Located in the picturesque and sacred Boynton Canyon just south of Sedona, Enchantment Resort’s Mii amo spa draws direct inspiration from the Native American peoples that once inhabited this land and still consider it hallowed ground. Recently, Travel + Leisure Magazine readers named Mii amo the top destination spa in the United States as part of its 2018 World’s Best Awards. The spa has been named No. 1 three times before and has been in the Top 10 for the last 16 years.
“We’re in their hall of fame now,” said Jim Root, Mii amo’s general manager. “The spa is designed to create synergy between people and place; it’s meant to imbue guests with a visceral sense of place. “
Because Boynton Canyon is a regarded as special place for all the region’s Native peoples, Root adheres to a philosophy of respect, care and inclusion. He is in regular contact with leaders from the Navajo, Hopi, Yavapai Apache and Apache tribes.
“We don’t own the canyon, we are the docents of the canyon,” added Root, noting that many private Native ceremonies take place here throughout the year. “We have a deep sense of respect and responsibility to the area’s Native American culture and heritage. Honoring that link is an important piece of what we do.”
Mii amo means “path or journey forward” in the Yavapai-Apache language and Che Ah Chi – Enchantment Resort’s modern American restaurant – is the Apache name for Boynton Canyon, Root explains.
Aside from traditional spa offerings, more New Age options like meditation and aura readings, and therapeutic outdoor activities, Mii amo’s holistic treatment options also include “transformative” Native American-inspired therapies. Held on days around the New Moon, “Spirit of the New Moon: Manifesting” begins with participants writing down their intentions for the coming months, then enjoying a foot bath and full body massage.
Equally phase dependent, “Spirit of the Full Moon: Releasing” also starts with proactive journaling, followed by warm oil scalp massage and a full body massage. “Inner Quest” is a treatment inspired by Native ceremony and ritual during which “the four directions are honored, sweet grass is burned and The Circle of Life Blanket is used to create the warmth of a sweat lodge and to honor tribal elders.”
With assistance from a master therapist, the “Soul Seeker” treatment includes techniques such as guided imagery and breath work to help participants achieve “heightened awareness, a new perspective or reconnection with your inner self.”
In addition, Mii amo regularly hosts Native musicians and artists to create a sensory, immersive experience for guests that Root says is “not canned, not by prescription.” Key to the spa’s appeal is the respect and buy-in from employees. “Some of the most engaged people are workers here. I get that sense every day I arrive,” he explained. “They are driven to authenticity, never cosmetically or lightly. Many places with gold-plated fixtures have no heart and soul. Our people are the heart and soul. It is a place about relationships, not transactions.” FBN
By Tom Vitron, FBN
Mii amo is featured in the August 2018 World’s Best Awards issue of Travel + Leisure, on sale now, and online at travelandleisure.com/worlds-best.