While a picturesque location amid the peaks of the Sonoran Desert gets guests into the wellness groove, The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Dove Mountain (Tucson, AZ), also, quite literally, rocks. A main focus of the 17,000-square-foot spa is healing desert stones, with each of the 10 treatment rooms and four spa cabanas named for a specific stone. “The rooms are named after desert gems and minerals, and each of these natural elements has its own inherent meaning and properties,” says spa manager Marysell Diaz-Garcia.
Massage rooms include Citrine (prosperity and joy), Jade (balance and wellness), Malachite (determination and self expression), and Quartz (universal energy and communication). Facial rooms include Flourite (purification and focus) and Geode (hopes and dreams). Wet rooms include Agate (generosity and strength) and Amethyst (calmness and clarity), and the couples’ room is called Sky Stone (unity and love). Meanwhile, the spa cabanas are called Sun Stone (optimism and energy), Topaz (individuality and creativity), Tourmaline (flexibility and happiness), and Varicite (virtue and reliance). Many of these stones can be found throughout the surrounding region, which also serves as inspiration for the look and feel of the spa. “The spa design is a beautiful tribute to Arizona’s high Sonoran Desert,” says Diaz-Garcia. “As soon as you arrive, you will see that the spa front desk area is round and has no corners. According to Native American traditions, teepees were round, and this theme is respected. This helps to fend off negative energy, as energy can better circulate in a round environment. The indoor spa walls are made of American clay, and the spa’s sandstone floors are compatible with the natural desert surroundings of the building.”
Native American traditions are important in both the spa design and the treatment menu. A collection of Hohokam Native American petroglyphs are etched into rocks directly overlooking the spa’s serenity pool, and the spa also offers services influenced by the region’s indigenous people, such as the Hohokam Indigo Herbal Poultice ($210, 80 minutes). It involves a steamed herbal poultice and massage to channel the healing power of indigo, which was traditionally used by Native American shamans to treat muscle aches and pains.
The desert location also strongly shapes the spa offerings, in that spa-goers who partake in outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, and sunning are in need of hydrating healing. As such the Maximum Hydration Series was recently introduced. “When I arrived in Tucson from a tropical location, I began to notice changes to my skin and body, as if I needed more moisturizer and water,” she says. “I knew our hotel and local guests were looking for a break from similar forms of dryness. The results of these treatments are highly visible and soothe as well as hydrate on an immediate basis.” Massage options include the Aloe Mint Hydrating Massage ($100, 50 minutes) and the Refreshing Lime Massage ($100, 50 minutes). Body treatments include the Exfoliating Fruit Cocktail ($100, 50 minutes) and the Moisturizing Tropical Wrap ($100, 50 minutes). The Healthy Glow Facial ($100, 50 minutes) and the Sun Soother Facial ($100, 50 minutes) keep skin looking its best, while hands and feet are soothed with the Hands and Feet Refresher ($60, 50 minutes) and the Revive Leg and Foot Ritual ($60, 50 minutes).
The introduction of this new series is just one of many ways the spa team works to attract guests, who are comprised of 41 percent hotel guests, 37 percent group guests, and 17 percent local guests, according to Diaz-Garcia. “During our summer months, many of our guests are Tucson and Phoenix residents who enjoy a drivable spa resort experience,” she says. “The rest of the season, we see a combination of East Coast travelers and neighbors from California.”
Another new development is a Smartphone app that works within several miles of the resort. It advises arriving and on-property guests of the spa menu, facilities, and spa specials. Additionally, repeat guests receive a discount for returning within 30 days of a service, and those who book treatments during slower weekday hours between noon and 4 p.m. also receive a complimentary hand treatment. Local guests are encouraged to try out the spa with a 15-percent discount on services scheduled Monday to Thursday.
At capacity, the spa can accommodate 176 treatments in a day, but it is more than simply spa services that encourage clients to visit—and spend the day—in the spa. Along with spacious locker and relaxation rooms, a robust retail area, and a state-of-the-art fitness center, the spa also features a private serenity pool with a tanning island, catered poolside cabanas with day beds, and healthy spa cuisine.
Though the perpetually sunny skies and stunning locale continue to bring guests through the spa’s doors, Diaz-Garcia strives to keep things fresh. Up next will be the introduction of special alfresco treatments in the spa cabanas, as well as the development of a signature scent that will be used in products, in the air, and even infused in beverages. But she says the one thing that will remain a constant is “giving our guest a true Ritz-Carlton spa experience and a beautiful, comfortable, clean facility with irresistible amenities.” Now that’s a philosophy that truly rocks.
Spa Manager: Marysell Diaz-Garcia
17,000 square feet;
10 treatment rooms,
4 spa cabanas
aromatherapy, body treatments, couples’ treatments, energy work, facials, fitness, hair and scalp treatments, hand and foot treatments, hydrotherapy, makeup application, massage, nailcare, outdoor treatments, Pilates, prenatal services, reflexology, salon services, waxing, yoga
Embracing Your Elements ($245, 90 minutes), which includes a customized aromatherapy bath, a skin brushing, a mask, a scalp treatment, a specialty massage, and energy work based on one of five elements
MOST EXPENSIVE OFFERING
Four Hands Massage ($290, 50 minutes)
BeingTRUE, Clarisonic, Dani, Éminence Organic Skin Care, Mama Mio, Me! Bath, NuFace, SkinCeuticals, Spa Fresh
Boca Terry, Living Earth Crafts, Madison Collection, Precor, Zendals
Wilson Associates (multiple locations)
HKS Hill Glazier Studio (multiple locations)