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“Not For Everyone”

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Canyon Ranch in Tucson
Ranked #2 of 129 Hotels in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 January 2014

I'm going to do my best to be as honest and unbiased as I possibly can here, and I know I will be getting crushed by many others for writing this review, but so be it - it's why I both read and write reviews. They are just opinions of others and it give us all differing viewpoints as we make our choices of where to stay.

This resort trip was a gift for my wife's birthday as she has always wanted to stay at Canyon Ranch. She loved it by the way, so I do need to start off by saying that, and that's really what this trip was all about.

I was/am reluctant to write a review so soon after our return, as I may think differently given more time for the experience to sink in, but I do have some thoughts I thought I would share with others, if only to share a warning.

The positives: Our "room" was fantastic - they upgraded us from our originally booked "executive suite" to something more akin to a higher-end home. Very beautiful and richly appointed. Well, until we realized it was missing a few things that we just come to expect from most upper scale resorts. As in, no fireplace or jacuzzi type tub. No morning newspaper (even though we checked the box for the WSJ). No bottles of water (yes, they have a filtered water tap on the kitchen sink), no fruit or fresh flowers, very poor reception on the television, nothing other than a small coffee maker and the coffee packets and sugar/sweetener. No creamer, no tea, no hot chocolate, etc. No basic condiments, not even a small bag of popcorn. Very strange, but maybe I should have expected this?? Okay, so I really shouldn't have expected hot chocolate or popcorn, but at least let me have my morning newspaper...

And yes as others have mentioned, no alcohol served anywhere on the property, no televisions at all other than in your own room, no cell phones allowed except in a few dedicated areas (I received a "reminder card" from a staff member after I rushed out of the dining facility to take a very important call outside!) or in your room. That really set me off. No soda or snack machines (okay, so that is a given), no music, no entertainment to speak of.

The food? Great for a day or two, but there are NO other options other than the "uber-healthy" variety. Not that there is anything wrong with eating all organic, mostly gluten-free, low/fat free, fresh high quality foods and juices! I'm a fairly fit guy who actually eats mostly these types of foods anyway, but it was that lack of any other choice that just didn't suite me well. And I started craving bacon on a medium rare, juicy thick burger or chicken wings after a few days.

And just for the record, no I don't eat that at home, but because we could NOT have anything remotely like that at CR, I just wanted it! I did order the one steak they offered on the evening menu, but it was quite obvious that they really were kidding about the steak thing... It was hardly edible. Great mashed potatoes however.

No salt (you have to ask for it), no butter, low or no fat dressings, very bland from morning to night. The bread was freshly baked, but I have so grown tired of the gluten free fad... Maybe I should have been more forceful in requesting other varieties of food, and if we were to have stayed longer, I guess I would have.

The facilities were/are very nice, with some notable exceptions - the gym and spa areas are exceptional, the equipment first-rate. Lots of activities and classes, but be warned: While CR is advertised as "all-inclusive," it is far from it. While some instructional courses were free to attend, MOST if not all of the more interesting classes are "pay as you go" and are not inexpensive. Very much the same business model of an ocean cruise - you get the cruise ship and all the fat-laden meals/burgers/chicken wings you can devour, but any excursions are extra. Not a huge deal, but I was a bit surprised based on our daily rate of over $2,000/night.

The swimming pools were incredible, simply jaw dropping... As in jaw dropping bad. I was absolutely dumbfounded at this one. The one pool close to the main building (where the casual dining facility "Double U" is located), is something you would find at a modest home. A rectangle. And (we found out later) this one wasn't really meant to swim in - it was meant to be more of a "meditation pool." Okay then...

The "T-Pool" located in more of the residential part of the facility is exactly what it states - shaped like a T. Wow - not sure who the designer was on this one, but I hope they went on to a different profession. It was heated, but about as unappealing of a swimming area as I have ever found. A resort of this supposed caliber not having at least one fantastic swimming pool? You have got to be kidding me, but I suppose once again, this isn't the clientele they are targeting. At least give us one little pretentious infinity pool. Pretty please?

Of course most/all other resorts we have ever stayed at had some "fun things" to offer at the poolside - as in a bar, some entertainment, a television or two, staff spritzing sunscreen and refiling my iced tea, guests playing volleyball, the smell of charcoal on a barbeque or just people of all ages having some good fun. Don't even think about that kind of experience here - it doesn't happen, and is obviously NOT what this experience is geared around.

This is in Tucson, Arizona after all, so expect southwestern decor. Everywhere. The landscaping (to me at least) looks as if it were something of an afterthought, but I am probably being too picky here. The only greenery was in a circular small "park" adjacent to our home/apartment, but as luck would have it, it was undergoing reconstruction and was roped off. Go figure.

I did get a bit excited when I found that there was an on-property "Canyon Ranch Store" until of course, I went inside. I'm thinking: "snacks, magazines, toiletries, wine, sodas." No, sorry. Only clothing, some over-priced art pieces, spirituality, yoga and meditation books and music. Fun.

And everything else seemed to cost extra - the bikes, the use of some on-property facilities, etc. Yes, we're incredibly spoiled travelers, but the facilities just seemed very out-dated and in a serious need of a face lift. We were not treated nearly as well (yes, I'll say it: "Pampered") as almost any other high-end resort we have stayed at, and in fact, the staff seemed to be a bit smug toward us.

Yes, Canyon Ranch was a huge disappointment to me personally. As I've stated numerous times, I am obviously NOT the type of person who they are targeting however, so I really shouldn't slam them so much. I did end up getting on the shuttle to pick up a rental car from the airport - just so I could get OUT of the property to do some things I like to do (the Pima Air and Space Museum was really great). And my wife had a very enjoyable time, which is what this particular trip was all about, so a big plus there too.

I am really writing this as a review of caution - this resort is NOT for everyone! If meditation, spirituality, energy healing, life enhancement, detox, uber-healthy food/lifestyle is you, than I probably couldn't think of a better place to stay. My idea of a relaxing stay is to maintain a healthy life balance, but at the same time, have a little fun too.

We stayed here in early January which is probably the absolutely PERFECT time of the year to stay in southern Arizona, and the weather was fantastic. Crystal clear air, mountain ranges in most directions - wonderful setting.

Oh, and as a side note, while we did see a few kids here, this is probably the worst resort in the world to bring them to. And I couldn't even imagine that kids would even be allowed here - (no cell phones, no alcohol, no kids?) and as there are time-share homes as well as full-time residential homes, perhaps they were from these...

Hope this helps in the decision making process for you!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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41  Thank Matt L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jharrison2012, General Manager at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2014

Let me begin by saying that we’re delighted you chose a couples getaway to Canyon Ranch to celebrate your wife’s birthday; I am so pleased she enjoyed her very special gift. However, I am disappointed that you were not made fully aware of our health-focused philosophy prior to your arrival, and therefore, may not have been prepared for the abundance of healthy choices that awaited you.

We aim to empower our guests to live healthier, longer, more joyful lives through fitness, nutrition, stress management and integrative wellness. Our all-inclusive packages feature healthy, flavorful gourmet dishes that contribute to guests’ vitality and wellbeing, daily wellness activities – including outdoor excursions, a large offering of fitness classes, lively expert lead discussions and our pampering spa services. In support of our healthy environment, we do limit use of cell phones in public areas (a policy we created at the request of our guests) but have designated various spaces throughout the property as cell phone friendly.

I appreciate your feedback and will plan to review your comments with our program advising and reservations staff to see how we might better inform our guests on what to expect during their visit. You might enjoy our Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach – the flexibility of the a la carte luxury hotel services and selection of Canyon Ranch signature healthy choices may offer just the type of healthy getaway both you and your wife are looking for.
I wish you and your wife a happy New Year.

Healthy regards,
Kyle Treat

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420 - 426 of 652 reviews

Reviewed 7 January 2014

Not only is there an amazing view but it's so peaceful and everything you need is right there. I loved it the moment we arrived. You can order food while at the pool which I loved because you don't have to leave for lunch or a snack. The trails around the property are wonderful as well. I wish we could have stayed longer!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank sunnydays007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jharrison2012, General Manager at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2014

Happy New Year and we thank you for sharing your compliments on our peaceful and beautiful lush desert environment here at Canyon Ranch. The pool side dining option is a favorite relaxation spot for our guests. We would be pleased to welcome you back again this year!
Healthy regards,
Kyle Treat

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Reviewed 3 January 2014 via mobile

Stress, nerves and angst all relieved after one week in this remarkable environment. To do or not to do, that is your decision. Work out, take classes, explore something you have never done before - take something home with you to kick start you to a healthier lifestyle. Loved every minute!

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
Thank Bobbie1945
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jharrison2012, General Manager at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, responded to this reviewResponded 4 January 2014

It is our pleasure to be the catalyst for you starting 2014 stress and angst free. Enjoy your healthier outlook and new found healthy lifestyle skills throughout the new year until we have an opportunity to see you again.
Healthy Regards,
Kyle Treat

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Reviewed 3 January 2014

I went to Canyon Ranch to learn what I could to help educate our patients. I have been a Nurse Practitioner for 40 years and believe me when I say I learned plenty, not just for my patients but for me! The lectures were so inspiring and educational. The quality of the presenters was impressive. They had a way of making what I had heard 100 times ring true and have a real impact on how I want to care for myself and my patients!

Room Tip: The campus is large however assistance per golf cart was available whenever I needed it and the driv...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Linda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jharrison2012, General Manager at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, responded to this reviewResponded 4 January 2014

We admire your dedication to offering your patients the latest in health and wellness education and chose us to expand your CME opportunities. Thank you for your endorsement of our mission and we wish you continued success in offering solutions for improved health to all your patients in the new year. I am gratified to hear we were able to offer you additional inspiration to seek improved health and wellness in your own life. It will be our pleasure to welcome you back again soon.
Healthy Regards,
Kyle Treat

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Reviewed 3 January 2014

I stayed at Canyon Ranch in Tucson Arizona for 3 nights. Against the backdrop of the beautiful Catalina Mountain Ranges walking around the property was most enjoyable. I participated in a number of the complimentary classes. I did Zumba, cardio circuit, walleyball, boxing and a beaming balance class. I was inspired to do classes that took me slightly out of my comfort zone because their is such a supportive energy at the Ranch.

I met a number of new friends from across North America. It was easy to connect as people were happy, full of exercise endorphins and wanting to meet others. There is a very loyal clientele that stays at the Ranch, some have been going every year for 20 years.

My favourite activities were the off property hikes. The guides were so knowledgeable of the land. And they do a great job of organizing people of different fitness to the right level of hike.

I look forward to going back soon!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Jessica R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jharrison2012, General Manager at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, responded to this reviewResponded 4 January 2014

Congratulations on stepping outside your comfort zone to try some new ways to enjoy being active. You often see guests joining together to experience a new class together, dine together or enjoy one of are many fabulous hikes as new found friends. The Catalina Mountains are spectacular and rise to over 9000 feet to provide our expert hiking guides year round destinations that are inspiring and breathtaking. It will be my pleasure to extend your compliments to the hiking department. Thank you for choosing Canyon Ranch and we look forward welcoming you back very soon. Happy New Year!
Healthy Regards,
Kyle Treat

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Reviewed 29 December 2013

I can't say enough wonderful things about my experience at Canyon Ranch in Tuscon. I know a review isn't helpful when it just says everything was perfect, but that pretty much sums up my stay.

Canyon Ranch was exactly what I needed to restore and rejuvenate during a very stressful phase. Canyon Ranch offered the ideal environment of physical and mental health. The food is absolutely sensational; it's clean, healthy, and delicious (don't worry, there is plenty of it! you're not going hungry - just healthy. I recommend CR's "Nourish" the cookbook!). The service is truly out of this world - from getting picked up at the airport, to the attentive and accommodating wait staff, to the knowledgable spa staff, everyone is pleasant and helpful.

I recommend Tucson over Lennox if you like a more low-key environment (Lennox felt like upper east side manhattan transplanted). I was surprised at the medical expertise - if I had it to do again, I would have done a full medical physical. The professionals and facilities are state of the art. And don't underestimate the lectures - they were excellent! Golf instruction/pros are great (indoor facility to work on your swing and short game, with video analysis). One sports regret: I wish I had brought my tennis racket!

I went to CR for working out, weight-loss, and de-stressing. On the work-out front, the facilities are great and the training staff is absolutely wonderful - but if you're an intense athlete, advanced in yoga, etc. then the classes might seem a little light, but they are still very good. Just think along the lines of de-stressing and health vs. high-performance fitness. That said, I kept my day filled with classes and was absolutely exhausted each night!

Can't wait to go back next year - worth every penny.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Danielle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jharrison2012, General Manager at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, responded to this reviewResponded 31 December 2013

Our main goal is to offer the most comprehensive and enjoyable health and wellness vacation available and I’m thrilled to hear that we exceed your expectations. Thank you for your fabulous review of our staff, food and activities and for recommending the Nourish cookbook. We hope our guests continue their healthy dining at home and Nourish features recipes for some of our guests’ favorite menu items. And I will happily pass your compliments to our board certified medical team and their wellness staff. Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year and it will be our pleasure to welcome you back in 2014.
Healthy regards,
Kyle Treat

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Reviewed 26 December 2013

I've been returning to Canyon Ranch regularly and it always manages to achieve the highest standard. It's not only a wonderful spa/hotel, but it's an amazing wellness center that inspires a healthy life, physically and mentally. If you're looking for more than the run of the mill spa experience (which you could still do here) this is the best place I know of.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank drsharon20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jharrison2012, General Manager at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, responded to this reviewResponded 28 December 2013

On behalf of all of the staff at Canyon Ranch, I would like to thank you for your loyalty and support of our mission of providing the best vacation choice devoted to health and wellness. We wish you and your loved ones a healthy and happy New Year.
Healthy Regards,
Kyle Treat

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Canyon Ranch in Tucson

Address: 8600 E Rockcliff Rd, Tucson, AZ 85750-9733
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Arizona > Tucson
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Tucson
#1 Romantic Hotel in Tucson
#2 Spa Hotel in Tucson
Price Range: £490 - £2,674 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Canyon Ranch in Tucson 5*
Number of rooms: 180
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Introducing the desert vacation that renews and inspires you. Relax and reboot with a wide variety of unique service and treatment options offered each week. Stretch your hamstrings and your comfort zone in an aerial yoga class, or with an ashiatsu massage. Inch your soul toward something new – trade in dieting for vibrant, conscious eating and set your alarm for a Sonoran Desert sunrise. At Canyon Ranch wellness resort, we have experts in every facet of wellness to help you create a healthy living plan. Whatever your purpose for visiting, we’ll guide you on your path. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Canyon Ranch Hotel Tucson
Canyon Hotel Tucson
Canyon Resort Tucson
Canyon Ranch Tucson
Canyon Ranch In Tucson Arizona

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