Thursday, September 16, 2010

Canyon Ranch Tucson: My Happy Place


We all have our Happy Places. You know, the type of place that makes you smile and take a deep breath the minute you arrive; the type of place that simply put, makes you happy. Topping my list is Canyon Ranch Tucson, one of the original "destination spa resorts" which I recently visited for the fourth time in six years.

Founded 30 years ago by Mel & Enid Zuckerman, Canyon Ranch has a loyal following who come to the desert spa for various reasons...some come to kickstart a health & fitness regime, others to relax get away from it all and some, like me, who need a blackberry break and a gentle reminder of how beneficial a few days in this environment can be. I liken it to summer camp for adults, only there's no one waking you up early (unless you want to be for the 6 am hikes) and your daily schedule & activity pace is in your hands. It's a well-deserved break and a perfect way to take a time-out from the craziness of everyday life.

Personally, I love the fact that I can choose from dozens of classes--everything from yoga to cardio to stretch to funky and fun dance options--all day long. I can feel the calories--and more notably the stress--melting away during my entire stay. It's such a luxury not just squeezing in one yoga class or work out per day, but having the opportunity to enjoy several each day in between delicious healthy meals, spa treatments, energy/spiritual sessions with renowned authors, top doctors and other amazing health & wellness professionals. An energy session or "Shamanic Journey with the Ranch's Director of Spiritual Programming and "Return to the Sacred" author Jonathan Ellerby is a must...it was a highlight of my stay.

Other highlights included the delicious gluten free mesquite-flour blueberry pancakes for breakfast; the evening seminars on integrative health & cancer prevention; lounging by the pool before a walk on the underwater treadmill; the fact that I was able to bring Mikey my maltipoo (love pet-friendly spa resorts!); and the new classes including "Desert Drumming" and one involving a lot of killer exercises to tone the lower half. A few weeks later and I'm already looking forward to my return visit next year!

Want to join me and experience Canyon Ranch for yourself? You can take advantage of our special Elite Travel group rates with a choice of arrival the last or second to last Sunday in August. Four- to seven-night stays are available, with all-inclusive four-night rates from about $2,000/person based on double occupancy (single rates just slightly more). Our special rates include all meals, accommodations, airport transfers, taxes/gratuities, classes/activities and a minimum $520 spa credit (will be higher for longer stays).

As an added incentive, reserve your spot before Dec. 31 and receive an added $50 spa credit as a gift from u to use during your stay. Contact us for more details at elitetravelgal@gmail.com or 310 979 9036. Space is limited, and of course, we also have rates for two- to three-bedroom casitas if you'd like to travel with family or friends! Hope to see you next August at my Happy Place, aka Canyon Ranch.

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