Take Health To The Next Level

By Roberta Sousa | Photography by Lisa Diederich Photography

Gorgeous. That’s the word that pops into my head as soon as I walk onto the property of CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa, located in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Soothing and relaxing, it’s a wonderful way to rejuvenate away from the chilly winds of New York.

CIVANA debuted in March 2018, as the first sustainable wellness resort to open in the Phoenix area of Carefree. It has done well: it was named as one of USA Today’s 10 Best Spas by its readers for being the best wellness retreat. Its unique approach to wellness is simple. Guests are encouraged to challenge themselves and to uncover their potential via four pillars: Movement, Spa, Nourishment, and Discovery. Each embodies an ethos of wellness through oneness: the sustainable interconnection of the individual, community, and natural environment.

Deliberately less structured than other destination wellness resorts, CIVANA offers each guest the flexibility to create the kind of experience that best suits them. Whether you’re a serious yogini who knows about every chakra or just curious about the world of wellness, CIVANA has something for you.

Guests can choose from an extensive array of (complimentary) wellness-driven activities offered daily: guided hikes, tennis, pickle ball, access to nearby golf courses, indoor group cycle, and aerial yoga, to more esoteric options like sound bath sessions, intention burning, and introduction to crystals.

There are Nourishment Workshops including Juicing 101, Shake and Stir Cocktail Classes, and meal planning which CIVANA knows something about. The resort has two healthful dining venues serving farm-to-table culinary creations. Terras, the resort’s signature restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner offers locally sourced produce, grass-fed meats, sustainable seafood and decadent desserts. Café Meto offers energy-boosting breakfast and lunch items with several gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian, vegan, anti-inflammatory, and gut-friendly choices.

But the piece de resistance is its 22,000 square foot spa, which opened in December 2018. The spa focuses on the theme of healing through water and features 23 treatment areas, including one Watsu® therapy pool, two couple’s treatment rooms, three wet treatment rooms, five facial rooms, and 14 massage rooms. In the center of the spa is the Silent Sanctuary—a hydrotherapy circuit designed to help you focus on inner peace and outer balance.

It is also home to the so-called Aqua Vitality Circuit, a communal area of hydrotherapy immersions that includes a European-designed hot/cold wading pool, a therapeutic soaking pool, and a cold deluge shower. This thermal experience, which takes about 30 minutes to complete, will help loosen your muscles and promote relaxation. There is an order to it: First, you take a shower. Next, take a warm soak in the vitality pool, followed by wading throughout the hot and cold walking pool. Pause in the dry Sanarium to balance yourself and find inspiration in the bracing cold deluge shower. You can then do it again, or simply chill in one of their lounges—tough choice.

For more information on CIVANA, visit