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Phoenix, Arizona

With sunshine over 330 days out of the year, what other reason do you need to leave the cold days of winter behind and head out to sunny Arizona? With its beautiful mountains and desert surroundings, Arizona is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking to relax and rejuvenate. Since Phoenix is known for its wonderful spas, I chose to experience two different resorts in the time in I was there in order to make the most of my time there. I chose the Point Hilton’s Tapatio Cliffs Resort and The Squaw Peak Resort. I told myself I would simply use my time in Phoenix to just unwind, eat some good food, fit in some productive workouts, and enjoy soothing spa treatments. If you choose to do some exploring while there, downtown Phoenix is a fun area to check out and houses the sports arenas for the Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns. Scottsdale is also a short drive away and is full of great restaurants, bars, jewelry and souvenir shops in Old Town. You must also check out the Old West Saloons in Carefree, a half an hour north of Scottsdale. They have some mean country karaoke!

My first stop in Phoenix was the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, an all suite hotel with very spacious living quarters. After a short nap to rejuvenate for the night ahead, I made my way up to the most spectacular restaurant at the resort, and possibly in all of Phoenix. At the “Different Point of View,” you’ll experience delicious, fresh food while taking in a magnificent view of Phoenix from all sides of the mountaintop restaurant. In addition to the inventive menu, they have an expansive,award-winning wine list featuring more than 750 selections. If it’s a nice day out, you can choose to sit on the patio, which is also the site of many wedding ceremonies. My recommendation is for everyone to order something different with a few appetizers to share, as every dish was prepared with such distinct flavor, you’d be missing out if you just tried one. The wine has definitely earned its reputation as well. Other restaurants on property include Point In Tyme, Cascades Café, and La Cantina. Following dinner, I went downstairs to the lounge where I was treated to a phenomenal band, Entrain, which the resort brought in from Martha’s Vineyard.

The following morning, I enjoyed a cardio and strength training workout before heading for the Tocaloma Spa and Salon for their signature massage, which included a scalp, foot, and full body massage that took me into such a state of relaxation, I felt like I was floating. Since I arrived at the spa a bit early, they treated me to a hand paraffin treatment. They placed my hands into individual gloves and they came out feeling so moist and soft.

The resort also features the Falls Water Village with acres of pools, waterfalls, and poolside lounges. Other activities in and around the resort include hiking, tennis, and golf amid the Sonoran desert.

My next stop was the Point Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, where I stayed in a really neat bi-level Casita. It was so homey, I could have stayed in my room all day and been perfectly relaxed. But instead I ventured out to the Hole-In-The-Wall River Ranch. In the middle of the resort, sits four acres of pools and waterfalls, with a lazy river, waterslide, and man poolside activities. The ranch also houses a miniature putting course, the Cactus Rock Creamery and the store, Rodeo Drive. You can dine poolside at Slim Picken’s or enjoy some down home barbeque at the Hole-In-The-Wall Restaurant while watching an Arizona sunset. There is also Coyote Camp for kids ages 4 to 12 who want their own set of fun activities and a break from mom and dad. This is definitely a very family friendly resort.

I chose to have dinner at the other restaurant on site, Lantana Grill and enjoyed a scrumptious avocado and shrimp salad, which could have been a meal in itself, and their special of the night, scallops drizzled in a pomegranate sauce. Although I was full after dinner, I of course had to try the dessert that came with dinner, a cherry and apple crisp in a flaky pastry crust, topped with icecream, which was out of this world.

The next day, I woke up nice and early so I could enjoy the expansive fitness center before my spa treatment. I really like the Hilton gyms, as they are designed with precor equipment and a wide variety of weight machines and free weights. After sitting in the steam room for a few minutes, I was ready for my facial. Gayle was very informative in letting me know everything she was going to apply. As soon as she started massaging the creams into my face, I was down for the count, in total relaxation mode. I would highly recommend treating yourself to a facial treatment especially after a long flight and the dry Arizona weather.

I finished off my trip at the Squaw Peak Resort with their delicious buffet breakfast at Lantana Grill, which featured eggs made to order, a wide array of fruits, yogurts, cereals, juices, and southwestern style dishes. I felt very healthy after my stay at Squaw Peak. I only wish I had more time to float down the lazy river and enjoy some icecream at the creamery!

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