Nothing like getting covered in honey and oats to cool you off on a sweltering summer day, and that’s exactly what I did during my visit to the Arizona Biltmore Spa.
But first, I had to find the place. After parking, I wandered through the grounds past the lawn chess and croquet, through the Paradise Pool area, and around the landmark waterfall that crowns the pool and cabanas. Once I stepped into the spa through the modest entrance and out of the 110 degree Phoenix heat, I was greeted by a friendly spa receptionist who checked me in and escorted me through the well-stocked boutique and into the women’s locker room. I was given a quick tour and left to don my spa robe and slippers.
The locker room had all the amenities a girl could want: a dry sauna, a wet steam room, a power shower with a waterfall shower head, and a large jacuzzi flanked by two comfy lounge chairs. Once I did the obligatory slathering of all the fragrant Biltmore products found in the vanity area, I moseyed into the comfortable waiting lounge just outside of the locker rooms. As I awaited my treatment, I sipped on the signature Biltmore Breeze tea and took in the atmosphere of the warm, understated surroundings.
Finally, it was time for my treatment: the Cactus Flower Wrap, a hydrating body therapy exclusive to the Arizona Biltmore Spa. Once in the dimly lit therapy room, I reclined face-up on what was basically a huge sheet of waxy plastic wrap while the therapist prepared the cactus flower, honey, wheat germ, cornmeal and oatmeal concoction that would hydrate and exfoliate my skin. As the table heated up beneath me, the therapist vigorously rubbed the mixture on my body and then wrapped me up in the plastic, a sheet, and finally a cozy blanket. I was feeling real good right about now.
While I laid there mummified in my warm little cocoon, the therapist gave me an intense cranial and neck massage. After about 10 very relaxing minutes, she carefully unwrapped me, helped me to pry my warm sticky skin from the plastic, and left the room so I could shower off the grains and honey. All scrubbed off and feeling tingly from head to toe, I returned to the table where the therapist massaged a citrus-infused oil onto my buffed skin. Overall, although the treatment was sticky and a bit of work to remove, the end result was worth it.
As I made my way back to my car, I felt significantly different than when I had taken this same walk just a few hours before. I was struck by the architectural beauty of the resort and majestic Squaw Peak rising up just beyond the grounds. I smelled heavenly, my skin was soft and glowing, and I felt lucky to have this magnificent jewel, the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, right in my own backyard.