Canyon Ranch, Tucson Arizona
I was recently invited on a 4-day trip to the beautiful Canyon Ranch Spa in Tucson, Arizona. Since this has been on my bucket list of travel for more years than I would like to admit, I jumped at the chance. Now that I have been, I can understand why I had the need to go all these years. As one of the employees told me when I arrived, “everyone gets something different out of a trip to Canyon Ranch”.
Canyon Ranch properties are all-inclusive. The price you pay includes your lodging, transfers, food, beverages (non-alcoholic), gratuities, fitness classes, fitness center, bike rentals, and pretty much everything else. Spa treatments are an additional cost.
The resort is the perfect place to take yourself or travel with friends or family. Often times, people will stay for weeks at a time when they are in need of a serious lifestyle makeover. With medical doctors, psychologists, fitness professionals, and nutritionists all on board, it is the perfect place to learn to implement a healthy lifestyle. A typical stay is 7 nights, but they do offer other options.
It is simply magical, magnificent, amazing and awesome all at the same time. The entire Canyon Ranch staff is not only trained with their product, but they believe in it and it shows. The staff is dedicated so much so that it is infectious. You can’t help but feel their enthusiasm.
When we arrived, it happened to be lunch time. This made me excited as I have heard the most amazing things about their food. I am definitely a healthy, clean and picky eater. It is a desire of mine to be able to go places where I can find not only one or two things on the menu that I will eat, but have various choices. I found it! The entire lunch menu was filled with options that included the calorie, fat, sodium and cholesterol amounts. It also notated if it was glutted free or vegan. The reason they do this is so people can get an education about food choices that they might not otherwise have. It is part of the whole Canyon Ranch philosophy. Not only do they want you to follow this while you are at the ranch, but to take this whole concept home with you. Since you don’t leave the property once you are there, we had all of our meals in one of the two restaurants on property. Happy me!
The main restaurant is an indoor, sit-down style and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menus change daily. At each meal, they also have a (I use this term loosely), a buffet. At breakfast, there are cereals, fruit, muesli and other items to choose from. At lunch, there is a fresh salad bar and sandwich/Panini bar. At dinner, they have a salad bar and a pasta bar or other hot entrée specialty.
The other restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. It overlooks one of the pools and is a perfect spot to dine al fresco or grab a to go bag and eat your lunch while you relax at the pool. There are plenty of options to choose from including salads, sandwiches, turkey/veggie burgers and lots of other goodies.
Let me also add that Canyon Ranch always uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and all ingredients are of the highest quality available. The waitress explained to us how difficult it is to supply food to Canyon Ranch because of the criteria that must be met. For their part, Canyon Ranch will change the suppliers if the quality of the food changes. You can really taste the difference. They also give you exactly what you want. My cousin, who I traveled with, loves quinoa. She asked for it the first day when she did not see it on the menu. From that time on, they asked her at each meal if she would like her quinoa. It was there for her breakfast, lunch and dinner. They do not serve alcohol on property. However, it is not against the rules to enjoy a glass of wine or a drink in your casita. We brought a couple bottles of wine with us and as we were unwinding from the day and getting ready for dinner, we would have a glass in the comfort of our casita. Also, in my opinion, an important note, you can order as much as you want. Since everything is served with portion control in mind, it might not be enough for some people. It’s absolutely acceptable to order a double portion or a few different things on the menu. Not to worry if you are a man with a hearty appetite, you will have plenty to eat.
One of the first memories that floods my mind are the fitness classes that we partook in. Wow! I am an avid workout person and have been doing this for years. I have to say, I was beyond impressed. Not only are their classes really good, they are cutting edge and extremely different and inventive. There are always two instructors, so while one is teaching, the other is going around making sure people’s form is correct, asking guests if they need water or a towel, and making sure the exercise is not hurting in any way. If it is, they will give you safe modifications. They always keep safety in mind. We did a Tabata workout, which was amazingly hard and so fun! We took yoga and stretch classes. We did a World Beat class, where they bring in live percussions and you learn native dances from around the world and we took a Drum Beat class where we were given drum sticks to use on an exercise training ball while incorporating cardio moves. We had an absolute blast with these classes and took several each day. The schedule offers different choices throughout the day so you really do get to mix up your workout.
They also have a state-of-the-art fitness center packed with cardio and strength training equipment. It is very spacious and very clean. One of the classes we took was in this room and utilized many pieces of equipment in a Boot Camp style workout. After we left any machine, one of the instructors would wipe down the equipment so it was clean for the next person.
Okay, so I’m certainly not going to skip talking about the spa. Wow and wow again. I have been to many, many spas and I really do think this one was the nicest overall. It was serene in décor, temperature and noise level. All spas strive to achieve this goal, but not all achieve it. The moment you walk in, you can just feel the calm rush over you. There are steam and dry saunas, several Jacuzzis, and a cold plunge pool. If you have never experienced the cold plunge pool, I highly suggest using it after a hard work out and a Jacuzzi. You step into the approximately 4 ft. deep pool with freezing cold water for as long as you can stand and immerge feeling fully re-energized. It’s amazing! They also have a eucalyptus room. Their list of massages, body therapy and facial choices is unlimited. I had never even heard of many of these different treatments. The spa attendant was able to give us detailed information about all the treatments so we were able to pick the ones best suited for our needs. I might add that the quiet room was actually quiet and the perfect spot to spend a few moments before our massages.
After a full day there, I noticed that I was not feeling emotionally up to par. I take pretty good care of myself spiritually and mentally, but I was really feeling down. After spending a couple of hours in the room trying to access and diagnosis my feelings, I decided to make an appointment with a psychologist. I figured this is the right place to do it, where their main focus is a healthy mind/body connection. This was absolutely the best choice I could have made for myself. I now fully understand what the person meant when she said, “everyone walks away with something from Canyon Ranch”. After meeting with the psychologist, I was walking away a different person. A more fulfilled, happier person. I learned some new tools on handling an issue that I have dealt with for a good majority of my life. It was simply freeing to me and I’m forever changed because of it.
I have so many thoughts in my head as to what I want to say about Canyon Ranch. I’m writing about my experience, which will be different from each and every person that visits. The one thing we all will have in common, is that our individual experiences are life-changing. I could go on and on telling you about Canyon Ranch’s mission statement and about their whole way of seeing and doing things. I’m simply just going to say, if you get the opportunity to experience it for yourself, do it. Whether you are single, in a marriage or relationship, young or old (or somewhere in between), female or male (40% of their guests are men), you will walk away a better person.
Feel free to contact me, Sheri Epstein, at Luxury Cruise Experts form more information and to book your individual or group at Canyon Ranch.
Find a travel agent who specializes in this
Videos & Articles
Reviews, Tips and Insights about All things Travel