I'm no martyr, but after almost a dozen years raising children, it has been pretty obvious whose needs come first on a regular basis. Hint: They aren't my own. Sound familiar?
It'd be a shame to come to Canyon Ranch and not get outside to take in the beautiful environment of the Berkshires and their incredibly picturesque grounds. Take a leisurely guided hike on nearby trails, which is what I did followed by a quiet wooded run, and, later, a beginner mountain biking class through on-site trails. I then collapsed into the crystal-clear outdoor pool and stared at the sky overhead. Pretty awful, huh?
If you're feeling more Zen, take a quiet walk through their labyrinth or just go
swing in the hammock. Or, in the winter, go crunching through the snow
with some snowshoes and enjoy the quiet.
However even the most hard-core athletes will find lots of challenging things to do here beyond the hikes and spin classes, including a high-ropes course that requires nerves of steel even more than it requires muscles. Hiking in the Berkshires, kayaking on a nearby lake, and road-and-mountain biking can be as intense as you want. In fact, it's why you could even convince a spa-phobic husband like mine to join you for an anniversary weekend.
Health and Wellness
One area that made a big impression on me was how much Canyon Ranch offers their clients in the area of health and wellness. In fact, some guests--admittedly those with deep pockets--come to Canyon Ranch solely to try to diagnose their health issues and meet with specialists ranging from Eastern Medicine practictoners to Board-Certified Physicians.
For me, talking to a nutritionist really helped pinpoint why I feel the need to nap every afternoon and how I can improve my energy through diet. And when I went in to have a shoulder and neck massage, I found out that my masseuse was actually a neuromuscular therapist with the expertise to really work what needed work. I mostly love that he gave me exercises to do at home to help prevent my pains from coming back.
Ah, yes, the Spa
Oh, but I said "spa" somewhere earlier, right? Yeah, the Canyon Ranch spa is as amazing as everything you've heard. Strolling around in a big fluffy white robe, jumping in the jacuzzi, walking out of spa rooms pleasantly dizzy and smelling of oil: All lovely.
Make sure to ask a lot of questions when you are making your appointments: My legs and feet treatment was a little too sports-medicine aggressive for me, when I was really looking for an ahhhhhhhh foot massage. There are also special prenatal treatments
for you mamas-to-be if you want (you want! you want!) a little pampering before your baby's arrival.
Time to Eat
Fresh fruit and flavored beverages are available everywhere all day long, which is a joy after all that exercise. For meals, there's a main dining room which is beautiful and feels comfortably formal, though there is a more casual cafe and outdoor seating with a view. Meals are delicious and super healthy, so don't plan to follow your 5PM spinning class with a "reward" of a giant plate of fries and a salted-rim beverage. In fact, alcohol is not served at all, though coffee---thank goodness--is.
Just for kicks, I asked for salt at my table one evening, and received a shaker with a smile, but it's certainly not left out on the table.
With food included in the cost of your stay, I liked trying different vegetables or main dishes without worrying too much if I wouldn't like it. They'll even let you request half-portions of meals so you can try a couple of different things without being wasteful. And, yes, they do serve dessert--and it is yummy.
OK, Let's Talk Cost - And Discounts
A week's stay at Canyon Ranch for me alone would deplete our entire year's vacation budget, never mind that I'd need to find a live-in nanny to watch my children, since kids under 14 are not allowed. This is definitely a luxury adult vacation, no question about it.
For a little more palatable (though still pricey) option there are Canyon Ranch specials
with up to 30% off, and a Two-Night Getaway option (Lenox only) which is much more doable for a mama wanting to sneak away for a special weekend. I love that they offer teachers and nurses special discounts (yay teachers and nurses!), and there are also incentives to get you to grab your two BFF's and head to the Berkshires for a friends' getaway.
Those of you snow bunnies who love a New England winter will be rewarded with the lowest rates of the year during this season. If it blizzards? All of the buildings at Canyon Ranch are accessible to each other without setting a foot outside, so you don't need to touch a single snowflake if you'd prefer.
Also keep in mind that prices include all your meals, attendance to many of their featured events
, and entry into their many group exercise classes. Also included in the total is a generous "Service Allowance" which you can apply to extra-fee services such as a full-body massage or some special offerings like their gorgeous yoga-on-a-paddleboard sunrise class or informative Healthy Eating Consultation.
Honey, if you're reading this: Start saving, okay? I feel like I might need another system reboot in the not-too-distant future. -Christina
A huge thanks to Canyon Ranch Lenox for inviting Cool Mom Picks to spend three days exploring and enjoying their facilities.