Willow Stream: the spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess



OPENED IN 2001, WILLOW STREAM THE SPA AT THE Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (Scottsdale, AZ) has created a manly spa experience. In a place where 70 percent of the clients are female, it's tailored to fit those who don't typically sit around in plush robes sipping cucumber water. This is why the Willow Stream spa is a little masculine, a little feminine, and, as its spa director Jill Eisenhut says, altogether a whole lot different.

"We really try to do things other spas aren't doing," says Eisenhut. "We are not cookie cutter." With stressed, affluent clients who tend to make the spa experience a part of their weekly or monthly regime, it offers everything from complimentary luxuries like teas developed especially for Willow Steam to organic muffins and fresh fruit. The resort's Fairmont President's Club has three membership tiers: Club, Premier, and Platinum. Clients of each level receive 10 percent off Willow Stream treatments; Club Premier and Platinum members get complimentary spa access.

 Women can cozy up in the ladies lounge, complete with comfy chairs and a working fireplace.
Women can cozy up in the ladies lounge, complete with comfy chairs and a working fireplace.

And it doesn't stop there. The 138-person staff, who handle more than 300 guests a day, not only strive to satisfy each patron but also cater to gender differences. "We've done a lot of our own research to find out what men and women want in a spa experience," says Eisenhut. Women can often connect with other females quickly, a skill men don't typically possess. Recognizing this, Willow Stream shrewdly endowed the men's relaxation room with robust colors, a flat-screen TV, and leather furniture. "Men need the TV to be on, perhaps tuned in to a sports game — that's their connection," says Eisenhut.

And while many women can spend an entire day at a spa, men often see their visit as a reward for either working hard or playing hard. Many choose to frequent the spa after golf or a tennis game. "It's a way to get the kinks out," says Eisenhut. "[Men] have a good deep-tissue massage, and then they're off again." And for men intimidated about disrobing, Keep Your Shorts On ($199) — a favorite package among men — offers a one-hour massage with Willow Stream shorts and T-shirt they can take home.

The entry to the spa welcomes guests with a hand-cut Sedona sandstone wall. The entry showcases an enticing glimpse into the open-air atrium, where patrons meditate, relax, eat, and drink. The hall leads to the lobby, located to the right.
The entry to the spa welcomes guests with a hand-cut Sedona sandstone wall. The entry showcases an enticing glimpse into the open-air atrium, where patrons meditate, relax, eat, and drink. The hall leads to the lobby, located to the right.

Willow Stream has created several services specifically for its male clients. Though not exclusively for men, such treatments include the Sports Massage ($135, 60 minutes; $199, 90 minutes) and The Willow Stream Golf Facial ($189, 90 minutes). The Golf Performance Treatment ($139, 60 minutes), a blend of massage, stretching, and acupressure, is endorsed by world-class professional golf instructor David Leadbetter; professional golfer Charles Howell III; and Murray Blair, head of Fairmont Golf.

But the folks at Willow Stream want their guests to leave with more than smooth skin and lean bodies. They strive to educate spa-goers in an effort to help them understand the health benefits of the various treatments offered. To that end, the spa is turning its retail area into a learning center. "Every spa service has a home-care program so guests can purchase and continue it after visiting us," says Eisenhut.

 Men and women unwind in the Waterfall Treatment Area located between the women's and men's locker rooms right outside of the spa. The warm waterfall has three intensity levels.
Men and women unwind in the Waterfall Treatment Area located between the women's and men's locker rooms right outside of the spa. The warm waterfall has three intensity levels.

This includes male clients, as well. "We have specific facial regimes for men, and they're all in one little travel pack," says Eisenhut. "We're trying to make it easy and masculine-looking." Partnering with B. Kamins, Chemist, the spa created The Willow Stream Facial Kit for Golf, a starter facial program to combat sun exposure, dehydration, wrinkles, and dull skin and the Exclusive Sports Masque, a clay mask for all skin types that stimulates and brightens the skin. "Things geared toward sports are more user-friendly and more appealing to buy," she says.

Though Willow Stream aims to satisfy everyone, male and female, the spa devotes itself to making men feel right at home. Just add an endless supply of buffalo wings, and a man's spa fantasy will never be the same.

Willow Stream the spa at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Willow Stream the spa at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

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