Destination, resort spas gaining notice in Tucson

By Rebecca Larsen, Contributor

Tucson is fast becoming one of the spa capitals of the world with several spas that have won top awards from magazines such as Travel & Leisure, Conde Naste Traveler and Spa Finder. After all, the high desert seems like a natural area to escape the pressures of the outside world and renew your health and spirits.

Two types of spas are available:

• Destination spas that offer you a place of retreat where your entire stay is focused on health, wellness, beauty and renewal. These are places that offer you the chance to make major changes in appearance and lifestyle.

• Resort spas that have some of the same facilities as destination spas but that include other activities – golf, hiking, biking and horseback riding, for example. Many of the resort spas allow day visitors to drop in for treatments even if they are not staying on site.

Here is a brief rundown on what is offered at some of Tucson's greatest spas:

• Miraval is a luxury destination resort and spa that has ranked at the top in many reader polls conducted by travel magazines. It has a spectacular remote desert setting and will pamper you with services like hot stone massage and New Age health treatments. Address: 5000 E. Via Estancia Miraval. Phone: (800) 825-4000.

• Canyon Ranch is one of the world's finest health resorts that can help you make dramatic changes in your body and lifestyle. The fitness equipment is state of the art. The gourmet meals are extremely healthy. Measure your body fat and have a tarot-card reading. Address: 8600 E. Rockcliff Road. Phone: (800) 742-9000.

Omni Tucson National Golf Resort and spa is a resort-style spa with a lavish state-of-the-art fitness center. You can get personal training or facial therapy as well as body wraps and relaxing massages. And try the top-level golf course. Address: 2727 W. Club Drive. Phone: (800) 528-4856.

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort will offer you exquisite views and accommodations and fabulous food. Everything from yoga to aromatherapy is available in the spa. But golf is a major attraction here as well. Address: 7000 N. Resort Drive. Phone (800) 234-5177.

• The Westin La Paloma offers the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa on site along with a host of other activities including acclaimed golfing. Address: 3800 E. Sunrise Drive. Phone: (800) 228-3000.

• The Westward Look Resort has a spa with massage therapies, body treatments and facials. But you can also experience tennis, hiking, biking, horseback riding and water aerobics at this historic Old West property that started out in the 1920s as a guest ranch. Address: 245 E. Ina Road. Phone: (800) 722-2500.

Rebecca LarsenRebecca Larsen, Contributor

Rebecca Larsen is a former features and assistant features editor for the Marin Independent Journal, a medium-sized daily paper located north of San Francisco. She has also worked for the Milwaukee Journal and for a Chicago public relations firm. She has a bachelor's in journalism from Northwestern University and a master's from the University of California at Berkeley.

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