Red Mountain Resort & Spa, Utah

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Credit: Red Mountain Resort 

by Anne Dimon

Claiming a wide spread of southwest Utah’s Mojave Desert, an easy two-hour drive from the Las Vegas airport, Red Mountain Resort is one of those destinations you keep reading about on everyone’s list of ‘top spas,’ so expectations are generally high and the resort has a lot to live up to. And, that it does – especially when it comes to food and fitness. Any passionate ‘clean eater’ with a love of hiking will feel they have died and gone to a red mountain heaven.

The customized Weight Loss & Well-Being Retreat at Red Mountain Resort includes nutritional and metabolic profile assessments,  personal training and life coaching sessions. Group workshops & lectures, daily guided hikes in nearby red rock hills and canyons, unlimited fitness classes and cooking demonstrations are also part of the package.  Plus guests have access to indoor and seasonal outdoor pools, bicycles, walking trails, strength & cardio studios and a spa.

If you’re thinking that the food here is all about salads, juices and raw vegetables – banish the thought. Food is healthy and nutritious, yes, but it’s also flavourful, imaginative and there’s plenty of it – three full meals a day all served at set times.

Breakfast and lunch is served buffet style and while other spas tend to put guests on calorie restricted diets, Red Mountain combines wholesome foods, inspirational experiences and exercise to help re-set the appetite and metabolism.

All dishes come with a breakdown of nutrients – calories, carbs, protein, fats and fiber. The meals provide a variety of ancient and unique grains, fresh-baked artisan breads, herbs, plentiful fruit, regional specialty foods (i.e. agave syrup, prickly pear cactus), lots of vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins and desserts in ‘appropriate portion’ sizes. Dinner offerings include a daily pasta, fish, a vegetarian dish and, from the Call of the Wild section, items such as elk, buffalo and ostrich.

For guests traveling solo, there’s a communal table sometimes hosted by one of the on-staff wellness professionals.

In addition to healthy meals plus a weekly cooking class (with topics such as Spicing Up Grains), the resort also offers a monthly five-night, 10-hour culinary program with the focus on healthy eating. A series of mid-afternoon classes allow participants ample time to take advantage of countless other activities, some included in the price of a week-long program, others offered a-la-carte.

Before and after the cooking classes and in between meals, activities include cycling, daily morning hikes and an extensive variety of fitness classes (over 50 classes weekly). Along with the usual yoga and Pilates there’s the more novel Cardio Salsa, Gong, Poolates and Hip Hop. While many of the fitness activities are in studios the real emphases here is on getting outside – especially hiking in Utah’s incredible red rock mountains. There is something for every level including Awareness Walks and Tai Chi on the Rocks. More on Red Mountain Resort