When I arrived at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia – which has won several awards since its establishment in 2008 – I was greeted by a polite bellhop who took my luggage as I went to check in.
The Joya Spa offers a tranquil experience that you need try for yourself to understand.
My visit to the resort was in anticipation of a wedding I was attending, but I came with every intention of indulging in their many offerings. According to their website, the whitewashed villages and sun-drenched hills of Andalusia in Southern Spain were the inspiration for this beautiful resort and was built in the lush Sonoran Desert to take advantage of more than 300 days of sunshine. I could tell immediately that this breathtaking destination was ideal for a getaway.
After checking in, Ruben drove me to my room on a golf cart. He took me on a mini-tour of the grounds and, let me tell you; it is picturesque! What’s nice about this resort is the attention to detail that went into making it an oasis. From the handcrafted 19th century tiles in the registration area which came from a small tavern in Guadix, to the Bell of “El Camino Real,” that they chime to introduce new brides, there are many marvels to keep you entertained.
When I saw how elegant my accommodations were and the comfort of the bed, with its 300-thread-count sheets, I fell in love. The room also boasted a bathroom with a sunken tub and walk-in, dual-headed shower. And of course, it had every other comfort to make the stay enjoyable.
When I returned from the wedding, there was a letter waiting for me, accompanied by a delicious fruit and cheese plate and bottle of wine. The letter said, “We are so thrilled to welcome you for a relaxing getaway,” and was signed by Chloe & the Omni team. No, trust me, it was me who was thrilled.
Not only did the wine turn out to be one of my favorite selections, but it was accompanied by fresh blue cheese, figs, apricots, and too many others to mention. Yummy! What a thoughtful surprise to water my pallet. I was feeling pampered already.
Later, I ordered room service and when the meal arrived, I was again graciously greeted by a bellhop. After opening the lid to a wood grilled half chicken with harissa mash, asparagus, and chermoula, I was in heaven.
The next morning, I opened my drapes to an incredible view of the sun peeking through Camelback Mountain. It was majestic, to say the least. I drank a complimentary cup of coffee while resting on a thickly padded lounge chair, inhaling the aroma of succulent flowers, as the sun warmed my skin and thoughts. The stress from my everyday cares melted away.
Time to explore! Every inch of the resort is so becoming that I spent three hours just walking around taking photos. From cacti, pottery, pools, the spa, palm trees, restaurants, boutiques, and let’s not forget the view, I was so excited that I don’t know where to begin in telling you what the best spot is. Each has its own unique flavor.
When my stomach began to growl, I wondered which restaurant did I want to eat at? There’s Prado, a fine dining restaurant with a “communal atmosphere” that serves Spanish-influenced food for the American palate. Or, I could enjoy tapas and cocktails in the lounge style Mbar. For casual dining, there is Taqueria Centro, where Chef Laura Gonzalez (a 2018 champion of Food Network’s Chopped) serves up fresh, Mexican flavors. Finally, Crave Cafe soothes even the most severe sweet tooth. I decided on Prado where I had a delicious omelet with wild mushrooms, cheddar cheese, red onions, and potatoes. Mmm!
After breakfast, it was time for an adventure – hiking Camelback Mountain.
If you appreciate being active on vacation, Omni Scottsdale Resort can accommodate. There’s shopping, horseback riding, golfing, hiking, hot air balloon rides, whatever you enjoy, you can do there.
The view of Camelback Mountain is a staple at the Omni Scottsdale Montelucia Resort, which I was lucky enough to hike unscathed. It made me feel adventurous, and it’s definitely worth trying when you visit the resort, especially considering it’s within walking distance. After my hike, I needed to warm my bones and joints. Joya Spa here I come!
How can I describe my experience at the spa? Let’s just say, I wanted to spend all day there, and practically did! My visit began with fresh water infused with lemons and strawberries, followed by a day pass to the spa. It was sensational.
I climbed the grand stairs into a hallway lit only by candles. Then, I was guided by a calming purple light emanating from a large crystal into the room of purification. The relaxing fragrance, plush robes, and the ambiance of the spa were more than I could ever imagine. I tried the steam room, water deluge, sauna, whirlpool, whisper lounge and didn’t want to stop, as though I were in a dream hoping never to wake up.
Out of all the traveling I have done, the spa was out of this world! I ended my spa trip with a visit to the outdoor Joya pool. Not only did the pool overlook Camelback Mountain, but the water was heated to a cozy 85 degrees. After two hours and some chit-chat with my friend, I decided to head back to my room so I could prepare for my massage in the morning, but first, I ordered some guacamole from Centro Lounge, which was beyond delicious.
On my final night, I set the alarm for 5:00 a.m. as I did not want to miss anything. I was so sad to be leaving but looking forward to visiting Prado for a fantastic breakfast, exercising, and getting a massage at Joya Spa. I was in for a day of R & R, and we all know how important that is.
At Prado Restaurant I enjoyed huevos rancheros – my favorite. Chorizo, queso fresco, beans, avocado, eggs over easy, flour tortillas and guajillo sauce (I have no idea what guajillo sauce is, but the combination was incredible and I highly recommend it).
My journey continued with a visit to the fitness room. The Scottsdale Fitness Center offers state of the art equipment as well as classes for every fitness level such as yoga and spin. After a 15-minute arm workout, it was time for my spa appointment.
The spa offers more services than I can name, but luckily the staff is more than happy to help you find the right services for you. Their variety of massages, facials, body treatments, naturopathic services, and more are guaranteed to leave you refreshed and relaxed.
At this point, my legs were aching from the hike but after seeing Lisa, the massage therapist, the pain was gone. Her Thai massage immediately helped my discomfort, and I knew I was in good hands. After one hour, I could have gone hiking again, but there was no time.
The Joya Spa is beyond words – 31,000 square feet of luxury greets you after walking through the sacred doorway. It truly is a tranquil experience that you have to try for yourself to understand. I rediscovered my inner peace while walking through the spa and was inspired by the warmth and ambiance of it all. I continued to the whisper room where I sunk into a bed that I never wanted to leave.
Well I hate to say it, but I eventually had to leave the resort. Yes, I was sad but so rejuvenated and excited to tell everyone about my adventure and the profound pleasure I had while staying at the Omni Scottsdale Resort. You can be sure I will return.
I’m also glad I saved the 15% coupon from my breakfast receipt so that I could pick up some souvenirs at the Joya Spa, and take the experience home with me because when I got home, I sprayed my pillow with the Joya mist I purchased and drifted off to sleep.
Thank you to all the wonderful employees at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. It was a pleasure.
Please visit omnimontelucia.com for additional information.