Tag Archives: scottsdale spas


This Summer, Relax And Spend Less With A Staycation

Spend less and relax more with a summer staycation

stay·ca·tion: nounˈstā-ˈkā-shən
Definition: a vacation spent at home or nearby

Yes, the word “staycation” was added to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in 2009, after it gained immense popularity amidst the U.S. financial crisis, which began in 2007. Thankfully the crisis has come and gone, but the staycation remains.

For those of us that live, work and play in the state of Arizona, the opportunities for staycations abound. Be it lounging by the pool in the backyard or staying at a nearby resort for that true vacation feel, time and money are spent on rest and relaxation rather than seeing the sights of a new state. And while going to new places outside of the state are always fun, going to a place you’ve never been IN Arizona can be just as exciting. Who knew there were so many amazing places to go and things to see right in our own backyard?

A one-stop staycation that travelers often opt for is the resort. While it may be a resort that’s only minutes or an hour’s drive away from your house, packing a bag with resort wear and being “unplugged” from the stresses of daily life can make all the difference in the world.

Some of the benefits/activities of opting for a resort stay on your next staycation include:

Lounging poolside

While many Arizona residents have pools in their backyard, there’s nothing like a resort pool with a swim-up bar, similar to that at the Harrah’s Ak-Chin newly remodeled pool area, wait staff preparing your drinks so you don’t have to, or amenities for the kids, such as lazy rivers and slides.

Gaming action

For local resorts with casinos, it brings the look and feel of the Las Vegas strip directly to the guest. Harrah’s Ak-Chin and many other casino resorts in Arizona, offer everything from bingo, to slots and blackjack. Boasting the largest selection of reel and video slots (such as Clue, which allows guests to earn points by playing on the computer at home; and Hangover, an homage to the Vegas-based movie), video poker and table games from blackjack to World Series of Poker®, Harrah’s Ak-Chin is also home to the only bingo hall in the entire Caesars organization.

Spa days

A perk of some local resorts are the spas. What better way to relax than getting a massage or hot stone treatment before going out to the pool and relaxing the day away? Many resorts often offer package deals with their spas as well, so guests can receive a two-night stay, spa treatment and any other range of amenities for one bulk price rather than having to pay it separately.

For your entertainment

As I mentioned in my last column, resorts are stepping up their entertainment game. Whether it’s bringing back the oldies but goodies, highlighting local acts or bringing in the rock star line-ups, guests can amp up the fun on their next staycation by attending a variety of performances. Resorts, like Harrah’s Ak-Chin, also sweeten the staycation deal by offering these performances free of charge.

One thing to remember in the midst of staycation rest and relaxation is that too much downtime can also be draining, which is why it’s important to make the most of it by taking advantage of the amenities offered at the local resorts. And most importantly, unplug. Just because you’re still in the same state, doesn’t mean you have to check that smartphone for work-related emails. Remember that the word staycation was derived from vacation — milk it for all it’s worth.

Spa Avania - Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011

Spa Avania, Xona Resorts Suites Gain Exposure

Ahhh, Spas: One Scottsdale spa destination — Spa Avania — gains national exposure, while another — Xona Resorts Suites — strives for more with marketing efforts

National Exposure: One of the Best

Spa AvaniaSpa Avania at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa has been named by Travel + Leisure Magazine readers, in its 16th Annual World’s Best Awards 2011 Readers’ Survey, as the No. 1 hotel spa in Arizona based on its ambiance, treatments, service and values, as well as ranking 14th overall among hotel spas in the U.S. and Canada.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be honored, and the people who rated us, more than anything else, have experienced Spa Avania and realized how special a spa it is,” says Angee Smithee, director of Spa Avania. “There are so many spas in the Valley of the Sun and there are so many great ones, but I think that the philosophy that Spa Avania was built upon really makes it special, and those kind of honors … you can’t buy them.”

Spa Avania offers various unique spa treatments, mineral water therapy — a 16,290-gallon outdoor heated mineral pool that helps enhance the immune system, among other benefits — seven different music zones to match specific body rhythms, a range of exotic and classic teas, natural lighting and more.

“The ambiance combines the best elements of indoor-outdoor experiences,” Smithee says. “When you talk about ambiance and treatment, and the service and value, when you put all these elements together, you create an experience, and that’s what makes us unique.”

While Smithee says Spa Avania & Hyatt Regency experienced a great summer by “building up the local market and embracing the Arizona residents,” it’s during the fall and winter seasons when they receive out-of-state visitors.

“You start seeing the east coast travelers from New York and Chicago,” says Ann Lane, senior director of advertising and public relations. “We always have stays from our California neighbors, but you’ll start seeing the East Coast factoring in a lot more. You will also start to see from a group-travel standpoint more incentive travel, more corporate travel, where in the summertime they tend to go to other locales.”

For more information about Spa Avania at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa, visit scottsdale.hyatt.com or call (480) 444-1234.

Spa Avania at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa

7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd.
(480) 444-1234

Gaining Exposure: Becoming a Competitor

Xona Resort SuitesWith the many other resorts in the area, competing can be tough, especially for an independent, boutique hotel. According to Bruce Pittet, general manager of Xona Resorts Suites, a 14-acre Scottsdale hotel resort, this can be considered “a competitive disadvantage in the North Scottsdale marketplace as the majority of the hotels (in the area) have some sort of brand affiliation.”

This is why Xona has joined forces with Ascend Collection and its membership program. The program is an upscale network of historic, boutique or unique hotels located in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. Xona is the first Arizona hotel to become a part of the program.

“(The program) was designed specifically for travelers who appreciate an upscale hotel with strong local flair,” Pittet says. “We believe it’s a perfect fit for Xona.”

With more than 13 million members in Choice Privilege network, Pittet says, “Ascend Collection will help Xona increase its visibility and introduce us to a new customer base.”

With this membership, Pittet anticipates Xona increasing the number of guests staying at the hotel in both the short- and long-term, allowing them to broaden their reach and effort in attracting new guests.

The Ascend Collection helps Xona increase its online visibility, too, with the hotel now found on Ascend’s website, which is one of the most visited websites in the hotel industry, Pittet says. Xona also hopes to increase its advertising on Ascend’s various online sales channels.

Xona Resorts Suites has recently undertaken a renovation project, enhancing the technology available, along with other improvements and additions. Xona offers four pools, 7,500 square feet of meeting space, suites ranging from one  to four bedrooms, comfortable pricing, with quick access to championship golf courses, shopping and fine dining.

Xona Resort Suites of Scottsdale

7677 E. Princess Blvd., Scottsdale
(888) 222-1059

Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011