking landscape and scenery that surrounded me when taking a walk outside of the spa. The huge boulders stood before me, like silent butlers waiting to take care of my every need, though they didn’t move or speak—   though at times, while I walked the meditation labyrinth, I could have sworn they were speaking to me, guiding me unconsciously as they observed my slow yet rhythmic pace to the center.

“Whatever path you’re on, that thing, is there for you: Believe, have faith, and trust.”

The full day of services was a delight, and having a grown man, suspended from the ceiling, walk on my back and massage my neck with his feet was surprisingly more relaxing than I ever imagined it would be.  But that wasn’t the most memorable part of this visit. Sitting down with Tom McMullan, and having him speak to me and about me as if he knew me, was a little unnerving to say the least. Just to note, we had to send the spa our birth date, birth time, and birth place information prior to our visit so that they could pass it along to the resident astrologer, so he would be prepared for the reading prior to our appointment time.   I remember Tom as being warm and charming, with a twinkle in his eye (maybe it was a planet ascending or something, who knows), but I was there to “gain insight into the story of your soul’s journey through your astrological chart,” well, at least that is how the spa brochure described the experience that I was hoping to have.

An Astrology Reading that Guides Me to This Day

Whether you believe in astrology or not, I sat there and feverishly took notes as Tom shared with me things I already knew about myself, as well as some things that could happen, that I was not yet aware of. He even indicated that my best friend and I were “soul sisters,” despite neither of us telling him the history of our 30-plus year friendship from the sandbox, and the fact that we’ve often used that exact term to describe our bond. That further confirmed for me, that Mr. McMullan was authentic in his craft.

Though I won’t share all of the things I heard and absorbed during that session,  I will share a few things he told me that have stayed with me: “Love is something you are, look at what makes you happy” and “Whatever path you’re on, that thing, is there for you: Believe, have faith, and trust.”

Leaving the Spa Renewed & Transformed

You may ask, why am I sharing this story almost five years later? Well, true transformation is not immediately apparent. When you are in the midst of change, you don’t always realize that you yourself are also changing. I don’t know what path I would be on now, if it weren’t for that experience at the Boulders. It prepared me for life-changing events that were coming, though I didn’t know what and I didn’t know when, but they did come. Even more uncanny are the things I wrote down in my journal, those that didn’t have direct meaning or understanding to me even last year, still seem to be manifesting and helping guide me as I reflect back on and realize how they apply to my life today.

To this day, I will never forget the change in the energy field, the air, that I felt when I departed the plane and entered the terminal back at Baltimore Washington International airport, it was thick, heavy, and draining. It hit me like sack of bricks though I saw nothing. I’ve never felt something so profound rush over me, as if I had left a magical vortex of some sort and entered back into an unfamiliar world, where everything was the same, except me.

Find your transformation at the Spa at the Boulders.

India Robinson

India Robinson

Known to family and friends as the ultimate party planner and travel and spa guru, India, president of The H.I.S Agency, LLC, and founder of “Confessions of a Spa Bunny,” has a natural talent for organizing and hosting memorable themed events and luxurious spa getaways. She is based in Washington, DC.