Thursday, February 12, 2009

Canyon Ranch Miami Beach

Over the 24 months of our internship program, Nicole and I will have the privilege of visiting all the Canyon Ranch properties. As luck would have it, we joined just a few months before the opening of the first Canyon Ranch Living property in Miami Beach, Florida and let me tell you, it is amazing!

When Nicole and I first arrived in Miami, we were delighted by the beauty of Florida and could easily see the draw it held for winter-weary visitors. We were greeted by gorgeous water, a nice warm breeze and a Latin flare and culture that was completely different from that of Southern Arizona. Of course, this first impression was dwarfed by our introduction to the historic Carillon Hotel and the white and blue towers that were soon to be the latest offering from Canyon Ranch.

Our first morning, we were introduced to all the hardworking Canyon Ranch Miami Beach staff who were tirelessly putting the finishing touches on the operations, programming, and even construction details before the soft opening a few weeks away. Despite the stress and the endless task list, the team made it a point to come together every morning and spend 15 minutes as a group either meditating or practicing tai chi or some other form of mindfulness to start the day out right. Although this practice in itself is a great way to start a day, it didn’t hurt that you could see a never-ending green/blue ocean, hear the waves crash against the shore (as the entire property is only a stone’s throw away from the water), and feel the wind gently cleanse your soul before the day began.

After meditation, Nicole and I received our first tour of Canyon Ranch Miami Beach and for the first time I was truly sad to be an employee because all I wanted to do was stay there as a guest. The fitness area had the latest equipment from strength training machines that recorded your reps, sets, and weight used (to compare and record electronically your customized plan created by an exercise physiologist) to Expresso Bikes that allow you to race other people in different cities through a computer game that is displayed on a flat panel screen on your bike. If that doesn’t entice you to get into the gym, then maybe the unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean and Beach just might, where I often saw on windy days, Kiteboarders putting the ocean breeze to good use.

Then there’s the spa. I was like a kid in a candy store when I saw how many different offerings the spa provided. There was an herbal laconium, a Finnish sauna, crystal steam room, igloo room, hydrospas, experiential rains (think of a shower with different settings from monsoon to rain forest and accompanying light and sound effects), and heated lounges. The intent of these offerings is not only to pamper the guest, but to deliver the Aquavana experience. Aquavana is a process of enveloping your body in alternating treatments of hot and cold treatments, which has been shown to relax your muscles, enrich your blood with oxygen, and rid your body of toxins.

There’s so much more to talk about including the unbelievable cuisine offered in the Canyon Ranch Grill, leading edge technology for preventive medicine in our health and healing department, the seemingly hundreds of massages available, rock climbing, and everything else Canyon Ranch is known for, but I’ve simply run out of space.

All I can say is you’ll have to try it out for yourself to truly understand what I’m talking about and trust me, the trip will be worth it

Live healthy!

Ken Morris