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Boulders Golden Door Spa, Arizona

The Boulders in Arizona is one of my favorite Golden Doors; perhaps because for a West Coaster, itís not only the easiest to get to but itís unexpected.

While most spas (including other Golden Doors I might add) lean on lush and green locales and inviting seascapes, The Boulders is all about desert sands swept with rolling sagebrush scampering across the ground in the wind; mountain backdrops burned into rich hues of ochre and cinnamon; a white and relentless sun by day, and electrical storms that zigzag their imagination across the sky by night. In spite of such strange companions, The Boulders is a cool sanctuary for spa services, spa cuisine, and reflective moments in its herb garden and stone-path labyrinth.

Simply put, Golden Door Ďget ití when in comes to spa services, and are masters at integrating the whole mind, body, spirit concept with depth and meaning, while keeping the whole experience mainstream.

For example, they offer refinement services (waxing, hair styling etc) alongside Ayurvedic experiences such as Abhyanga (oil massage) and Shirodhara (the pouring of warm oil over the forehead/third eye); Aromatherapy massage alongside Watsu (a movement massage in water), Tui Na (Chinese manipulative massage), Energy Balancing and nutritional wellness advice, desert activities, and stretch classes. Thus, whatever your sensibility, youíll find something to fit.

It was here that I first had an Ashiatsu massage. This is when the practitioner hangs on to overhead bars to enable them to walk all over your body Ė literally! Using the bars to suspend their weight, a skilled therapist can use his/her bare feet to deliver an array of pressure into muscles and joints be they with one toe or ten, a well targeted heel dig, or a sweep of a foot.

It was also here that I did something I had never done before. Removed my diamond ring and placed it in my spa robe pocket.

I discovered my bare finger several hours later and in sheer panic, telephoned the spa with a vague and hopeless thought that it had been retrieved. The news was not good and with much upset, I resigned myself that the ring had found a destiny down a laundry chute or on someone elseís finger!

But I was to be proven wrong. The spa staff had swung into action with the determination of pit bulls, scavenging every single robe pocket in the spaís laundry hamper until it was found. It is care, concern and honesty about a spa experience that Iíll never forget.

The Diamond Ring story had a happy ending. More than that, however, it told me that this spa really does walk the talk of its integrity -- a quality that too many spas purport to practice but in this spa, is the real deal.

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