A Spa for All Senses, Avania

Framed against the majestic McDowell Mountains in a quiet, unhurried corner of one of the fastest growing areas in the country, The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch offered me a much needed respite. As soon as I entered the stunning, open lobby, straight ahead, I viewed the terrace, the waterscape, the patio dining area filled with guests lunching in the shade of king-sized umbrellas, and an inviting swimming pool. Behind that lay a shimmering lake, lush green golf course and the mountains silhouetted against a bright blue sky.

Prior to checking in, I sauntered around the property, eager to check out the 2.5-acre water playground I had heard about. I counted 10 swimming pools, a three story waterslide, a sand beach, whirlpool spa and two conveniently situated poolside bars. The jogging paths and bicycling trails looked inviting, but I was more in the mood for something relaxing, so I stopped by the Spa Avania to see what was on the menu. I booked some treatments for later in the day, and then headed up to my handsomely decorated guest room leading to a spacious terrace with a view much the same as the one I first encountered upon my arrival, filled with all the wondrous Sonoran desert colors. During my stay, just down the hallway, I enjoyed the exclusive Regency Club’s sumptuous breakfast, snacks throughout the day and evening hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Its friendly and efficient concierge was there to provide any service I might want.

When my spa appointment times came close, I headed back to Avania where I enjoyed a closer look at the facilities. I read a quote in the preface of the treatment menu and it struck a cord. It read “Release the fatigue of your journey. Return to your strength. In the immense desert, you will rediscover your soul.” Very inspirational, I thought. The well chosen name, Avania, which, in Greek means “tranquil,” was well suited to the surroundings.

My first stop was the beautifully designed outdoor heated mineral pool. I was told that the water was infused with French Celtic minerals imported from the Brittany coast used to enhance the immune system, stimulate the circulation and accelerate the body’s self-healing. And it felt great…a perfect prelude to my upcoming treatments.

This spas unique scheduling has much to do with the time of day. The treatments change three times a day to awaken in the morning, rejuvenate at midday and unwind in the evening. This time-focused philosophy is grounded in the body’s natural daily rhythms and requirements. Some of the multi-treatment spa experiences took guests on a four hour journey of pampering and relaxation with such packages as the Desert Essence Wrap, Balancing Mineral Massage, Hydramemory Facial and Custom Pedicure. I opted for a revitalizing, signature Crushed Pearl facial and deep tissue massage.

I enjoyed the music which followed me through my experience and discovered Spa Avania matches music to specific body rhythms. Another unusual part of the treatment was the drinking of tea, not just any tea, but rare, single-estate teas from all over the world, chosen both for their unique taste and their antioxidant benefits.
I departed from my Avania spa experience with all of my senses revitalized, ready for a night of reveling in the relaxed atmosphere of the Arizona desert.

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch
7500 East Doubletree Ranch Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Photos: Valerie Summers