The moment I arrived at Spa at The Boulders (formerly the Golden Door Spa), my habitually hurried gait slowed to a stroll. I hadn’t even made it to the check-in desk before stopping to admire a trickling stream that welcomes each guest in a Zen courtyard before the entrance. Once inside, the Spa lived up to its welcoming foundation.
With such loving respect for flow, form and detail, Spa at The Boulders designers somehow tapped into the Arizona SpaGirl wavelength. It’s exactly the place I want to live one day–rooms allow natural light in, while retaining privacy, and natural elements are incorporated in every aspect of the facility. You will not find any 90-degree corners at Golden Door. Under the philosophy that “evil hides in corners,” the facility is a series of curving, winding walls, resulting in an esthetically pleasing, almost emotionally healing environment. In addition, sandstone room markers, Kiva ceilings (exposed natural wood beams), candles, linen window treatments, rooms with choice of music and even a stream flowing throughout the interior and exterior of the property are just a few of the finishes that tie this spa experience together.
My day started off with a little business—eyebrow waxing. Using a green and pink hard wax with aromatherapy oils, the aesthetician skillfully whipped my ornery little brows into shape. Veterans to brow waxing will appreciate the hard wax they use because it not only enables accurate shaping, but is also skin friendly—typically a contradiction in waxing terms. Later in the day, the same aesthetician sought me out to see how I was doing, a decidedly caring touch.
My second treatment, the signature Desert Zen Massage, further lived up to the Spa at Boulders promise. Sitting on a heated table, my therapist had an intuitive touch. She asked for feedback but allowed me to drift away into my own little world. The massage, which incorporates natural oils and a chamomile eye pack, however seemed to end slightly prematurely. Later I realized that the massage was only 50-minutes, consistent with a recent spa trend of 10-minute, pre-hour intervals between treatments so that appointments can be booked on the hour.
My day culminated with a signature Custom Facial. Laying on a heated table with raised knees, my hands and feet were spoiled with massage, heated mitts and heated booties. After analyzing my skin, the aesthetician cared for my face with a cleansing, massage, purifying and hydrating mask, moisturizing mist and hot towels. This treatment does not include steam and exfoliation so if you’re looking for either, be sure to upgrade to the Tranquility Facial. (Just as a follow up note, we did request extractions on a subsequent trip and the aesthetician happily accommodated. Be sure to let him or her know your preferences.)
The Spa Cafe cuisine is a selection of carefully designed meals for the health conscious crowd, which sometimes does not include the likes of me. Both breakfast and lunch were nutritious, fresh and delicious.
Nestled into the historical and humbling boulders that landmark the resort, the pool is quiet, private and serene, a perfect setting to read a book, float in the pool or lay out. But if you’re a nap aficionado, head to the tearoom’s covered porch. At Golden Door Spa I took the most luxurious nap, with the sun setting at my head and the stream flowing at my feet. This deeply restorative nap, spiked with the inspirational scenery and wonderful treatments gave me a genuinely renewed zest for life.