After my tough year of stress and hard-work, I decided that I needed a relaxing vacation. I didn't want to go somewhere that required lots of walking, sight-seeing, shopping, or anything overly intellectually stimulating. I wanted a place that fosters pure relaxation, pampering, and valid self-centeredness. I found all this and much more at the Canyon Ranch Spa in Tucson,AZ.
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My mother, sister, and I decided to make it a girl's vacation to Canyon Ranch. We were expecting beautiful scenery, some fitness classes, and some beauty appointments. Reducing Canyon Ranch to that description would be a complete insult as I will soon show you. Let me first tell you that this trip was a gift to me, so if you are expecting lots of pricing information, you won't find it. I will explain the various types of vacations and accommodations available.
After a long, tiring night travelling in stormy conditions from Massachusetts to Tucson, we arrived at the Spa around 2am. Canyon Ranch arranged for a town-car to pick us up at the airport and escort us to the ranch. The driver was extremely friendly and understanding after our nightmare trip.
When we arrived at the Spa, a man was waiting for us in the lobby. The grounds were so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. The encourage you to be quiet at night, so that other guests may relax and enjoy the serenity. They don't allow smoking or alcohol to accompany you, so if you're looking for a party, this is not the place!
Our check-in process included receiving individual bags equipped with waterbottles and journals, to document our experience. The man offered us food and drink from the dining room, and sent us to our cabin with a basket of fruit. Our cabin was beautiful. Canyon Ranch sits on a hill, overlooking the desert and cacti below in Tucson. We could look out our window and see at least a mile in the distance. The furnishings were new and extremely clean and well kept. There are TVs and bathrooms in the bedroom and living room, and there is a fully equipped kitchen if you decide to cook on your own. You could also opt for one-room accommodations that don't include a kitchen and living room.
As a note, they don't encourage you to leave the grounds. They want you to have a very selfish experience; one in which you do no work on your own. They pamper you to the fullest extent. However, if you do want to travel around Tucson or go to a supermarket, they will arrange that for you.
A Typical Day
A typical day at Canyon Ranch started with breakfast for me. The dining room was very informal; you could go in your sweaty workout clothes, or your nice dinner outfit. It didn't matter. You simply walk into the dining room where they will seat you and wait on you. They offer a different menu each day, with some consistent items. You can order as much or as little as you want. The servings for each item are quite small, but amazingly quite filling. You really begin to realize how much you overeat at home, at least I did. You don't realize how little food you need to feel satiated. Just to add, the food was amazing! Every thing was full of flavor; it was like eating at a 5 star restaurant for every meal! They will honor every request you have within their power and they are extremely polite and helpful.
I cannot stress enough how kind the staff was at Canyon Ranch. They all understand your objective, and want you to have the most relaxing, yet invigorating experience possible.
After and between meals, which by the way, are at very broad and accommodating times, you have no schedule and if you please, can do absolutely nothing. However, there is overwhelming amount of options.
Sports and Fitness
Canyon Ranch offers a tremendous variety of fitness classes and equipment. There are even men there, because if you choose, you can just run on a treadmill or lift free weights. They have a very large facility and I never found it crowded. In terms of classes, they have a plethora available including spinning, kick-boxing, aerobics, hiking, tennis, dance, swimming, yoga, the list goes on. I found all instructors to be very qualified and energetic. I had a great time; I never felt that I was being pushed to do anything I didn't want to and I never felt that I was getting cheated out of a workout.
Briefly about dance, tennis, etc: there are private lessons available. You can schedule those at your convenience.
Beauty and Pampering
The beauty staff was wonderful. I had a facial, manicure, pedicure and massage. Each experience was wonderful. They spend time making sure that each "pampering" is of high quality. In both my manicure and my pedicure, the beautician paid attention to detail and put a lot of time making sure I was comfortable. They give you a drink before you sit down and always ask you if you need a new magazine. You don't have to have anything like this done, but I highly recommend it!
I just want to say a few miscellaneous things about the atmosphere. First, there is iced tea, lemonade, and water all over the grounds. They remind you all of the time to stay hydrated due to the dry climate.
Second, the pools were amazing! I went on the underwater treadmill everyday. It is the greatest invention. You don't really feel like your working that hard when you're doing it, but you'll feel it later! By the way, there are several pools. One for water aerobics, one with the treadmills and underwater weights, and one for pleasure.
Lastly, there are many things I didn't try that might be of interest to you. They offer tarot card readings, cooking classes, watercolor classes, meditation, tai-chi, guest speakers and lecturers, performances, and so much more. The list goes on, and if you find yourself interested, I would definitely get some more information from Canyon Ranch itself.
In closing, I know there are many features of the spa that I have forgotten. I have probably lost some of you at this point, but I hope you have grasped my main objective here. This is the most relaxing and self-indulgent vacation out there. Isn't that what vacation is supposed to be like? I went home a much healthier, invigorated and vibrant person. if you feel overly stressed or just deserve a break, take a look into Canyon Ranch.
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