A Real Life Sanctuary in Paradise Valley

Brunch Post Air Balloon Ride

A Real Life Sanctuary in Paradise Valley

December 24, 2017

Quite honestly, I'm not even sure how to summarize our stay at The Sanctuary at Camelback Mountain. It was the most luxurious place we have ever stayed, and it was the most relaxing break we've had in many months. While I never really put my laptop away, I enjoy writing blog posts and taking blog photos. It's not necessarily work for me, so I didn't mind catching up on some writing. 

When we walked into our room, we were completely blown away. When you see the photos online, you have to imagine not every room can be as amazing as that one. The incredible thing is that EVERY single room does look like the photos, and they are pristine. 

Once we had settled in to the room (which was a mountain suite), we heard a knock on the door. We opened the door to a night gentleman holding an amenity for us, welcoming us into the property. We received a wine and cheese amenity which is my favorite kind of amenity. Who doesn't love wine and cheese? Two of the best things.

It was a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon wine, alongside four delicious cheeses which was quite the selection. Nuts on the side made the cheese and wine the perfect combo. The grapes served as a perfect palate cleanser between the various cheeses. Honestly it was a great welcome into our room. After grabbing some dinner offsite, we came back to the room and just chilled. Aaron jumped into the bath and I just worked on vlogmas day whatever it was, haha!

Hot Air Balloon Getting Set Up

Hot Air Expeditions

The next morning was an early start. I got up around 5 AM, but it was for something super exciting. Something that's been on my bucket list for years and years is taking a hot air balloon ride. Hot Air Expeditions kindly hosted me on a phenomenal ride up in Deer Valley, in the Phoenix area. Because Aaron is afraid of heights, I asked his sister to go and she was super stoked.

I was picked up at The Sanctuary, but I met her at the Deer Valley Airport, which is also where we grabbed the captain. Watching the two get the balloon set up ready to go, was so interesting. It was chilly that morning but we were just so excited we didn't care. I tried to get everything on camera, so I could remember the day. Take a peek at the vlog below if you want to see the action footage of us going up, up and away!

We ended up at 7,000 feet, and it honestly didn't even feel that high. It was so relaxing up there, which was surprising to me given I thought it would be super windy and rickety in a basket in the sky. Misconceptions, right? Truly one of the most relaxing experiences. I will say that I'm not afraid of heights at all, so it was really neat and relaxing for me. If you are afraid of heights, I imagine this would be far from relaxing.  

After our incredible balloon ride, we landed in the middle of the desert. The captain was with us the entire time, but his right hand man was on the ground driving with us as the wind took us off in various directions. Once we landed, he was waiting for us with an incredible breakfast spread. We had quiche, apples, a croissant and some cheese alongside mimosas. We were literally sat in the middle of the desert, and our view was so stunning. 

The next day, I had planned a fun day going from meeting to appointment to meeting to appointment. I like when my day is a bit stacked, so I am constantly going from one place to the next. 

First item on the list was getting a massage. Rough life, you know? (HA!) I went to The Sanctuary's spa, and I had my massage given to me in a spa suite which gave me a little sneak peek to the next room we'd stay in. You absolutely must experience the spa treatments at The Sanctuary. There is honestly nothing quite like it, and I really loved the method behind my specific Swedish massage. I've gotten the Swedish massage from several different therapists over the past five years, and I genuinely loved the one here at The Sanctuary the best. I even explained to the therapist all the ways she wowed me and how her massage was different from others. Highly recommend treating yourself to a massage!

Enjoying a Coffee with a Friend

My next meeting involved coffee, so of course, it was a good meeting. I caught up with my friend from Visit Phoenix, who is honestly the best. I sipped on my usual, a cappuccino from Press Coffee. It's a local coffee roaster in the Phoenix area.

After that meeting, I had an appointment set up with an Aveda salon in Scottsdale. When I walked into Ohana Salon and Spa, I was greeted warmly and everyone was so welcoming. My appointment started with a shakra spray, that helped relax me to begin a positive experience. After the shakra spray, my stylist washed my hair and gave it a great head massage. There's something so calming and incredible about head massages, am I right?

My stylist was Ron, and he was a hoot. I loved chatting with him, telling him about my past and hearing his stories. We ended up cutting off almost 7 inches of my hair, wow! Definitely went a lot shorter, but it's right on my shoulders now which I've been thinking about doing for quite some time.

I cannot recommend the salon enough. It was beautiful inside, smelled fabulous and the staff were all so kind and fun. I even saw a few patrons popping bottles open, so I would definitely recommend this salon if you live in the Phoenix area or plan to visit. 

Tipsy Tea at The Camby Hotel

Tipsy Tea time

After my haircut, I jumped into my Lyft and headed over to The Camby Hotel. Absolutely stunning property, and I would love to stay there in the future. We were there for the Tipsy Tea, which was tea with a twist. My favorite kind of twist. Alcohol

The menu is so fun, and we decided to start with 2 teapots. My fiance was able to join us about 45 minutes later, so we ordered another 2 teapots. It was such a relaxing time, and tea always has a very calming effect on me. I'm not entirely sure why that is, even when it has alcohol in it, but it was genuinely so relaxing and chilled. We went through some incredibly delicious appetizers. Oooooh buddy!

In case you couldn't tell, I've been obsessed with florals recently. I've also been gravitating to dresses this winter, alongside my over the knee boots. Lots of new styles are coming into trend now too. The most important accessory I wear every single day is a crossbody bag. What's your favorite go-to outfit this winter?

Appetizers at The Camby Hotel

After all the appetizers, we ordered a bit more tea and I even tried some of the champagne tea drinks. They were also delicious, and the tea was subtle in those cocktails. After that round of cocktails, we were served dessert. This was quite possibly the most exciting element of the afternoon because it was so fun and colorful.

Enjoying Alcoholic Drinks

While I've never had a tipsy tea party before, I was so incredibly happy with our experience because it was so much fun. Aaron's sister (my future sister in law) is so nice and we got to spend a lot of time together between the hot air balloon ride and the tipsy tea. 

After the Tipsy Tea, we had to rush back to the hotel as the bellmen had moved our things to a brand new room. Now we were going to test out the spa suite, which we were super excited to do. 




The outdoor shower was my favorite piece of the new room, as it really gave that true spa vibe when it came to the room. If you'r been keeping up with my vlogs on my YouTube channel, you saw the tour of the spa suite bathroom which was so gorgeous. A separate room for the toilet, a walk-in closet, a separate room for the shower, a full spread bathroom sink with 2 sinks (one for Aaron and I so we don't have to share) and then the outdoor bathtub. 

Even as we walked into the room, the entrance was gorgeous. The living room is where we spent most of our time because there was a fireplace, tv and the comfiest couch. It was also a nice sized space, with an outdoor patio that had a nice outdoor seat if you wanted to get a little outdoor action.

When we compared the mountain suite to the spa suite, we genuinely loved the spa suite much more due to the privacy, outdoor bathtub and the layout of the room and bathroom. The layout is cozy, and so incredibly spacious and luxurious at the same time. 

The property is located 8 miles north of Sky Harbor International Airport, so for my friends that are outside of Arizona (and outside of the country) you can easily access this property from the Phoenix Airport. The really cool thing about this property is it is nestled in the Camelback Mountains, which is so incredibly cool. 

After we got acquainted with our room, we had reservations at the Elements Restaurant onsite. It's right past the lobby at The Sanctuary, and it was so luxurious. We had an incredible table facing the city lights. 

The first order of business was to order some drinks. I was opting for wine throughout the night, and Aaron was more fond of the cocktail menu. 

We ordered some appetizers. The carrot & millet pot stickers and the kimchee pork belly. Both of them were so delicious, and they were a good mix together. A little veggie, and a little meat. 

Once we finished those, we ordered a couple of entrees. Aaron went for the free range petaluma chicken, and I ordered the miso glazed salmon with no mushrooms (I absolutely despise mushrooms.) Not only was the food delicious, but we honestly couldn't stop eating. I ate every single bite off my plate, even though I was slightly full after the appetizers. 

After all the food, we were offered dessert of course, but we could not fathom eating anymore. So we drank. I ordered a Porto (dessert red wine) and sipped on that. Aaron ordered another cocktail. 

I can honestly say it was the most delicious dinner we've ever had, and it was so luxurious. Definitely a celebratory meal for us, and we can say we were celebrating our engagement or just our love for one another. It was the perfect end to such a fabulous day!

We relaxed all of Saturday, and hung around the suite because we wanted to spend as much time in the suite as we could. Come Sunday morning, we were so sad to pack our things and leave The Sanctuary. Truly the most incredible place we've ever stayed in, and it was so relaxing.

Once we packed up, and hit the road, we had a few more stops in Phoenix. Our first stop was Positano Wine Cafe, for some brunch. Now in case you don't know, I enjoy food. A lot. Brunch may be one of my favorite meals because not only is it a late breakfast, it's a breakfast where alcohol is acceptable and encouraged. What more can a girl ask for?

We ordered some bruschetta, I ordered the farmhouse breakfast which had some salad and then the usual eggs, potatoes and toast. In addition, we ordered some drinks. Aaron found out a pitcher of beer was $5 which is something he continued to repeat over and over again throughout the meal (soo funny!) I ordered a Pinot Grigio from Italy, which was super delicious. Something about white wine makes me feel nice and cozy during the day. 

Once we had finished our food, we decided we needed some dessert. Aaron opted for a pastry and I got a side of fruit. It was a great post meal snack for both of us. Now that we were watered and fed, we were ready to head to the next adventure which was IKEA. A week before Christmas. What were we thinking right? ...luckily it wasn't that bad. 

Bruschetta 4 Picks at Positano Cafe