Are you plotting your summer travel plans? I am. My trick to surviving summer in Phoenix is to pretend I’m just visiting… which means I escape as much as possible. My favorites are health-minded resorts that leave you feeling more refreshed than when you arrived… and lighter. In other words, the opposite of all-you-can-eat cruises (no thank you!). So here’s my escape-the-heat bucket list, resorts that recharge your wellness batteries, fire up your fitness goals and dial down your stress (yes please!).
Have you been to Miraval? I was there 3 years ago and I’m still talking about it. I walked in a ball of stress and walked out floating on cloud 9. The 400-acre Sonoran Desert destination spa is an Andrew Weil-approved, Oprah-applauded, A-list loving escape. I hiked, I swam, I spa’d, I downward dog’d, but on my next trip I want to really get out of my comfort zone and face my fears with their outdoor challenge courses (they offer desert tightrope and quantum leap). Spend a long weekend with famed New York yoga teacher: Renowned yogi Elena Brower is coming to Miraval May 16-19 for an unbelievable yoga retreat. You’ll experience two daily yoga classes plus life coaching sessions with Brower.
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, San Diego
Any excuse to go to California sounds good to me – and Rancho Valencia tops my list! It’s lush, it’s serene, it’s fitness minded. They have daily hikes, yoga, Pilates, spin and TRX, and well as a state-of-the-art fitness center and 18 tennis courts. But it’s really the spa that’s beckoning me. I want the Fig Facial with organic desert fig seed oil and their “Fresh Squeezed” mani-pedi, a citrus-inspired hand and foot treatment that lasts 120 minutes of bliss. Sunshine & Serenity Yoga Retreat May 26-30: This 4-night retreat sounds fab: yoga with former pro snowboarder Katie Brauer, hike along the ocean, sip super-food smoothies and eat cleansing organic meals.
The BodyHoliday, St. Lucia
They had me at the opening line on their website: “Give us your body for a week and we’ll give you back your mind.” This healthy all-inclusive (yes, it is possible) has been on my wish list for a while. The fitness options are endless. The stunning Caribbean locale means you can choose windsurfing, diving, sailing, kayaking and wakeboarding as well as yoga, T’ai chi, Pilates, spinning, tennis, golf, biking… and archery! Dance your butt off with Jive-June: BodyHoliday goes dance mania for the month of June, with classes like Zumba, salsa, Argentine tango, European waltz and Cha-cha-cha!