I’m a crab. Astrologically, that is. Born under the sign of Cancer, I am a water baby through and through, and blue has long been the color that brightens my mood and lightens my spirit. I’m not sure if the designers of Revive Spa at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort had that in mind when they planned this place, but from the first glimpse of the azure glass pools that led into the spa’s doors to the brilliant touches of sea and sky that reverberated throughout my stay at Revive spa, I was in my element.
And then there was the robes.
First let me mention that my journey started with a moment of understandable confusion at the spa reception desk when I, dumbstruck by the spa’s aesthetics, forgot my name and why I was there. Once I regained my self identity, I was checked in and got a brief tour of the changing area. Shown to my tatami-style locker, I opened it to find the most lusciously soft spa robe the color of a perfect Arizona sky. Usually modest about undressing in public, I quickly stripped down, threw my clothes in the locker and slowly slid each arm into the robe, enveloping its cerulean softness around me. Glancing in one of the many full-length gold-framed mirrors, I had to admit, I looked good in this color. And once I returned to the land of the living, I looked around to find that everyone else seemed to looked good in the color too.
Feeling like a hermit crab in a shiny new shell, I made my way over to the vanity area and plopped onto one of the four elegantly upholstered vanity benches. Subtly divided into four quadrants, each section had its own matching waste basket and tissue box, grooming tools, and gold-plated makeup mirror with a light and magnifier. Fascinated by the details of this place, I wandered to the shower area where I sniffed and sampled Revive’s own body line of foaming shave gel, after-shave balm, liquid body talc (a delicious liquid powder) and body lotion.
Running short on time, I took a quick inventory of the sauna (nice), the steam room (good and steamy) and the separate whirlpool area (love at first site). The brightly lit whirlpool room played on the stark contrast between the creamy white walls and a brilliant cobalt tile mosaic waterfall that flowed into the horseshoe-shaped jacuzzi. Completing the picture were four contemporary granite-colored loungers and a small table with fresh fruit and lemon iced water.
Me and my robe then headed up to the second floor to explore the treatment waiting areas. At the top of the stairs, I was met by a small mediation room with hard wood floors, a few cushy chairs and French doors leading to a private balcony. Around the corner was the main waiting area which, except for the full-length lounge chairs, was much like a living room setting with a fireplace as its hearth and a dcor wrapped in calming soft mossy green hues. Down one of the treatment hallways, I spotted a door to the famed outdoor rooftop garden area and headed out for a peak. Accessible by both the women’s and men’s changing rooms, the outdoor garden was crowned by a flowing water feature and was the perfect spot for some pre-treatment romance or Zen mediation. Not wanting to break a sweat in my precious robe, I headed back in and stretched out in the main area and awaited my Mesquite Clay Wrap, the spa’s signature treatment designed to exfoliate, detoxify and hydrate skin.
My day culminated in the nurturing hands of my therapist, Winnie. An attractive blonde with honey brown skin and eyes the color of the Caribbean, Winnie’s down-to-earth, maternal nature was instantly comforting. She began by first making me feel completely comfortable in my surroundings. She then used a sweet-smelling honeysuckle scrub to exfoliate my skin, followed by a warm mesquite clay mask. She then wrapped me up in a cocoon and I was treated to a heavenly scalp massage during which Winnie and I easily delved right into a deeply personal conversation. She was so kind and so sweet, I wish I could’ve adopted her right then and there as my honorary mom. Finally, I showered off the mask and Winnie applied an invigorating warm ocotillo root body butter to my happy skin. It was over with all too quickly.
With its perfect blend of classic elegance, Eastern influences and desert touches, Revive spa has elevated the benchmark of Arizona’s resort retreats. If you go, plan to spend the entire day soaking up the atmosphere at the spacious pool or the Spa Bistro. Oh, and one warning: don’t try sneaking out of the spa wearing your robe. I tried it (it was an accident!) and they really do frown on it. My next visit will definitely include a trip to the boutique to pick up (read: pay for) a robe of my own. Sometimes a crab just needs a new shell!