amangiri ole hendriksen retreat

I Tried A Super Luxurious 5-Hour Spa Routine to Reach Peak Chill

How relaxed meets ridiculously fancy.

By: Katie Becker

Beauty experts the world over will tell you about one legendary destination that is on all their bucket lists: southern Utah’s Amangiri. Or at least that’s what I learned once I starting posting images from my trip to the resort when I went as a guest of legendary skincare expert and Danish lifestyle guru Ole Henriksen. My DMs were filled with versions of “Uuuuggh, I’m dying, that place is my dream!!!! [heart eyes, heart eyes, heart eyes]” from international beauty editors, makeup artists, and hair stylists. It is a dream—minimal chic, painfully photogenic, and an oasis of heavenly food, service, and treatments in what is otherwise, literally, a vast stretch of desert.

That brings me to how I crafted my ultimate spa routine. The theme of the trip to Amangiri, which was for the launch of Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème, was “hygge” AKA the trending Danish word for “cozy.” Basically, it was time to get real chill real fast. For me, coming from the dead of winter in New York, that meant doing everything that could keep me away from my phone: hopping right into the pool, getting a facial, practically moving into the steam room, and taking my favorite bath. See below for the ultimate spa routine that I will be reliving in my dreams into the next life.


As we drove up to Amangiri, I was nearly changing into my swimsuit in the car so I could immediately dive in the pool. Nothing make me feel more in touch with myself and at ease than being in water (maybe it’s because I’m a Cancer!). The pool is the best first stop to make you feel like you’ve really arrived.

When I went into the spa at Amangiri for my facial, my room used only natural sunlight, streaming through the doors, to light the space. That’s always a good recipe for an impending nap-facial if I do say so.

After glycolic acid-based Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser to help with acne, my esthetician used this volcanic sand scrub. Cleverly, it heats up as you apply it and then it has the sensation of cooling down making it similar to the Scandinavian tradition of going back and forth between the sauna and freezing cold plunge pools, which gets your circulation going. I’ve found that boosting circulation does help breakouts heal faster (massaging my skin helps with this as well).

A clay mask is always clutch to help suck excess oils up out of pores. A common mistake is to let the mask dry all the way—this can overdry your skin and make it start over-producing oils to compensate. My esthetician left this clay-plus-soothing oils mask sit on my skin just long enough for a really nice hand massage. (I was about 90% asleep at this point.)

Unfortunately, my breakouts leave little scars and red marks (AKA post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), but vitamin C, which is in a high dose in this serum, helps increase collagen production for smoother texture and brighten spots. On top of that my esthetician layered on Counter Balance Mattifying Moisture Creme—even when I’m breaking out, I find using a moisturizer calms down red inflammation.

Last on my face was the new eye cream, which is brightening and wrinkle-fighting thanks to vitamin C and collagen, and also contains something called “banana powder”—a pale yellow tint that is a classic makeup artist secret for the under-eyes. While it’s no post-rager concealer, when you’re out in the middle of Utah rager-free, it’s exactly enough to hit the super luxurious resort property with a little more pep under the eyes.

Post-facial, I made like a Dane and hop between the steam room, step pool, sauna, and freezing plunge pool in the Amangiri spa. I love the rush I get from an ice-y cold plunge pool—the trick is: don’t think about it, just get in there.

Back in my room, I was still ready for more water time, but now with this major bath additive, which I frequently bring with me when I travel (hotel bathtubs are just the best). This Digital Detox concoction is supposed to counteract the effects of EMFs (the bad energy waves from electronics) and makes me feel almost high after I soak in it.

Finally, I needed to hop in the shower and try to gather myself for dinner. The mini shampoo and conditioner from Bumble and bumble come with me when a travel—my curly, highlighted hair is too dry for hotel shampoo and conditioner (no matter the resort!).

Once my hair is about 60% dry out of the shower, I take a generous dollop of this creme and spread it between my hands—including between my fingers—and evenly stroke it through my hair. To really get the wavy texture I like, I do a little trick where I take my palms, press them together over sections of hair, and pull the curls out so they stretch. I threw the full size tube of this styler into my suitcase. Some things are worth checking a bag for.

By this time my mind is basically the best kind of mush and needs a little caffeine restart before I start talking to other humans again. I love my Rishi green tea so very extra much and so I bring little sachets with me. I sip on it while looking out at the pink sunset over the dusty desert.