Sun and Spa...aahhhh

Here's a term I don't think I've come across before: "desert chic".  However, after looking at photos of the InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa , I think I get what it means.  This place almost makes me wish I was more stressed out so I could fully appreciate how soothing and relaxing it is....

InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa, Paradise Valley, Arizona
Gorgeous, right?  It's got "chic" written all over it.  Montelucia is an oasis set in the magnificent foothills of Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona.  Touches of Spain, Greece and Italy make it unique among other Southwestern resort spas.  Although it's touted as a tranquil getaway, and it looks like it's out in the middle of nowhere, there's still nearby access to shopping, fine dining, entertainment, golf, hiking etc. 

Isn't the view incredible?
View from your room
Let's get down to business and talk "spa".  The Joya Spa at Montelucia is world renown and a quick jaunt from LA for celebrities who need some (extra) pampering.  From the resort web site: "Custom everything from luxurious jewelry pieces (what?! a spa with jewelry?) to skin care and makeup, organic perfume oil to wellness programs, musical selections to custom adventures with friends or loved ones, Joya Spa has truly refined the art of customization."  Ok.  so it's all about me.  Perfect....that's what a spa should be.

Beyonce & Jay-Z
Beyonce and Jay Z favor the "Diamond Facial Experience".  "For 110 minutes experience the latest in luxurious skin care technology, combined with three targeted massages to send your senses on a splendid journey. Our ultimate facial will provide your skin with an immediate and genuine cosmetic lift." All for only $315. Joya Spa also claims to feature Arizona’s only authentic Hammam. "A luxurious bathing ritual that you’ll come to love. The Hammam experience relaxes you on a profound level."  I'll need a few more details on that....I'm curious ....and a wee bit uncomfortable....

I'd be more excited about the zero-gravity pedicure chair.  Awesome.

Could this be the site of the mysterious "Hammam Bath"?
Joya Spa
More Spa

There's so much more to this place than just lying around the spa - if that's not your thing. If you feel the need to get up and move a little - take a yoga, spin, kick-boxing or even a Zumba class.  There's also a day camp for kids (yay!) so they can keep busy with sports and crafts while you enjoy your spa treatment. They can hang out for a half hour or the whole day!

Totally "Desert Chic" gorgeous

Visit the website if for no other reason than to enjoy the breathtaking photos and the soothing music. Rooms start at around $260.  Check web site for packages and holiday specials.


Voted #13 on the list of "World's Best Resorts" by Travel & Leisure readers.  See article below from naming Montelucia as one of "Amercia's best warm weather resorts".

Pictured are Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy enjoying Joya Spa in happier days.


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I didn’t dip my toe in an ocean until I turned 25 and my friend Sandy and I traveled to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. After that week, I was hooked. I loved being somewhere new; smelling the smells, tasting new food, seeing how other people lived. It energized me. As luck would have it, I landed a job that allowed me to travel all over the US and often to Canada. Being a sports event television producer, I was on the road all the time. That's when my love affair with travel began. Now, its 20 years later and still no one gets more “geeked up” about planning a vacation than I do. All I need is a destination and some travel companions and my fire is lit! I start delving into my favorite hotel sites, sifting through photos and reviews, comparing, contrasting -it’s like an addiction. The travel shows with tips and trends? I study them like a playbook. I LOVE doing the things most people hate doing before they go on vacation. Whether it be searching for a food tasting tour with a local or discovering a romantic B&B in the middle of New York - I’ve found it and I’ll share it with you. So....where should we go?