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Soothing Spa Sanctuary in Phoenix

Welcome to the Aji Spa, Wild Horse Pass Resort

It's no secret that I love a visit to the spa almost as much as I love breathing. Sometimes both are necessary for survival. A visit to the Aji Spa in Phoenix reminded me of that truth - a spa visit can set the world right again.

lunch at the Aiji Spalunch at the Aji SpaAfter a long and bumpy plane ride to Arizona from Toronto, hunting down our rental car and getting lost no less than 3 times on our way to the resort, I was ready to be noodle-fied. Trouble was, we were late for our lunch and almost late for the spa. I hadn't eaten since before dawn and knew food trumped the spa treatment - a hard choice to be sure. A call to the spa manager while en route and the schedule was moved around, allowing us to begin our introduction to Aji on a sunny patio overlooking the pool and gardens - food and drinks appearing automagically before us.

Authentic Native American spa services

The Aji spa is firmly rooted within the Gila River Indian Community, its décor reflecting the rich history of the Pima and Maricopa tribes who've called this land home for more than 2,300 years. Aji, means "Sanctuary" in the Pima language and takes its name from the nearby Aji Mountain located on the Gila River. In times of war, women and children took sanctuary in the mountain, which is still considered one of the community's most sacred treasures.

Aji Spa's native american influenceAji Spa's native american influenceStepping from the unforgiving sun of Phoenix into Aji's cool tiled floor lobby with subtle, soothing décor, I felt as if I'd found a modern sanctuary of my own. We checked in and retreated to the outdoor patio surrounding soaking pools. Shaded from the glaring sun with birds and insects as our soundtrack, we enjoyed a delish lunch of veggie wraps, Gila River flat bread dressed with peppers, Mexican cheeses and chipotle aioli - and margaritas.

Across the pool sat a meditation tent or roundhouse (called a Olas ki in the Pima language) in full sun. While it wasn't open during my visit, guided meditation is available during the cooler winter months. This is one of the many reasons I need to visit again...

Women's only area at the Aji spaWomen's only area at the Aji spaAfter lunch, my own personal spa guide escorted me to the women's locker room and private areas that include an outdoor Jacuzzi and Watsu pool. Because these areas are women only, bathing suits are optional. If you go, I highly recommend soaking in the Watsu pool for as long as possible (in the au naturel) - it will be time well spent.

The perfect spa service - does it exist?

Choosing a treatment at any spa can be overwhelming - especially when descriptions employ words from another language and involve philosophies foreign to you. Before getting frazzled, think first about what's challenging you currently. Are you struggling with a sore back or do you feel as though your skin is drab and in need of some TLC? Once you know what you need most, call the spa and talk to a professional who can guide you through the menu.

Oooh, the Aji spa!Oooh, the Aji spa!The spa concierge at Aji walked me through my options and explained (in plain English) the benefits of each. With her help, I narrowed my focus to a facial and chose the Ultimate Infusion because it promised the benefits of a traditional facial but added in an anti-aging bonus. During the treatment, my therapist explained that I'd enjoy a smoother, glowing completion for 2-4 days. In the middle of a demanding travel schedule with far too much airplane air sucking moisture from my skin, this sounded perfect to me.

I'm happy to report that not only did I notice a change in my skin, so did those around me. I was visiting Phoenix for a business convention with colleagues I hadn't seen in a few months. I can't even begin to explain how wonderful it felt to hear them use words like glowing, refreshed and vibrant when they saw me for the first time.

If you visit the Aji spa but don't plan to stay at the resort, reserve as much time as possible to lounge by the pools or enjoy the private women (or men's) area. Like most destination spas, simply enjoying your treatment and leaving right away shortchanges you of the full experience. The Aji spa is for you if you're looking for:

  • The Aji Spa poolsideThe Aji Spa poolsideA memorable girlfriend getaway - so many great areas to hang out and giggle without being hushed.
  • Some quiet time with your lover before and after your treatment - lounges surround the pool are far enough away from the café to be cozy.
  • A sanctuary to repair and refresh your mind, body and soul

If your curiosity's peaked, check out their reviews on TripAdvisor or connect with them on Facebook or Twitter. When you're ready to book your appointment, reach out the Aji Spa online or call them: 602-385-5759.

Have you been to the Aji Spa or the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa? I'd love hear what you love about them! Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook - and let's continue the conversation!

To comply with the long list of regulating bodies, possibly even Geneva Conventions and in the interest of transparency, my visit to the Aji Spa at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort was hosted. Commentary and perspectives are those of GoGirlfriend's happily glowing Chief Girlfriend.

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