Spa Avania at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale is undeniably gorgeous in its architecture and decor, and the nurturing time-of-day philosophy is undoubtedly brilliant. But I’d have to peg the people — from the reception staff to the highly skilled therapists — as the primary reason for the Avania experience being so emotionally elevating and memorable.
I arrived at the spa bright and early on a June day that was so hot, the stiff air gave you chills. Oh, and it was also my birthday — a day when more than anything else, I want to snap my crabby shell shut and just be my naturally broody, sulky Cancer self for a day. With no makeup, no cell phone, and no expectations other than to hide away, I slipped into the cool reception lobby of the spa.
My treatments scheduled for my mini getaway were the Crushed Pearl Facial — a treatment to brighten and even out skin tone — and the Crushed Pearl Wrap — a luxurious scrub and body wrap to revitalize skin. After checking in, I headed off to the women’s lounge to change, explore every inch of the spa’s famed amenities (I’ll get to my favorite one shortly!) and await my crushed pearl adventure. Just as a sidenote, I’d been to the spa previously for an event and knew the layout well so I declined the tour. But if you go, I would recommend that you take the spa attendant up on the walk-through so you don’t miss anything.
When it was time for my treatments, my therapist, Naira, escorted me to the treatment room where I was given the choice of music for my journey. I opted for Indian and settled into the cushy treatment bed draped in silky soft sheets. Naira was friendly and professional but like an artist, it wasn’t until she got started on my facial that her true talent became apparent. Long, soothing stokes set my tight jaw at ease and luscious potions and masks from the Italian Comfort Zone skincare line sent me off into la-la land. We switched to the Vichy shower wet room for my wrap, which was equally amazing.
After the treatments, Naira walked with me back to the indoor women’s meditation lounge, where I met up with a girlfriend who was meeting me there for the day. No sooner had we delved into some juicy chitchat than she was whisked away for her Mineral Massage, leaving me to eat up a few more chapters of my book (I’ve been reading Barbara Walters’ memoir Audition for what seems like ages. It’s good but man, is she wordy!). My friend returned about an hour later with a full-on, post-massage glow. After proclaiming it the best massage she’d ever had, she promptly fell asleep.
Our day was laced with dips in the mineral pool and outdoor whirlpool and a delicious lunch served in the women’s lounge, which has glass doors that open out to a lush private women’s relaxation area. The only low point was the dingbat guy at the mineral pool chirping away on his cell phone. (Has he not read our spa etiquette tips section? Sheesh!) But Spa Avania is so spacious that after a few minutes of his inconsiderate chatter, we moved to another area of the pool and his voice was drowned by the water fountain that serves as a backdrop to the pool. The day went by all too fast.
Oh, so I have to tell you about the showers. My friend and I were meeting our husbands at the Hyatt’s celebrated Alto ristorante that evening (which was outstanding by the way) so primping was in order. Of the many amenities Avania has to offer — both inside and out — the changing room showers are the crowning glory in my book. The two walk-in showers are each equipped with rain showers overhead and a Swiss cascading system with six high-pressure heads along the sides. Plus a hand-held shower head to boot. I took my time turning every knob and making sure the temp was just right. After slathering up head to toe in Avania’s own hair and body concoctions, I just stood there, enjoying the massaging action of the multiple shower heads and realizing that nowhere was my former broody, sulky self to be found. I was just grateful and happy to be right where I was at that moment.
Spa Avania is a peaceful, architecturally divine retreat where you’ll find some of the finest and friendliest staff this side of the Grand Canyon. And one rockin’ shower experience. Go, and enjoy!