Civana Resort Review and Tips

Civana Resort Review and Tips

I love Civana resort so much that I have been three times! The resort is in Carefree, Arizona (how fitting is the city’s name for a wellness resort?) about 50 minutes drive from the Phoenix airport and 30 minutes generally from Scottsdale. Read on for my Civana resort review and tips for your stay.

Civana Resort Lobby with bench and wood paneling.
Civana Resort Lobby

When I went:

First Time: It was February 2021. I was pregnant, in my second trimester and went with my husband. Originally, we wanted to go to Scottsdale but after further researching, the city’s appeal seemed to be food, drinking and golf. This was great for my husband but not pregnant me. I found Civana and thought it was a great solution. My husband would golf (there is no golf course on the resort, so we rented a car and he drove to various golf courses) while I did the resort activities. February was a great time to go as on average the weather ranges from 46°F to 64°F. Due to these comfortable temperatures, most classes were held outdoors. I still recommend bringing a jacket (I brought this one) and hat for the chilly evenings.

Second Time: It was December 2021and I went with my sister who just went through a break up. Average temperature ranges from 44°F – 59°F. All the classes were held inside which I was not particularly keen on.

Third Time: It was October 2022 and went with girlfriends. Average temperatures ranges from 62.6°F – 81°F. When we went towards the end of December, the temperature seemed to be at the lower range. Again, most classes were held outside, and I would still recommend bringing a jacket for the chilly evenings.

As you can see, I’ve been to this resort with different groups and during different seasons.

Civana Resort Review and Tips - Picture of the serene yoga lawn
Civana Yoga Lawn

Getting There:

All three times we had a rental car which I highly recommend if you don’t want to eat at the only restaurant that serves dinner on the resort (see below for further reviews). There is no restaurant within a reasonable walking distance. Note that Civana offers airport rides in a Tesla Model X (comes with water and snacks!). It costs $135 for one way (includes taxes and service fee).

Civana Resort Review and Tips - Take the Tesla to the aiport filled with snacks and water
Civana’s Airport Tesla

Classes

The room rate includes access to a plethora of wellness classes. That includes HIIT, hikes, different modalities of yoga, paddleboarding, meditation, myofascial releases, and more! I recommend booking as early as you can. You can sign up for two classes per day prior to arriving to Civana.

Once you’re at Civana, you can sign up for as many classes as you want. Note that if you cancel after 5pm on the day before the class, you will be charged a fee ($15 at the times that I went). The first time I went, class sign up was through the hotel front desk (i.e. would have to call them). For any millennials that hate talking on the phone, they developed online platform for signing up for the classes.

Below are some of my reviews of the classes I’ve taken:

Paddleboarding:

This activity is an additional cost (at the time that I went it was $150). It is offsite and the price includes roundtrip transportation (one of those Mercedez Benz sprinter buses). There is a Civana guide that comes along on the ride and gives you an overview of the desert. Once we arrive at the lake, Civana partners with REI who provides a paddleboard guide and the paddleboard. Snacks were provided too! I recommend bringing water shoes if you have them otherwise, sneakers will do.

Arm Balance Essentials and Inversion Lab:

This is one of my favorite classes. It is yoga class that focuses on positions such as crow and inversions. It is such a great class to explore and play even if you’ve never done these yoga positions before.

Fitness Classes:

I took the “Abs, Core and More”, “Bands and Buns” and “Cardio Strength”. I did not find these classes challenging compared to CrossFit and Orange Theory. However, if you are a beginner in fitness or an advanced exerciser that is taking a rest week, these would be suitable for you. I will note that with Cardio Strength I was able to swap out movements for advanced movements (for example there was step ups in the circuits – one could make it harder by adding a burpee or use weights).

Hikes:

These are offsite, comes at an additional cost ($35 at time of writing), comes with transportation and a guide. My particular guide not only was knowledgeable in the desert terrain but keeping constant with Civana’s theme, she had us sit in meditation when we reached a river. I loved it! I would recommend bringing a backpack with a water bladder but the hike I went on (one of the easier ones) had no elevation gain.

Civana Resort Review and Tips - Metate Hike sign with cactus in the background
Guide hike on Metate Trail

Aerial Yoga and Wall Yoga:

These are an additional cost but another fun way to play and explore your body under one roof. If you get motion sickness easily, I do not recommend the aerial yoga.

Hard to get into Classes:

Some classes that I’ve noted that are popular and recommend signing up early:

  • Floating mediation (you basically lay in hammock and mediate!)
  • Rebound (jumping on mini trampolines)
  • Sunset Sound Healing
  • Myofascial Release

Tip ⭐️: People drop out at the last minute so show up to the class and you might have a chance to get it! Also, sometimes they set up extra spots so you can get in a class by showing up.

Spa

I love this spa. The waiting rooms, water circuit room and spa pool are beautiful and can only be accessed if you have a spa appointment (i.e. even if you’re a hotel guest, you do not get access to it). I recommend spending at least half a day here. You can order lunch from the pool as well. Robes, towels, sunscreen and water slippers are provided. Again, secure reservations in advance as they book up quickly!

Tip ⭐️: At sunset, go up to the upper spa deck for an amazing view of the sunset!

Restaurants

There are two restaurants on the hotel property: Seed is a casual sit down or order at the counter. It serves only lunch and breakfast. Terras is the formal sit down restaurant and open for lunch and dinner. Both restaurants have great, healthy, gluten free, dairy free food. However, it is expensive. If you’re able to stop at a grocery store before arriving at Civana, I recommend doing that to pick up items to keep in the mini fridges in the rooms.

Tip ⭐️: If you have a rental car or have transportation, I recommend Raven’s View! It’s a wine bar that is 11 minutes away from the hotel during the golden hour. Picture a soft orange pink sky, live music, with a wine in hand and charcuterie in the other, on a patio overlooking the desert. It is such a great vibe. Highly recommend reservations.

Rooms

I have stayed in a king room and a queen room. What I noted is that the king rooms overlook the pool (which is in the center of the resort) and the queen rooms are on the perimeter (no views of the pool but of the surrounding neighborhood). I prefer the king because of the unique layout of the bed. It was in the center of the room opposed to against a wall. The double queen bedroom was a normal looking hotel room. However, all the rooms were spacious and provided a serene and calm feel. Further, the rooms came with refillable water bottles, a journal with prompt, mini fridge, electric gooseneck kettle and pourover coffee filters and teabags. Note that there are water filters throughout the resort to fill up your waterbottle!

Pool and Gym

During my three stay I never really took pictures of the gym or pool! Just video.

I love the gym. It is huge with three different “rooms”. One has a massive jungle gym for pullups, kips, etc. Another is cardio machines and the third has free weights, a smith machine and other resistance training equipment. Every time I went, it was not busy. However, the resort has started offering fitness classes in the gym thus parts of the gym is closed during class time.

At the pool, you’re able to order drinks and food from Seed (an attendant runs around for your order). Additionally, there is a hot tub and fire pit. The resort also provides towel and sunscreen.

Hope that helps!

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