Insider's Guide to Spas
Canyon Ranch in Lenox

Destination Spas

Canyon Ranch in Lenox

Diana Anderson


My mother had never gone to a spa, and so, as a belated birthday present, I took her to Canyon Ranch, in Lenox, Massachusetts, in October. She knew exactly where we were going. How could she not? The spa is notorious for its magnificent landscapes, delectable, healthy food, and fabulous body treatments.

It doesn’t disappoint.

For starters, it’s hard to argue with autumn in the Berkshires, when the world shimmers in Technicolor glory. Now add a marble-and-brick mansion from 1897 (a replica of Louis XVI’s Petit Trianon, http://en.chateauversailles.fr/explore-the-estate/marie-antoinettes-estate/le-petit-trianon/petit-trianon), 120 acres of rolling lawn, formal gardens and woodlands, and a 100,000-square-foot Spa complex, and all your stresses go away.

It didn’t even matter that it poured non-stop the entire weekend. Since all the buildings—that includes the spa, guest rooms, main mansion, restaurant and café and gym—are connected by climate-controlled, glass-enclosed walkways, you never have to step outside if you don’t want to.

But you probably will want to, since the outdoors is a large part of the allure. Canyon Ranch offers pretty much everything a nature and sports enthusiast could want: hiking, biking, tennis, canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing, and downhill and cross-country skiing. During my stay, I hiked in the morning, a rather easy (albeit stunning) three-mile jaunt, while my mother spent her time in the gym. Not only did she do her regular elliptical workout, but also tried yoga, tai chi, qi gong, and meditation. She got two massages, which she proclaimed “Wonderful!” and even took a Tarot reading class (she thought it was bunk).

The hallmark of Canyon Ranch in Lenox is its Health and Healing Center where guests can get in-depth healthcare assessments, along with private consultations with doctors, nutritionists, and other wellness folks.

“I’m having such a great time,” she told me repeatedly. As was I. It would have been impossible not to.

Among the highlights for us: The food—low-calorie, delicious fare of which we ordered copious amounts, ”just to taste.” My mother and I sifted through menus and tried one of just about everything. (But hey—it was all healthy, or so we told ourselves).

The hallmark of Canyon Ranch in Lenox is its Health and Healing Center where guests can get in-depth healthcare assessments, along with private consultations, with doctors, nutritionists, and other wellness folks. (Many people use the on-site doctors for their annual physicals). There are also special packages, including everything from weight management and stress management to brain fitness.

After two days, my mother considered taking the entire family back for my parent’s 50th anniversary next year.

Here’s hoping she does.

For information on rates and schedule of events, go to http://www.canyonranch.com/lenox. Complimentary transportation is provided to and from Albany Airport and Albany train station in New York, and Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Connecticut.

Diana Anderson

Diana Anderson

Diana Anderson is a New York City-based writer.