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Wellness Warriors

With the start of each new year, most of us set intentions and resolutions to work out more, imbibe less, and be more mindful. However, come mid-January, best laid plans can often be waylaid by stress, pining iPhones, and to-dos. Here’s five ways to reset, not just as a new year resolution, but as a way to embrace an enduring healthy balance.

The Ranch MalibuWhat’s new with this California-based wellness frontrunner? Lots. The Ranch Malibu is now found in the Dolomites–come summer 2020 The Ranch Dolomites will pop-up for the third year at the Hotel Rosa Alpina. Known for its transformational four-, seven- and 10-day health programs, The Ranch returns to Italy for seven weeklong programs, held August 30—October 17, 2020. Additionally, the brand new Food Food Food Ranch Malibu cookbook is being released early this year–a thorough and entertaining cookbook celebrating the famous Ranch chefs and its plant-based cuisine. Whether booking a stay at the flagship Malibu property or The Ranch 4.0 at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles, don’t miss the new Postural and Movement Analysis, which sets the body up for long term, pain-free movement, functional strength, stability, and mobility. Since launching their vision, owners Sue and Alex Glasscock have believed health is the utmost luxury, and it shows in every nook and cranny of their sprawling Ranch Malibu retreat, which is limited to 18 guests each session. Veteran staff tends to every need and is trained in all aspects of fitness and rehabilitation to support and nurture truly transformative results.

Food Food Food book cover

Miraval Arizona. Though Miraval has expanded into Austin and the Berkshires (and all three are worth a visit), our favorite remains the flagship. The tangible magic here is anchored in mindful cooking, reinvigorating spa treatments, beekeeping, equine therapy, and more, yet Miraval Tucson retains a specific spiritual feel due to the ethereal land it occupies in the Sonoran Desert. Book the three-bedroom Zen Villa, which frames indelible views of the Santa Catalina Mountains. A favorite mindful journey is the “It’s Not About the Horse” program with famous horse whisperer, Wyatt Webb. Guests will quickly learn, via this impactful equine therapy, what they are masking in the realm of self-doubt and fear. Other not-to-miss programs are “All The Buzz” with resident beekeeper Noel Patterson and a “Plant Based Cooking Class” in the Life in Balance Culinary Kitchen. And when you’re ready to hit the Life in Balance Spa, beware of decision fatigue–all treatments are enticing. We suggest the “Abundance,” an organic farm-to-table body ritual held in a decadent outdoor treatment cabana. It begins with a grapefruit kombucha body wash, followed by an anti-oxidant-rich Hawaiian noni and lime sugar scrub. Next, freshly exfoliated skin is treated to a mineral-rich Spirulina body clay that combines sweet almond oil, aloe vera, and vitamin E. The pièce de résistance An application of an argan avocado oil, green tea, and grape seed butter blend.

Rancho La Puerta. It’s no wonder guests of this trailblazing retreat are obsessed with its vibrant 90-something owner, Deborah Szekely. Founded in 1940 and located in Tecate, Mexico, Rancho La Puerta evolved from a utopian health hub in the Baja Peninsula to a world-famous wellness movement and brand, defined by Szekely’s mantra–siempre major–or always better. Book a weeklong (typically Saturday-Saturday) stay here, and you’re sure to leave with an enriched inner wellbeing, new friends, and a touchstone of health that will leave you booking a return visit. Expect vegan cuisine, early-morning sunrise hikes, and a staggering menu of daily group fitness classes. The ranch’s 4,000 acres include 40 miles of hiking trails, 32 acres of landscaped gardens, and the beautiful organic farm and La Cocina Que Canta cooking school. What’s more, the property houses 11 gyms, four pools, a running track, as well as tennis, pickleball, basketball and volleyball courts. Three holistic spas whip mind, body, face, and spirit into optimal shape. Stay in one of the 86 individual casitas peppered throughout the resort, and meander through winding brick paths which lead to a wine bar, juice bar, and art studio. Make time to for the “Alex’s Tree” hike, which ascends to a perch overlooking the entire ranch and shaded by a giant oak tree named in honor of Szekely’s late son.

Image source: Cal-a-Vie Health Spa

Cal-A-Vie Health Spa. If after an elegant approach to spa luxury (inspired by an idyllic French village), Cal-A-Vie is your go-to. Located just outside of San Diego on meticulously manicured grounds, a bespoke program will cater to your inner wellness warrior. The resort is well-known for its rotating roster of high-profile guest speakers, while packages can offer nine spa treatments in just four days (heaven!). Spa standouts include the Espresso Limon Slimming Detox Wrap, a detoxifying and firming treatment designed to leave your body sleek and smooth. It kickstarts with a dry body brushing method to stimulate lymphatic drainage and detoxification. Peptides are then applied to specific areas of concern to stimulate collagen production and firm the skin. Your body will then be covered in a European inspired Espresso Limon Slimming Oil formulated to purify and tone. Yes, please!

One & Only Palmilla. Though unique to the aforementioned spa-specific resorts, the One & Only Palmilla in the Baja Peninsula has recently launched a special program with an on-site shaman, who leads guests on individualized wellness journeys that penetrate mind, body, and spirit. What to expect? Anti-aging facials, soothing massages and traditional Mexican beauty treatments. But the kicker is the shaman-led Temezcal Ritual, which calls on the ancient traditions of chanting, drumming, and sweating (a lot) to detox and renew your inner spirit. Start with a spiritual cleansing with copal, intense steam, and medicinal herbs to detoxify, purify, restore the body, and lift the spirits. Additionally, one-on-one consultations with Curandero Raúl Retana–a member of the Mayo indigenous tribe of Sonora–include personalized ancient healing treatments. After an individual consultation, experience  a cleansing ritual with potent sage smoke followed by a deep-tissue massage that employs magnets said to neutralize pH levels and release toxicity.

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