Red Mountain Resort and Spa
Getting fit, eating right
and having a great time doing it in Utah
by Mary Ashcraft
It�s 6:30 in the morning and the hiking enthusiasts at the Red Mountain Resort and Spa are gathering at the gazebo. They�ve already eaten a sustaining snack of bagels and cream cheese or slices of banana bread with herbal tea, filled water bottles, tightened boot laces and decided whether they�ll be hiking in the beginner, intermediate I, intermediate II, or advanced group of trail pounders. Each hiker climbs into his designated van and heads for the scenic Red Cliffs or Snow Canyon nearby, or, perhaps, Zion National Park for the day. Staff trail guides set a brisk walking pace or run past lava caves, burnished rock walls of Anasazi petroglyphs, through sandy desert paths of blooming Sage, Pi�on and Juniper trees, green valleys, and by Galoot Hill where echoes of John Wayne linger in the fresh morning air. Groups at all levels of proficiency come together after about three hours of vigorous exercise for an al-fresco breakfast in a tree-shaded resting-place. Then, it�s back to the spa to begin a day of workshops, spa treatments, or a relaxing swim in the indoor or outdoor pool.�
Ivins, in the wild beauty of Southern Utah is the setting for the Red Mountain Resort and Spa. Founded in 1985, this amazing site was chosen for the outstanding outdoor possibilities it affords. General Manger Deborah Evans states, �Our goal is to get people to be physically active and to get them reconnected to nature. The facility has always been known for challenging people and getting them to stretch, not past their own limits, but pushing past their comfort level so that they�re expanding their horizons.� Ms. Evans explains, �We guide guests from relaxation to rejuvenation. The process reaches completion when guests experience mental, physical and spiritual revival.�
Red Mountain is not your spa of yesterday. Years ago, the mere mention of the word spa in the U.S. meant an exclusive, pampering hideaway for women only. The tone was, �Do my nails and don�t muss my hair.� This would probably draw a laugh or two at Red Mountain. The motto there is to enjoy your natural self: climb mountains, Cardio Box, Spin, get a Red Mountain Rejuvenating Massage to ease those working muscles and find out more about your inner self. Men go there too and for the same reasons. They come with wives, girlfriends, and even come alone. It�s a place where they feel comfortable in the process of pursuing their health goals.
Red Mountain has organized its classes for all fitness levels and no one is excluded from his goal toward total health. A guest who has been a couch potato up to this point is as welcome as the very active person who is ready to scale mountains.
Before plunging headlong into selecting from the interesting array of things to do and planning your Week at a Glance calendar, it would be a good idea to take advantage of the Comprehensive Neuromuscular and Orthopedic Evaluation. Evaluation includes range of motion and flexibility, bilateral muscle strength of over thirty muscles and muscle groups and a personalized report with results of each evaluation in text and graph form. Then the fun begins. Schedule for a typical day might look like this:
5:30 a.m.�������� = morning snack
6:30���������������� = morning hike
10:00�������������� = Cardio Blast or cruiser ride
12:00 noon����� = cooking class
1:00 p.m.�������� = The Inner game (wellness lecture) or lunch
2:00���� ������������= Wild edible plants lecture
3:00���������������� = Red Mountain Rejuvenating Massage
4:00���������������� = Inner Game of food (silent dinner)
5:00���������������� = Active Yoga
6:00���������������� = Dinner
6:30���������������� = visit to the pro shop for all those items you forgot to bring
8:30���������������� = moonwalk
Of course, you don�t have to fill the day with so many activities, but it�s hard to resist when there are so many good things from which to choose.
Highly recommended is the exclusive Red Mountain Rejuvenating massage. This two-part massage begins in the wet room where one receives a gentle soaking, shampoo, mini-facial, body exfoliating treatment and stimulating massage. Next, a towel-down and in to the darkened massage room where soothing music� prepares one for the relaxing massage. A rich cream infused with myrrh is especially selected to replenish the skin�s lost moisture.
If you have sensitive skin or find it drying in the desert air, the Desert Rose Facial utilizes organically grown roses in its treatment. Rumor has it that roses are beneficial for dry, aging or sensitive skin types. Along with the facial, there is the added plus of relaxing shoulder, neck and back massage.
One of the highlights of the health-packed day is being able to indulge in Chef Daniel Chong� Jimenez�� imaginative and mostly vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner. He graduated from the California Culinary Academy with its emphasis on Classical French Cuisine, but says he enjoys preparing spa food where �every day is a discovery.� He leads the way at Red Mountain Spa in the effort to bring the guests into nutritional awareness. His mission is to accommodate a variety of lifestyles while instructing guests how to adapt to a life long approach to health improvement. He mentions that, � Food can be a source of cures, rather than a source of ailments.� All of that is great for the intellect, but if the food weren�t so tasty and so beautiful to look at, all the lectures in the world might not convince most people to change their eating patterns.
The fact that he grew up in his father�s art gallery and is a watercolorist himself makes him a natural for creating foods pleasing to the palate, gratifying for the health and exciting to the eye. It is truly food for body and soul. The Red Mountain Resort and Spa cookbook can be purchased in the Pro Shop. If you are wondering about recipes, here is one to set your mouth watering.
�Papaya and Basil Salad with a Honey Yogurt Dressing.�
4 small papayas, sliced lengthwise
1 pound spinach leaves
6 ounces radish sprouts
3 ounces basil leaves, whole, stemmed
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup sea salt
1 pinch cayenne
Peel, seed and slice the papayas lengthwise into eighths. Place the fruit with the rest of the greens in an appropriate size mixing bowl. Make the dressing by blending the honey, lemon juice, yogurt, salt and cayenne until smooth, Drizzle in the dressing, tossing until the greens are evenly covered. Serve cool and immediately--storage not recommended.
As the sun begins to fall in the west, and a dramatic sunset is streaking the sky with desert pinks and reds, there is no need to retire to your luxury accommodations� just yet, because Assiniboine Tribal Leader, Mason Runs Through, Jr. may have arrived in his full native dress to help you celebrate the spirit of the Southwest. Through singing, story telling and dance he takes you on a journey to the land he knows best, the world of his native America. Or perhaps it�s movie night in the Canyon Cliffs guest lounge where a recent movie is being shown and freshly popped corn is ready for your indulgence.
If retiring is your choice, Red Mountain Dome rooms and Casitas are large and comfortable with cable television, direct dial phone/voice mail and maid service. Also included in the price of the accommodations� are three healthy meals per day, full use of facility, all classes, lectures, and workshops, hiking, biking, and a comprehensive health and fitness evaluation. Prices range from four days $ 685-$1,360, seven days $ 995- $1,995, ten days $1,420-$2,850, 14 days $1,860-3,750. Prices do not include tax, spa services, or special outings.
Nearby attractions are: St. George, Tuacahn Performing Arts Center, North Rim Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Lake Powell, Pipe Springs National Monument, Capitol Reef National Monument, Crawdad Canyon Rock Climbing Park, golfing and natural thermal springs.
You might want to inquire about Special Events Weeks. For example, some choices might be: Mother Daughter Week, Geology Week, Photography Week, Hike Utah Week, Arts Week,� or Inner Awareness Week and many other exciting categories.
Red Mountain would like to stress that it is a place where mind, body, and soul experience transformation through the power of thought, the beauty of motion, and the serenity of the spirit. Start slowly, Progress gradually, enjoy the process.
For more information on Red Mountain Resort and Spa:
Phone: (800) 407-3002�
Email: [email protected]
PHOTO CREDITS: MARY ASHCRAFT, RED MOUNTAIN RESORT AND SPA
Back to TravelLady Magazine