After so many spas and so many treatments, this was a welcome surprise.

by Marco Medrano

Let’s start here: I couldn’t recommend this wellness resort and retreat enough. Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA is where artisanal, medicinal spirituality meets modern wellness. It’s a state-of-the-art sanctuary, an all-inclusive destination that lets you float away in a sea of corporal betterment and wish fulfillment. In a word, it’s heaven.

Here, in this celestial emporium of I-can’t-believe-I’m-here-all-week indulgence, is the precise place to reevaluate your dharma (life’s purpose), reenergize your body, retool your thought process, regain strength after any and all emotional setbacks and heal from injury or pain. Canyon Ranch’s Berkshires location is more than ready to take all that on and so much more. This heavenly spa’s remarkable approach to healing, be it spiritual or physical, is all that’s required for your mind/body therapeutic restoration to commence.

As a longtime spa, wellness, beauty and grooming editor and writer, I’m more than a bit jaded about global luxury spa resorts’ breathless claims of so-called excellence. In fact, I initially envisioned my trip to this outpost of Canyon Ranch as surely comprising of a series of guru-led workouts and opulent, ageless, low-impact facial dermabrasions. Yes, plural. Well, to my sweet surprise, the itinerary that welcomed me revealed the exact opposite. After perusing the online service menu and week’s posted schedule of balanced workouts, alternative group exercises and metaphysical offerings, my beautification took a back seat to what progressively felt more like an unexpected strengthening, luxurious boot camp with a mystical, ethereal slant. 

I also had it in my mind that one full day with a few requisite spa services thrown in would suffice. I was wrong. There’s a reason why Canyon Ranch advisers recommend at least a three-night stay. My two-night stay was really a four-day excursion when you include the encouraged use of the property (pools, gym/steam/sauna). I needed more.

So, what did I want to happen at CR? To detoxify and cleanse, drink tons of water, become super oxygenated with multiple breathing therapies, lessen my achy joints and get seriously limber. My surprise? Canyon Ranch nailed it on all fronts. Chinese herbal consult with acupuncture, an inflammation-free cooking class, Ashiatsu barefoot massage to enhance structural change on my chronically tight legs and calves, a Stroops bungee workout (very cool) and restorative aerial yoga and sound healing clinic (an absolute must).

While trending “medspa” services, alternative healing procedures and sports performance excursions have reasonable fees, each day’s peppered with interesting workouts, new-age exercises, lifestyle presentations, cooking classes that reflect realistic wellness goals and more—all included. You could also do your own workouts in the genuinely memorable gym and roll right into the steam, sauna and separate eucalyptus steam that doesn’t let us down, even a little. Next up? Relax by the estate-sized pool area. While the cuisine at Canyon Ranch is not abundant (portion control is a real phenomenon, people!), the superbly crafted meals are delicious. Oddly, this gym/pool/meal routine reminded me of Downton Abbey’s dining room, but this time, the cast would be assembled in chic tracksuit getups.

Canyon Ranch’s motto should be borrowed from, yeah, Burger King: Have it your way. Indeed. This majestic corner of the Berkshires, not far from where we all call home, is the perfect spot to hit reset on your body, mind and soul. You need this. And they got you.

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