Wellness has been a major trend in the meetings industry and beyond for the past several years, and it’s being taken to a new level with two properties, one in the Arizona desert and the other in the forest of Northern California. Both are unique yet each allows groups to immerse themselves as much as desired in an all-encompassing atmosphere of well-being centered on both physical and spiritual wellness and personal development, all while enjoying some of the most innovative spaces around.
CIVANA, set in the desert town of Carefree, Arizona, is the first sustainable wellness resort in Greater Phoenix/Scottsdale, while 1440 Multiversity is set amid the majestic redwoods of Scotts Valley, California, in Santa Cruz County.
CIVANA Provides Sustainable and Affordable Group Wellness
CIVANA is the vision of a group of seasoned spa industry veterans who formed a new real estate and luxury resort company focused on sustainable design and affordable wellness. CIVANA debuted in March after a $40 million adaptive reuse of the former Carefree Resort and Conference Center.
With the belief that most people are on a personal journey toward health, life balance and well-being, CIVANA’s mission is to bring a complete, brand-new wellness experience to a larger travel audience, including groups, at a more accessible price point, according to Rianna Riego, chief brand and wellness officer for CIVANA.
“CIVANA is the next-generation wellness brand,” Riego said. “There are about 22 million households that are considered wellness-conscious, who shop at places like Whole Foods, take supplements, exercise regularly, etc. But really only 10 percent of those households are served by the Miravals and Canyon Ranches of the world because those are the only people who can afford it.
“I can’t afford to go to those places, but I can afford to go to CIVANA because of the model—all of the activities and enrichment programs are included at a very attractive price, but nothing is forced upon guests during the experience,” she added.
The philosophy of the resort is based on four pillars: Healthy Cuisine, Movement, Healing Arts/Spa and Discovery & Enrichments Arts.
“We have daily hikes, all sorts of yoga—wall, aerial, chair, vinyasa—meditation classes, juicing sessions, culinary demos, spiritual classes such as angel card readings and spirit animal sessions, creative classes focusing on art or music, and a host of fitness offerings, such as TRX and spin,” she said, adding that there are currently 9-12 complimentary programs offered daily, and the options will continue to expand.
For groups, Riego said the beauty is that they are offered a complimentary private session, whether that is yoga or meditation or hiking, before their meeting, then they can also book private customized classes for an extra charge, and individual attendees can take advantage of the complimentary classes and programs throughout their stay.
“We’ve created this place where people can feel comfortable and not threatened,” she said. “And we’re not labeling anything. We’re going to meet you where you are on your wellness journey.”
Riego said so far, meeting planners are loving the experience because it gives them a unique opportunity to plan at a property that has specialized in meetings for 10-plus years but now offers a completely revamped environment that also enables them to incorporate wellness on so many different levels.
“The great thing is planners can now set themselves apart by saying to the company, ‘We’re going to do this at CIVANA, and by the way, if you’re people want to do a guided yoga session or hike before the meeting, or if attendees want to immerse themselves in personal enrichment programs, it doesn’t cost them anything,” she said. “They can experience an immersive wellness resort, maybe stay an extra night and maybe even bring their spouse.”
CIVANA can accommodate groups of up to 220 with 189 guest rooms and more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space.
According to Riego, the property truly sets itself apart with its state-of-the-art fitness center and healthy cuisine, having appointed Justin Macy, formerly with Miraval, as its executive corporate chef.
CIVANA’s fitness center features top-of-the line cardio, strength, and flexibility equipment. CIVANA Carefree is also among the first resorts to feature Aktiv Virtual®, an on demand digital kiosk that provides personalized workouts and expert level coaching. The Yoga & Energy Center houses a studio with wall yoga and aerial yoga capabilities, a movement/spin room and two other flexible movement studios. The outside Yoga Lawn provides mountain vistas for sunrise sand sunset programs.
In advance of launching its new cutting-edge, 22,000-square-foot spa—complete with a healing water Terme, Watsu and lap pool, solar energy and water harvesting features—in December, a smaller spa with a full package of treatments is offered.
CIVANA’s culinary program is all about giving guests choices and offering highly nutritious dishes for every diet, including gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian and vegan. All food is free of GMOs, hydrogenated fats, hormones and preservatives. Highlights include farm-to-table produce, grass-fed meats and sustainable seafood, in addition to fine wines.
Meanwhile, accommodations were designed with to help guests relax and recharge, with an uncluttered environment, natural materials and plenty of light.
“People will really see we’re very mindful about our intention, and we want to make sure that on every touchpoint, the guest walks away feeling healthier than they did before they came, and that includes those coming for a meeting,” Riego said.