by Victoria Stevens
The Spa Mii Amo, the destination spa at Enchantment Resort is tucked into the mystical Red Rock country of Sedona, Arizona.
Nestled in Boynton Canyon, which is sacred ground to the local Native Americans, Enchantment is at the western outskirts of Sedona, about a two-hour drive north of Phoenix and almost three hours south of the Grand Canyon.
Located at 14,763 metres (4,500 feet) above sea level, Sedona lies between the scorching Sonoran desert below and the cool pine-forested mountains above. It is famous for its dramatic and awe-inspiring red rock formations, created eons ago by the erosion of its red sandstone into towering buttes and mesas that appear to be carved by some divine hand. Many believe that Sedona is one of the earth’s spiritual power centres, offering vortexes of healing metaphysical energy that allow people to connect more easily with their spiritual selves. Boynton Canyon, where Enchantment and its spa are located, is in one of those vortexes. The low-rise adobe resort , inspired by Anasazi cliff dwellings, blends so perfectly with its environment that it’s hard to see among the juniper and pine along the canyon floor. The canyon walls tower on all sides, changing in colour and appearance moment by moment as the sun moves across the sky, painting the rocks flaming crimson or leaving parts in deep shadow. Guarding the entrance to the canyon is a rock formation Native Americans call ‘Kachina Woman’, believing this to be their Garden of Eden and she the woman who gave birth to the human race.
Voted the Number One destination spa in America by Travel + Leisure magazine readers in 2006, the name Mii Amo signifies “journey,” or “to continue one’s path” or “moving forward” in Yuman, a Native American dialect, and is reflective of the spa’s philosophy of achieving a transformation in physical health, emotional well-being and spiritual renewal. Inspired by Native American traditions, the spa’s heart is the Crystal Grotto, designed like a native ‘Kiva’ or place of meditation and ritual, where guests gather each morning to set their ‘intention for the day.’
From a varied menu of physical, emotional and spiritual treatments and therapies, I choose the Native Mii Amo. It begins with a 60-minute Blue Corn polish using ground corn and mineral salt crystals mixed with aloe vera to exfoliate the skin and is followed by a 75-minute hot stone massage. It was my first experience with hot stones – here they are flat river stones heated in water and massaged over your oiled body to seemingly melt away every ache and pain and stress. Blissful is the only word that comes to mind. The session ended with a 60-minute Stone Crop facial using the ancient healing properties of this indigenous succulent plant.
One of the more holistic treatments is the Mii Amo Spirit, a session that begins with burning sage to help release negativity, followed by the therapist guiding me to set my intention to achieve whatever it is I desire. My chakras (the body’s energy centres) are then anointed with special oils and I’m encouraged to visualize my hopes and dreams. Gifted healers and therapists also offer Reiki, Cranial-sacral massage, hypnotherapy, psychic massage and past life regression. There are also several ‘mindfulness’
sessions to assist in managing stress and developing strategies and insights into your problems and their solutions through consultation, meditation and
The spa is self-contained with 14 spa guest rooms plus two spa suite. The resort itself offers a mix of casa suites, haciendas, casitas and junior suites, all featuring Southwestern décor and beehive fireplaces, some with kitchenettes. Prices range from $295 to $1,550 U.S. per night. Some off-season specials are available. Enjoy a meal at the resort’s award-winning Yavapai restaurant which also offers a sumptuous breakfast and Sunday jazz brunch. Sample the resort’s signature drink – a Prickly Pear margarita – on the restaurant’s terrace overlooking the ever-changing view of the canyon.
Guests can take home spa products, find books on Sedona and native music as well as housewares and other gifts decorated with native designs at the resort shop.
Beyond the Spa: Sedona is where you’ll find art galleries, the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, crystal shops, New Age bookstores, tarot readers and all kinds of other mystic fun. Or take one of several jeep tours of the vortexes and ancient Indian ruins nearby. A helicopter or hot air balloon ride over the awe-inspiring scenery is another option.
What I liked best: Besides the hot stone massage, I loved climbing one of the Red Rock spires for a breathtaking, 360-degree view of the landscape for miles around. Surrounded by all that natural magnificence, it truly does make you feel closer to the divine.
Words to the wise: Enchantment is not a cheap destination. If you’d like to experience the spa, but can’t afford the room rate, you can stay at one of several local B&Bs and book a day at the spa separately.
Victoria Stevens is a Toronto freelance writer.
Editor’s Note: I have visited Mii Amo and the destination spa is tops in many categories. I highly recommend it for “me time” or girl getaways, but it can also be very romantic. Sedona is also one of TTW’s favourite wellness destinations. Please keep in mind that prices noted are at the time of our visit. We do suggest you contact Mii Amo directly for current prices.