Red Mountain Spa completely redefines the “All-inclusive” vacation. Not only do their packages include comfy accommodations and three healthy meals a day, but they also throw in a variety of heart-pumping adventures, personal growth, lasting friendships, increased energy & fitness, and even a dash of spiritual renewal!
It simply doesn’t get any better than this. The beautifully tended grounds are filled with flowers, cacti, soothing rock waterfalls, and dotted with hammocks just waiting to be claimed for a bit of relaxation. But the real clincher comes the moment you lift your eyes to the spectacular surroundings. No one can help but feel a sense of peace and wonderment as you view the breathtaking Navajo red sandstone spires and pinnacles, pure white cliffs and black lava bed gardens capped by a vibrant blue sky.
The regular guest rooms are done in soothing desert tones, although they are rather spartan for my tastes. I’d recommend upgrading to one of their luxurious 600 sq.ft. villa suites which are stylishly decorated and include a fireplace, kitchenette, oversized shower and a huge jacuzzi tub which I soaked in nightly to sooth my well-worked muscles.
You’ll definitely be able to pleasure your palate without putting on the pounds here if you have a modicum of self- discipline. The day is kick-started with a bountiful breakfast buffet. A variety of healthy entrees are presented in oversize silver chafing dishes. The first morning I decided to sample each one and judiciously filled my plate with bite-size portions of spinach frittata, purple cabbage hash browns, baby turkey sausage patties, hot mixed grains with dried fruit, almond coconut French toast, and even offer real coffee-as well as a bunch of substitutes. As I ventured over to pour a cup of coffee -I’m thrilled to see that they offer real coffee-as well as a bunch of substitutes, I unconsciously picked up the turkey patty and started nibbling it….totally scrumptious. I went back to stock up and only then, noticed the little placecards by each dish that lists the nutritional breakdown. YIKES! Those silver-dollar sized morsels weighed in at 130 calories. This makes it easy if you want to count calories, fat or sugar grams, but I think I’d prefer the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. Ok, I’m supposed to be learning new thought processes here so maybe just one more baby patty to be eaten slowly and mindfully when I sit down.
Lunch was another gorgeous buffet, with huge bowls of mixed lettuce and a variety of healthy toppings, a couple of flavorful soups, and entrees centered on a daily theme such as Burger day, Italian, Asian etc. A guardian angle would circle the dining room carrying a covered basket of hot homemade cookies for dessert.
Dinners are white-tablecloth seated affairs with a seasonal menu that features about 5 veggies choices and 5 entrees, (I loved the elk offering) or they offered a nightly fish, pasta and vegetarian special. Followed by a dessert menu that included cakes, ice-cream and fruit crisps. The good/bad news here is that they also offer wine for an additional charge. Each day I told myself I would not have any wine that night, but the by the end of the day my will-power would weaken and I’d succumb to a glass or two. ( One minus is the fact that they have instituted a tipping policy at dinner which a lot of the guests were grumbling about.)
The daily cooking classes taught by one of their excellent chefs, were both fun and highly informative—plus they included samples. The chefs offer some excellent tips such as baking on a silpat , roasting fish on cedar planks, and replacing your butter dish with healthy olive oil in a spritz bottle.