By Babette Herrmann
Located minutes from Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, the luxurious Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa sits on land unspoiled by urban sprawl, where wild Spanish mustangs are often seen thundering across the desert–land owned by the Gila River Indian Community.
No details were spared in the creation and services offered at the resort’s Aji Spa & Salon. The 17,500-square-foot spa features treatments inspired by the culture and healing herbs of the Pima and Maricopa people.
Mii amo, a destination spa at Enchantment
Sedona, Ariz., is known for its New-Age quirkiness and as a vortex of spiraling spiritual energy flow. It’s no wonder people are drawn to seek the healing and spirituality surrounded by breathtaking giant red rock spires and formations.
Mii amo, which means “journey” in the Yuman language, offers a rich array of culturally infused treatments, and it’s the signature Inner Quest treatment that offers clients a spiritual journey.
The Spa at Sundance
Located at the base of Mount Timpanogos, the rustic luxury of Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort in Sundance, Utah, serves as a perfect year-round vacation spot, with its nearby skiing in the winter, and the rest of the year for guests to explore the 6,000 acres of surrounding wilderness.
It’s also the perfect setting for the Spa at Sundance, which bases its Native-themed spa on the four directions, winds and seasons. While they don’t have a Native director on staff, they don’t profess to be scholars on American Indian history either.
The Tulalip Resort Casino opened the 14,000-square-foot T Spa last October. A select few of Native-inspired treatments are in-depth, taking more than two hours to nurture the body. Amenities are cozy and luxurious. Massage rooms feature a double-sided fireplace, and both the men’s and women’s areas are equipped with eucalyptus steam rooms and cedar saunas.
Influenced by Coast Salish culture, the signature five-hour Canoe Puller package begins with a re-energizing body ritual, followed by a mud bath, deep tissue bolus massage, skin resonance vitamin infusion facial, Native Stone Ritual For Feet and lunch.
The Skaná Spa, located inside the Lodge hotel at the Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Resort in Verona, N.Y., may be one of the only spas on the East Coast offering Native-inspired treatments. What makes this spa unique is the opportunity for clients to participate in a sweatlodge ceremony. It was constructed by the Nation with the help of the Oglala and Lakota Sioux tribes, and framed out of red willow and draped with buffalo hides. Like a sauna or steam room, it cleanses the body, but is definitely a sacred ceremony, a place to pray and cleanse the soul.
Select spa treatments utilize ingredients used by Oneida healers. For instance, the White Pine Foot & Body therapist uses white pine as an analgesic to relieve the pain of sore muscles and joints, and mint for its soothing properties.
Located inside the plush La Posada De Santa Fe Resort & Spa in Santa Fe, N.M., the 5,000-square-foot Avanyu Spa offers Native- and Southwest-inspired treatments with delicious and inviting names.
The Spirit of Santa Fe is the signature treatment that takes clients on a journey with the four directions of the medicine wheel, including a blue cornmeal and tobacco scrub, ceremonial sage tea, cedar oil massage and a sweetgrass tea herbal wrap.