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Some say the deserts of the American Southwest are a place of healing and spiritual power. Whether you believe in a mystical presence or desire a relaxing get-away, Arizona and New Mexico offer a wide selection of resorts and spas that feel a million miles away from normal stressful life. Indulge in luxurious accommodations, sinfully delicious cuisine with a healthy twist, play around (or play a round of golf) and most importantly, spa treatments that will leave you soothed and cleansed.

Located in the heart of Sante Fe, La Posada de Santa Fe (tel. 866/331-ROCK; www.rockresorts.com), an adobe-design hotel, features some spectacular packages for the spa-addicted. La Posada's "Cloud 999" package is my personal favorite. Although initially you may think $999 is a wee bit expensive for three nights accommodation, consider that this package also includes $999 worth of spa credits. So you can pamper yourself (either solo or with a partner) with a three-night spa break and choose from a variety of signature massage therapies, facials, and body treatments, with a $999 Avanyu Spa credit. Spoil yourself with an adobe mud wrap, a desert rain exfoliation, a chocolate chili wrap or perhaps a Pueblo salt glow -- actually no need to choose as you'll be able to get them all! This package is available for Sunday through Monday arrival until December 31, 2006. Some blackout dates apply. Gratuities, taxes and resort fee are not included. To book this package online, select your dates of stay and click "Search," then select the "Cloud 999 Buy 3 night/get 999 spa" rate description in the search results.

The "Luxurious three-night Southwest Spa Retreat" package is priced from $1,239 and includes three nights accommodation, daily breakfast for two, one 60-minute Adobe Mud Wrap per person in the Avanyu Spa, one 60-minute Flowing Water per person, one 60-minute Morning Mist per person, one manicure per person, unlimited use of Avanyu Spa's steam and fitness rooms, to relax and rejuvenate, unlimited use of the resort's outdoor heated pool and Hot Tub, resort fees and parking. The package is valid until October 21, 2006. To book this rate online, select your dates of stay and click "Search." Then select the "PKG-Sw Spa Retreat 3 nights" rate description on the search results page. If you want to stay at the hotel on a per night basis, room rates start at $169 per night (Sunday to Thursday, October 22-November 21 and November 26-December 21, 2006).

The Albuquerque Clubhouse Inn and Suites (tel. 866/345-0010; www.albuquerque.clubhouseinn.com) offers some value for money packages for golf enthusiasts, romantics, families or anyone seeking a few days away. Their "Labor Day Weekend" special starts at $99 per room per night, including either one King sized bed or two Queen sized beds, two tickets to the Rio Grande Zoo, or the Albuquerque Aquarium and two tickets to the hotel cookout on Friday or Saturday evening. Valid for stays from September 1 to 4, 2006, with suites available for an additional $20.

The "Albuquerque and Surrounding Area Golf" package is available until September 30, 2006, and is priced at $79 per room with single or double occupancy and includes a King or two Queen bed guestroom, a welcome bag with water, Top Flight three golf balls and five tees, shuttle transportation to and from golf course, preferred tee-times, booked up to six months in advance at the Albuquerque or surrounding area golf course of your choice, through Golf-West Tours.

The romance package is $109 per night, double occupancy and features accommodation in a king room, a bottle of Champagne, Champagne glasses, one dozen roses (your choice of color), a pound box of chocolates and breakfast room service the following morning. Suites are available for an additional $20.

A Country Gardens Bed and Breakfast (tel. 800/570-0102; www.SedonaCountryInn.com) offers a sky high package including a sunrise hot air balloon flight over the Red Rock hillsides of the Coconino National Forest. Celebrate your safe landing with a champagne toast and two-nights accommodation for two in a romantic suite, private cabin or cottage with full three course gourmet breakfast each morning. This deal is priced from $740 for two people in the Suite Dreams or Suite Elizabeth or $840 in the Suite Jerome or Grand Canyon Suite. The offer is valid until October 4, 2006.

The "Dive and Dine" Package at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa (tel. 480/444-1234; www.scottsdale.hyatt.com) at Gainey will help you cool off during the late days of summer. The package includes a deluxe guestroom and daily $50 food and beverage credit. Dive into the 2-1/2 acre water playground with ten cool pools, play on a white sand beach, zip down a three-story waterslide or grab an inner tube for the beachside dive-in movies. The package is priced from $195 per room and is valid until September 6, 2006.

The name of the town says it all -- Carefree, Arizona. Unsurprisingly, Carefree is home to The Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa (tel. 480/488-9009; www.theboulders.com). Situated on 1,300 acres of untouched Sonoran Desert, this is considered one of the country's finest resorts with world class golf and everything from Lastone therapies to Turquoise wraps, private meditation to hiking and rock climbing tours. Their "Bed and Breakfast" package includes luxurious resort Casita accommodation, complete breakfast each morning, complimentary access to the award-winning Golden Door Spa and fitness facility, adult pool, steam rooms, sauna and Niwa pool. The package begins at $159 per night, based on double occupancy and is available until September 30, 2006. Until August 31, their luxurious accommodation starts at a super low $119 per night. Taxes are additional.

To get to the Southwest, it would seem a foregone conclusion to fly with Southwest Airlines (www.southwest.com) and fortunately they are currently promoting a "Fly Southwest Airlines from $49-$159 One-Way with 21-Day Advance Purchase" special. Sample one-way fares include:

  • Denver to Tucson: $89
  • Seattle to Phoenix: $99
  • New York (Islip) to Albuquerque: $109
  • Philadelphia to Tucson: $109
  • Baltimore to Phoenix: $109
  • Chicago to Albuquerque: $109
  • Orlando to Tucson: $109

Fares much be purchased by July 27, 2006, for departures beginning August 17, 2006, and ending December 10, 2006. Some blackout periods apply and taxes are additional.

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