Southwest Sojourns

A spa debut and new health programming yield powerful results at three Southwestern resorts.

A spa debut and new health programming yield powerful results at three Southwestern resorts.

The Multiweek Stay

Canyon Ranch

Tucson, Ariz.

Owner Mel Zuckerman established the standard for opulent yet effective wellness retreats more than 35 years ago when he opened this flagship property in 1979. The grande dame of health resorts remains as fit as ever through such innovative programming as the recently debuted Discover Your Fitness Age ($370), which helps quantify the progress necessary so that one’s “fitness age” does not exceed one’s chronological age. For those compelled to make serious lifestyle changes, spending 10 to 30 days in situ can make a significant difference. Guests meet with an exercise physiologist (request director Mike Siemens, if possible) who will measure body composition and aerobic aptitude. Post-assessment, guests receive their results as an overall score that determines their “fitness age” and a customized exercise prescription that details not only the types of activities to pursue but also duration, frequency, and target heart-rate zones.

Guests can set the plan in motion during their stays: The all-inclusive resort offers about 40 activities per day to aid in achieving one’s goals. Siemens recommends a variety of workouts each week, including high-intensity interval training to build fitness and longer aerobic sessions to facilitate fat-burning.

Greet the mornings with sunrise yoga or a group hike, or mountain bike through the saguaro-studded trails. Barre, TRX, and aqua treadmill classes, aerial hammock yoga, boxing, and tennis and golf lessons can help improve biometrics, as can the resort’s healthy cuisine and cooking classes. Canyon Ranch’s blue-chip spa is the hub of the fitness wheel; guests are encouraged to use the hot tub and cold plunge pool to assist with muscle recovery. Acupuncture and other integrative approaches to wellness are available, as are appointments with dietitians, physicians, and licensed therapists.

At the end of a multiweek stay, repeat the fitness-age assessment to monitor progress and set new goals. Real change—and rejuvenation—can happen here, fueled by the talented and accommodating staff. (10-night packages in executive accommodations begin at $11,680 per person, with discounts available for 30-day bookings) 800.742.9000, canyonranch.com 

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The One-Week Stay

Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas

Dallas, Texas

This spring, the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas—located northwest of the city amid the lush greens of the Cottonwood Valley Golf Course and TPC Four Seasons course—unveiled the newly renovated Sports Club, a 185,000-square-foot athletic and spa facility created to help guests reach personal wellness goals via comprehensive health assessments and activities powered by spa brand Well & Being. Open to lodgers at the resort and members of the Sports Club, the $6 million facility’s weeklong Play Well Rx program pairs each client with a wellness coach trained in a course of study developed by Well Being’s chief medical officer and renowned integrative-medicine specialist, Tieraona Low Dog, MD. The wellness coach evaluates body composition, metabolic rate, and oxygen consumption, then prescribes specific Well & Being workouts and treatments for guests to experience during their stays.

A day in the Play Well Rx program may start off with a bowl of protein-rich hot quinoa with berries and honey followed by an hour-long spin class, a tension-reducing acupressure treatment, a signature Well Being massage with soothing lime oil, and a personalized course on stress management. Tai chi, Pilates, and aerial hammock yoga in a specially equipped studio are just a few of the other activities available, as well as access to steam rooms, an indoor lap pool, and an adults-only private spa pool. Special Well & Being menu offerings are available at each dining venue.

Upon departing, guests will be given their body assessment results along with recommendations for meals they can make at home and the types of exercises best suited to their goals, drilled down to the number of sets they should perform and how long they should hold certain weights. (Play Well Rx from $2,500 per person per six-day program, not including accommodations. Available beginning in late spring.) 972.717.0700, fourseasons.com

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The Long Weekend

Mii Amo Resort Spa

Sedona, Ariz.

Nestled in the serene red rocks of Boynton Canyon, some 4,600 feet above sea level, this destination spa offers the ideal multiday package to nourish the mind and body. Known primarily for its exclusive spa culture, the resort has added a physical-health component led by its first fitness director, Danielle Fryer, RDN, CFT. Beginning April 5, Mii Amo—the Yuman word meaning “to continue one’s path or journey”—will host the Body Transformation retreat, a four-night journey designed to heighten guests’ physical, emotional, and spiritual connectivity while providing the tools and resources needed to sustain a wholesome life. The all-inclusive package features accommodations in one of the 70-acre property’s 16 spa guest rooms and suites, two daily spa treatments, and three organic, locally sourced meals a day. Healthful menu options may include pan-roasted quail with cumin, celery root, and kumquat jam, and salmon carpaccio with preserved lemon, pearl onions, caper berries, and dill crème fraîche.

The retreat will be led by Fryer, author of The Mindful Clean Plate, a nutrition workbook promoting clean and balanced eating that will be broken down for guests during two guided workshops. After participants’ metabolic rates and body compositions are tested, they will partake in two daily exercises designed and coached by Fryer, from interval strength or cardiovascular training to Woga, a signature outdoor yoga practice that incorporates power walking through the scenic, rust-hued canyons. The retreat is ideal for anyone seeking to jump-start a healthy lifestyle, as well as those who already have a good grasp of it. A 30-minute evaluation with Fryer concludes the retreat, but the journey continues as each guest receives a copy of The Mindful Clean Plate workbook, a collection of Fryer’s healthy recipes, and a new foundation on how to lead a mindful, nurtured life. (Body Transformation retreat from $3,500 to $6,780 per person) 888.749.2137, miiamo.com

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