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My visit to Canyon item checked off bucket list

4 years ago

DH gave me a gift cert for Canyon Ranch last Christmas, and it took me all this time to use it. Decided I earned it after moving in July and lots of drama since then, plus it was my bday. I went by myself to the Lenox location, which is about a 2 hour drive. I have been to Kripalu a couple of times, which is in the same neighborhood, so I was interested to compare the two experiences. Kripalu is maybe 1/4 the price?

I stayed for 3 nights. My impression is somewhat colored by the fact that I started to feel a little out of sorts on day 3, and by day 4, I didn't really have energy to do anything except for a silk scarf dying class that morning. I went home and was sick in bed for 2-3 days. So annoying and not a great way to end my great escape.

Anyway, the place is beautiful, inside and out. Lovely grounds, artwork on display all over the interior, and my room was really nice. Staff could not be more accommodating. I am not a demanding guest (and boy did I witness some!) but, for instance, they added an extra van for a group who wanted to go on a hike and didn't make the cutoff, and when I wanted a dinner reservation at a time they didn't have available, I said okay, thanks, and started to walk away until the hostess practically chased me down the hall and said they could seat me at the time I requested.

There is SO much to do. Some of the activities I chose: hiking, yoga, meditation class, stretch class, beaded bracelet workshop, astrology workshop as well as a private astrology consult (really fascinating), a "beauty secrets" class where I was chosen to be the model for makeup application (probably because I looked like I needed it!), a class on exercise and longevity. I would have done more if I had been feeling better toward the end of my stay. The food was very good -- all smaller portions than we're used to, which is to say they were appropriate portions! Everything on every menu had nutritional info, too. There was food available all day -- could get snacks at the café any time, as well as coffee, tea, water, and this amazing berry iced tea. I found every workshop/class valuable and interesting. I didn't do any cooking classes, which a friend highly recommended, just because I wasn't that interested in the specific dishes they were making. One aspect I liked is that totally casual attire is encouraged, even in the elegant dining room. You can literally wear yoga pants 24/7. My kind of dress code!

The only cons were that the other people staying there (mostly women) often came across as bratty rich kids. Some were overly loud, some treated the staff like servants, some were aggravated when the chef couldn't make them something that wasn't on the menu. Plenty were just fine and some were downright wonderful -- I had several conversations with interesting people -- but there was a huge contingent of women in their Lululemon leggings and giant diamonds that just seemed Over The Top. In any case, that's not my crowd which is why I probably belong at Kripalu! I would still go back someday, because it was amazing in a lot of ways, but if I were spending my own money I'd choose Kripalu and stay twice as long! Kripalu has a lot fewer events and classes scheduled throughout each day, but it just feels much more chill and serene and down to earth. The rooms there are almost dorm-like, but who spends much time in their rooms in a setting like that?

Anyway, I had always wanted to experience Canyon Ranch and now I have. I do want to try out the Tucson location someday....

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