Canyon Ranch is a health spa and all-inclusive resort in north Tucson near the Santa Catalina Mountains. Here the focus is on wellness, nutrition, and fitness. Daily fitness classes along with informational lectures and a menu packed with healthy, low-calorie food help guests to jumpstart (or maintain) a healthy lifestyle. The color palette of the southwest inspired the decor of the rooms, which come complete with flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and iPod docks. Immaculate, peaceful grounds and focused spa treatments all provide an incredibly relaxing environment. While many guests report feeling renewed after a visit -- especially after spending time in the 80,000-square-foot spa complex -- there is a hefty nightly resort fee and a three-night minimum stay.
A focus on health and wellness to renew the mind, body, and spirit
Canyon Ranch is a 70-acre all-inclusive resort that caters to guests seeking to improve their health and wellness. Few spa resorts in America offer the range of services and experienced professionals found at Canyon Ranch. There are dozens of treatments offered at the 80,000-square-foot spa complex in addition to fitness classes and therapy sessions with psychotherapists and yoga professionals. The scene here is focused on both relaxation and invigorating the lives of guests through fitness and healthy eating choices. A stay here is designed to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle, and no alcohol is served at the resort. However, guests are welcome to bring drinks for consumption in the rooms.
In north Tucson in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains
Canyon Ranch is located in north Tucson in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. It is surrounded by upscale neighborhoods and there are no shops or restaurants within walking distance. Parking is included with the nightly resort fee, as is shuttle service to the Tucson Airport.
Tucson is the second-biggest city in Arizona and perhaps the most culturally rich. Though officially founded in 1776, Tucson was first settled in the late 1600s by Spanish missionaries (one popular local attraction is the beautiful Mission San Xavier del Bac), and 4,000 years earlier by Hohokam Indians. It is said to be one of the longest continuously-inhabited cities in the USA, known since it’s inception as the “Old Pueblo.”
Sitting in a broad valley at 2,400 feet above sea level between five different mountain ranges, Tucson enjoys on average 350 sunny days per year and an arid climate that produces one of the most diverse desert environments in the world. The Sonoran Desert features the stately saguaro cactus, which is celebrated at Saguaro National Park on the city’s outskirts, and many other varieties of cacti and unique wildlife including a few notable desert dwellers such as rattlesnakes, Gila Monsters, and Giant Desert Hairy Scorpions. There was even a 2009 sighting of a rare jaguar. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has wildlife and flora on display, and is the best place to learn more.
With all that sunshine Tucson is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Scores of golf courses dot the city. Hiking possibilities are limitless and year-round in the Santa Catalina and Santa Rita Mountains nearby, with Sabino Canyon Recreation Area being a local favorite. Mountain bikers come to Tucson by the thousands for the miles of single-track trails in the desert. Bird watchers can explore some of the richest avian populations in North America in nearby secluded canyons. And there’s even a ski area atop Mt. Lemmon at over 9,000 feet among fir and pine trees.
Tucson’s Hispanic community is woven into the fabric of everyday life in the city, and is reflected in the Mexican restaurants, Spanish place names, and the arts and culture that play a large part in forming Tucson’s identity. The arts abound in Tucson in dozens of galleries such as the Etherton Gallery or De Grazia Gallery in the Sun (celebrating the work of Tucson artist Ted De Grazia). The University of Arizona houses the Creative Center for Photography, the nation’s largest repository of photographs by notable artists such as Ansel Adams and W. Eugene Smith.
As a desert city, Tucson gets hot in the summertime with temperatures ranging in the 100s from May to mid-September. Winter is the busy season when many visitors succumb to the temptations of 75-degree days and pleasant evenings around a fireplace. Yet summers can be enjoyable too by sticking close to a pool or indulging in shopping -- just remember to pack extra water and avoid exertion in the mid-day sun. Locals might suggest taking a siesta -- “nap” in Spanish -- during midday hours.
It’s important to realize that freeways are nonexistent in Tucson save for I-10. Driving times can vary depending on time of day, as rush hour creates a twice-daily snarl on surface streets.
40-minute drive from Tucson International Airport
10-minute drive to Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
15-minute drive to the De Grazia Gallery in the Sun
20-minute drive to La Encantada shopping area
30-minute drive to the The Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona
30-minute drive to Reid Park Zoo
35-minute drive to Pima Air and Space Museum
35-minute drive to Saguaro National Park East
50-minute drive to Mission San Xavier del Bac
50-minute drive to Old Tucson Studios
50-minute drive to the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum
1-hour and 25-minute drive to Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley
Modern, big rooms with flat-screen TVs and iPod docks
Rooms at Canyon Ranch are big and modern with some luxe features. Beds offer feather mattresses and fine Mascioni -- a top Italian brand -- linens along with attractive wood headboards. Extra room features include cozy robes, iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, and DVD players. Decor is minimal and relaxing, with colors that mimic the desert palette in beige and tan walls. Leather chairs and sleeper sofas are nice touches, and some rooms come with views of the mountains. Baths are big and feature stone tile floors and walls.
Flat-screen TVs and iPod docks
In-room safes are big enough for laptops
Rooms facing north may have good views of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
Sheets and pillowcases are made by Italian luxury brand Mascioni.
Coffeemakers and free coffee
Upgrading to an Executive Room gets more space, a makeup vanity, and sitting area.
Luxury Suites come with one, two, or three bedrooms and include a master suite, living room, dining area, kitchen, washer/dryer, and patio.
Scores of health and wellness programs, lectures, and outdoor activities
Guests come to Canyon Ranch for its unique features. There is an 80,000-square-foot spa complex where dozens of spa treatments are available. In addition, each day there are over 40 programs, activities, and fitness classes aimed at helping guests maintain a healthy lifestyle. Guests can enjoy outdoor activities such as tennis, racquetball, and guided hikes as well. There are also plenty of spaces to relax throughout the manicured property, included heated saline pools, Jacuzzis, and saunas. A few of the features incur an extra cost beyond the all-inclusive package, including the ropes course and climbing wall.
Canyon Ranch has two dining rooms where three healthy, gourmet, low-calorie meals are served daily. Nutritionists offer lectures on the food and information is provided about the variety of health benefits of consuming a nutrient-rich, low-calorie diet. Guests can order extra helpings in case the small portions don’t cut it. To-go meals are also available. When checking in or out, lunch is the first and last available meal to guests, so there is a benefit to arriving early for one’s stay and leaving late if possible.
Nutritional information (including calorie count) available for all dishes on all menus
Canyon Ranch offers two dining rooms where three meals a day are served.