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An Escape to Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

My name is: LaRae Verros.

I'm known for being: spa director at Sanctuary Spa at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa.

It’s been open since: 2002.

I was drawn to this destination because: There’s something to be said for Sanctuary, for Camelback Mountain and for the people who work here. The energy is peaceful and calming, and our boutique size allows us to deliver a very special guest experience. Everything we do here is unique—from our treatment menu to the personalized service we deliver. Sanctuary is a great place to be.

This place is special because: At Sanctuary Spa, we seek to provide the ultimate wellness experience. And, just in time for spring, we unveiled a top-to-bottom spa refresh and expansion for our guests and spa members. The women’s spa has been expanded to 13,200 square feet and features a brand new quiet room and a steam room that’s twice the size of the original. The transition from the foyer to the locker room has been reconfigured for privacy, and seating in the lounge has been expanded. The showers and the jacuzzi have been revamped, as well. The men’s spa kept its original footprint with all new finishes and furnishings. The other facilities—including the lounge, locker room, waiting area and jacuzzi—have been refurbished with new floor-to-ceiling windows, textured walls, furnishings and a new palette.

When it comes to well-being, we’re all about: Sanctuary Spa is truly a world onto itself. It’s a place where guests can focus on complete renewal of the body, mind and spirit with the help of an expertly trained staff. Asian-inspired treatments, including an exotic collection of facials and massages, are designed to empower guests with physical and spiritual renewal. Some of our standout services include Watsu Massge, Satori Wellness Retreats and Luk Pra Kope— meaning “to massage with medicinal herbs.”        

One thing you can’t miss is: The most striking addition to Sanctuary Spa following the renovation is the women’s quiet room, a windowless, cocoon-like space that offers spa-goers a tranquil alternative to the more social environment of the women’s lounge. Its design, too, is a departure from the rest of the spa— intimate and insular with an emphasis on curves. The centerpiece of the room hangs from the 11-foot ceiling: a one-of-a-kind light fixture crafted from paper and wood by artist William Leslie and titled, “Wave after Wave.” 

Your body will thank you because: Highly specialized services at Sanctuary Spa are reserved for Sensei therapists, a team of specially trained staff who take a multi-dimensional approach to body work. Each Sensei must pass rigorous certification, including oncology massage and restorative consultations, and brings with them no less than ten years of experience. Spa-goers should feel confident and at ease with Sanctuary Spa’s therapists.

Another program that’s unique to Sanctuary Spa is our Satori Wellness Retreat. Satori helps guests find balance, tranquility and rejuvenation, while designing a lifestyle approach that guests can implement at home. Satori Wellness is the Phoenix area’s first destination spa program designed to help guests achieve a more centered lifestyle.

While you’re in the neighborhood, you must try: Three of Sanctuary Spa’s newest yoga offerings. These include stand up paddle board yoga in our infinity pool; aerial yoga (a combination of traditional yoga poses practiced using a trapeze or sling); and yoga nidra (a guided sleep-based meditation technique that is done lying down). This powerful practice can slow down the mind’s thinking process and, therefore, release stress and toxins from the body naturally.

Escaping is part of my process because: It helps me to reset and recharge. I escape reality for a short while through hiking, spa services at Sanctuary Spa and any time I get to spend with my son.