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Joya Spa: A Moroccan getaway without leaving town

Posted on: March 14th, 2012 by Amy Martin No Comments

A couple of days ago, I recapped an Afternoon Tea experience that I enjoyed with my cousin Chelsie while she visited Phoenix for the first time. Another experience on my list of ‘must-do’ on her stay here was a stop at my favorite spa in the Valley: Joya Spa.

The two-story, 31,000 square foot Moroccan-inspired spa is situated in what I like to call ‘Disneyland for adults’ (because it may just be the most beautiful place on earth), the Montelucia Resort. If you’re headed in for a treatment, be sure to make a day of it as the use of the facilities is a treat all in itself. Spa guests are encouraged to take advantage of what they call the ‘Joya Spa Experience.’ The Joya Spa Experience suggests you begin your visit with a few rituals designed to help spa goers mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually prepare for and make the most of their spa experience. Follow their direction… it’s worth it!

While my cousin was in town, we visited Joya one Sunday just for the day pass. The day pass fee is $75/pp and includes use of their facilities for the day without any treatments. Use of the facilities is complimentary with the purchase of any one hour treatment, so be sure to set aside a whole day to experience all that is available. You’ll leave feelings like a million bucks.

When you first enter the spa, you’ll walk into the Joya Bazaar, their 1,500 square-foot boutique just off of the lobby. The boutique offers a variety of warm weather apparel and jewelry, as well as aromatherapy and massage products used in the treatment rooms. Adjacent to the boutique, you’ll find the Joya Salon – a full-service beauty salon complete with nine styling stations, six mani/pedi stations (with Zero-Gravity relaxation and massage chairs) and a private relaxation courtyard for outdoor treatments.

Once you’ve checked in, you’re led upstairs to your locker and will receive your robe and slippers. But before your locker stop, you’re asked to set your intentions for the day (as they call it, the Joy of Intention). The Joy of Intention is simple: you’ll choose from 5 different jewels, each representing something meaningful: love, wealth, work, health and family. If you are an overachiever like me, you’ll choose one of each. Apparently, I could use some help in all areas! The adjacent room has a neat ‘echo effect.’ In here, you’ll set your intentions by quietly verbalizing what it is you wish to accomplish for the day as you place your jewels on the pedestal. If you aren’t comfortable with this ritual or don’t want to say anything aloud, just skip it. The room is gorgeous anyway.

Next up is the Joy of Purification. Guests are asked to take a moment to purify their body, mind and soul as they release all tension by placing their hands on a radiant, glowing quartz crystal, taking a couple of deep breaths in and ridding yourself of any stress and negativity.

Once you’re mentally prepared for the day, it’s locker time. Of the spas I’ve visited, Joya has the most comfortable robes I’ve worn. I must find a way to get my hands on one someday! The locker area is dimly lit, and if you aren’t comfortable changing out in the open, no worries. You’ll find a curtained dressing area off to the side for your comfort.

If the weather is gracious (and let’s be honest… we live in the Valley and enjoy beautiful, sunny days year-round), you may want to start your day off on the Joya Terrace like we did – poolside. The view of Camelback Mountain up on the terrace is breathtaking. I wished I could never leave. The private, adult-only pool offers a welcomed respite from the hot, Arizona sun. If you’re hungry, order a light lunch or snack from the Terrace food and beverage menu. We enjoyed the Mezze platter with Lavosh ($12) with hummus, roasted eggplant and seasonal vegetables and sipped on Herbal Palmers made with Absolut Wild Tea & Elderflower vodka, lemon juice, natural cane syrup, fresh brewed tea ($12) and complimentary water with cucumber and lemon. The Mezze platter was plenty to share and was the perfect snack for the warm, sunny afternoon. The Herbal Palmer was especially delicious and refreshing.

Joya Spa: A Moroccan getaway without leaving town

Mezze with Lavosh

Once you’ve soaked up some sun, head indoors… there’s plenty to keep you occupied. The day fee includes use of their fitness room, a space more than 5,000 square feet. Featuring 37 pieces of state-of-the-art equipment, you’ll also enjoy the view of Camelback Mountain in here while you work out. If you’d rather spend your day without expelling effort, make your way to the Hammam.

Joya Spa: A Moroccan getaway without leaving town

Joya Hammam

This room will quickly become your favorite. Here, guests prep for their spa journey with a 25-minute Hammam-style therapy. The ritual begins with sitting in a warm room on a heated platform (the platforms are curved to help align your spine), to set your body temperature. Next, you’ll make your way into the steam room (grab one of the cold washcloths offered at the door if the heat is too much for you). After the hot steam, refresh yourself under the cold waterfall of the deluge and follow with the whirlpool. Alternating with the cold deluge, your last stop will be the sauna. It’s recommended you follow the ritual as outlined before your treatment, but feel free to mix it up as you wish and repeat the cycle if you’d like.

Before your treatment, take a seat in the spa’s Relaxation Lounge where your massage therapist will meet you just before your appointment time. The lounge is dimly lit with soft Moroccan-inspired music playing. The room’s décor features Middle Eastern accents and colors of deep reds, comfortable seating with plenty of pillows, and brass Moroccan tables. To stay hydrated, complimentary cucumber water, hot and iced tea, and fruit is available.

After your treatment, perhaps a nap? One of my favorites areas of the spa are its Whisper Rooms. Inside, you’ll find a row of the most comfortable beds EVER, lined with sheer tents for a bit of privacy. Perfect for a quick nap or some quiet time. If you’re spa-ing with your special someone, there’s also a co-ed Whisper Room to enjoy.

The spa offers a total of 19 treatment rooms and five oversized treatment suites. Every treatment can be customized to your needs, health and skin type. The treatment rooms are soothing and offer individual climate controls. You’ll be able to select your own music to play during your session too. The most impressive is the Grand Palace Suite. I could only dream of spending a day in here. The 850 square foot suite features a king-sized daybed, oversized bathtub, fireplace, flat-screen TV, SO-sound treatment tables that gently move to the rhythm of the music to enhance relaxation (neat, huh?), and floor-to-ceiling doors opening up to the outdoor spa pool deck. Heaven, right? Ahhh…

Joya Spa: A Moroccan getaway without leaving town

Treatment Suite

Be sure to stop by Crave Café before you leave (or even mid-stay for a quick snack) for a cupcake like we did. Try the Ooey Gooey… it’s absolutely sinful.

The spa is open from 8am-8pm daily. Book your appointments online or by phone by calling 480-627-3020.

To learn more about Joya Spa, visit joyaspa.com.

Joya Spa | 4949 East Lincoln Drive | Scottsdale, AZ | 480-627-3020

About the Author - Amy Martin

Author of Her Plate, Amy's love of food, cooking and all things culinary keeps her endlessly plotting what her next meal will be. Her pastimes include creating in (i.e. demolishing) her own kitchen and baking far more sweets than her tiny family could ever eat.

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