Aji Spa at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Arizona offers some unique spa experiences. The resort is on the Gila River Indian Community and embraces the Native American traditions of the local people. Aji means “Sanctuary” in the Pima language and it is, for me, a sanctuary in the midst of the Arizona desert.

The spa treatment I had at Aji Spa that provided me with one of my top ten unforgettable spa experiences is “THOACHTA” or “Healing” by Belen Stoneman.

Belen is an incredible therapist. Her ability to relax the body and mind and lead a spiritual journey is rare. This treatment combines traditional massage, polarity, and ancient Pima healing doctrines. The experience was just under two hours and began with a conversation with Belen. She had me share my concerns, the things weighing most heavily on my mind, in very general terms. Belen explained that my body would guide her to the areas needing the most focus.

Aji Spa Lounge at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa

Aji Spa Lounge at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa. Photo courtesy Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa

During the massage, I relaxed and felt Belen's hands on my body. I smelled the herbs and aromas surrounding me. I drifted through space, thinking about how tiny my worries seemed at that moment, then I simply drifted.

After the treatment, Belen shared with me what she had learned from my body and spirit. I had discussed my concerns with her in general terms. Following the treatment, she explained in great detail the root of my concerns. The issues manifesting themselves as stress in my life. She guided me on a path to move above those issues.

It was an incredible spa treatment, filled with wonder and self-exploration. My muscles and body were relaxed, but so too was my mind — quiet and at peace for the first time in a long while. After lunch at the spa cafe, I spent the afternoon enjoying the spa facilities and relaxing by the private pool at Aji Spa. It was luxurious, yet comfortable and unassuming. A sanctuary.

I was there on a winter day when darkness came early. After I dressed and headed home, the sky was already dark, a full moon overhead. I left the spa's beautiful sounds of Native American flute music and drove down the two-lane, cactus-lined drive toward the interstate. Suddenly, there in front of my car, stood a lone coyote, silhouetted in the full moon, a towering saguaro at his side. It was something right out off of a Hollywood set. I sat for several minutes watching him before he loped off into the desert.

It had indeed been a day of healing and the overall experience made “Healing” by Belen at Aji Spa one of my most memorable spa experiences of all time.

One of my favorite hotel rooms was also at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass. Click here to read about my stay at the resort.

If you go…

Aji Spa & Salon
Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass
5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Boulevard
Chandler, AZ 85226
602.385.5759 (spa)

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