The luxurious Southwest: Rest, recenter, and recharge in the desert
Secondary Categories: California
Let SA Expeditions reveal the healing energies of the primeval desert on a luxurious, bespoke pamper tour that takes in the finest landscapes, spas, and wellness lodgings in America’s Southwest.
Most folks think of the desert as a harsh, arid landscape of searing afternoon heat and bitterly cold nights. The thorns of cacti and the rattle of a diamondback rattlesnake evoke an unforgiving land where humans must endure to survive. However, there is another side to the desert of the American Southwest: one that can leave you feeling pampered and refreshed rather than sunburnt and dehydrated.
The Southwest can be a place of great renewal, a rejuvenating oasis where the beauty of the red rocks and the healing energy of the ancient desert can leave you feeling reborn, and ready to return to your life with rekindled energy and focus. Let us indulge your curiosity with a journey through the luxurious and relaxing experiences on offer in SA Expeditions’ Southwest itineraries.
Sedona: Red rocks, swirling vortexes, and high luxury
With over 300 miles of trails meandering through the red rocks of the nearby valleys, Sedona has long been known as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. What you may not know is that the town also has a fabled history as a place of reflection and meditation due to the recentering energy which flows from several vortexes (or vortices, if you’re into obscure Latin plural forms) scattered around town. The vortexes are said to be places of healing and enlightening energy, where you can find balance and connection to the earth, the ancestors, and yourself. It’s common to find people at the most popular vortex locations meditating, doing yoga, or participating in small ceremonies.
Whether or not swirling vortex energy is your thing, Sedona’s reputation as a spiritual healing center has led to the development of several high-end resorts and spas, many specializing in retreat experiences meant to immerse visitors in the natural beauty of the red rocks while resting and enjoying the finer aspects of luxury in barely believable settings.
One resort in particular has mastered the art of the desert meditation retreat: The Enchantment, a sprawling property tucked into the majestic Boynton Canyon (known to be one of Sedona’s most potent vortexes), offers custom tailored retreats designed to reconnect visitors to the natural world and to themselves. Drawing extensively on local Native American traditions (with the help of indigenous staff members who design the experiences), the activities at the Enchantment and its connected sister property Mii Amo are structured to incorporate the canyon’s natural surroundings. The Enchantment makes use of local flora and ingenious architecture to integrate serene views, naturally flowing water, and even the path of the sun and moon to create a holistic and engrossing experience grounded in the history and natural beaty of this stunning location. The resort also features fine seasonal cuisine in its many on-site restaurants. With unparalleled access to guided hiking, mountain biking, and vehicle tours of the canyon (and the option of following these up with craft cocktails by the outdoor fire pit), the Enchantment really does offer something for every kind of soul-searcher.
There are many ways to connect to the natural splendor of Sedona without breaking a sweat or busting out the SPF 50. Jeep tours of the surrounding hills will get you up close and personal with red rock canyon walls and mesas, and helicopter flyovers from the nearby airport (also a vortex) allow you to get a bird’s eye view of Sedona’s best landscapes. Our dedicated Destination Experts will help you craft the perfect Sedona experience, whether that means journeying into the hills to explore with one of our expert guides or journeying inward for an altogether different kind of exploration. If desert luxury is calling you, Sedona has the answer.
Page and Lake Powell: Slot canyons on the water by day; lap of luxury by night
About three hours north of Sedona you’ll find Page, a town originally constructed for the builders of the Glen Canyon Dam that has since attracted a steady stream of visitors with its incredible views of Lake Powell, miles of red buttes and mesas, and a stunning collection of slot canyons. Page is surrounded by more than 40 national parks, monuments, recreation areas, and cultural heritage sites on the Colorado Plateau. It’s home to Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, two of the most photographed attractions of the Southwest. Here, the water, sand, and sky meet among striking red rock canyons, and adventure beckons around every corner.
While this outdoor paradise has attracted photographers and outdoor enthusiasts for years, you’ll be interested to discover that the region is also home to one of the most isolated, exclusive, and luxurious resorts in the Southwest. Located in Canyon Point Utah, just 20 minutes outside of Page, the Amangiri boasts 600 acres of isolated desert wilderness, making it a sanctuary for those looking for peace and relaxation. The property is remarkable, even among the natural splendor that surrounds it. As they tell it:
In the last remnant of the truly wild West, this ‘mountain of peace’ is cradled by the greatest concentration of national parks in the United States – a staggering landscape of canyons, mesas, mountains, gorges, rapids and desert, with traces of human life dating back more than 10,000 years.
The resort offers its guests personalized adventures and cultural activities, including privileged access to the surrounding monuments and a suite of indigenous-guided tours to ancestral tribal lands. It offers a range of luxury accommodations from on-site suites to family homes, and even features a no-stone-unturned safari camp for those who want to luxuriate closer to nature. In fact, just about everything at the Amangiri aims to get you in touch with your natural surroundings. There’s a fine dining restaurant offering seasonal cuisine with views of the surrounding canyon walls, an outdoor desert lounge for afternoon cocktails, and an exclusive private dining experience among sandstone walls under the stars. If you want your desert escape to include a healthy dose of culture and class, the Amangiri may be your new favorite hideaway.
While the Amangiri is a unique slice of high luxury, SA Expeditions also offers an array of comfortable, conveniently located properties perfect for those who want to explore more of what Page has to offer. But with so many attractions within range, it can be hard to decide how to make the best use of your time. While the beauty of the nearby Navajo and Antelope Canyons speak for themselves, there are several lesser known attractions that may be worth a visit, especially during the summer months when the ‘big name’ locations can get rather crowded. Just a short drive down the highway you’ll find the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument and Marble Canyon, where the mighty Colorado emerges from the Glen Canyon Dam on Lake Powell to begin carving its way toward the Grand Canyon. Here, the Colorado takes a moment to reflect (literally, as you see in the video below), moving slowly through a stunning narrow red rock canyon which makes for excellent boating, fishing, or even kayaking. Just don’t forget to leave some time at the end of your day for a relaxing massage or spa treatment back at your resort.
See the desert in style
Whether you see yourself soaring over red rock canyons in a helicopter tour, cruising through slot canyons on a private boat, or spending a relaxing day on the lake, SA Expeditions is on-hand to curate your most revitalizing break yet.If your heart is calling for a spiritual recentering meditation retreat, or your body is calling for a luxury spa package, the Southwest is the perfect place to rejuvenate and renew. Peruse our popular 6-day Sedona and Grand Canyon tour or contact one of our Destination Experts to hand-craft your perfect desert experience.