It’s World Mental Health Day and you should be at Andaz Scottsdale Resort And Bungalows

Travel has always been my favorite way to take care of myself. In fact, the only reason I’m able to write articulate about World Mental Health Day today is because my husband and I have just returned from three days of rejuvenation in the well sequel. -being of Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows in Arizona. I want to tell you why it was so important and why you should consider going there on your own, especially if you really need a break.

It has obviously been an exhausting and difficult year and a half for everyone. Although we have made a few short trips this summer, the trips have become exhausting and difficult these days due to flight delays, cancellations and restrictions.

So even though we wanted a change of scenery, we knew it had to be an easy place. A place where we could settle in, relax and be pampered, but also find something to do if you feel like it.

We loved that Hyatt was focused on wellness – after all, they had acquired our beloved Miraval, whom we already booked for a family wellness vacation – so we started looking for Hyatt properties in Arizona which is an easy trip for us and a place we have always been to enjoy the spa, the art, and the food.

When we stumbled upon Andaz we couldn’t believe we had never been there before. With 185 bungalows and suites spread across 23 acres next to Camelback Mountain, this looked like exactly what we needed.

We knew we were right as soon as we walked into the guesthouse, the beautiful reception area filled with local art, and we were greeted with prickly pear lemonade and dusted cookies.

The Well-being Suite

When we opened the door to 23E, the Wellness Suite – ideally located near the Turquoise Pool and the Guest House – we immediately felt at home. With its mid-century modern aesthetic, king bedroom, spacious living room (which includes a queen-size sofa bed), two full bathrooms, and two personal outdoor decks, it was so comfortable we were sorry. not to have booked more than two nights.

My husband was pleasantly surprised to see the two Atlantic Coast Cruiser bikes for our personal use and the Tonal Home Gym on the bedroom wall. He had always wanted to try it, and after using it in shocking amounts considering how short we were there, it climbed to the top of his holiday wish list. There were even hand weights he could use with.

There was also a diffuser in the room with a selection of essential oils to set the mood for a wellness stay.

Our shoulders relaxed and I’m sure our blood pressure fell into a healthier range.

Activities

While it was tempting to just spend the day in this beautiful suite, we were already in a better frame of mind and ready to experience some of the resort’s dedicated wellness and create and nurture activities. Some of them are free, some are paid, all are limited to a few people. You are given a schedule upon arrival so you can sign up for anything that interests you.

Here are the ones we did over the three days:

. Sound healing. As four of us lay on rugs with our eyes closed, a master sound practitioner “played” alchemy crystal singing bowls, releasing transporting and transforming vibrational energy. It was a wonderful and surprising experience.

. sweet escape. We baked chocolate chip cookies with the pastry chef and it was fascinating to hear that Andaz used to present cookie decorating as a feel-good experience, but the guests were so focused on perfection that instead of finding it relaxing, many of them actually felt bad about themselves. . I can totally relate to that and can honestly say I felt great after that fun hour. It was liberating to dip our hands in the dough and the cookies were so good we polished them in our suite that night.

. Birds of prey. During breakfast, a nearby Liberty Wildlife volunteer introduces guests to one of their avian residents. We met a peregrine falcon, the fastest animal in the world (yes, faster than a cheetah!), And an owl. Animals are so good for the soul and it really made us consider taking back a dog.

The art of Andaz

Andaz has partnerships with Cattle Track Arts & Preservation and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and this foundation in art is at the heart of the resort’s wellness initiative.

Although we were supposed to do the regular Cattle Track tour, we ended up being driven by the resort car and had the most amazing and rewarding afternoon getting to know the artists. We spent hours chatting with the extraordinary Mark McDowell, who runs the resort and has led a life that deserves a movie. He made us feel like family and we hope to return soon. We’re still deciding what pieces we want from textile artist Chance Phillips, whose felt balls add so much warmth to Andaz’s spaces, and ceramicist Mary Van Dusen, whose gorgeous tea pieces have caught my eye. attention in the spa.

We also had the resort car drop us off in the old town so that we could explore the galleries. We practically moved into Altamira Fine Art once Diana Gruenig introduced us to Helen, the cheerful subject of what will ultimately be dozens of Robert Townsend’s larger-than-life paintings of a larger-than-life housewife than he. discovered through random slides he bought on eBay. Diana shared some amazing stories and sent us the link to a documentary, My muse from Indiana, which we watched in our suite and which made us even more obsessed with Helen. We would like it to adorn one of our walls at home.

Because your room key will give you free access to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, we took a quick tour, where we especially enjoyed the Mimi O Chun show. It’s a piece of cake exhibition and Meet cute video in Becoming Forever: The Young Artists of Phoenix.

One of our main lessons from our mini-getaway is that art – and being surrounded by beauty – is such an important part of wellness and does wonders for your mental health.

Spa Palo Verde

For me, nothing equals stress reduction like SPA. The Palo Verde Spa in Andaz is intimate and charming, with its own swimming pool and a comfortable relaxation room suitable for a night’s sleep.

I opted for the Soul Essence massage, which started with the creation of a personalized scent at the apothecary’s bar. Using the aromatherapy app to answer a few questions about my intention for the day, my massage therapist mixed a scent using oils like lemon and clary to delight me and relax my over-tense muscles. There really is nothing more restorative than a good massage.

Dining in Andaz

We ate all of our meals at the resort as the food was excellent and we wanted to try as much as possible. Breakfast is cage-free eggs served traditionally or with local flavor via chilaquiles verde and dirty hash. Lunch, served by the Turquoise Pool, features excellent bites like Baja Shrimp Ceviche and Carne Asada Fries accompanied by an eclectic drink menu.

We had dinner in our suite one evening – delicious burgers, salads and a chocolate addict’s dream dessert, Sonora Soil (dark chocolate ganache, cookies and cream mousse, dark chocolate cake). The next night we ate at Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen, where we feasted on simple fish and pasta – and just plain delicious while listening to Mark McDowell’s band play live music on the patio.

This is the stuff of self-care.

Because our few days away was so good for our sanity, we vowed to make Andaz a regular escape. I suggest you do that too.


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