My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Finding My Balance At Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Spa

2011/02/17by Donna Hull

marana-ritz-carlton-dove-mountain-spa-lobby

Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain spa lobby

“I handle the digital PR for Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain,” said the email from Ritz-Carlton’s new social media representative. “Are you interested in a site visit for article research?” Are you kidding me? Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain is my favorite Tucson area destination resort. But I couldn’t be a dishonest baby boomer. The Marana luxury property had already hosted me and I’d written about it for My Itchy Travel Feet, as well as for the Uptake Lodging Blog.

What’s a boomer writer to do? Visit the spa instead. After a day of active travel experiences in the Tortollita Mountains, baby boomer adventurers will need a spa visit, right?

When I pulled my car under the porte cochère, the doorman opened the car door and said, “I bet your going to the spa.”

It must have been the black and silver Chico’s Zenergy jacket that I was wearing or the pink, Parazul handbag sitting in the passenger seat that gave me away…Shh, don’t tell Alan that I valet parked the Beamer. As a former teenage car attendant in West L.A., he’s not trusting when it comes to someone else parking our vehicles. If you’ve heard Alan’s stories, then you know why. But back to my story…

“I sure am,” I replied.

“Well, enjoy your time here. Stay a while and pamper yourself.”

The genuine friendly service is one of the qualities that sets Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain apart, in my baby boomer opinion.

I walked into the coolness of the spa’s large reception area, which is decorated with natural elements of stone, leather, copper and wood. A receptionist confirmed my appointment for the Embracing Your Elements Treatment, validated the parking ticket then handed me off to another spa employee. She fetched a pair of sturdy spa slippers — not the terry cloth kind — then offered an orientation tour before taking me back to the women’s locker area.

After keying in my personal code on the locker’s digital lock, I opened it to find my favorite type of spa bathrobe — microfiber on the outside with french terry lining. I jotted down the label name, Boca Terry, just in case there was an online source for ordering one to wear at home.

Leaving my notepad and pen in the locker — my reporting skills were not going to interfere with this premium spa experience – I strolled into the women’s quiet room. Settling onto a chaise with a glass of grapefruit water, I thumbed through a spa magazine.

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Sky Stone Suite

“Hi, I’m your spa therapist,” Michelle said, walking into the room to greet me with a firm handshake. Then, she led me to the outdoor courtyard where a door to the Sky Stone Suite provided access to spa treatment heaven. The suite included a seating area with a lit fireplace, two massage tables, hydro tub, large shower area and a private terrace with a duo chaise next to another lit fireplace. Candles flickered from their positions around the room.

Directing me to the seating area by the fireplace, Michelle proceeded to explain the Embracing Your Elements signature treatment. The day before I arrived, a representative from the Ritz-Carlton Spa called to ask my complete birth date for determining my element from a Chinese calendar.

“I’ll be using essential oils such as eucalyptus, hyssop and frankincense to strengthen your element. You are a metal,” Michelle told me. “In fact, you are a soft metal, like gold.”

Well that explains why Alan insists that I have a heart of gold.

“How are you feeling today?” Michelle asked. “Do you need more energy, calming down or balance?”

“I’m a travel blogger whose life is totally hectic. Give me balance,” I said.

After climbing up on the spa table, my treatment began with a skin brush application. Afterward, I soaked for 15 minutes in the hydro tub with customized-for-me aromatherapy bath salts. For 15 minutes, I gazed at the rock formations of the Tortollita Mountains, sipped cold water and cooled myself with wet washcloths that had been soaking in ice.

Michelle knocked softly on the door, stuck her head in and said, “It’s time for your massage.”

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The spa has a dedicated pool area for spa guests.

After situating myself back on the massage table, Michelle began with a Swedish massage, again using essential oils meant for my element, with a special focus on the feet and scalp area. She finished off the treatment by anointing my chakras with oil before applying a mask with essential relaxing oils across my décolleté. And, then, I simply relaxed. My 80 minutes of pure baby boomer bliss was almost over.

“If you have any questions about the treatment, please call,” Michelle said as she led me out of the Sky Stone Suite. (The next day Michelle called me to see how I was feeling from the spa experience, now that’s personal service.)

Before heading home, I lounged in the women’s quiet area again reveling in my new-found balance.

Shh, want to know another secret? I’m booking the Just For Us package for Alan’s birthday that includes a couples massage, rose petal bath followed by champagne and strawberries.

Have you visited Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain? Post a comment to share your experience. Alan’s birthday can’t come soon enough for me.

This travel experience was provided by Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain.

Photos courtesy Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain




A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of My Itchy Travel Feet: Breathtaking Adventure Vacation Ideas.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Vera Marie Badertscher February 20, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I love spa treatments, and particularly massages, but can’t get Ken to go near a masseuse. Even the lovely Thai ladies in an open air platform on the beach at Koh Samui did not entice him. Sigh!

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
February 20, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I understand your challenge. I’m working on this same issue with Alan.
These guys don’t know what they are missing!

Reply

The Roaming Boomers
Twitter:
February 22, 2011 at 12:21 am

Donna,

It look very, very nice. The Roaming Boomers have got to get down that way. Perhaps when we do, we can share dinner at the Ritz?

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
February 22, 2011 at 2:22 am

We’d love to meet you at RC-Dove Mountain. We’ll start out with a
glass of wine on the patio at Ignite while an Native American flautist
serenades us at sunset, then head on to CORE Kitchen and Wine Bar.
Chef Joel Harrington is a cool dude.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
February 25, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Sheryl, it was heavenly. I could use a spa treatment like that every
week!

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Marie, we’ve looked at the Residences at Dove Mountain, too. I’d love
to live behind the gates at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain.

Reply

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