By Christine Tumpson
Photographs from Canyon Ranch

This year, we started a new tradition in our family: the mother-daughter trip. With a teenager who is nice to be around and a mom who loves to take adventures, we set off for the Florida version of the highly renowned Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach.

Getting there was easy, with a direct flight from Pittsburgh International Airport to Miami International Airport. A $35 cab ride later, we arrived at the swank and healthy lifestyle retreat, and were shown to our large, one-bedroom suite overlooking the swimming pools and onto the ocean. Spectacular. Clean, tidy, and with every possible amenity, including a full kitchen (yes, dishwasher, too!) and a deep bath, we felt at home as we read over the schedule of classes offered daily, as well as the listing of special spa treatments.

When it comes to being the best, Canyon Ranch, with additional locations in Tucson, Az.,  Lenox, Mass., and Las Vegas, has earned its reputation as the creator of spa philosophies. The concepts that are gently indoctrinated here will stay with you long after your visit. With its history of finding an alternative lifestyle as a method of healing, the ideas espoused manifest in ways beyond words. There is a gentle spirit here that matches the sea breeze each morning, and it touches the soul in unexpected ways.

We found a comfortable rhythm during our four-day stay, filling our days with 50-minute classes, treatments, and lots of good food. Between the two of us, we took complimentary classes in meditation, Vinyasa flow yoga, Zumba, Pilates, kickboxing, and spinning. With a wide variety of classes constantly running, there is an opportunity to try every type of activity. Or none at all.  One entire day was spent lounging among the outdoor swimming pools, whirlpools, and beach.

The food in the Canyon Ranch grill is seasonal and made-to-order. The clean living mentality pervades the menu with favorites like the tofu edamame salad and the carrot ginger puréed soup.  And, just for the absolute thrill of it, the crème brûlée dessert tops off at 175 calories! We ate most of our meals here, with seating indoors and on the patio, with the ocean in view.

As if this isn’t everything you always wanted in a setting, Canyon Ranch takes it all several steps further with body compositional analysis and nutritional consultations. We learned that raw food is the best way to go; that gluten and dairy can be irritants for many people; and that maintaining a healthy ratio between lean body mass and body fat is easier to do when you know the numbers.

The resort’s aura of adaptability allows each guest to create a singular experience. With the range of treatment options in the 70,000-square-foot Wellness Spa, there is something for every person, no matter what age or gender, including services specific to teenage guests. The Canyon Ranch Massage is the best place to start, with masseuses who have been gifted in the healing power of touch. Likewise for the Dead Sea Treatment, which involves massage, exfoliation with mineral salts, a Dead Sea mud mask, and plenty of dreamy atmosphere. Having your suite in the same building as the spa is a definite plus as you leave in a cloud of bliss.   

Canyon Ranch takes full advantage of its spa space, which is shared with Canyon Ranch Lifestyle condominiums for those who want full immersion into this healthy lifestyle. With excellent guest service and full attention to detail, a visit here will bring life-changing results. And for this mother and daughter, memories that will last a lifetime. 

Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa, 7000 Collins Ave., Miami. 305.514.7000.

Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach

Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach

Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach

Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach

Our favorite spa treatment? The Aquavana Experience. We were served herbal tea and apples, and cold rolled towels while enjoying this water heating/cooling sequence: Crystal Steam Room, Igloo, Finnish Sauna, Igloo, Herbal Laconium, Igloo, Hydrospa, Igloo, Foot bath, Thermal heated lounger. It took an hour, and we did it every single day!

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