I think we’ve all been there – that place where you want to hit “reset” or need a do-over in life. You want to eat, sleep or work out better. With wellness vacations on trend now (I was a trendsetter years ago apparently), it seemed appropriate for me to take a “life time out” and focus on my nutrition, workouts and sleep while relaxing with nature. So it was a bit of a working vacation except I was working on Sue “version 4.7.11”. Searching all the wellness vacation options I knew of (yoga retreats, posh and basic spa resorts, biking, spa/photography tours, etc.), I chose to return to Red Mountain Resort (“Adventure Inspired”) in St. George, Utah (it’s low key, co-ed, doesn’t calorie restrict, has both a dessert menu and a bar!) because I felt the desert calling me back. On my first visit, my friend joined me, this time it was a solo wellness vacation. A journey for me, myself and I.
Returning to Red Mountain Resort
Red Mountain Resort and Spa offers free airport pickup and drop off from the St. George airport which is about 30-40 minutes away. The shuttle was waiting for me when I arrived and I was quickly joined by five other guests from my flight. The ride was quick introductions (where are you from, have you been here before, are you together or traveling solo, etc.) which was nice because the resort is small you already know a few faces you may (or may not) see again during your stay. One man was returning to focus his solo wellness vacation on hiking, one woman was here for a friend’s birthday spa weekend and the trio of ladies were here to relax.
When the airport shuttle turned into the front gate, it looked as though time stood still all these years. I remembered it all – the workout studios are on the left, the Sagestone Spa directly ahead and the Canyon Breeze restaurant over there. It’s been thirteen years and it all looks (and feels) the same. Red Mountain Resort (and Spa) hadn’t changed but my life (and me) had in those thirteen years – many ups, a few downs and of course an epic adventure. But now I was back for a reset – back to see if I can adjust my body, mind and spirit to get ready for a new adventure in life.
Starting my Solo Wellness Journey
At check-in, the front desk has two staff to assist. You are given a nylon bag and water bottle (water refill stations throughout the property) as well as a folder with a property map (seriously everything is less than 10 minute walk), schedule and program of ala carte offerings (concierge desks can assist). What I like about Red Mountain Resort is that it is affordable, includes food and special classes and activities are ala carte as needed. Unlike other spas that charge exorbitant daily fees but give you a daily credit toward activities and spa, Red Mountain Resort gives you the option to add on. Class/Activity add-ons can range from $35 – $250+
Wellness Technology Assistant “Ivy”
Red Mountain Resort has embraced technology quite nicely as it uses a text service called “Ivy” to assist guests with their needs during their stay. No need to find a phone or visit the guest services desk in the main building. Upon reaching my room, I had a welcome text from Ivy letting me know how I can use “her” to ask questions and request items. I would request towels and soap at the end of dinner one night and seven minutes later as I arrived to my room, housekeeping was also walking to my room armed with towels and soap. Not sure how much I needed, I was given a bag of toiletries and multiple towels.
Red Mountain Resort Single Room – The Dragonfly Solo Room
Wellness is a solo journey – each person has their own individual wants and needs on their own journey. What’s great about Red Mountain Resort is that they have many solo visitors and have solo pricing and rooms (double beds not twin). My room was centrally located next to the Guest Services building in the Dragonfly building (each building has an animal name). On the second floor, my room didn’t have a view of Snow Canyon but had the sounds of the water flowing in the garden below. The small queen bed filled the room along with the wooden desk and drawers.
Prior to arrival, I completed the guest form which asked for bedding preferences. I added extra blanket and hypo-allergic pillows. The bed contained both requests when I arrived. The closet contained a robe (for slippers I had to ask the front desk), extra bedding, hairdryer, iron with board and a safe.
The pocket sliding door opened to the bathroom which contained a massive, I mean massive, tub that I had to use the side bars to get in and out because it’s so deep. It was the one thing that still surprised me that being environmentally conscious the resort would still advocate using that much water for a bath.
When I stayed at Miraval Spa in Arizona, the room had a relaxing shower suite, so seeing Red Mountain Resort still provided tubs was interesting. They didn’t offer bath amenities so maybe folks aren’t really using this feature anymore. The toiletries were June Jacobs Spa (a name I’m not familiar with) which had a lovely scent. The in room coffee maker was located in the bathroom which to me is an odd place when the room desk had space.
Red Mountain Resort Solo Wellness Activities
The Red Mountain Resort website has a calendar of their activities and events which is helpful when planning a visit to see what’s on offer when planning your visit. They also host special groups and workshops throughout the year that focus on an individual wellness topic.
Prior to arrival, you can call or email Red Mountain Resort to schedule your activities ahead of arrival. I booked a Bike tour to Kayenta , Morning Hike, Yoga in Snow Canyon and Tai Chi). This is helpful during busy season when the groups have a participation limit.
As I was visiting during low season, I could, for the most part, schedule the day before (Spa Massage, Facial, private 1 on 1 sessions) or the day of (Iphone photo class in Snow Canyon). In talking with the photography guide, he said that they don’t cancel activities if only one guest signs up (yeah for solo travelers!).
The Yoga in Snow Canyon, a popular activity, was booked on Friday so I was moved to Saturday. On Friday the class maxed out at ten guests whereas on Saturday it was me, two guests and our British teacher Ian. A private class held out in nature was fantastic and only $35.
For most of the workout classes, they are open so you can just show up and see how you do. After the morning hikes, the stretch class is quite popular and much needed. At night, candlelight yoga and the sound journey class were wonderful to relax and end the day on a reflective note. As for the gym, it contained the latest equipment and was rarely crowded (a crowd = 3 people) when I went to use the foam roller after my bike ride.
Because it was November, many popular activities had ended for the season like kayaking in the lake which I was keen to do but the hiking in Zion was still on the calendar. So if there is something you really want to do, check out the schedule and call to talk to staff prior to booking a visit.
Red Mountain Resort Spa Food (Canyon Breeze Restaurant & Cafe)
When you are trying to reset your diet, there is a host of minefields ahead of you. What’s right for your body, your activity level and your lifestyle. Red Mountain Resort doesn’t calorie restrict, doesn’t do juice cleanses or lecture about what’s right or wrong.
What they do quite nicely is provide a variety of foods with calorie content so you can learn about portion size and set your own limits. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style with the hot foods listing caloric information, allergens and an example of portion size.
Dinner entrees are chosen from a daily changing menu with a salad bar, bread basket brought to the table (yes, there is bread!) and a dessert choice.
The dessert menu is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth just in smaller portions. After a day of activity, you’ll convince yourself that you’ve “earned” that dessert and you have!
For me, this educational way of serving food is much easier to digest especially with a glass of wine! As I’m a picky eater, I didn’t starve (or order Uber Eats) as there was a good amount of choice on property. My one surprise and complaint was that a choice of vegetables wasn’t offered. I deviated only once to splurge (extra cost) on a turkey club sandwich with baked sweet potato fries and a berry smoothie.
Sagestone Spa at Red Mountain Resort
Book spa treatments in advance at Sagestone Spa as they are very popular with guests. I hadn’t planned on using the spa because I do spa treatments (massage, facials, accupunture, mani/pedi, etc.) at home on a regular basis but after the hiking, biking and bootcamp, my legs were in need of the Hiker’s Massage and with all the time in the sun, I thought a good moisturizing facial would be a treat.
I managed to find open space on Monday after the weekend crowds and groups had left. What a fantastic decision! The treatments were incredible and I highly recommend adding a service or two to your visit. **Warning – their spa shop is highly tempting with fantastic products!**
Red Mountain Resort Review Overall
In my opinion, Red Mountain Resort is a secret wellness adventure spa in Utah with a loyal following, including me! My solo wellness journey was only four days but just enough to get me in a good place to move forward. About half of the guests I met were returning while others were visiting for the first time and were pleased by the property and facilities. The gorgeous scenery instantly calms you, the plethora of activities allow you to work out at all levels (beginner to advance) and the spa services will relax and restore you. Whatever you need to work on – your mind, body or soul – can be done at Red Mountain Resort. Are you ready for your “time out” and focus on your wellness journey?
Note: Just like me, Red Mountain is getting ready for its makeover too as work was getting underway for a refresh in 2018. What’s been best about Red Mountain Resort is that it’s been this type of secret adventure spa in Utah that has a loyal following of down to earth guests. Don’t get me wrong many of these “down to earth guests” are quite wealthy, they just don’t flaunt it (except the two who flew “private” and made a big deal of it). Everyone seems to be on an even keel when your daily attire is yoga pants and a tshirt.
Travel to Red Mountain Resort from the East Coast
I chose to fly United from Philadelphia and connect in Denver (I had a 70 gate connection in less than an hour!) to St. George, Utah (Salt Lake was the other option for me on Delta). Other options include flying to Las Vegas and driving the 2.5 hours to the resort or taking a shuttle to St. George.