Debuting 30 years ago, The Phoenician, A Luxury Collection Resort (Scottsdale, AZ) and its original spa, The Centre for Well-Being, were the talk of the town. According to spa director Sheryl McCormick, they set a new standard in hospitality. However, times and tastes change, and both Scottsdale and nearby Phoenix are now home to a host of enticing spas. With such fierce competition in the neighborhood, it was time for a major update. “To create a more contemporary, approachable luxury, the resort underwent a complete, multi-year transformation,” says McCormick. “This included the construction of the brand-new, three-story Phoenician Spa, with a more nurturing, healing focus in design as well as in its variety of new amenities and services.”
Built in the same location as the previous spa, the new facility was a challenge to build thanks to its pie-shaped footprint. Camelback Mountain also proved to be an important design consideration. “Our location has stunning views of Camelback Mountain, and we made sure to include them in the spa design when entering the spa, while relaxing in the vitality pools found in each locker room, and from our rooftop pool,” says McCormick. Another favorite space is the Quiet Relaxation Room, which offers privacy and a tranquil spot for a nap. The spa also features 16 body treatment rooms, six facial rooms, one couples’ room, and one Tranquility Suite for couples. There is also a nail salon; a personal training gym; a movement studio, which can be used for aerial yoga; and a Drybar.
Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of its predecessor, The Phoenician Spa was designed to make an impact. In creating the menu, McCormick wanted to tell the story of the legend of the Phoenix, which rises from the ashes to be born anew. She and her team spent about a year selecting the product lines and listening to vendor presentations. A team of service providers then helped her determine the final products and create the treatments. “It was important to be aligned with partners who shared our philosophy of providing high-quality products,” says McCormick. Ultimately, the spa opted for Kerstin Florian and Body Bliss, along with Organic Male OM4 and Glycelene as its organic options. Wanting to show how all the elements fit with the menu, McCormick included details on what each treatment entails, including energy balancing rituals and essential oils. She also wanted to convey to guests why it was so important to make time to enjoy the spa’s amenities and take advantage of the full spa experience. “I wanted the menu to be comprehensive and answer the frequently asked questions but still be easy to follow without feeling overwhelming,” says McCormick.
One of the menu highlights includes the popular Sonoran Signature Scrub, Massage, and Wrap ($390, 1 hour 50 minutes), a special body treatment created by Kerstin Florian. It combines salt crystals with desert sage and wild lavender for a smoothing body polish. Handcrafted rose stones are then placed on the body’s vital centers to enhance the full-body massage. It also includes an acupressure facial massage and a rejuvenating foot massage. Another highlight is the signature scent, inspired by the legend of the Phoenix, created by Body Bliss. It’s used in the spa’s manicures, pedicures, and the Phoenix Rising Scrub and Massage ($290, 80 minutes). This elixir of oils incorporates amber and clove to comfort, lemon and frankincense to bring a sense of renewal and rejuvenation, and rose and myrrh to expand creativity and a sense of higher self. One of McCormick’s favorite signature experiences is the Harmonic Bowl Healing ($300, 80 minutes). “We use handmade Himalayan singing bowls on and around the body to create healing vibrations,” she says. “It provides profound relaxation, meditation, and energy balancing for the mind, body, and soul.”
With a staff of 60 part-time and 40 full-time employees, the spa can handle more than 200 clients a day. According to McCormick, her biggest challenge is continuing to find new ways to be unique, innovative, and current with the large number of competitors in the area. In addition to creative treatment offerings, the spa also makes retail a priority. “We have a wonderful retail space of about 1,500-square feet that includes an Aroma Blending Bar,” says McCormick. “We use Body Bliss’s Intentional Aromatherapy App to create the blends with our guests. It’s a fun way to interact with our guests and get to know them while they create a massage oil for their treatment or to take home as a gift.” The spa also carries CBD products, local gifts and accessories, jewelry, activewear, and more. “Our goal is not solely to make each guest feel better but also to inspire them to live their best life,” says McCormick. “We share our knowledge along the way, so our guests not only depart empowered to continue their sojourn toward superior wellness but also remember us as they use the tools and rituals we provide, knowing they will return to this special place where their best self was awakened.”
Owner: Host Hotels & Resorts
Spa Director: Sheryl McCormick
Opened: March 2018
Client Base: 75% female, 25% male
Space: 37,000 square feet; 24 treatment rooms
Products & Equipments: Body Bliss, BOGA, Book4Time, Comphy Co, Coola, Dazzle Dry, Dermaflash, Foreo, Glycelene, HydraFacial, Intraceuticals, In-Trinity Johnny G, Kerstin Florian, Knesko Skin, Living Earth Crafts, Mansfield Robes, NuFace, Organic Male OM4, Saltability, Smith & Cult, Supracor, Technogym, Yeah Baby
Architect: Parker-Torres Design (Sudbury, MA), Houston/Tyner (Torrance, CA)
Interior Designer: Parker-Torres Design
Spa Consultant: Spa Strategy Associates (London)