This all-inclusive wellness resort offers a fantastic array of hikes, fitness classes and locally-inspired activities but, above all else, it provides a terrific experience for solo travellers who are looking to shed their corporate armour and just unwind.
By Lynn Michele
As I sat myself down at the community table at Canyon Breeze restaurant, the round of introductions was already underway. “I’m Karen* from DC. I’m an attorney with the Department of Justice.” “I’m Jodie from Boston and I’m also an attorney.” “Hello, my name is Susan. I’m from New York and work as a District Attorney.” “Hello,” I said, “my name is Lynn, I’m from Toronto, Canada, and–you guessed it–I am also a lawyer!”
Along with the four of us female attorneys travelling solo at Red Mountain, the acclaimed wellness resort located in Ivins, Utah (pop. 6,800), I would also meet two other lawyers and one judge, also women.
We would reconvene at various times throughout the week: during our daily morning hikes through the glorious southwestern region of Utah and myriad fitness classes; at an intuitive astrology session; or by the outdoor pool for an aqua-fit class.
After a few days of our reasonably-paced schedules (the options are plentiful, but we’re advised not to pack in too many activities), we begin to unwind and shed our corporate armour.
For this week, at least, we are not going to be the meticulous perfectionists that our jobs demand of us. Instead, we let loose during the “Drums Alive” cardio class and we even sleep in on occasion. By mid-week, we jokingly refer to our group as the “Type A” 12-step recovery program.
Clearly, we had all come here seeking some form of relief. This was not my first visit to the property and it turned out that a number of others were Red Mountain Resort alumni as well. I began to wonder what it was about this resort that made it such an attractive place for corporate types, particularly, women travelling solo.
I’ve been on many wellness vacations but of all the fabulous places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting, I seem to gravitate back to Red Mountain more than any other place. Why was this?
I could point to the resort’s calling card: the daily guided hikes that explore different canyons and terrain, each trail so vast and so majestic, they don’t even look real. (Indeed, some of the rock formations look like they are right out of the Flintstones).
The petroglyph hike, especially, where guests closely examine etchings in the slots of Snow Canyon State Park that date back tens of thousands of years, documenting the life stories of the area’s earliest inhabitants. The backstories are so rich and mysterious, our present-day problems seem wholly insignificant in comparison.
Meanwhile, back on the property, the relaxing atmosphere of the Sagestone Spa lounge, with its floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the vibrant red rocks surrounding the property that is set against a cobalt blue sky, is where guests hang out prior to sampling some of the nature-inspired treatments, such as the Soothing Agave Ritual, or, for those who overdid it on the trails, the therapeutic Hiker’s Massage.
The selection of yoga classes–Yoga in Snow Canyon, Candlelit Yoga and the Posture and Alignment Class–provide a panacea for us “desk jockeys.” There is a wide selection of activities that promote self-improvement, ranging from pottery to cooking to Shamanic Energy Healing, many of which incorporate local elements of the region.
One of my personal favourite activities is the Pound Puppy Hike, a gentle walk that pairs guests with dogs from a local animal shelter. The experience provides a healthy dose of TLC for humans and dogs alike.
Another draw is the fact that everything you need is contained within the resort, and the property is relatively easy to navigate. Apart from the dining room service at dinnertime, breakfast and lunch are served buffet style. The food is tasty and healthy, if not strictly calorie- or portion-controlled, and there are plenty of options for those with dietary preferences or restrictions.
This easy access to activities and amenities provides a simplicity that is a necessary component for a wellness vacation. Goodness knows I don’t need to seek out fancy restaurants, pulsing city nightlife or other distractions when I’m looking to getaway. The last thing I want to do is replicate the non-stop go hustle of city life.
That said, for those who do want to explore a little, I would recommend a half-day trip to Kayenta, a nearby community where you can find small art galleries and other local artisans; and Tuacahn Theatre, which features live theatre and music productions during warmer months and is affectionately known as “Broadway in the Desert.”
On the last day of my stay, I saw District Attorney Susan wander around the property’s Labyrinth circle where many guests go to meditate. I’m sure I could have stopped and had a pleasant chat with her, but I sensed she just needed some time by herself to reflect. And so did I. That is the cool thing about Red Mountain. One can be alone but never feel lonely.
Lynn was a guest at Red Mountain Resort in May 2019. Accommodations were subsidized and photos were provided by Red Mountain Resort. Names and other personal details have been changed.