Spa Girls review of their enchanting Mii amo excursion.
Bliss is a dish best shared. Or at least in the case of a visit to one of the world’s top destination spas. In mid-September, the Spa Girls team set out for a two-day odyssey to the magical Enchantment Resort, home of Mii amo, a destination spa at Enchantment in Sedona.
We spent our first day getting acquainted with the spa and the second, exploring the Enchantment grounds. We were on a mission to turn this highly acclaimed destination upside down and figure out what made it tick. We checked under all the cushions. Tasted every dish. Climbed the highest peak to peer down on the property. Sniffed the sheets on the spa treatment table. And what did we find? A piece of bliss of our own.
Head Spa Girl Sunny sat down with cohorts Melissa (Meliss), Alexis (Lex) and Samantha (Sam) to get their perspectives on the experience. Here’s a slice of the conversation.
Sunny: So, girls. Life is good as a Spa Girl, huh? (Enthusiastic head shakes all around.) Let’s start with your first sight of the Enchantment property. Was it anything like what you expected?
Meliss: It is more amazing than I even anticipated! The pictures that I’ve seen online and in magazines are beautiful, but they don’t do the property justice. I can be a pretty high-strung person, but just the beauty of Mii amo makes you want to chill out and find peace.
Lex: I’ve been to Sedona a ton of times and never been to a place that truly gives you that feeling of peace and relaxation that everyone in Sedona always talks about. I have to say, I was amazed and it was exactly what I needed — an escape from all the ciaos.
Sam: Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. I had only seen pictures in magazines and they definitely don’t do the resort justice. It was breathtaking to drive into this private piece of heaven surrounded by the red rocks.
Sunny: Okay, on to the heart of the matter: The Spa. What a place, huh? Zen, unpretentious, minimalist, breathtaking. I liked the indoor pool juxtaposed against the gigantic wood-burning fireplace. How cool was that? Your impressions of the space?
Lex: The simplicity of the spa design was so perfect. I was intrigued with how the space was divided and how they integrated the subtle yet purposeful elements of fire, wind and earth.
Sam: Walking into the spa I immediately felt all of my stresses melt away. It might sound trite but it’s true! The girl who greeted us at the front desk had the warmest smile and really made you feel welcome from the very start. As we walked in to start our tour of the spa, I caught a glimpse of a woman reading a book and enjoying a meal in the comfort of her spa robe. She honestly looked like she didn’t have a care in the world and soon that become my reality too. I thought one of the neatest things was the large, family-style table in the cafe. You have a perfect view of the chef preparing the meals and, as I came to learn later, they even offer cooking demonstrations from that same location.
Meliss: The Spa is huge but has a cozy vibe. I felt the desire to tiptoe around so I wouldn’t disturb any of the Journeys going on — which by the way, sounds like the coolest thing! The design of the spa is clean and crisp with accents that complement the red rocks in the distance … it’s exactly what one would expect to see in a beautiful place like Sedona.
Sunny: We kicked off our second day in the Crystal Grotto room with a guided meditation. Did you leave that experience with a renewed sensibility or some slice of introspection? I learned that my heart is huge and open and blooming, but my head is a fuzzy frazzled place. Could have been the prickly pear margaritas the night before. Heh.
Sam: I have to admit, I always feel a bit uncomfortable in situations like this. I went in not knowing what to expect and not sure I would like what I was getting myself into. Once we stood up and the burning sage started to fill the air, I could feel myself go into a deeply relaxed state and was truly able to focus on our guide’s words. As I left the Grotto I thought how nice it would be to start every morning like that. What a better day each morning would be if I took a few minutes to walk myself through a head-clearing ritual like this.
Meliss: Despite my massive coughing attacks — boo for end-of-summer colds — I loved the guided medication. It was the perfect way to start off the day … the beating drum, the chanting, soothing voice and the smell of sage burning. I walked out of the Grotto feeling ready to take on the day.
Lex: The coolest part for me was being able to write down my worries and put them in the burden box before we went in. I found out the pieces of paper are later burned. Then I have to say, I was a little wary of the Grotto ritual. I have a really hard time quieting my mind and every time my star gazer lily started to bloom in my heart during the visualization, random thoughts would make it disappear. I proceeded to take deep breaths and focus on the drum and voilà!
Sunny: So tell me about your treatment. What did you have?
Sam: I had a 60-minute massage. With the few hints of my life I had given her during our short walk to the treatment room, she was able to identify parts of my body I hadn’t even realized were tight. She spent the majority of our session working out the tough areas from my athletic training and finished with a relaxing scalp massage. My body was practically floating by the time she was done and it took me a few minutes to bring myself to leave the table and get my robe back on.
Meliss: A 60-minute massage, and it was unreal. I actually drifted into a coma-like state during the treatment, which I am never able to do because I always have something on my mind. One of the coolest things about the treatment rooms at Mii amo is that most of them have windows looking out into the amazing red rocks of Sedona. So while your laying down in utter bliss, you can sneak a peek out the window at one of the most spectacular views you’ll ever see.
Lex: I had never had a body wrap, so I decided to give it a try. The treatment was 90 minutes and included a massage. I have to admit, when the therapist described what he was going to do, my modesty kicked in. He first was going to exfoliate my skin with a small brush and then rub a Sedona red clay mask on my entire body. Unfortunately, my curious mind also kicked in! Is there a guide for how to quiet your mind while spa-ing? Anyway, after the clay was applied, he wrapped me up like a mummy for the clay to bake on. If you’re the least bit claustrophobic, this treatment could totally freak you out. For me, being all bundled up cozy and warm was the best feeling of the day. I actually sighed when he told me he was going to unwrap me and then I was to jump in the shower and wash it all off. So, I showered while the therapist was cleaning up the clay wrap bundles. In any other circumstance, this would be a violation of my marriage — showering naked in front a hot male massage therapist — but I did it! After my shower, the massage table was completely fresh and ready for the next part of the treatment — my favorite, the massage! It was amazing. Instead of oil, the therapist used a rosemary scented cream, which triggered my senses into complete relaxation. I left the massage in a well-needed trance and with extremely silky skin!
Sunny: Okay so I had the Watsu treatment and let me tell you, it was an out-of-this-world, out-of-body experience. I was a little intimated at first by the intimacy of it – just me and my strapping Swedish massage therapist, Kalendar, hanging out in our swim suits in a private outdoor pool – the privacy drapes gently swaying in the breeze and the red rocks framing the view. I felt a little like I was cheating on the Spa Boy frankly but Kalendar was all business. He spent the first couple minutes prepping me for the treatment. He explained it like this: Remember when you were a little kid and used to fall asleep in the car and your mom or dad would carry you inside and put you to bed? You were out-of-it but still semi aware of what was happening around you. That’s the state he wanted me to allow myself to go. Free, trusting, childlike. So then he strapped some leg weights on me and off went. He cradled, stretched and dragged me gently through the water in a rhythmic way. Oh my gourd, it was seriously like being in a trance. Every once in a while, I had to peek an eye open to remind myself where I was. Uhhh, I wish I could go back there.
Meliss: Yeah, you were totally blissed out after your treatment! We all met at the pool after our treatments and were discussing how they were. Your were like, “hold on, I need some time!” You couldn’t even speak or describe her treatment for about 10 minutes after! I want to try that next time.
Lex: I was in my own world for a while after the massage. I mean, how could you not be? You walk out of the treatment room and are immediately “forced” to look out at the picture perfect blue sky and amazingly powerful red rocks! It’s so hard to describe the feeling I had, other than thankfulness, appreciation and for the first time on the trip — completely stress free!
Sunny: That was my favorite memory — hanging out in the outdoor hot tub together after our treatments. Everyone was all relaxed and aromatherapy-ized. Oh, and I liked sipping organic wine at sunset on the spa cafe patio. What was that wine? Anyway, so your fondest memory?
Sam: I think my fondest memory would have to be our drinks and treats on the Enchantment patio before dinner on the first night we were there. I have never tasted anything like that prickly pear margarita and it was so nice just sitting around in the fresh air chatting with the girls about our road trip and what was to come. The resort surroundings are so peaceful that being there, in that moment, it felt like the world was on hold. It was also really great to not have my phone attached to my hand per usual. Thank you cell service for being null and void on this trip! Although I hear they are getting reception soon. Maybe I’ll accidentally leave my charger at home next time!
Lex: My fondest memory would be the drinks on the patio too. The night sky is unreal at Enchantment. Untouched by light pollution. Oh, and the drinks were extremely tasty as well! Did I mention that the blood orange margarita is now my new drink of choice thanks to Enchantment?
Meliss: Yum, that wine was delish! My favorite memory of the trip was number one, the treatment and number two, the hike! It was so cool to go explore the canyons around the resort and learn about the Vortex. I felt all spiritual and Zen.
Sunny: Okay, my last question and it’s not an easy one so take your time. In one sentence (Okay, Sam, I’ll give you two!), how did your Mii amo experience change you or alter your perspective about yourself and where you are in your life? Or maybe how it changed your perspective of a what a spa immersion can do for your body, your spirit?
Meliss: I can’t do one sentence! For me, it helped me step back, stop and smell the roses — or sage, in this case! I always have a billion thoughts running through my mind that I find it so hard to not just relax, but to do any self-discovery. It was so amazing, for just two days, to feel like I didn’t need to check my cell phone — as much! — or make a to-do list in my head. It was about exploring, thinking and dreaming a little. It made me realize how much I’d probably benefit from doing one of the Mii amo Journeys. That’s on my five year plan (toothy grin).
Sam: I’ll follow the rules unlike miss Meliss! Leaving town and truly submerging yourself in the spa experience is something everyone needs to enjoy at least once in their lifetime. Not only was I able to relax during my session and the amenities I enjoyed after, I was truly able to escape from my stresses and discover myself and the person I had long forgotten – no phone, no laptop, just sheer bliss.
Lex: Well I can’t do one sentence either! My experience at Mii amo reinforced my perspective that a spa immersion is much more valuable than just a great massage. I think it’s important to get away from the daily grind and allow yourself the time and space to totally soak in healing vibes. It’s not just about the spa treatments and amenities. Mii amo really creates an environment that recharges your mind, body and yes — your soul. Every aspect of the resort, including the amazingly attentive staff, is all about healing — but not in a pushy, preachy way. I was completely stressed out when we got there and my mind was constantly fighting my body’s desire to relax. The overall Mii amo mantra truly helped override any stress I was feeling. The focus of the morning ritual, the power of restorative yoga and the true beauty that surrounds you at every turn makes Mii amo an absolute gift that everyone should experience!