The Sanctuary – My Sanctuary

During my gradual move to Phoenix over the last 3 years, I had no idea how much I was missing my community of likeminded people and the lovely natural environment I enjoy in my native British Columbia. That is, until I joined The Sanctuary. Then it hit me … THIS is what had been missing!

I’ve been so fortunate to grow up in an area of Vancouver that is super community minded, athletic, outdoorsy and small enough that when you walk down the street to do your banking, shopping, etc, there are a multitude of familiar faces and good friends to chat and connect with. I love this about Ambleside. Not having a built in family like most of my friends in their 40’s, I was on my own for decades, so this extended community was vital and I loved it. At any moment, I could pop out my back door, walk 50 yards to the seawall or 100 yards to my favorite cafe and be amongst my tribe. There was always a conversation to be had, a person to encourage and friendly, familiar waves directed my way.

Moving to Phoenix was a different story. Being the 5th largest city in America with no real community type ‘villages’, I found myself lost in a sea of 10 lane freeways, strip malls, mega malls, roads and more roads. No one really walked anywhere here, so there was very little eye to eye, face to face, smile to smile contact during one’s day. It felt quite unsettling. And being so flat, most of the time, I had no idea where I was. There were no real mountains, oceans, bridges or other landmarks from which I could orient myself. This added to my sense of disconnection. Everyone seemed to be happily going about their business, and I was lost and felt isolated much of the time. And I had no haven away from the chaos.

So a couple of things were necessary. I had to learn the city, which for the most part I’ve done, and I had intentionally create my extended tribe here in the desert. The Sanctuary is quickly becoming a fairly large component of that later part of feeling connected.






Nestled on the side of Camelback Mountain with views that feed the soul, it’s a resort second to none in the area. It’s the perfect blend of tranquility and vitality, luxury and simplicity, community and privacy. The Asian inspired spa is a wonderful place to change after a high energy Cardio Beat Box class, a Restorative Yoga session or a core killing Pilates workout. Daphne, in the change area is always eager to help her clients with whatever they need … fresh water, chamomile tea, a razor or shower cap. She’s an angel.






Being a boutique resort hotel and spa, there are not many membership spots available, but if any of you find yourself in the Phoenix area and are looking for a private health club, The Sanctuary won’t disappoint. It’s fed my soul well in the few weeks since joining and I look forward to developing long lasting friendships among it’s membership and staff.


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