An enchanting visit to Agave Spa at Westin Kierland’s grand resort.
Okay, I admit it, I love my job. The endless hours hunched over the computer, the backs of my legs stuck to the fake leather of my creaky desk chair, are all worth it on days like today. ‘Cause today, I went to the spa. And not just any spa–I went to one of the newest spas on Arizona’s already rich spa scene: Agave, The Arizona Spa at the Westin Kierland Resort.
It was the last day of March, a month that had brought about a wicked slew of new gray hairs on my head, and I arrived at the resort determined to give this tumultuous month a memorable send-off. Taking advantage of the complimentary valet service, I grabbed my tote and began my journey by following an outdoor path that led to the stand-alone spa, salon and fitness building. I’m a bit directionally impaired and I gave the spa bonus points right away for being so incredibly easy to find — too many times I’ve wondered aimlessly around resorts looking for the spa. And with just a few whiffs of the blooming orange blossoms on the citrus trees that lined the path, my spirit was already beginning to lift, especially once I took in the inviting pool area flanked by private cabanas and an outdoor bar and restaurant just outside the doors of the spa.
Once inside, more bonus points. In one sweeping glance from the spa reception desk, I spotted the aerobics studio, a weight room, a juice bar, the salon entrance and a boutique brimming with beauty products and apparel. No getting lost here. The front desk attendants checked me in and off I went to experience one of Agave’s signature treatments: the Agave Enchantment, an 80-minute hydrating body treatment designed to restore balance and well-being.
The gracious attendant gave me a quick tour of the women’s locker area, and I was left to change into my spa robe and slippers, take in the amenities, sip on the delicious agave limeade and lounge in the quiet waiting room. At the center of the locker room was a whirlpool where the sun danced off the water from the brilliant skylight above it. The whirlpool was framed by a spectacular tiled wall mural of a bubbling stream, which I later found out was a photo taken at Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona and reproduced on two-inch tiles by artist Craig Primas. A similar scene was also created for the men’s locker area. I had no sooner shuffled into the waiting area than I was summoned by my therapist, Lisa, who escorted me the Mescal room for my treatment.
Softly lit and spacious, the Mescal room was equipped with a shower and reserved for full body treatments. The therapy table was draped by a striking handmade throw embellished by an image of an agave plant. Before Lisa left the room to allow me to settle in, she invited me to leave my troubles in the Native American burden basket that guards occupied treatment rooms. Wondering if the little basket might burst under the weight of all my issues, I mentally placed them in the basket nonetheless and felt the hinges of my jaws begin to untighten and a deep breath well up from my belly. Peace was just around the corner.
Skillful and proficient, Lisa spoke with the softest voice and made sure that I was completely comfortable throughout the treatment. The Agave Enchantment began with a full body exfoliation with an Ayate cloth, made from the fibers of the agave leaves. She then applied a hydrating body mask rich with agave extracts and essential oils. Cocooned in mylar to allow the mask to penetrate, I was given an intense scalp massage with an aromatic agave, citrus and hazelnut infused oil. My treatment culminated in a full body Swedish massage that reduced me to a near comatose state of relaxation. After the shortest but most heavenly 80 minutes in recent memory, I was led back to the relaxation area to revel in my hypnotic noodle state.
Enchanted? Oh heavens, yes. Even as I sit here–legs firmly restuck to my pleather desk chair–I still can’t help but think: I love my job. Thanks to the wonderful treatment, even in recollection, I feel a little dreamy all over again. Now if I can just get a hold of one of those burden baskets–in super size of course–I’ll be set.