Ruben Hernandez

Tocasierra Spa: Prescription for rejuvenation

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This summer will be a great season for ballooning in Arizona. No, not the hot-air balloons that look like Christmas bulbs drifting on the hazy morning horizon. We mean certain lifestyle indicators will rise like a helium balloon released by a child: Gas prices, food prices, and of course, the infamous desert temperatures.

These factors effect travel decisions. How do we keep it affordable in a tightening economy? Other factors figure in, such as do we want to hike or jog in the early mornings while its still cool? Do we want an urban or outdoor setting? Do we want to pamper our bodies, minds and spirits? Do we want to stay close to home, or travel large distances to a vacation destination?

After considering all these things, then a weekend at a local resort spa may the best prescription for a short getaway. While Arizona is known for a wide variety of high and medium-priced resort spas, there’s one familiar Valley resort that has unveiled its new look and spa amenities in time for the summer. And its an affordable solution for a near-by weekend getaway for singles, couples and families that pampers and relaxes while rejuvenating.

Tocasierra Spa and Fitness Centre, a full-service spa and fitness facility, opened its doors in April. Tocasierra is located at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, 7677 N. 16th St. Set in the mountainside scenery of the North Mountains, the spa is part of $24.4 million in capital improvements that the Pointe started in 2005.

Tocasierra features nine luxury treatment rooms, including an exclusive couple’s suite with a private shower. The spa offers more than 50 packages of massage and specialty therapies. There’s also salon services and family packages catering to guests visiting with their children. The all new fitness center will entice the workout buffs with its training equipment and weights. A lap pool, whirlpool and steam rooms pamper the body, and the facility is fully staffed with trainers, massage therapists and estheticians.

Jeannette Laluk, the spa’s director, says Toncasierra was designed to complement the resort’s current amenities, while appealing both to out-of-state guests and drop-in guests from the local area. “We want for our spa to be accessible and affordable for guests from near-by communities, and we are very children friendly.”

Existing attractions that will keep the kids occupied are the Coyote Camp children’s activity program, and the Hole-in-the-Wall River Ranch, a four-acre water park.

Adults will enjoy the renovated guest suites (including one- and two-bedroom casitas), and the four themed, on-site restaurants. Guests can always get a better room rate if they can time a stay mid-week in the summer low season. For the outdoor oriented, hiking and jogging trails meander through the hills surrounding the resort.

For the treatment menu and prices at the Tocasierra Spa and Fitness Centre, visit or call (602) 997-3820.

Spa etiquette tips

Here are some spa etiquette tips to help you make the most of your visit to the spa.

• Arrive at least 20 minutes before your spa appointment so you have time to check in, change into your robe and slippers, and relax.
• Get there even sooner if the spa has a steam room, sauna or hot tub. It will help relax you before your massage.
• A hot shower can also relax you before your spa treatment and make it more enjoyable.
• If you schedule two treatments together, get a massage  before your facial. A body treatment should go before your massage.
• Don’t forget to tip.

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