Healthful Holiday at Canyon Ranch Tucson: Just do it!

Just what the doctor ordered: A mother-daughter weekend.

We took the opportunity to catch up and realign ourselves with some basic health principles. Mom and I retreated to Canyon Ranch in Tuscon for some fresh desert air, sunshine, and healthful cuisine. We each set up our own individual itineraries with plenty of time to catch up together over meals and even in a few classes that we chose in common.

What did my day look like at Canyon Ranch today?


  • 7:00 am – 3 mile run with Bob
  • 7:45 am – Breakfast
  • 8:30 am – Abs Class
  • 9:00 am – Yoga for your back Class
  • 10:00 am – Perusing the shops including a personal athletic shoe fitting with an expert for my Mom – she is so happy with her perfectly fitting sneakers!
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch
  • 1:00 pm – Pool side to soak up a few rays before the afternoon work outs begin
  • 2:00 pm – Introduction to Wally Ball
  • 3:00 pm – Wally Ball tournament (this is addictive and gets to be a bit of a cult)
  • 4:00 pm – Spin Class
  • 5:00 pm – Muscle Melt Thai Massage
  • 6:30 pm – Dinner
  • 8:30 pm – Another great nights sleep.

 What did my mom’s day look like at Canyon Ranch today?

  • 7:00 am – 1.5 mile group walk (wearing the wrong shoes, but tomorrow will be a new day)
  • 7:45 am – Breakfast
  • 8:30 am – Abs Class
  • 9:00 am – Yoga for your back ClassCanyon Ranch
  • 10:00 am – Perusing the shops including a personal athletic shoe fitting with an expert – Rose looked at Mom’s preferred activities, foot length and width, where she pronates, and style requests and found the perfect pair of oh so comfortable athletic shoes for her.
  • 11:00am – Consultation with the RN – themes to discuss can include anything as far as your general health and she comes up with suggested therapies, diets, tips in improving quality of life
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch
  • 1:00 pm – Yoga for Balance
  • 2:00 pm –Meet with a physiologist to discuss endurance, muscular, and flexiblity
  • 3:00 pm – Spa Time
  • 6:30 pm – Dinner
  • 8:30 pm – Another great nights sleep

Food at Canyon Ranch

Canyon RanchThe food is all organic and extremely varied and delicious. The main restaurants has unique menus each day for breakfast, lunch and dinner with such delicious offerings as curried cauliflour, charasco steak with chimichurri, corn tamales with cheese, crab stuffed green chile. The pool side café serves an incredible mediterranean menu each night except for two nights when they offer the Mexican and French menus.
Canyon RanchI think our favorite meal of the week was the Mediterranean night at the Café – squid and garbanzo bean salad, grilled anti-pasti platter with tomatoes, peppers, aubergine and courgettes, a grilled sea bream served with quinoa and finally a gorgeous, garlicky whole grilled artichoke – this is the perfect human diet! I suggest check out the menus each day and determine where to eat based on what you see. The only disappointment for me was the salad bar which would could be much more exciting with unique and tempting salad combinations and perhaps some sushi offerings. Currently it is simply bowls of lettuces, carrots, mushrooms, etc. – nothing to entice you.

Sleep at Canyon Ranch

While the rooms are for the most part, not luxurious, the bedding is decent and there is a wide range of pillow choices in the room and on offer from the pillow menu. I loved the sleep machine that gave you the option of providing some soothing white noise in the room – particularly helpful when sleeping with a noisy or light sleeper. There are even some sessions of bedtime yoga to help with the sleep process. There are so many people I know that do not sleep soundly. One of the many medical offerings at Canyon Ranch is meet with a sleep therapist to help you alter habits and take tools to improve your sleep quality, long after Canyon Ranch wears off.

Design and Décor 

Canyon RanchWell, I definitely feel like I am the set for a 1970’s James Bond flick or maybe a scene from Pulp Fiction. The property has been around for 35 years so the look is definitely, well, let’s just say desert and slightly dated but it works. You are here to get your body and mind back, not to soak in the luxury. Yes, all is extremely comfortable and there is nothing missing at all, but don’t come looking for the latest in 5-star design.


Exceptionally friendly and engaging, no one seems stressed nor hurried – it is Canyon Ranch! Everyone wants to please and if you have a request or even a complaint it is owned and handled directly by the employee. Things all seem to run like clockwork and everyone working at Canyon Ranch appear to be genuinely glad they do.

My clients traveling to Tucson for a wellness retreat often ask me which retreat is a better option for them. Both Canyon Ranch and Miraval are absolutely wonderful options with different core strengths.

Canyon Ranch

Here is my own personal chart of which property does what better and this may help you prioritize which is a better fit for you:

Canyon Ranch Miraval
Room Product X (Some categories are updated and quite modern)
Design X (more modern)
Food = =
Alcohol Served/Bar Area   X (Wine and cocktails are served at Miraval and you can bring your own but only to drink in your room)
Spa Facility X (Neither spa facility is over-the-top but Miraval’s is more modern)
Spa Treatments X (I thought the treatments were excellent – highly recommend Ashiatsu with Shane!!)
Resort Feel X (More of a resort feel)
Outdoor sitting areas X (More of a resort feel with pool and patio areas for congregating plus outdoor bar terrace – popular at happy hour)
Bedding X (Slightly more luxurious and updated bedding)
Fitness Class Quantity X (Many more daily choices)
Fitness Class Capacity X (Nothing ever seemed to fill up so you can get to everything you like)
Fitness Class Level X (Clearly indicated level I, II, III, IV and enough for varied levels of fitness and interest)
Spiritual Consultation and Coaching X (Equine experience)
Wellness and Medical Consultation X (Health and longevity centers, meeting with RN complimentary)
More inclusions in price X (no charge for regular classes including hikes and cycling)
Pure Wellness, but don’t need as much luxury. Want to change habits and dive deeper: Canyon Ranch Wins  
Relaxation Resort Experience with Wellness Options. Want to find you and unwind:   Miraval Wins

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