Spa Getaways—For Health and Wellness From the Inside Out

I’ll confess—it’s been a hectic couple of months for Ross and me. One antidote for the “busy” we get ourselves into so joyfully, but which wears us out nevertheless, is a trip to the sunny Southwest. We arrived at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, bringing with us a cold snap blowing down from the Arctic and blanketing much of the north and western states in snow. It isn’t always hot in Tucson, but even the cold is sunny. From all the stylish boots and jackets I see, I think the Tucson ladies secretly enjoy a bit of cooler weather.

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From our initial check-in to the first cozy dinner of healthy food and hot mint tea, we feel wrapped in the nurturing warmth of a resort designed to promote healing of mind, body and spirit.

Now in its 35th year, Canyon Ranch was created by a successful developer who had a mid-life health epiphany, after living decades longer than physicians initially predicted when he was diagnosed with severe asthma as a child. He and his wife , now in their 80’s, still live here at the ranch.

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Addressing the total person, the Ranch offers services ranging from anything and everything to do with weight loss, fitness, and physical health (Medical docs on staff) to aesthetic medicine, spa and beauty treatments and on to “Life Management”, “Healing Energy”, “Metaphysical” and “Spirituality.”

On any given day, there are classes from early morning to late evening, with something for everyone along the way. Specialty and custom programs let you work with a program adviser to design the right mix of services to achieve your health and lifestyle goals.

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You never feel crowded or rushed here; the sprawling adobe buildings are nestled into native landscaping so things feel just right, with plenty of open spaces inviting you to walk.

The food is really good! You can eat like a king or follow any sort of special diet you need. All menu items list calories, fat, carbs, sodium and vegan or gluten-free. There’s even dessert, including homemade ice cream!


There is no alcohol served here, but you can bring it along and drink it in your room if you want to. To qualify as a “destination spa” no alcohol is sold or served on property, to support guests on their journey to optimum health.

Cell phone use is (wonderfully) restricted to the guestrooms and a few designated areas on the property. There’s free wifi in the guestrooms and you can hook up all your devices–no limits.

There’s a relaxed, tranquil feeling to the place, and dress is spa-casual. (Just no spa robes in the dining room.) People mostly wear sweats, yoga attire, and sweatshirts. Tennis shoes or sandals are the preferred footwear.

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Groups are welcome here and it’s a very popular place for girlfriend getaways. Several times a year there are specialty themed weeks, addressing a variety of topics from health to beauty to yoga…even Broadway dancers during “You Gotta Dance” week.

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