84738 Travel Guide
Fat camp. That's a terrible way to put it, isn't it? Well, it's true. Before Red Mountain Resort in St. George was Red Mountain Resort, it was the National Institute of Fitness, a weight-loss, calorie-controlled establishment where people went specifically to change their lifestyles and trim down. There was no snacking, there was no drinking. It was, from the sound of it, hell on earth in the desert.
But that all changed in 1998, when the 106-room property officially transitioned and rebranded to the Red Mountain Resort. It went through a major "chill out" makeover in the process, and today it stands as one of the most impressive soft-adventure home bases we've come across in a while. A lot of you expressed during our editor faceoff last month that active vacations were something you valued and enjoyed. Allow us to introduce you to your next destination.
One of the best things Red Mountain has going for it that it didn't have to reinvent was its location an hour from Zion at the mouth of Snow Canyon State Park, an epicenter of sandstone mountains and red rock scenery where many movies were filmed, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. There is a private trail that runs from the hotel to the gate of the park, which means you're a stone's throw from some epic hiking and biking. The hotel runs at least one free guided hiking excursion a day in the Park, or you can take one of the free bikes and explore on your own. Red Mountain also manages trips for guests to kayak, canyoneer, and visit Zion.
Red Mountain Resort & Spa wants you to go the natural route. Considered "alternative" to many in the West, Eastern medicine techniques have long been used to prevent and heal various illnesses. This month, Red Mountain is championing various alt-approaches in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
While we don't advocate one mode of healing over another, we do support awareness-raising efforts, and Red Mountain's approach just happens to translate into zen-inducing programs for guests. Just listen to the music on their homepage for a taste of the vibe they're going for.
Since there's a certain contingent that's dubious of chanting "Om" and being pricked by chakra-balancing needles, Red Mountain's programs are meant to educate as much as they are soothe your stressed out nerves. You can sign up to be led in a session of Preventative Meditation, learn more about "A Chinese Medical Perspective on Healing From Cancer", sit in on a lecture about Prevention, Detection and Nutrition, or partake in a Healing Fire Ceremony with a certified shaman.
You might say we’ve got it bad for puppies. So pardon our excitement over the adorableness of the Red Mountain Resort & Spa’s new partnership with the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. The Utah resort is offering guests the chance to volunteer at the neighboring sanctuary — AKA play with rescued animals (not just puppies!) and help maintain the sanctuary.
The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Volunteer Experience begins with a short hike to an overlook in Zion National Park, followed by a tour of the sanctuary, which sits on a 33,000-acre ranch in Angel Canyon. After the tour is lunch overlooking the canyon, then an afternoon hanging with some new furry friends. Volunteer activities range from brushing and walking dogs to scooping poop and cleaning trails.
Best Friends is home to nearly 2,000 rescued dogs, cats, horses, pigs, and more and is a short drive to Red Mountain Resort & Spa. You can read more about the sanctuary over at Jaunted.
The eight-hour volunteer experience is offered weekly and can be added to any available Red Mountain package for $129 per person (group rates available).
You'll have to act fast to grab this one at the Red Mountain Spa in Utah's Red Rock Country: It's only good this month. So, two weeks to go. The rate, $209 per person per night, is more than one-third lower than the lowest rate we found for September. (That was $316 per person per night.)
For Sunday through Thursday night stays, you can shave off another 5%. Another added incentive for this last minute getaway: $59 massages. Two hours north of Las Vegas, the 82-room Red Mountain Spa tilts personal growth as well as active, with optional personal coach and detox programs. (Note to train-wreck chemical overindulgers: This is more nutritional sort.)
The rooms and spa, Sagebrush, were designed by Judi Testani. Sagebrush looks especially hip with its lime-green-and-black theme. Her Scottsdale-based firm also did The Sanctuary at Camelback Mountain.
If you haven't heard of Red Mountain, you may have read about it in the travel press. It's gotten plenty of ink over the past year or two. Condé Nast Traveler readers voted Red Mountain one of top ten destination spas for 2007.
We're mindful heat could curtail outdoor activities. When we checked with a reservationist this week, she reported that the highest temperatures have been in the nineties. One day, the mercury hit 102 degrees. On especially hot days, the staff schedules hikes and other outdoor activities for the earlier and later (and cooler) times of the day. If you're a swimmer, you're safe. There's an indoor pool.
[Ed. Note: Hotel Maven GlobeTrots lets us know that it's ok to be a man who loves a good spa retreat every now and then.]
At Red Mountain Spa, a man doesn't have to get all girly.
Most men equate a spa vacation with way-too-healthy food, lying around in a white bathrobe, and longing for a beer. You know, the kind of place you get dragged to on vacation to make the spouse happy.
But Red Mountain Spa, in St. George, Utah, is a hot breath of fresh air. Men can be men, working up a sweat all day, then kicking back with a Polygamy Porter at dinner time. (The motto: "Why have just one?")
There's mountain biking, hiking through canyons, rock climbing, kayaking, and a well-equipped gym with free weights. Sure, you can explore your feminine side with yoga classes and a manicure if you want, but you don't have to. When it's meal time, no skinless chicken breast and steamed vegetables: the food is a cascade of flavors plus there's MEAT!
Despite all this, the women are in heaven too. There's the full spa menu and different classes going on all day. Everybody's happy--especially when man and woman join for a nice couple's massage...
· Red Mountain Spa reviews