Spring Break: St. George
Close your laptop. Detach from your iPhone. Hike and bike toward a Shore-ready physique. More Canyon Ranch than “Biggest Loser” Ranch, Red Mountain Resort and Spa in Utah offers the kind of healthy escape that’s perfect for a wellness reboot. You’ll meet every type of traveler: 30-somethings looking for adventure (“Going on the morning hike?”); parents on healthy getaways (“Meet you at Pilates?”); folks needing a trainer and a diet plan — there for an extended stay — all mingling together in a camp-like atmosphere (“Want to go off-campus for a movie?”). You’ll leave feeling refreshed, restored and ready to plug back in, but definitely with a new perspective and fresh air in your lungs.
HEAT INDEX: The average high is around 70 degrees in March and April.
STAY: Red Mountain (above) offers two types of accommodation. The more luxurious villa suites (from $320 per person, per night) boast a living/kitchenette/dining-room area, complete with gas fireplace, washer/dryer, and outdoor patio or balcony. Each villa has the option of two adjoining deluxe rooms, which is perfect if you’re traveling with a group of friends. Smaller, but still well-appointed, deluxe rooms have double queens or king beds (from $269 per person, per night). Really, if you’re traveling alone — 30 percent of guests do — you spend so much time at outside activities that a deluxe room will suit for quick afternoon siestas and unwinding at night.
DO: The resort offers an array of outdoor activities, all overseen by a capable and personable staff, but the morning three-hour-plus hikes (included in the stay) are an absolute must. Led by expert guides, you can either take a leisurely informative climb or a more challenging rigorous hike. The resort offers a full-service spa, with a breathtaking relaxation room that alone is worth the price of any treatment they offer, but we recommend the warm stone massage. By day, take classes from Pilates and yoga to strength conditioning and nutrition seminars. Or book a session with the resident life coach, who will have a frank discussion with you about your goals, or a shaman, who can guide you to balance.
EAT: A three-meals-a-day plan is included in your room rate, and offers breakfast and lunch buffets and a sit-down dinner. The food’s delicious and geared toward detox and weight loss. Grains, fruits and vegetables dominate the menu, but don’t worry: They offer beer, wine and dessert at dinner (don’t miss the carrot cake).
GET THERE: The recently renovated airport in St. George now allows commercial jets, but it’s still pricey to fly there. The economical option is to fly into Las Vegas and take the two-hour St. George Shuttle service that runs daily to the resort.
STAY: Red Mountain Resort and Spa, 1275 East Red Mountain Circle, Ivins, 435-673-4905, redmountainspa.com.