This southern Utah resort and spa offers respite from the stress of single city life with healthy gourmet meals, fitness classes, hikes, horses and hammocks.
One thing I’ve noticed about myself and many of my single friends is we get so focused on our work that it’s easy to forget about taking a little time for some self-nurturing. Despite knowing that rest and relaxation will recharge our batteries, taking time for a time-out from the daily grind requires discipline — a rather odd irony! After working for almost two weeks straight, I was ready to submit and could no longer deny that my “over-productivity” was actually making me less productive.
I’d heard about a great getaway spot called the Red Mountain Resort in southern Utah and decided I had to get out of L.A. — no cell phones, no computer, no crunching deadlines. Instead, relax, hike, bike, eat healthy food — totally detox from what sometimes feels like my addiction to adrenalin-laced stress. I couldn’t have found a more perfect, easy-to-get-to destination to do exactly that.
From Los Angeles, the Red Mountain Resort is just a quick flight into Las Vegas and then a comfortable 2-hour shuttle bus ride – a world away from my crazy “single in the city” life. Arriving there was like disembarking onto another planet, one where the inhabitants are laid-back and friendly, the earth seemed to glow a deep red and the skies were brilliantly blue.
Located just outside of St. George, a small city whose claim to fame is being the former winter home of Brigham Young and his 14 wives, Red Mountain is located in the high desert and is surrounded by craggy red rocks, table mesas and wide prairie land dotted with mesquite, sagebrush and cactus.
The accommodations blend into the natural environment with lots of dark red clay and brown earth-tones, black stone (from the lava beds formed millions of years ago) and creamy neutrals. My spacious room opened up to a large lap pool and a Jacuzzi (one of several on the property) and included a gas fireplace, tasteful furniture and a quiet stillness that set the tone for relaxation.
Red Mountain Resort guests are treated to an all-inclusive package that includes their room, three meals a day, and a daily agenda with a big selection of activities, all for a very affordable price. My first day here, I checked-out one of their mountain bikes and took a leisurely evening ride up into Snow Canyon, a gorgeous red rock cathedral-like chasm that seemed to glow as the setting sun hit the iron-rich rock. Tiny bats emerged from the caverns above and fluttered about in the evening stillness, searching for their nightly meal of insects. The fresh dry air and the still beauty were magical.
The next morning I was up before dawn for a guided hike. Red Mountain provides experienced guides who point out all the interesting facts about the geological wonders, the desert plants and the animal life. These hikes happen every morning and vary from beginner to advanced levels.
There’s also a wide variety of fitness classes: Pilates, stretching, yoga, core conditioning, cardio salsa, Tai Chi on the rocks and more. All you have to do is review the daily itinerary then pick and choose what suits your fancy — whether it be to kick-back and relax with a book in a hammock, or challenge yourself to 3-hour mountain bike ride.
One activity that costs extra is horseback riding. But this isn’t your usual rent-a-nag situation. These horses are retired jumpers that once performed in top horse shows around the country. The horses belong to Patty Arnett, who leads the trail ride, an experienced single horsewoman with over 30 years of experience. This was the first time I’ve ever been on a horse that costs more than a Mercedes Benz. But don’t let their fancy pedigrees scare you; these horses are gentle and a joy to ride.
One thing I would love to do, but will have to save for my next visit, is to take Red Mountain Resort’s Pound Puppy Walk. On Fridays they do a hike that includes dogs from the local no-kill shelter. The shelter has a philosophy similar to the Best Friends Animal Society shelter, just about an hour’s drive away. In fact, Red Mountain has a special day trip for their guests where they can start their day with a hike in nearby Zion National Park and then head to Best Friends to spend time at Dog Town or Cat World getting to know the furry inhabitants that live at this world class animal rescue facility.
Each night, I joined other guests for dinner at the “communal table” set up for those who want to make new friends and share stories about their adventures. By the end of my second day there, I had e-mail addresses for several new friends and the stress I carried in my neck and shoulders had melted away. I felt no need, like I do at home, to take an Excedrin PM in order to fall asleep.
On my last day there, I treated myself to a relaxing massage in the resort’s dome-shaped spa. Besides the usual menu of massage options, Red Mountain offers such treatments as a Canyon Warm Stone Massage and a Desert Rain Massage. I think one could spend an entire month here and never do the same treatment twice. There’s a lovely resting area with a stunning view of the red rock mountains — a perfect place to just chill-out and forget about obligations back at the office.
My massage therapist left a little card in my robe pocket that I’ve taped above my desk:
I say “out” to every negative thought that comes to my mind. No person, place, or thing has any power over me, for I am the only thinker in my mind. I create my own reality and everyone in it.”
Hold that thought!
Copyright © Kim Calvert/2012 Singular Communications, LLC.
Kim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.