Civana Carefree is bringing a whole new meaning of “treat yourself” to the table. This Carefree resort is a wellness initiative without the “break the bank” price tag and is bringing all the goods right to you. When I first found out I was staying at a wellness resort, all I could think of was all the exercise I didn’t feel like doing at the moment. What I quickly learned upon my arrival to Civana Carefree was that wellness is more than exercise.
Wellness has a different meaning for everyone. Maybe it is eating healthy and taking fitness classes, maybe it is escaping the rat race of everyday life in a beautiful setting, maybe it is treating yourself to the spa. All of these are wellness initiatives. Self-care is healthcare. For someone like me who is on the road 50% of the year, it would simply be shutting down my phone, having a glass of wine by the fire, watching the sunset, having a delicious and nutritious meal, and getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
I want to share my experience with you about my stay at Civana Carefree, and I hope this inspires you to take a wellness trip, because you have earned it!
Civana Carefree: Basic Info
Carefree resort is tucked in the Sonoran Desert about 35 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (roughly 40 minutes). It is extremely easy to access and is located in a peaceful setting.
- Address: 37220 Mule Train Rd, Carefree, AZ 85377
- Phone: (480) 653-9000
- Altitude: 2,402 feet
- Landscape: desert
- Weather: dry year round with little rain. Relatively nice dry weather from fall to spring (40-80’s) and summer months can reach over 100 degrees (but it is dry heat).
- Parking: on site available
- Uber/Lyft: widely available in the area
Civana Carefree: The Property
When you first arrive to Civana Carefree, you are welcomed by the gracious staff at the front door. They help whisk your bags away into the the most relaxing trip you’ll book this year. Upon check-in, you will receive a water bottle so that you can refill it throughout your stay, a list of daily classes offered and a map of the grounds.
You’ll notice in the lobby that the style is minimal, but its cozy minimal. In a way that makes you feel relaxed and want to just cuddle with a book in front of the fire.
The grounds aren’t overwhelmingly big. In fact, I could walk anywhere on property in under 5 minutes. But I don’t want to undersell the spaciousness of the resort or how beautiful and relaxing it truly is. Civana is not a jumbo resort with hundreds of rooms. This resort is designed to cater to those who are visiting on their wellness retreat.
In the center of the property is a pool and off to the sides are the two buildings housing the guest rooms and suites.
Civana Carefree: The Rooms
The resort is just big enough, but not overwhelming. Which makes all the rooms easy to access on the property. Civana Carefree has four room categories to choose from during your wellness stay:
- King Room – 525 square feet of elegant space overlooking the pool or partial view of Black Mountain or Continental Mountains.
- Queen Room – offers 2 queen beds, large walk-in shower and patio.
- Spa King Room – luxurious spa bathroom with deep soaking tub, close to the spa and a patio or balcony.
- Tranquility Suite – this is the largest suite offering 1200 generous feet of space and overlooking the hotel pool and Continental mountains.
During my visit I checked into a Spa King Room. One of the first things I noticed when I checked in was the minimalist decor in the room. I don’t think I have ever stayed in a room that was so minimal that it almost felt empty. But not in a bad way – in a very good way. Our lives our cluttered with everything from home, work, relationships, and so on. It was nice to walk into a room and not feel overwhelmed with contradicting patterns and an array of crazy colors. I think this is exactly the vibe a wellness resort should offer. You should FEEL relaxed when you walk in, not anxious by busy decor.
The layout of the room is rather fascinating. You walk in with the bathroom to one side and you can see the bed in the middle of the room, facing the sliding glass door. This is not a common theme among hotel rooms, but I like it. You don’t feel closed in and everything feels free. Like you walk into the room and just let everything go. While you are in there, nothing is closing you in.
The bathroom is a really nice touch for the room. Since this is a Spa category room, the bathroom was outfitted with a large soaking tub and a rain shower. In the same space but separate you’ll find a bathroom and a dual sink. One of the things that Civana Carefree gives its guests in this room are a bath soaking fizz to enjoy for your soak.
One of the mornings during my trip I ordered room service and had breakfast in my room. Breakfast was delivered so fast and the food is incredible (more on that below). If you are feeling like taking a more relaxed approach or simply just want to dine in bed, definitely get the room service.
Civana Carefree: Dining
A culinary adventure awaits you at Civana Carefree. Chef Justin Macy uses local, seasonal ingredients in veggie forward dishes that are delicious and nutritious. But do not get the impression that salad is all you will find at this wellness resort. In fact, you will find such a variety of food that you will forget you are at a wellness resort and enjoy your time and surroundings. Bonus: ALL the food is free of GMOs, hydrogenated fats, hormones, and preservatives.
To my gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, and vegetarian friends, you are going to find a lot of food to eat here and the menu is labeled so nicely with the offerings.
During my stay I had 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner. All of the food was fantastic and robust in flavor. I travel for food and was simply hypnotized by how well Civana Carefree does their dining. There is one main dining room, Terras and then there is Cafe Meto. Terras you will find three meals a day in and Cafe Meto is open for breakfast and lunch.
I tried breakfast in both Terras (I did in room dining) and Cafe Meto. While they both offering entirely different food, it was fresh and delicious. Right above you can see I got the avocado toast and blueberry pancakes fro Terras. At Cafe Meto I got the Pink Radiance smoothie (sorry I do not have a photo) but I assure you it was filling and tasty!
For lunch, I dined with a friend and we ordered Rose, ceviche lettuce wraps, prosciutto de parma, mahi mahi tacos, and a turkey burger to share. Since the plates are not over portioned, we opted to order a few things and just share them so that we could try more of the food they offered.
For dinner, our group dined together at Terras and shared plates to taste even more of the food! Personally, I think dinner was the best meal at CIvana Carefree. Every single dish was fabulous and they offer a solid wine list and full bar.
Civana Carefree: Activities
One thing Civana is not short on is activities. There is so much the resort has to offer its guests that you never have to leave if you don’t want to (but if you do decide to leave, there is so much to do in the Phoenix area). The center of the resort is the pool with surrounding loungers and a fire pit. You have the spa for total relaxation. Civana Carefree has a state of the art gym for guests to use as well on property.
What this wellness resort truly focuses on is its class offerings (that are included in your stay)! You will get a list of classes offered each day during your stay and you just register for them on the sign up sheets. Each day is different, but there is something being offered all day. Not every class is based on fitness, as wellness is more than physical activity. You will find a variety of classes in art and in nutrition.
Sample of classes available:
- Foam roller trigger and release
- Smoothie sensations
- Aerial yoga
- Sound bath
- Juicing 101
- Wall yoga
- Culinary clinic
Civana Carefree: Spa
The spa at Carefree is brand new! It should be finished in the coming weeks, but you can still book appointments. This 22,000 square feet building is going to put your soul into pure relaxation. If you only stay one day on site, book an appointment, you will not regret it. I felt so brand new after my 80 minute massage, it was exactly the wellness my body needed. I sit in front of a computer or a phone and take photos all day long. For me personally, those 80 minutes of work freedom were the wellness my body was after in that moment.
Whether you come as an individual, friend or even as a couple – there is something for everyone at the spa at Civana Carefree. I did take a tour of the spa and something I loved is how clean and welcoming it is. Neutral colored decor, a welcoming scent that immediately puts you into a zen like feeling and comfort. The locker room, the lounges and the treatment rooms are just beautiful.
The spa does have an outdoor pool that overlooks the desert and the indoor area offers hydrotherapy immersions that include a tepidarium, hot/cold walking pool, cold plunge shower and saunarium, however, this are is not completed just yet. It should be finished in a couple weeks and I will update it here when it is. I did tour that area and it is going to be beautiful! I only wish it had been done when I was there because I would have spent more time there.
Fast Facts For Civana Spa:
- 22,000 square feet
- Co-ed lounge
- 29 treatment areas
- Adult only pool and sundeck (sundeck faces west for perfect sunset views)
- Dedicated men’s and women’s relaxation areas with saunas
- Boutique shop
- Adjacent to Cafe Meto
Overall Experience at Civana Carefree:
Everything I had in my head about what a wellness resort would be was wrong. I came out here thinking I would be working out all day until I could not move and that is further from the concept than I could imagine. I left feeling rested, nourished, and in a good space mentally. Civana Carefree is the perfect place to recharge, focus on yourself in whatever way wellness fits your needs and take time for you. While this is not an exotic destination, it is something you should invest in because self care is healthcare and that is something we all need more of.
Disclaimer: This post is written in collaboration with Visit Phoenix Tourism Board, but as always, opinions are entirely my own.