Carefree, Arizona

My only trip to Arizona was to do a getaway with my best friend. We both wanted to do a wellness resort for an active and relaxing trip to recharge. We found Civana.

Civana Wellness Resort

Located in the Sonoran Desert just outside of Scottsdale. I found Civana while researching yoga retreats in late 2019. They were fairly new, a start-up health destination. Ellen Degeneres featured them on her show which gave them a nice head start. The price point was really good compared to most wellness resorts, particularly in this desirable area.

The property was a renovation of an older hotel but they did a really nice job. It was minimalist and fit into the surrounding desert landscape…not a high-rise sprawling property. The rooms were fantastic – very spacious, huge bathroom with soaking tub, sliders to a balcony with great views of the mountains. Their lavender bath fizz was divine.

The property has a large recreational pool and 2 restaurants – one for casual breakfast and lunch dining that offers coffees, teas, smoothies and juices and a more formal restaurant serving lunch or dinner. There is a nice bar area. In both spots the food was exceptional. Healthy, unique, delicious and appropriately portioned. The prices were reasonable for what you got. (Hint: Happy Hour in the bar is a great deal – at the time we went they offered a bottle of wine and a charcuterie board for $20!)

The idea at Civana is that you can do as much or as little as you want. The classes and hikes are all included in the price. You do have to attend sign-ups each day but we were able to do everything we wanted during our stay.

We did ballet barre classes, wall yoga and aerial yoga. The aerial yoga teacher was incredible. I believe she used to work with Cirque du Soleil. We did several hikes which were very easy but good exercise. They offered mountain biking but they seemed to want you to be “experienced” due to the difficulty so we didn’t do that. We participated in a medicine garden walk which was really interesting. I learned about steeping fresh oregano to fight off an impending cold. I also paid extra to take advantage of some more spiritual sessions with card readings and spirit guides. I don’t see it on the website anymore but if that kind of thing interests you, I’d ask.

The spa is a separate area of the property with another outdoor pool and an indoor water therapy circuit. I felt the website made the circuit sound like more than it was, but it was still really nice and we took full advantage. I had several spa services that were above and beyond the standard facial and massage and they were fantastic – reasonably priced considering the quality of the service. The spa area was definitely something I’d splurge for if you stay here. The spa has a wonderful gift shop with all kinds of nice things to buy.

We walked into the main town one afternoon and browsed the shops and restaurants. Had a simple was nice to see the desert architecture in the neighborhoods we passed through.

We ventured out one night by Uber to grab some traditional Mexican since we were in the desert and it did not disappoint – El Encanto had a great vibe, tons of indoor and outdoor seating and, most importantly, prompt service, large margaritas and excellent food.

Click here for my review of El Encanto on TripAdvisor

We hope to return here annually for New Year’s break. It was the perfect girl’s getaway, something for everyone, affordable and an oasis in the desert. I talked about them non-stop when I got back home a some other friends have since gone. They also had a great experience.

My BFF Kim at the pinnacle of an aggressive hike.
Click to link to Civana’s website
The property at Civana Wellness Resort
Aerial yoga
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