Wellness in the Desert: Five Southwestern Beach Resorts to Awaken Your Spirit


Whether it’s the weather, the sights, or the vortices, the American Southwest has been known as a healing destination for decades, becoming especially popular with medical patients in the early part of the 20th century. The relative seclusion, the awe-inspiring scenery, and the fresh air contrasted sharply with the urban sprawl of the United States, drawing first-time visitors and convincing them to stay. In many ways, the desert of the Southwest has not lost its strange appeal and continues to appeal to those who seek a change of perspective as much as a change of scenery. The following wellness-oriented resorts blend seamlessly into the landscape, incorporating local culture, natural products, and individually designed spa treatments into your stay. When you are ready to say goodbye, you will remember your southwest experience as the start of a trip rather than a vacation; chances are you will come back to continue.

Boulders – Scottsdale, Arizona

Just outside of Scottsdale, Arizona, the Boulders Resort & Spa by Hilton Curio Collection is a sustainable resort surrounded by native desert plants, ancient rock formations, and endless sunsets. Spread over 1,300 acres, the resort offers adobe casitas, haciendas, and private villas, ranging from two to five bedrooms. Choosing to stay in a villa or hacienda will be like moving into your own hideaway at the foot of the hills away from home, with your own fireplace. Specials include spa, golf and seasonal packages, helping you save money slumping into a massage table or a fireside seat.

Boulders spa treatments use native flora to enhance the herbal nature of certain treatments, treating the process as a science as much as a craft. Services include massages, reflexology, prenatal treatments, organic facials and more; the wide variety of options means you might find yourself diving into something you’ve never considered before. Spa environments include a heated swimming pool and maze to soak up unwanted anxieties and revive you. In addition to the resort’s golf courses, you can book your own outdoor adventure with the concierge, ranging from stargazing with an astronomer guide to a hot air balloon ride 300 meters away. Other off-site tours include trips to the Grand Canyon and Sedona, as well as photo workshops, wildlife tours, and hikes. With four restaurants across the complex, there is no shortage of gourmet cuisine to try during your stay; visit the Spotted Donkey for southwest bites or the Spa Cafe for a light breakfast.

Boulders isolates you from the outside world when you need it most, bringing the wilderness to your doorstep with outdoor entertainment, comfortable casita living, and more than enough space to just be.

Red Mountain Resort – St. George, Utah

If you are looking for a complete healing experience, the Red Mountain Resort in Utah is your go-to retreat. The emphasis on full-body wellness makes Red Mountain a luxury spa destination nestled in the outdoor hub of St. George. From the moment you arrive, immerse yourself in Red Mountain’s wellness programming and watch yourself grow day by day. Sessions include energy reading, guided maze walk, deep listening, and shamanic energy healing with a nod to the powers of the four elements. Workshops like the Spiritual Companion Experience are led by the resort’s Spiritual Practitioner, ready to share a wealth of knowledge. Personal training is available if you have specific spiritual needs to address; options include one-on-one consultation, a personalized fitness setting, and private pilates sessions. Other workshops to choose from include yoga at nearby Snow Canyon State Park and an Anasazi pottery class to unleash your creative flow. Depending on your ideal pace, fitness classes are available to get your heart racing, followed by a visit to the resort’s Sagestone Spa & Salon to unwind. Massage therapy, natural treatments, men’s treatments and even hand, foot and hair treatments are all options to practice after an active day.

The resort also offers Adventure Retreat packages that include accommodations, daily meals, and essential excursions to the Zion National Park area. In addition to eighty-two comfortable rooms, the resort’s accommodations include spacious luxury villas to enhance your stay. Red Mountain doesn’t think of itself as an “adventure hotel” in vain; Whether you spend most of your stay outdoors or are active indoors, you’re guaranteed the adrenaline rush that comes with an exclusive getaway to one of the country’s most amazing regions.

El Monte Sagrado – Taos, New Mexico

Located in Taos, New Mexico, El Monte Sagrado will welcome you to a region as mysterious as it is popular with artisans, creatives and manufacturers of all types. Step into your Mountain Room, Casita Suite or Hot Tub Suite and immerse yourself in the decor selected by local artists. Then lose yourself in the resort’s Living Spa, which implements environmentally friendly products and techniques in a professionally designed wellness regiment. Let the experts take over as you settle in among lush greenery, soft hues, and sunlight streaming in between the wooden beams. When you’re ready to be in a rush, the fitness center is available to resort guests, along with a garden-like saltwater pool.

The Anaconda Bar and De La Tierra Restaurant are there for you to relax, whether you fancy a cocktail or a healthy brunch. Savor your meal in the courtyard of Del La Tierra while tasting a regional masterpiece created by Chef Cristina Martinez.

Diverse but dedicated to a melting pot heritage, El Monte Sagrado is a true New Mexico destination that reinvents what sets the high desert apart. Time spent in Taos will cleanse your system, and El Monte is your base for the change that begins within.

The Springs Resort – Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Another resort that counts water as one of its pillars is The Springs Resort, in Pagosa Springs, CO, located just above the state border with New Mexico. The mineral and geothermal properties of the resort’s twenty-five thermal pools draw guests from across the country, promising soothing baths, rooms with views of the San Juan River, and daily wellness programs. Classes and one-on-one activities are available throughout the week, motivating you to gently leave the comfort of your room and push your limits. Choose from Aqua Yoga, Forest Hike, or River Walk, or retreat to the Wellness Studio, which is open for personal practice. Massages, muscle therapies, river pressure exercises, and facials are available at the spa at your leisure. The offers include the discovery package, bed and breakfast for two and even a carriage package.

Rooms are steps from hot springs and include classic and deluxe options, as well as deluxe lodge suites. Once you are at the sources, soak up and imagine the minerals invading you; each mineral in the source is described here, along with its individual properties. Since opening the first bathhouse in Pagosa Springs in 1881, The Springs Resort has maintained the reputation of Colorado’s most powerful swimming pools.

Canyon Ranch – Tucson, Arizona

The Canyon Ranch in Tucson is a wellness destination that offers an integrative approach to wellness to inspire “well-being” among guests. This is the kind of destination that people are looking for, which means that if you are planning on visiting, your wellness efforts and goals are intentional. The destination’s vast program offers routes designed to guide those looking for structured support. Examples include Lifestyle Reset, Personal Discovery, Outdoor Escape, and the Just Be Here Self-Guided Stay. Before welcoming new guests, Canyon Ranch shares suggested steps to prepare for your stay, as well as pillars to keep in mind during your stay. The first step is to find your intention to continue your wellness, followed by a one-on-one consultation with a wellness guide, who will help you tailor your experience to suit your individual needs.

Healthy cuisine, unlimited access to facilities, and conversations with wellness experts are just a few of the benefits of Canyon Ranch. Just getting there will relax and inspire you; the ranch is located in the scenic Catalina foothills of Tucson, just minutes from desert hikes. Above all, you will check in knowing that your health, and all the forms it takes, is the priority until the end of your stay and beyond.

Whatever you are looking for, find it in the Southwest and in yourself. Your bespoke resort spa experience will go beyond pampering yourself, uplifting your mind and body. Whether you choose the Sonoran Desert, Death Valley, the red rocks of Utah, or the high desert of northern New Mexico, the region will pull you out of your element and toward a strange sense of place. Treatments based on holistic healing, a healthy mind, and lasting effects will bring you back to center when you settle down. When you’re not enjoying your resort’s spa services, take the time to explore the area from a new perspective. Trading introversion for introspection, your retreat from the Southwest will help shake off the apprehensions you arrived with, leaving you with a clean slate and room for improvement. In the end, you deserve it.