Brrrrrrr. It was beginning to look a lot like winter: chapped lips, scaly skin and glow-in-the-dark-white legs begging for sunshine. It was time to go online and find a winter rest stop.

Until recently Tucson was little more than a blip on my car’s GPS screen en route to somewhere else. But with winter barking at my New Mexican doorstep, it seemed as good a time as ever to fend off the winter ailments with a pit stop in the warm-weather mecca.

ARRIVED: parched as a winter raisin.

DEPARTED: sexy smooth and tequila tranquil.

THE CURE: two-night spa stay, JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa

The resort’s Hashani Spa is designed to go more than skin deep. This is NOT the closet-convert that some resorts try to pass off as a spa. Hashani is home to 20,000 healing square-feet featuring 23 custom treatment rooms, relaxation and mediation rooms, private lap pool, steam bath, hot tub, spa bistro, and full service beauty salon.

Relaxation offerings include hot stone massage, sun-kissed aloe wrap, and a delicious Hashani Hand and Foot Ritual. Their customized desert exfoliation uses a blue corn rub and goatsmilk shea body butter that sent me home with just the warm-weather glow I came for.

Check out the complimentary Tequila Toast to the “Legend of Arriba, Abajo” every evening beginning at 5:30pm at Salud. With its breathtaking views, patio firepits, extensive menu of tequilas and creative margaritas made from freshly squeezed juices, it’s an inviting hangout for appetizers, happy hour or post dinner drinks.

For more information call 1-520-791-6117 or visit


Additional resources to help plan your Tucson vacation: for in-depth coverage of the area’s attractions, arts and culture, cuisine scene, shopping venues, and history reveals the region’s colorful personality. the official Arizona travel and vacation guide from the Arizona Office of Tourism. Find visitor information and videos about Arizona travel, including comprehensive directories of Arizona hotels, dining and shopping, as well as things to do and places to visit throughout the Grand Canyon State.

About Starr Pass Resort & Spa

Named one of the top 500 World’s Best Hotels by Travel + Leisure, Starr Pass offers warm and welcoming luxury for the whole family - 27 holes of Arnold Palmer Signature gold; five dining options including James Beard award-winning Chef Melissa Kelly’s Primo restaurant; and outdoor activities including hiking, biking and horseback riding.

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".