The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North artfully blends into its desert surroundings at the foothills of Pinnacle Peak. Cleverly laid out casitas and suites make you feel like you are part of the high Sonoran desert landscape while providing privacy and a serene retreat from the world. 

Enjoy the fruits of the desert at the hotel’s two restaurants, Talavera and Proof, or at the Onyx Bar & Lounge. In particular, we recommend you order the signature prickly pear margarita. But those cacti are not just decorations to admire from your patio balcony or the key ingredient in your cocktail, they are also being harnessed to elevate your next spa treatment.

The hotel's latest addition to its swanky spa menu is the Nopal Massage, which uses Nopal cactus paddles, often called prickly pear cactus. But don’t worry, this treatment won't hurt! The cacti have had all their spines and prickles removed and what's left is a smooth, broad, and soft paddle that’s covered in the heated cactus gel before being massaged all over your weary muscles.

It feels like the massage therapist has donned a pair of warm slippery mitts as she coats your body in the gel, which feels a little sticky, not unlike aloe vera. However, it’s quickly absorbed, hydrating the skin and leaving a pleasant scent. The Nopal cactus is also high in antioxidants and is rich in vitamins and minerals to soften your skin and soothe any sun damage from the unrelenting desert rays.

There are lots of ways to enjoy cacti in Scottsdale, but whether you photograph them, eat or drink them, or just admire them, we think a relaxing cactus massage is one of the best ways to experience this desert plant.