SPA REVIEWS: Scottsdale's Golden Door Spa at The Boulders

To Indigenous and Beyond

Most significantly, the Golden Door will soon introduce Dance of the Sacred Circle [the time and price are yet to be determined], four treatments performed in succession and based on the Native American medicine wheel, which is tied to the four seasons of the earth. The “East” portion begins the ritual with an awakening massage and reflexology session with warm stones; “South” takes the flow of energy stirred up by the East and moves it into the soul via a cranio-sacral massage and warm herbal wrap. “West” consists of a desert aloe wrap, performed in the Vichy room using pink grapefruit and aloe gel; after the wrap, a flood of warm water invites any negative energy to flow from the body. The “North” treatment is a luxurious hot stone and warm oil massage. Performed with long sweeping strokes, it’s intended to integrate all the positive energy from the four treatments into clients’ bodies. “It’s a beautiful experience,” says therapist Casella, “and leaves guests reflective about the flow of life, as the Native Americans experience it.”

At the end of my treatment I too am treated to a luscious Vichy shower and, in my mind, I travel down the Colorado River and through the red, orange and gold passages of the Grand Canyon. Stacy then lavishes my skin with shea butter and honey cream—a delicious finishing touch. I emerge from the treatment glowing and wordless, like the desert at sunset.

It occurs to me later that such spa treatments, that instill clients with such distinct sense of place, provide the ideal memento of an astonishing trip—longer-lasting than any turquoise ring or leather drum could ever be. After experiencing what the desert has to offer at the Golden Door, I will now carry this journey with me—on my skin, in my hair and in my consciousness.