asK tHE ExPErt dENa rocHÉ PHoENix, aMErica’s fiftH largEst city, is a modern and vibrant metro area that is full of unique local businesses, an environmentally conscious population and plenty to do and see. Plus, according to Forbes, Phoenix is the ﬁfth best city in the country for young professionals and the fourth fastest growing city. gallup- Healthways ranks Arizona in the top ten in state wellbeing and don’t even get us started about the fantastic weather year-round! It’s no wonder luxury travEl aNd sPa BloggEr, dENa rocHÉ chose Phoenix as her home base. As creator of The Travel Diet and professional travel journalist, Roché has visited six continents and countless countries reporting for magazines like American Way, United Hemispheres, Great Golf, Modern Luxury, Life Refined, Robb Report, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons and many more. But what makes her call Phoenix home? In this month’s Ask the Expert, we get to see the 2018 ISPA Conference & Expo host city from a local’s point of view as Roché tells us her favorite hot spots and gives tips on how to beat the Arizona heat. 62 PULSE ■ July 2018 Pulse: Why do you think Phoenix is the perfect city to host the 2018 ISPA Conference & Expo? Roché: The Valley of the Sun (which includes Phoenix’s neighbor to the east, Scottsdale) is the spa capital of the country with the most resort spas per capita. The depth of quality spas here is unmatched, so of course it’s the most natural place for a spa conference! Couple that with amazing restaurants, natural beauty and outdoor adventures and I’m positive ISPA members will be excited about the change in venue from Las Vegas. P: Why are you proud to call Phoenix home? R: I like our focus on wellness here. Not only do we have incredible resort and day spas, but there is also a culture focused on healthy eating and fitness. Plus, for being the fifth largest city in the country, it’s still livable and affordable. P: What is your favorite thing to do in downtown Phoenix? R: Downtown used to be known as “deadtown,” but in the last few years it’s become such a hotspot. I enjoy the Phoenix Public Market, restaurants like Pomo Pizzeria, The Breadfruit and Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. The nightlife scene is great, too, with cocktail bars like Bitter & Twisted and fun bars like Film Bar and Valley Bar.