Get Lost in the Desert at Joya Moroccan Spa
Sand dunes piled high, aromatic spices floating through the air, and rich, vibrant colors come to mind when thinking of Morocco and the mysteries of the desert. But before you start packing your bags we should tell you that you don’t need to leave the US to be enchanted by this other-worldly experience. Ditch the 16-hour flight and head for Paradise Valley, AZ, which as its name suggests, is heaven on earth.
When you walk through the white arches at The Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia and up the spiral staircase with hanging iron lanterns, be ready to get transported to a whole other world. Once you’ve donned your robe and slippers, staff leads you to the crystal room, where there is a large color-changing crystal that you’re meant to place your hand upon for all the negative energy and stress to be removed from your body. You’re also given the opportunity to chose a stone representative of what you’re looking to spiritually find (peace, happiness, prosperity) and you toss that into the wishing well. Sure, if you aren’t into the spiritual aspect of things all of this could seem a bit strange but trust us, just go with it because even these simple actions help you feel as if you really are letting go of stress, even if it makes you giggle.
Once you shed all that bad energy, you can head on over to The Whisper Room before your treatment where refreshments are provided and naps are encouraged. If you’re not ready for a nap just yet, hit the whirlpool or add a Hammam treatment on to your package. Never heard of Hammam? It’s a traditional form of Turkish bathing where you’re brought into the heated hammam room, scrubbed using a traditional herbal black soap applied with a Kassa cloth and then put through the traditional circuit of steam, whirlpool, sauna and cold deluge.
As far as treatments go, we’d recommend the Joya Signature Massage which uses a strong, deep touch incorporating circular movements and stretching borrowed from traditional Thai massage to stimulate blood and lymph circulation while easing tension from the body. A scalp massage makes an excellent add-on to take this treatment over the top. The O2 Relax Facial is our personal favorite and will leave your skin feeling smooth, nourished and refreshed.
Perhaps the best part of this spa is also the last part because after (or before) your treatment, guests are welcome to lounge and relax on the Joya Terrace, which is essentially a private pool exclusively for spa guests that overlooks Camelback mountain. Health conscious food and cocktails can be ordered, all of which were surprisingly delicious and refreshing. You can check out their menu here.
When, and if, you are ever ready to leave, check out at the desk downstairs is breezy and painless (though do be aware: 20% gratuity will have already been added to your bill). As remiss as you will be to leave, you can rest assured that this desert gem is ready to welcome you back whenever you get the urge to feel far, far away.
4949 East Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85253