Say Hello To Sedona’s Top Wellness Destination
I inhaled the heady scent of palo santo as the practitioner covered my eyes with a cloth. I couldn’t tell where she was in the room, but I felt warmth moving up my left leg. Suddenly, with my eyes closed, I still saw color: bright yellow in my core and, a short while later, a flash of green near my heart. I was well into Energy Clearing, a popular treatment at Mii amo (from $1,400 per night) where a therapist cleanses your aura through rituals and bodywork. The destination spa in Sedona is beloved by celebrities (Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan) and anyone seeking inner peace and enlightenment. As part of the treatment, I also wrote down two negative words that were no longer serving me and two positive ones I wanted to invite into my life.
“You had a blockage in your solar plexus chakra and your heart chakra,” my practitioner told me after the treatment. I had come to Mii amo with the goal of manifesting life changes. Perhaps this was the first step.
A decade ago when I first visited, I would have considered myself a skeptic when it came to anything woo-woo wellness, but a visit to Sedona, a hub for New Age thinking since the ’70s, made me a believer. After my four-night Mii amo retreat, I felt a lightness in my soul I hadn’t felt in years. This time, my second visit, I was here to go deeper and see the results of a $40 million dollar expansion and renovation unveiled in 2023.
“The biggest challenge of this project was to keep the heart of Mii amo, while making it even better than it was before,” the resort’s lead architect, Dana Tang, told me.
I was pleasantly surprised to see many things unchanged; the exterior walls were the same shade of burnt orange; the Crystal Grotto, a domed space with an aperture at the apex and an earthen floor used for meditation, had been lightly refreshed; the pool deck still had stunning views of horseshoe-shaped Boynton Canyon.
A new member of Relais & Châteaux, the resort has a new signature restaurant, Hummingbird, serving locally grown and foraged ingredients, a new Movement and Fitness wing, renovated guest rooms with fireplaces, and dedicated spaces for Journey guests who have booked three-, four-, seven- or new 10-night all-inclusive packages.
Sitting in the new Relaxation Lounge with its curved wooden ceiling and 11-foot-high floor-to-ceiling glass instantly puts guests in an inspired frame of mind, with views of the canyon’s red sandstone walls — the result of high concentrations of iron and quartz — and the tall Kachina Woman spire, a sacred site of the Hopi Nation that looms large during any Mii amo stay.
People believe the ground in Boynton Canyon, where Mii amo is located, emits a higher vibration and frequency of energy, which is why it is considered one of Sedona’s major vortex meditation sites — defined as enhanced energy locations that facilitate mind and body healing. The other major vortexes in Sedona are Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Airport Mesa, and all are accessible by hiking and mountain biking trails.
Even if you don’t believe in all of that, it’s hard not to see the healing power of Sedona’s topography. The protected Coconino National Forest surrounds the isolated desert town of only 10,000 people, where red rocks contrast with twisted juniper trees. An international Dark Sky City, it’s a place where you can see the Milky Way at night.
“There are a lot of things that happen in the desert we can’t explain … supernatural things,” my driver told me on the way into town one afternoon. In Sedona, even taxi drivers are mystics.
On the main drag in Uptown, I popped in and out of shops offering aura readings and selling crystals in all shapes and sizes, from healing midnight fluorite, the same deep blue hue as the night sky, to pricey clusters of iridescent golden lemurian quartz that is supposed to magnify the flow of prana (life force) through the body.
I was drawn to a small chrysoprase stone, turquoise with brownish gold veins. Known for manifesting joy and optimism, it has been called one of the best antidepressants in the crystal world.
During my wellness visit, I did reiki healing, an intentional aromatherapy massage and hypnosis. On my last morning, I hiked up to Kachina Woman. While vortexes are a modern construct, Sedona’s Indigenous people have seen it as a sacred setting for hundreds of years.
Just below her base, where the vortex is said to be strongest, I sat down on a smooth rock and closed my eyes. I felt the sunlight warm my forehead and my right hand started to hum. I knew the changes I was seeking weren’t going to happen overnight, but I felt energized enough to tackle them
More Wellness Endeavors
According to a recent report from the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness industry is expected to grow 57 percent to $8.5 trillion by 2027. Sedona’s flagship properties can’t roll out new programs catering to today’s sophisticated wellness warriors fast enough. Situated along the banks of Oak Creek in the heart of town, L’Auberge de Sedona (from $599 per night) has introduced the Zodiac Collection — a series of custom itineraries based on the zodiac elements: fire, earth, air and water. The Wilde Resort & Spa’s (from $219 per night) new Reset in The Wilde invites couples to reconnect over three nights and participate in activities like a Full Moon Drum Circle, stargazing and storytelling around the fire pits.