Desert Delight

Escaping the Snow for a Wellness Weekend in Scottsdale

Like butter. That’s how I’d describe the way my muscles felt as the massage therapist kneaded the blend of aromatherapy and CBD oils into my skin. I was in the midst of a 90-minute aromatherapy wrap in the Well & Being Spa at the acclaimed Fairmont Scottsdale Princess—and it was heaven.

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting spas from Park City to Prague. After hearing about the Princess’s impressive 44,000-square-foot spa, I decided to check it out for myself. I found this spot to be such a complete destination for luxury wellness that I never needed to leave the property.

It’s no secret that Roaring Fork Valley locals cherish an escape or two to the desert every winter. But if you’re looking to freshen up your usual Moab/Sedona/Santa Fe routine, consider venturing just a bit further south to Scottsdale. Here are a few must-includes for a visit to the Princess—the longest-running AAA Five Diamond resort in Arizona—that will leave you feeling rested, renewed, and ready to take on the rest of the cold season’s wrath. 


Each night, I snuggled into my king size bed in one of the luxurious rooms, which are just a quick walk from the Well & Being Spa, a variety of restaurants, and the recently renovated pool. From my patio overlooking one of the Princess’s lakes, to touches like an electric tea kettle and Rose 31 Le Labo toiletries, my room offered the feel of a cozy and chic home-away-from-home. 


Since I had Fairmont Gold status during my stay, I had access to the spa and numerous other perks throughout the weekend. (Pick up access for yourself by booking a treatment or paying an additional fee.) The spa offers a full menu of traditional treatments like pedicures and facials, plus less common options including singing bowl therapy and cupping. I spent my days at the Princess primarily at the spa, starting with a tuna poke bowl and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc poolside, followed by a visit to the eucalyptus inhalation room and the waterfall grotto for an H2O-powered massage. And of course, there was that heavenly massage. Be sure to get the CBD oil add-on—it’s worth it. 


If creative fitness classes and a state-of-the-art gym are part of your ideal vacation, the Princess will be a dream for you. (Note that you need to have access to the Well & Being Spa to enjoy the fitness programming and gym.) Try aerial yoga, or bounce away the calories like I did in the bungee fitness class. If you’d prefer a solo workout, the gym has every type of cardio and weight training equipment your heart could desire.

Eat and drink

My eating strategy on this getaway was simple: moderation throughout the day, and splurge at night! Another benefit of Fairmont Gold privileges is access to the Gold Lounge, where a complimentary breakfast is served every morning. I kicked off the day with a glass of green juice, fruit, and yogurt (although it was tough to resist the crème brûlée oatmeal). Later, a poolside lunch was followed by happy hour bites in the Gold Lounge. One evening meal was spent at the chic Bourbon Steak restaurant (created by celebrity chef Michael Mina) where I dug into an extravagant Maine lobster pot pie brimming with a pound of meat and brandied lobster cream, plated tableside. Finally, I enjoyed my last supper at La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval, where a wine-infused margarita and mini lobster tacos hit the spot. If true wellness includes the occasional indulgence, this was just the way to end a rejuvenating weekend in the desert.

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