Mercury is in Jaunt Magazine’s 8th House – which also means – time to look inward. Since looking inward can be a little tough when you’re busy slaving away in the City of Angles, sometimes, we think the best way to look inward is to look upward into the heavens for a little celestial guidance.
That’s where the desert retreat comes into play. Astronomical offerings seem to be the latest and greatest summer travel trend at properties located near starry skies and sweeping vistas. So, whether you’re watching the sun rise from the tumbling red rocks of Camelback Mountain or gazing up at the stars during a crisp desert night, it’s time for a little reflection.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona recognized in 2006 as The Top Resort in the United States by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler (and included on T + L’s “T+ L 500” list), is inviting guests to celebrate extended summer hours… swanky Sonoran style.
Sanctuary’s Light & Harmony experience offers three distinct activities to experience the resort’s desert locale:
1. An invigorating “Camelback at Sunrise” guided morning hike up the northern slope of Camelback Mountain
2. An “Early to Rise” match of tennis on one of the resort’s five Deco-Turf championship courts
3. An evening of stargazing with a professional astronomer via Sanctuary’s high-powered telescope
You can pick and choose (and that’s why we like it).
As the sun warms the day, you can cool off in Sanctuary’s infinity-edge pool (the largest of its kind in Arizona) or relax in the Sanctuary Spa with a Signature Summer spa treatment. Named 2008 “Most Excellent Spa Hotel” by Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence, the Sanctuary staff recommends indulging yourself in a Rosemary Citron Body Scrub, which combines a mineral-rich sea salt infused with rosemary, lemon and mint or an Aloe Skin Quencher Body Wrap, combining the soothing comfort of an aloe moisturizer with calming effects of lavender mist after a long hot day in the desert sun.
Sanctuary Infinity Pool, Night
And sunsets in Paradise Valley, well, they’re paradise. And we should know, we lived there. Magentas, pinks, baby blues, purples, and plenty of orange. Ricky Lee spoke about them for a reason. Take in the Arizona desert views, contemplate existence, and then have a cocktail at Edge, Sanctuary’s new outdoor bar. The next step in the path to personal growth is always having an honest look within. We hear the Chamomile Breeze, a mixture of gin, honey, and lemon steeped with loose chamomile tea leaves, is a top-notch way to do it.
Finish it off with dinner at their restaurant, Elements, where Chef Beau Macmillan (whose Kobe beef beat out Iron Chef Bobby Flay on The Food Network), whips up seasonal delicacies like slow-roasted kurobuta pork with cilantro pesto, pickled melon & cashew salad, steamed little neck clams with green onion, dashi broth & crispy lob chong or grilled hawaiian opa with cumin, pine nut cous cous, jalapeno, mango and crab.
An evolved menu where desert, island, mediterranean, and asian cultures unite.
Sanctuary’s ‘Light & Harmony’ experience includes:
* Two (2) nights in a Mountain Vista Casita or Spa Casita
* Breakfast for two daily
* Choice of an activity, per couple/per stay:
* Guided hike on Camelback Mountain
* “Early to Rise” tennis instruction
* Sanctuary Stargazing by moonlight
* Choice of one Sanctuary Summer Signature Spa Treatments (60-minute)
* One dinner in Elements for two
The two-night Light & Harmony experience is through Sept. 12, 2008. $652 for single occupancy/ $1,093 for double.
A little about Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain: One of the country’s most lauded luxury resorts, Sanctuary is a striking boutique property, internationally acclaimed for contemporary design, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and the native desert history. Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” and a “Reader’s Choice” winner since it’s opening in 2002.
So it may not be budget, but it is beautiful.
Stay tuned next week for the very first in a 3 part series on:
Where to go, What to do, and Where to Shop in Tokyo and Kyoto.