Recommend’s 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards winner for Best Hotel/Resort in the Spa Category is Canyon Ranch. Certainly, we are far from the first in the media to shower accolades on one of the world’s most famous luxury spa, health and well-being brands, for Canyon Ranch consistently garners top ratings from travel and spa magazines. Canyon Ranch, in fact, is an 11-time winner of Conde Nast Traveler’s “Best Destination Spa” award; in 2011, Travel + Leisure readers placed Canyon Ranch Miami Beach among the “Top 10 Spas in the World”; Spa Magazine and Spa Finder have bestowed other honors, from “Favorite Day Spa” and “Favorite Cruise Spa,” to “Best Spa Cuisine,” “Best Spa Cooking Classes,” “Best Medical Spa,” “Best Spa for Men,” and “Best Spa for Going Solo.”
Canyon Ranch pioneered the wellness lifestyle when it debuted its founding property, Canyon Ranch Tucson, in 1979. “Back then, we couldn’t have offered all the things we do today,” says company spokesperson Meredith Ford. “Today’s consumer is eager to embrace the four traditional pillars on which Canyon Ranch rests: nutrition, exercise, medical services and spa, and nowadays we are adding spirituality. Come next year, we will be celebrating in different ways our 35 years of empowering people to live healthier, longer and more joyful lives through fitness, nutrition, stress management and integrated wellness.”
In this day and age of the pursuit of both luxury travel and healthy living, Ford feels that the Canyon Ranch all-inclusive and all-caring business is good business for travel agents. “Ours is a really appealing product for agents, for our commissions cover not only hotels but all aspects of the client’s vacation package, which normally run three, four or seven nights, depending on
According to Ford, 25 percent of Canyon Ranch’s business comes from travel agents, “and we work closely with industry groups such as Virtuoso and Signature.”
Since Canyon Ranch Tucson opened its doors it has gone on to become one of North America’s most famous spa, health and wellness meccas. Set amid a gorgeous 70-acre spread of Sonoran Desert landscape, Canyon Ranch Tucson continues to live up to its reputation as an innovator in the spa industry. Most recently, according to Ford, “we have introduced features to increase male business, such as Primitive Outdoor Skills workshops—fire-making and native awareness are just a couple of examples. Additionally, we have added innovative physical activities such as pickleball and X-treme Outdoor Boot Camp.”
The jewel in the Canyon Ranch crown is its Life Enhancement Program, which operates out of a separate complex with its own spa and health center, staffed with all the expertise and resources guests need to pursue their wellness goals.
The second destination spa is Canyon Ranch Lenox, a sprawling complex constructed around an 1890 Italianate mansion. Ford points out that while the Canyon Ranch Lenox property offers the same destination-immersion type of vacation experience as desert-bound Tucson, “its location alone gives clients all new experiences and activities that come with the changing seasons of New England’s Berkshire Hills, and we offer a full range of outdoor activities to complement each season. Additionally, guests benefit from being in one of the most active art centers in the country.”
According to Ford, the Lenox property “attracts guests—always a hit for a girlfriend getaway—from the tri-state area on the east coast who book a 3-night package and for the next visit, head for a longer stay at Canyon Ranch Tucson.”
The company’s newest health and hospitality model is Canyon Ranch Miami Beach, which combines the flexibility of a la carte services in a five-star resort with the lifestyle choices of a health resort. The family-friendly, all-suite resort sports four pools; a range of fitness facilities including a pampering spa, a physician-therapist-physiologist-staffed Health and Wellness Center; and three restaurants whose chefs create protein-rich dishes balanced by fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
SpaClub, meanwhile, is the Canyon Ranch day-spa model now in play at the Venetian and Palazzo hotels in Las Vegas. It’s designed to offer guests respite from the action of the city, a place to relax, renew and re-energize, taking a massage, climbing the 40-ft. rock wall or adjourning to Aquavana, an oasis of water therapies. SpaClub went east last year to create a spa and fitness experience in partnership with The Homestead, a historic, family-friendly hotel in Hot Springs, VA. SpaClub here has its own style Aquavana, a European-inspired, aqua-thermal oasis where adults-only guests enjoy “taking the waters” from mineral springs that have drawn travelers since the mid-1700s, including Thomas Jefferson.
SpaClub, incidentally, also goes to sea aboard the Queen Mary 2, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas. While at 20,000 sq. ft., the SpaClub aboard the Queen Mary 2 is the largest spa afloat, and all share common features in their havens of wellness and rejuvenation: aqua-thermal environments, massage and body treatments, fitness classes and workouts, fitness assessments, specialized fitness services, personal training, and Canyon Ranch dining selections on shipboard menus.
Bottom line: Canyon Ranch was certainly ahead of its time in promoting a product that is all the rage today—luxury vacations focused on doing what’s good for the mind, body and soul.