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Avania Spa, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Arizona

A massage with an herbal twist

At first blush, spas are ambassadors of natural health by nature of their holistic focus on the human body. The Avania Spa at the Hyatt Regency in Scottsdale takes it one step further with their inventive spa menu and the guiding principles that contribute to everything they do.

Avania Spa ~ Hyatt Regency ScottsdaleResort spas are always a little different. While they still focus on the healthy, they're also luxurious and pampering, a haven for weary travelers. Jacuzzis, saunas and cold plunges expected amenities that encourage lingering and lounging.

The Avania Spa in the Hyatt Regency does things a little different - and I was happy to experience them firsthand.

  • Mineral pool. While the saunas (dry and moist) and hot/cold plunge pools are segregated by gender, the mineral pool is coed. Bliss if you're visiting with the spa with a lover.
  • Music menu in the treatment rooms. From invigorating to soothing, native to new age, I loved that I could match my music to my treatment - I choose sunset for it's relaxing vibe.
  • Therapists motivated by passion. My Herbal Poultice Massage was anything but routine and I love that not only could my therapist explain the science behind the process, he truly believed what he shared.
  • Infused water that's changed according to the time of day. If you visit the spa in the morning, you'll enjoy a different cocktail of benefits than if you visit in the evening.
  • One Hope Wine. A variety of wine and spirits are available to order (one glass complimentary after your treatment) but we love that they serve a wine that gives back to those in need. Check out OneHopeWine.com for more info.
  • Avania Spa's One Hope winesLight dining options. If you're like me and want to hang out at the spa longer than necessary, dining options are available throughout the entire day.

My Thai massage

After 10 days of travel, I wanted more than just a regular massage and chose the Herbal Poultice treatment. I wasn't disappointed. Denny, my therapist (with his black-rimmed glasses and gentle Kojak-esque look) explained the treatment was done in thirds.

1.    Compression massage - The therapist lays his hands over a muscle set and compresses or pushes down to temporarily pause blood flow, which creates a rushing when released.

2.    Poultice massage - Herbs wrapped in a muslin cloth are heated in a steamer and then pushed down over the group of muscles just released from compression. The poultice feels hot enough to burn but moves quickly so it's bearable. The idea here is to push the healing herbs into the rapidly flowing blood beneath the skin.

3.    Swedish massage - Massage oil is rubbed into the skin using Swedish massage strokes. Again, the idea is to encourage increased blood flow to move the herbs through the body.

Avania Spa roomsThe therapist concentrates on each area of the body separately, doing all three steps in quick progression before moving onto another body part. I enjoyed the treatment on my hands and feet the most (to the point of nirvana) until he reached my scalp and face - pure bliss.

The treatment left me feeling refreshed and relaxed, not sleepy. I enjoyed another soak in the mineral pool and a glass of wine - ready to take on the onerous task of a night of dining and dancing with my lover...

As Denny finished my treatment, he gave me the herbal poultice to take home and run under water for a relaxing soak in the tub. He mentioned that it's best enjoyed with a glass of wine. Smart man.

I thanked him, I asked him if he'd been a massage therapist for his whole career. He laughed and told me that this was his retirement career. After a battle with cancer (that he chose fight as naturally as possible) ended after 3 surgeries, he had no desire to get back to a high-powered job in marketing. Instead, he changed his lifestyle, chose a new career path and now helps others find their healthy.

Thank you, Denny - I think you found mine.

If you go to Anvania spa, visit them online at Spa Avania or call 1.480.444.1234 and if you'd like to combine your spa visit with a getaway, check out the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale.

You can thank us later...

Have you explored ever been to the Avania Spa in Phoenix? I'd love hear what treatment you enjoyed. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook - and let's continue the conversation!

To comply with the long list of regulating bodies, possibly even Geneva Conventions and in the interest of transparency, our trip to Phoenix was sponsored (in part) by the Phoenix Visitor and Convention Bureau. Commentary and perspectives are those of GoGirlfriend.

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