One thing I’ve noticed about industry-related news coming out of Arizona is that much of it centers on wellness, which is a big bonus for groups seeking to craft mindful meetings. I’m especially excited about the reopening of a longtime hot springs resort that has been off the radar for 32 years.
Castle Hot Springs, located northwest of the Phoenix metropolitan area in Morristown, was Arizona's first luxury resort in 1896 and is returning to the scene in October after three decades of being closed after a fire at the main lodge. The Castle Hot Springs area first was a medicinal healing habitat for the Yavapai and Apache Indians for centuries before becoming a resort getaway for wealthy tourists. A local partnership with multi-generational roots in Arizona purchased the property in 2014 and began restoring and rebuilding the property, which will feature 32 luxury accommodations (including Spring Cottages), an organic farm to grow more than 150 varieties of rare fruits and vegetables for the restaurant and bar, and gathering space for groups. The hot springs are fed from a 10,000-foot underground cistern that produces more than 300,000 gallons of 120-degree mineral water per day.
CIVANA Carefree made its debut earlier this year as the first sustainable wellness resort in the greater Phoenix area at the location formerly known as the Carefree Resort and Conference Center, located on more than 20 acres adjacent to Scottsdale. The property has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation and features 23,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space; 184 guest rooms and suites (plus five villas); two dining outlets; two pools; tennis and pickleball courts; and fitness, yoga and enrichment studios. A 22,000-square-foot spa will be introduced in the fall. The renovation incorporated a natural design palette and materials and improved energy efficiency, including integrating solar energy into the new spa building. Complimentary features that attendees can enjoy outside of meeting time are bicycles that are available for four hours and daily movement and enrichment classes.
Denver-based Two Roads Hospitality has assumed management of L'Auberge de Sedona and Orchards Inn in Sedona, Arizona. L’Auberge de Sedona features 4,480 square feet of event space in addition to several outdoor venues, 62 luxury cottages, 21 traditional lodge-style guest rooms and the five-bedroom Creekhouse. Along with new furniture and design elements in many of the guest rooms, there are two renovated creekside culinary concepts, Cress on Oak Street and Etch Kitchen + Bar, and an artist-in-residence program.
The neighboring Orchards Inn is a family-friendly property with guest rooms featuring in-room gas fireplaces, kitchenettes and balconies with panoramic views of the Sedona Red Rocks and Snoopy Rock. Groups can use the on-site restaurant for gatherings as well as the space at L'Auberge de Sedona
Kimpton Amara Resort and Spa in Sedona has a new lineup of health-focused team-building and breakout sessions for groups of 10 to 120 that spotlight relaxation, meditation and clean eating. Examples of these add-options include experiencing the world-famous Sedona spirituality with guided meditation breaks in meeting rooms along with chair massages and yoga classes. On the food and beverage side, a completely customizable plant-based menu is available along with gem water breaks, where pitchers of water are infused with gems that focus on every element, from fostering tranquility and opening the heart chakra to achieving the perfect life balance.