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Chilling in Scottsdale

Escape Arizona's heat with spa time, pools, and cool patio dining

Dry heat or no, July in Phoenix can be a trying time; spirits wilt like string cheese in a microwave. At these times, savvy urbanites head to Scottsdale, where many resort spas offer great summer deals. Resplendent with glimmering pools, they're yours for the entire day for the price of a single treatment. Basic services at the two spas here aren't expensive; we also note their signature treatments in case you want to splurge. Tack on a movie and late dinner to round out the day.

Willow Stream, the $16 million spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (treatments from $69; 7575 E. Princess Dr.; 480/585-2732), has to be one of the more gorgeous temples to relaxation to open in recent years--its three levels are linked by a splashing waterfall. Indulge in the Havasupai Body Oasis Experience ($279), and you'll be massaged first by the cascading waters, then by human hands. After, slip into a plunge pool kept at an invigorating 67°, then head to the rooftop swimming pool, lined with cabanas.

At the Agave spa in the nearby Westin Kierland Resort & Spa (treatments from $115; 6902 E. Greenway Pkwy.; 480/624-1500), start off with a yoga class or workout (free with all spa services), rehydrate with a cold glass of agave limeade, then relax in a whirlpool or sauna. The 80-minute Agave Enchantment treatment ($175) will introduce every inch of your body to desert-derived masks or oils, then you can settle in with a book by the quiet outdoor lap pool.

Toward evening, head to Farrelli's Cinema Supper Club ($$; 14202 N. Scottsdale Rd.; 480/905-7200) for a movie ($6) and a cocktail. The art deco spot is an escape not only from the heat but also from the present, with its 1940s-era jazz lounge.

Cap things off with modern Italian fare on the mist-cooled patio of North restaurant ($$$; Kierland Commons mall, 15024 N. Scottsdale Rd.; 480/948-2055). A glass of Prosecco sparkling wine and a bowl of shrimp risotto are a fitting end to a thoroughly sumptuous day.

Pamper plan

For more information on Scottsdale spas and dining, contact the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (800/805-0471).