Talking Stick Resort Spa – Tribal Heritage and Relaxing Treatments

Kevin Eagan - Oct 01, 2015
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After the initial glow of their treatments have abated, spa guests at Talking Stick Resort tend to linger for the view. Located on the 14th floor of the hotel’s tower, the Spa at Talking Stick ( boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that offer unparalleled views of McDowell Mountain and the Sonoran Desert – reminding guests that while the Scottsdale region is known for its spas, it is this 13,000 square foot spa that offers not only a wide variety of treatments, but also shares the unique features of its tribal heritage.

Tribal Heritage

A stand-alone enterprise of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC), the Resort is an integral part of this Community that encompasses 52,600 acres, with 19,000 held as a natural preserve. The Community’s 9,000 tribal members represent two Native American tribes – the Pima, "Akimel O'Odham" (River People) and the Maricopa, "Xalychidom Piipaash" (People who live toward the water). Unique characteristics of both tribes are integrated into the present culture.  

Historically the Pima were known for their athletic ability, basket weaving and agrarian skills. The Maricopa specialized in fashioning distinctive pottery out of red clay. Visitors to the Community can see examples of the Pima’s basket weaving and Maricopa pottery at its Hoo-hoogam Ki Museum.

Growing crops, such as melons, potatoes, onions, broccoli and carrots, is still a very important part of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. And it is its Pima cotton crop that has become an important ingredient in some of the Spa at Talking Stick’s signature products.

The Community’s decision to partner with Sedona-based Body Bliss ( reflects its desire to offer an indigenous experience that is free of artificial fragrances and no dispersing massage oils. Body Bliss is known for creating native botanicals that contain no paraben preservatives, mineral oils, harsh laureth and lauryl sulfate cleansers, phthalates nor formaldehyde donors.

Cotton into Comfort

Rick James, botanist and owner of Body Bliss, explains the creative process used to develop the Spa’s signature product line: “When Body Bliss and The Spa at Talking Stick Resort collaborated to create the spa’s signature products, our inspiration came from the traditional botanicals, harvest and foods of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Mission Fig, Cholla Bud, Mesquite Bean and Chaparral were selected as the main scents of the collection, while elements such as Pima Cotton, Desert Lavender and aloe were incorporated into the menu of services. We wanted the spa and its products to embody the Community’s roots and heritage, and provide a unique and enriching experience for spa guests."

The Spa at Talking Stick’s treatment menu includes soaking, massage, body therapy and facial options as well as hair and nail salon services. Guests who like to experience the full gambit of Talking Stick’s amenities – such as its championship golf course, casino, fine dining and luxurious hotel accommodations – favor their inventive spa and links packages.

Whether they are interested in a stay-cation or an extended stay, visitors to Talking Stick Resort can look forward to an experience that weds the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian heritage with the best amenities that a first-rate resort offers.

Getting There

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport serves the Scottsdale area. Major air carriers flying into the Airport include American, Alaska, Continental, British Airways, Delta, Hawaiian and United Airlines.

For more information

Talking Stick Resort. 9800 E. Indian Bend Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85256

By Patricia Kutza

Patricia Kutza is a travel, business and technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay region. She crafts features for such outlets as Port O Call and San Joaquin Magazines and invites readers to explore her Vallejo Community Issues Examiner blog’s 90 Minutes of Separation series where she showcases compelling travel destinations in an engaging multimedia format. 

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