With ever-evolving programs and treatments, the iconic health center in the Tucson desert is hardly resting on its laurels
Not many places can accommodate “intuitive” archery lessons, sound bathing sessions and bone density evaluations all on the same property. But for the past 38 years, Tucson’s Canyon Ranch has redefined what a wellness resort can offer.
“It’s easy to feel disoriented by all the options,” says chief medical officer Dr. Mark Liponis. “The first few days might feel like you’re trying to drink from a firehose.”
Even Liponis, who has worked at Canyon Ranch for 23 years, hasn’t tried everything. From labyrinth strolls to physical therapy sessions and hot stone massages, the resort curates an elaborate schedule with more than 50 events per day.
Founded by longtime health-and-fitness promoters Mel and Enid Zuckerman, Canyon Ranch opened in 1979 with the intention of creating a vacation that left you healthier than when you arrived. The resort broke ground by becoming the first to hire an on-staff doctor; now, Liponis leads a team of board-certified doctors, acupuncturists, movement therapists and more. It’s one of the only health institutes in the country to offer a cardiometabolic stress test, which measures oxygen consumption and determines the calories burned at a given heart rate. “It’s the kind of thing Usain Bolt would have done to see if he was in top shape for a race,” Liponis explains.
Recently, Canyon Ranch teamed up with Craig Alexander, the course record holder for the Ironman World Championship. Guests can work with the Australian triathlete to overcome roadblocks in their training. Liponis says he is noticing a new clientele: “Years ago, I only saw people in their 60s and up. Now, I’m seeing people in their 20s and 30s, who have every intention of living to be 100.”
Cal-a-Vie Health Spa
This French provincial spa 40 miles north of San Diego marries European philosophies with an active Californian outlook.
With stunning views of the South China Sea on Hainan Island, this 30-acre luxe resort employs a doctor to administer traditional Chinese medicine.
Mii amo Spa
With only 16 rooms, “it’s tucked alongside a canyon, which gives you a sense of privacy and strength,” says PL expert Samantha Brown.