What to know, before you book

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As post-pandemic travel continues to rebound, demand for wellness travel is high. But long before the keyword started trending, Canyon Ranch was luring guests to take part in transformative experiences designed to linger long after their stay.

So, if you are looking to splurge on the ultimate wellness vacation – here’s what to know about visiting a Canyon Ranch wellness resort.

What is Canyon Ranch?

In 1979, Mel Zuckerman opened this first-of-its-kind wellness resort in Tucson, Arizona. Over the past 40 years, the Canyon Ranch brand has expanded. There’s now another wellness facility in Lenox, Massachusetts, that just finished a multimillion dollar spa renovation, a Canyon Ranch Day Spa in Las Vegas, and a new retreat center in Woodside, California.

How do I book a stay at Canyon Ranch?

Booking a stay at the luxurious Canyon Ranch wellness resort is similar to making an online reservation for an all-inclusive. But unlike a traditional resort, you’re prompted to choose a “pathway” for your visit  – think of it as your reason for going to a wellness resort. It might be to learn about maintaining a healthy weight, aging well and living longer, or simply discovering joy and purpose. It’s really up to you.

Choosing your intention (as the Ranchers call it) helps narrow down a long list of available classes, services and spa treatments that you can take during your stay. If you’re stuck on an itinerary, chat with a Canyon Ranch adviser. Many do.

On-site advisers are quite skilled at planning schedules around your budget and wellness goals. On my first visit, I met with an adviser in person. He looked at my packed schedule and suggested more “chill” time. So, together we reworked my schedule to make room for spontaneous activity and added an Ayurvedic treatment to help me unwind.

How much does Canyon Ranch cost?

A lot.

Expect to spend about $900-plus per night at Canyon Ranch. Yup, it’s expensive. The rate does include unlimited healthy meals and snacks. So, I definitely took advantage and ordered daily kale smoothies.

All-inclusive perks include access to daily activities. “Lunch & learns,” workshops, yoga, hiking, pilates, or tennis. The list goes on and on. Spa treatments and specialized services run $80 and up.

Also, consider Miraval Wellness Resorts or for lower-priced options, consider a day visit to Kripalu starting at $125.

What's the experience like at Canyon Ranch?

As far as standard resort rooms go, they are fairly simple and designed for relaxation and quiet time. I was actually pretty pumped to find a humidifier and white noise machine in my room. While there are televisions, I doubt they are used much. The resort also encourages guests to limit cell phone use, but finding two device charging stations in my room was appreciated.

But if you’re not ready to splurge on a weeklong stay, there is an option to purchase a day pass to visit the Las Vegas, Tucson, or Lenox locations. During the day, users may book a wellness service or massage or attend a lecture, kick back for a nutritious lunch, and check out the spa and fitness facilities.

And if you really get hooked, consider splurging on a Membership.

This is a new wellness series for USA TODAY by award-winning journalist Julie Loffredi.

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