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How Phoenix Can Help Your Event Prioritize Wellness

Three people hiking on Phoenix trails

In a recent 2024 Hilton Trends report, travelers across generations indicated their No. 1 reason to travel this year is to rest and recharge. 

It’s highly likely that these sentiments cross the line from leisure travel to business travel. In fact, in Meetings Today’s 2024 Trends survey, a  sizable 35.1% of respondents cited a wellness component is often incorporated into their meetings. 

With promoting well-being and work-life balance on the rise in meeting programs, destination selection is more important than ever. Phoenix is suited extremely well for planners on the hunt for locations that prioritize wellness—this desert oasis not only has the robust convention and hotel amenities that meetings of varying sizes and scopes require, but a deep network of luxurious spas, plentiful open-air venues and many opportunities for outdoor movement. 

Hotels and Resorts With Impressive Wellness Amenities

Pool at Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort:
Saguaro pool area at Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort

Greater Phoenix is home to over 69,000 guest rooms in more than 500 hotels and resorts—40 of which are full-service properties offering extensive amenities for meetings. Many of these hotels prioritize wellness, too. Following is a sampling of some of the amenities you can expect from popular Phoenix meetings properties:

  • The Global Ambassador: Set against the stunning backdrop of Camelback Mountain, this luxury resort’s spa takes a holistic approach to wellness, combining science-based protocols with well-being movements and treatments. It also partners with some of the world’s top wellness brands, providing a variety of experiences exclusive to the hotel.
  • CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa: Sitting on 20 acres in the Sonoran Desert, CIVANA puts a heavy emphasis on well-being throughout the property experience. Meditation, aerial yoga, full wellness retreats and a spa complete with a hydrotherapy thermal circuit are just some of the resort’s offerings.
  • Sheraton Wild Horse Pass: The Aji Spa marries contemporary spa treatments with the sacred doctrines of the Pima and Maricopa tribes who have inhabited the land for centuries. Unique packages include riding on horseback in search of the 1,500 wild horses that roam the Gila River Indian Community in the morning, followed by an afternoon spa session.  
  • Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort: The Tierra Luna Spa on property takes a local approach, incorporating locally sourced oils, freshly crushed herbs, native scents and healing crystals in its treatments. Guided fitness classes ranging from tennis and pickleball to yoga and e-bike rides make movement a priority.
  • JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa: The two-story Revive Spa at this property is surrounded by mountain views and comes with serene treatment rooms, a palm-lined sanctuary pool, cabanas, sauna, steam rooms, bistro and salon. JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge is also home to 17 professionally surfaced pickleball courts, boasting one of the most impressive pickleball offerings by a resort in the country.

[Related: A Growing Technology Sector in Phoenix Is Increasing the City’s Intellectual Capital]

Offsite Activities Abound

Paddleboarding in Phoenix
Paddleboarding in Phoenix

Phoenix resides in the Sonoran Desert, a wildly beautiful and diverse landscape that offers many opportunities to break out of the meeting room and get moving. Some ideas you can use for organized group outings, or suggest to your attendees during their down time:

  • Hiking: Wherever your meeting program is taking place in Greater Phoenix, it’s likely you’re just a short drive away from a breathtaking hike. Trails for all skill levels abound, making it easy for attendees to get some fresh air. Popular locations include the red sandstone formations in Papago Park; White Tank Mountain Regional Park, where towering saguaros and petroglyphs are easy to find; Camelback Mountain, which offers one of the highest hikes in Phoenix and some of the best views; and many more.
  • Biking: Whether attendees are road or mountain bike enthusiasts, there are many trails for both in Greater Phoenix; 700 miles of bike infrastructure, with nearly 600 miles of bike lanes and more than 100 miles of off-street trails and paths, are in the destination.
  • Water sports: Yes, you read that right. The desert is more than sun, sand and mountains. What many non-locals to Arizona don’t realize is that opportunities to paddle on the water are within easy reach. The 200-mile Salt River is a major water supply source for Greater Phoenix. On the lower Salt River in nearby Mesa, go tubing or kayaking, all while keeping an eye out for wild horses! A variety of lakes are within easy reach, too, for watersports or boating excursions, including Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake, Lake Pleasant and more.

Outdoor Venues Are at the Ready

Canyon on Third at Phoenix Convention Center
Canyon on Third at Phoenix Convention Center

Many of the meetings-friendly hotels in Greater Phoenix take full advantage of the abundant sunshine and warm weather. There are many other venues that lean into this benefit as well, including the following:

  • Canyon on Third at Phoenix Convention Center: For big events at the convention center, don’t miss an opportunity to make use of the Canyon on Third space—an 80,000-square-foot outdoor canvas for special events of up to 2,000. The space can be customized with sound stages, outdoor bars, banquet tables, climbing walls and much more.
  • Desert Botanical Garden: Discover the wonders of the Sonoran Desert at the popular Desert Botanical Garden, which has a variety of spaces available for offsite events. Attendees will meet among stately saguaros, wildflowers and colorful blooming cacti in the garden’s courtyards, open-air pavilions and more.
  • Chase Field: Sports venues are always a fun option for offsite events. With a retractable roof and sitting across the street from Phoenix Convention Center, Chase Field—home of the Arizona Diamondbacks—makes for a fun spot for banquets and other events. 

Visit Phoenix logo

This article was created in partnership with Visit Phoenix



Listen to this next: Podcast interview with Visit Phoenix Chief Sales Officer Lorne Edwards about expanding technology sector in Phoenix

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About the author
Danielle LeBreck | Senior Content Director

Danielle started at Meetings Today in March 2019 after seven years of editorial experience in the travel and food industries. She oversees all of the destination content for Meetings Today and collaborates with the team on digital content strategy and content marketing initiatives.