Guest Author - Chris McBeath
A local winery came up with pumpkin wine and boy, is it ever delicious as an aperitif. Who would have thought? Then there are pumpkin pies, spreads, and patches. And now delicious pumpkin spa therapies, too.
It actually makes sense. Pumpkin is rich in in minerals and high in Beta-Carotene and Vitamin E––two powerful antioxidant agents to help combat the effects of aging antioxidants so is a natural ingredient to therapies designed to help calm, nourish and smooth the skin.
My Pumpkin Encounter at Camelback
My first encounter with pumpkin pleasures of the spa variety was at The Spa at Camelback Inn - one of my ‘standby’ destination spa resorts in Scottsdale, Arizona. Originally opened in 1936, the Camelback made its name as being one of the area’s most elegant resorts that is one of only a handful to retain its coveted AAA Five Diamond status.
For me, some of those diamonds don’t feel quite as shiny because the guest rooms are a bit tired, especially when you start comparing it to some of its luxurious neighbors which quite frankly, are a bit ostentatious in terms of value for money.
Although the Camelback is now a JW Marriott property, each of the 450 or so adobe, casita-style rooms are spacious and unpretentious; the suites have private entrances, garden patios and balconies and some of the pricier ones even have their own swimming pools. I love the views across Camelback Mountains, and the Sonoran landscapes never fail to delight – sunrises and sunsets invoke such rich colors, desert cacti and animal tracks are a marvel, and I love the electrical storms that can sweep across the night sky like an unexpected laser show of dynamic patterns.
The spa is tried and true, with the usual steam, sauna, and activity schedule amenities, as well as really good, organic spa cuisine. Which leads me back to spa food for the face.
Camelback’s Signature Facial puts pumpkin into a mix of grapefruit, mandarin orange, cranberry and pomegranate, tailored to your skin type. I needed what I call a ‘good overhaul’ and exfoliation so the vitamin-rich pumpkin enzyme mask was a fabulous choice. It digested all those flaky dead cells and my skin was left feeling silky smooth. There’s also an exfoliating blend of oatmeal and pumpkin that’s a pretty effective body scrub, finished off with an application of pumpkin body butter. All in all, pumpkin is pretty yummy!
My Last Word
When the temperature drops, I look to Arizona for winter refuge. And curiosity always has me exploring its many spa offerings. Camelback Inn is among my favourites because it's somewhat of an institution which I find comforting amid an industry that is constantly striving to out-best one another.