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Spring 2007 | Spa Adventures: Scottsdale/Phoenix

Spring 2007 | Spa Adventures: Scottsdale/Phoenix

Also check out: PALM SPRINGS, LAS VEGAS, TAOS, and LOS CABOS

PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE

The Valley of the Sun is where bougainvillea blooms, jackrabbits jump, javelinas roam, and towering saguaro cacti are king. Phoenix is now one of the biggest cities in the United States, but you can balance its dynamic vibe by spending some time spent in adjoining Scottsdale, full of decadent spas at every turn.

THE ADVENTURE Would you like to ride in a beautiful balloon? Wake before sunrise for transportation to the launch site. You'll gently lift off and fly up, up, and away to behold panoramic vistas of the Sonoran Desert ($160, champagne breakfast included). Between March and October, float high above the famously cinematic Monument Valley, a 41⁄2-hour drive north of Phoenix ($292, including overnight hotel and breakfast; for both trips call 800-843-5987).

THE SPA The 50-year-old Hotel Valley Ho (866-882-4484, rooms from $149) and its airy, glass-tiled Vitality + Health Spa reopened in 2005 in Scottsdale's downtown arts district. The mod icon has been meticulously restored to its former mid-century glory, with its round "Oh Pool," cottage-cheese ceilings, mirrored chrome and Formica, pop-art sculptures, speckled floors, and sexy low chairs. Suites are swank with blond furniture, polka-dot wallpaper, bright red walls, gigantic patios, and (in the executive suite) a perfectly circular bathtub. The hotel's Café ZuZu serves comfort food at its mac-'n'-cheese finest.

THE TREATMENT The "Red Flower Hammam Full-Body Treatment Massage" begins with a cleansing of Moroccan mint tea and silt, followed by a vigorous scrub of coffee, olive stones, and lemon. The treatment finishes with a Turkish massage with warming essences of cardamom, jasmine, bergamot, amber, and clove. You'll emerge feeling energetic and smelling spicy (90 minutes for $185).

GET YOUR GAY ON Grab your Stetson, slide into your tightest jeans, and ride your steed to Charlie's (602-265-0224), a country-and-western men's bar with line-dancing and two-step lessons. Not a cowboy? Amsterdam Bar (602-258-6122) has an upscale atmosphere with gorgeous men, designer martinis, and cushy couches.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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