Insider's Guide to Spas
Joya Spa at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

Resorts

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

Alia Akkam


I climb the staircase to Joya Spa’s particularly peaceful upper reaches, where I am instructed to close my eyes and plunge my hand into a cache of mystical crystals. My fingers find one, but whether it is rose quartz, tiger’s eye, blue lace agate, rhodonite or hematite, I do not yet know. Each of these stones is purportedly imbued with distinct, healing powers. My battered heart, still in recovery mode from the break-up of a long-term love a few months prior, secretly yearns to hold the romance-inducing rose quartz. Instead, it is hematite, which promises to shield me from negativity, I find in my grasp. I am then invited to make an intention—my personal wish is to feel alive once more—and set it free.

Joya Spa, which murmurs Morocco more than Arizona, is undoubtedly the transcendent crown jewel of the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, a breathtaking Spanish-inspired beauty only overshadowed by the pristine grandiosity of Camelback Mountain hulking overhead. Its appeal lies not solely in the presence of the capable therapists and imaginative treatments, but in its power to deftly connect mind and body.

My battered heart, still in recovery mode from the break-up of a long-term love a few months prior, secretly yearns to hold the romance-inducing rose quartz. Instead, it is hematite, which promises to shield me from negativity. . .

I feel this union when I partake in the Joy of Purification, placing my hands against a mammoth 55-pound Brazilian crystal while inhaling affirmative, uplifting vibes and exhaling the toxic ones that leave me in what seems a never-ending foggy and numb state. I feel it in my guided meditation class, and when I have my tarot cards read, where I am told it will behoove me to channel my boundless energy into more positive, productive efforts. I feel it when I inhale the aromatic cactus flower, Queen of the Night, and when I daydream, alone, on the heady heated bench inside the hammam.

But the main reason I am here is the Restorative Sleep Ritual. That restless sense of unsettlement in the aftermath of a break-up translates, at least to me, to broken, sigh-fueled, pillow-punching sleep. With a little help from this relaxing session, perhaps I will be on my way to a brighter memory and a stronger immune system.

I enter Haouara, the treatment room named for an elaborate Moroccan dance, where I almost immediately collapse onto the table, so eager for my red rock aromatherapy rubdown. My therapist has a mellifluous voice, and almost on cue, I am tempted to succumb to my long-awaited slumber now. Instead, I relish my feet wrapped in enveloping warmth and the firm but soothing strokes that slather my needy body in a mix of Arizona-made Body Bliss and Olreka products. When I am whisked into the Whisper Zone, an oasis devoted to silence and plush beds, it is as if I am still on that table. Here, peace lingers.

But the main reason I am here is the Restorative Sleep Ritual. That restless sense of unsettlement in the aftermath of a break-up translates, at least to me, to broken, sigh-fueled, pillow-punching sleep. . .

That night, I do not stir for six and a half hours. Rejuvenated, I sit on the patio, a plate of huevos rancheros before me, and fix my gaze upon that all-knowing red mountain yet again.

During the Haouara dance, men whirl in a circle until a woman rushes into it, performing intricate steps that delineate her strength. Deep down, I know I am slowly gearing up for my own solo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alia Akkam

Alia Akkam

A native New Yorker, Alia Akkam is a food, drink, travel, and design writer now living out her childhood dreams of Europe in Budapest. She misses Broadway and old-school steakhouses.