May 28, 2010
Revive Spa at the JW Marriott puts the "Ah" in Spa-ah!
I love this spa. I'm partial to resort spa's where part of the experience is spending the day there enjoying the pools and whirlpools and steam room and sauna, etc, in addition to receiving wonderful treatments and the Revive does not disappoint!
As a Phoenix resident, I have been to this spa numerous times -- by myself (when I'm seeking serenity), with girlfriends (when we all "need" each other!), and with my hubby (nothing better than a stay-cation AND a couples' massage!) -- Each and every time I am greeted by a professional staff (and many have refreshingly even learned my name!) and received the best treatments money can buy in my opinion.
The Revive Spa is a separate building that is part of the sprawling JW Marriott Desert Ridge resort on the north side of Phoenix/Scottsdale. It matches the architecture of the hotel, yet is somewhat nondescript from the outside. Enter, and you are transported from the heat of the desert to the cool, in-floor, fountain in the center of the foyer, with a huge, frosted, sky-light in the rotunda. And, there is a faint whiff of eucalyptus announcing to my nose that it is "spa time"!
To the left of the foyer is the men's locker room, and to the right, is the women's locker room. One of the first things you'll notice about the women's locker room is the very wide hallways, the light, the light-colored wood lockers, and all the mirrors. This is one spacious locker-room! As you enter, an attendant will ask your shoe-size and escort you to an appropriate locker stocked with your size spa slippers. Also inside your locker is a plush, dusty blue robe. Ahhh.... Very nice. There are 2 styles -- one has a terry cloth type lining and the other is a lighter weight smooth lining -- I prefer the terry in the winter and the lighter weight in the summer -- but both are VERY nice! If you're modest, the locker room does have 2 very large, private changing rooms. There is also a large vanity area with seating for at least 4, stocked with hair-dryers, combs, brushes, hair spray, hair gel, q-tips, tissues, deodorant, and more. Near the showers there are razors and shave lotion and other personal care items you may have forgot or forgotten you need or left in your room or just have chosen to not carry with you... The steam room is huge and very steamy; the sauna is large and dry -- although there is a bucket of water and ladle in there, if you choose to make it a little moist; and there is an indoor whirlpool -- which is where I like to go after a deep-tissue massage to enhance the therapeutic benefits.
The treatment rooms are located upstairs (elevator available). At the top of the stairs are a couple of lounges and chairs and the tea and water station as well as a restroom. To the left is the "quiet room" where there is a gas fire-place (wonderful ambiance in the winter!) and the most comfy lounge chairs EVER! You will hear women exclaim that they want one for their own home at least once a visit! They're cushy and soft and supportive -- at the same time -- and covered in a fuzzy, slightly nubby, terry cloth like fabric in sage green. The entire decor is in shades of sage green with accents in golden tones and black and white. Very relaxing, yet just a bit contemporary. You'll be waiting here, before they call you for your treatment, and you'll want to lounge here, afterwards, too.
Now, on to the treatment rooms and treatments. The Revive spa has something like 41 treatment rooms. This place is really huge. The massage rooms are done in greens and dark wood. Very calming. All the lighting is on dimmers and the massage tables are heated -- speak to your therapist and he/she can adjust everything to your desired comfort level. I have personally experienced the following massages, here: Revive (Swedish), Therapeutic (deep tissue), Hot Stone, Aromatherapy, Turquoise, and Couples. I have always requested a male therapist (and now have my favorite), and have always had a first-class, professional experience. A brief discussion at the beginning to discuss "why" I'm there -- relax, work sore muscles, zone-out -- and any injuries/illnesses the therapist should know about and 50 minutes later, I leave feeling like a million bucks. The therapists are all highly skilled and there is no one I would not recommend! One of these days, I want to try the "Desert Ridge" signature treatment which starts with a special foot treatment, in addition to the massage! Couples' massages are given in the specially designed "couples' suites" where you lay on separate massage tables, side by side. My hubby and I really enjoy this experience.
I have indulged in several body treatments -- which take place in the special "wet" rooms with their self-contained showers and tile floors. After any of the body treatments, my skin is always SO soft and I smell SO good! Good thing there is a retail store attached to the spa!
While my favorite spa treatment is a massage, I also get a facial about once every other visit. The facial rooms are like the massage rooms with more "stuff" like steamers, etc, in the room. I love the green tea and cucumber facial in the heat of summer -- it's cooling and moisturizing and NOT heavy! Every time I get a facial there, the esthetician looks at my skin and "customizes" what she chooses to use based on the condition of my skin -- rather than just slathering on whatever. This personalization is why I keep coming back.
Also on the upper level is a full service salon. While pricey, I have had some of the best manicures and pedicures I have ever had, here. And really, to think you can use ALL the amenities of the spa with any 50-min treatment -- well, then it's a bargain! If you want to spend the day at the spa, but don't want to spend the $$ for a massage, get a pedicure! It's less expensive and you still get to use EVERYTHING! Throw some fruit or other snacks in your tote bag and you can still be treated like a princess -- even on a budget!
For those of you that don't pack a snack, straight ahead off the lobby is the Spa Bistro. Good food -- lots of choices from traditional, low-calorie "spa" cuisine, to a big, juicy hamburger -- with a full bar. Albeit the menu prices will seem high -- but, once you're in your robe and slippers, where else are you going to go? I can recommend everything on the menu -- except anything with shrimp or crab or lobster as I'm allergic and have not tasted myself. Only once was I disappointed when I was expecting sweet potato fries on the side and my sandwich showed up with regular French fries. Apparently, they had run out of sweet potatoes -- but I would have liked to have known that before I ordered. Beyond the Bistro, straight out, past the glass wall -- which is sometimes opened for events -- is the pool, whirlpool, lounge chairs, and cabanas. The pool is a salt-water pool and is heated to a comfortable temperature, year-round. The whirlpool is nice and big and I never feel like I have to play footsie with other guests to claim my space, there. I have never indulged in a cabana rental -- always finding a lounge chair in the shade or moving one to the shade! The pool is surrounded by rows of palm trees and the whole feeling is somewhat tropical as there is no "cactus" or other southwest kitsch to remind you you're in the desert (well, except for the heat in the summer!) I have ALWAYS snagged a lounge chair; however, I have never been to the spa on a big holiday or during spring training (high season, here).
Back to the foyer... To the left is workout room, with plenty of floor space for yoga and Pilates, and lots of equipment for any fitness enthusiast. I, personally, don't come to the spa to work out, but it's nice to know it’s there if the urge were to strike.
Overall, this spa is spacious, open, and relaxing. Its luxury is understated and comfortable. The people are all wonderful -- EXPERIENCED, friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.
Lastly, if you need something or want something done differently -- speak up! Sure, it would be wonderful if people could read our minds without us having to ask -- but that's not a realistic expectation. From hot tea (in the summer) to an iced wash-cloth (in the winter) every employee has gladly gone the extra distance and taken care of my every request when I have asked.
The hotel has room/spa packages that make for an excellent "spa-cation" or "stay-cation" for you and a girlfriend or boyfriend or hubby, or even Mom!
Did I mention? I love this place! ;)