The laid-back, hippie-chick mountain town of Telluride is known as a fabulous ski resort; but it also plays host to everything from wine and food events to major music acts and, of course, outdoor and fitness adventures in both winter and summer. The picture-postcard setting provides the perfect backdrop for the historic main streets filled with boutiques and coffee shops, and a top-notch foodie scene.
Hotel Madeline is a luxurious yet comfortable hotel that is completely at one with its setting in Mountain Village. Part of the Leading Hotels of the World, Madeline is majestically situated on the peaks above the town of Telluride, the hotel is easily accessible via the free public gondola system — and you get amazing views to boot. Overview Hotel Madeline is Telluride’s only Four Star ski-in, ski-out hotel. It is part of Mountain Village, where you can step outside the hotel directly to the gondola and ski slopes; as well as a multitude of charming shops, restaurants, coffee houses, night life, the ice skating rink and more. Ski valets are available to help guests with their ski equipment and the lifts, a nice little touch. Rooms 96 rooms, 11 suites and 17 condominiums each offer elegant décor and full amenities. The suites offer kitchenettes, and the condos feature full gourmet kitchens along with washer/dryer units. Rooms are spacious, with 42-inch flat-screen cable TVs, complimentary wi-fi, luxurious bathrooms with deep soaking tubs and separate shower, and beds that feel like you are sinking into a cloud. There are nice extra touches befitting the mountain environment, such as humidifiers to remedy the dry altitude air. Spa & Fitness Enter a world of unmatched serenity and succumb to the restoring therapies of The Spa at the Hotel Madeline. Select from a variety of alpine inspired massages, altitude adjustment oxygen therapy, hydrotherapy, facials and body care treatments – all designed to enhance your day in the refreshing mountain air. The indoor heated pool is surrounded by glass doors that look upon the dramatic mountain views. The pool, jacuzzi and steam room are open 24 hours a day with guest room key. A fully equipped fitness room with free weight equipment and Technogym cardio is also available. Food & Dining Don’t miss a highlight of the hotel – its amazing food at Rev Restaurant and Smak Bar, often sourced straight from the downtown farmer’s market by Chef de Cuisine Bud Thomas. Thomas and Executive Chef Cory Sargent share a passion for local ingredients foraged from the market and ranches, farms and fisheries across southwest Colorado, putting the taste of the Rockies right on the plate for their guests. Thomas and Sargent also delight in special culinary events and festivals that are plentiful in Telluride. For example, the August Mushroom Festival brings together mushroom connoisseurs along with general enthusiasts for guided hikes to identify and hunt mushrooms, lectures and cooking demonstrations. Sargent says that harvesting the mushrooms by hand makes this festival a very rewarding one as a chef. “Being able to be in the wilderness and hunt for chanterelles, oyster, and porcini mushrooms is just magical,” he says. “We hire the best local mushroom hunter in town, ‘Sir Jesse,’ to take the clientele out into the woods to hunt for everything from wild onions, edible flowers, & all the different varieties of mushrooms.” While they are hunting, Sargent and his sous chefs create a four course mushroom dinner in a tent with views of the mountains. Through each course of the amazing meal, Sir Jesses explains the different mushrooms as a sommelier pairs the meal with a selection of wines. Extras Hotel Madeline is pet friendly, welcoming guests’ four-legged friends with a small additional charge. The hotel also offers dog walking, pet sitting and grooming services. The Leaders Club offers special member benefits, and the Madeline also has an ownership program. Right now the Hotel Madeline is offering a special where you can get the third night free when you book two nights.
For more planning information: check out the comprehensive guide to Telluride.
It was a short walk to the lotus pond, which had become my morning spot. After waking early from a restful night’s sleep, I would walk out my door into the gentle Arizona sunshine moving over the nearby mountaintops of the Sonoran Desert, along the pathway that wound between cactus plants studded with flowers, blooming lantana and succulents. Lizards darted out of the way, while the occasional rabbit would hop across the path or ground squirrels shyly race back to their holes.
Then I arrived at the lotus pond. It was small, just in front of the Health and Healing center in the back section of the property. This was a peaceful spot I discovered on my first morning at Canyon Ranch, and became my favorite spot to start the day. I would bring a cup of coffee and sit and watch the koi and the turtles splash in the water, the colorful dragonflies buzz around the vegetation, and wait for the pink, purple and white lotus flowers to slowly open up on their lily pads to greet the day. It was almost like a meditation, the perfect beginning to my day.
This sort of peaceful, restorative feeling is one that accompanied me just about every moment and in most locations around the 150-plus acres of Canyon Ranch. The entire resort is lush and lovely, meandering and quiet, almost zen-like in the ambience that it exudes. Even with many other guests in attendance at nearly-peak occupancy, the grounds are so large and spread out that you rarely run across more than a few people at a time outside the classes and main gathering areas. Often, I would have a spot to myself for walking, sitting, reading or just enjoying the peace and quiet.
I had decided to give myself a completely unplugged experience while at Canyon Ranch – no internet or phone calls, to fully embrace and enjoy the restorative, healing powers of the place. It was nice that most of the resort is a “cell-free zone” – there are a few spots here and there that are designated phone spots, and of course guests are free to use their phones in their rooms, where wi-fi internet access is also provided for those who wish to stay connected.
But for me, the very essence of Canyon Ranch was about escaping from everyday life, to rebalance and perhaps discover some components of life and wellbeing that would enhance my life moving forward from this special place. The many activities and amenities at this resort 40 minutes outside Tucson make it easy to do so. I found that many of the guests were repeat visitors, many of them having come back over years and even decades. Canyon Ranch is one of the original health resorts of Arizona, celebrating 35 years this year, and although I had just discovered it I could tell it held a special place for many to rejuvenate or even rediscover themselves.
Health & Wellness Programs One of the first things you can do upon checking into Canyon Ranch, if you wish, is to meet with a program advisor to discuss the many opportunities available during your stay. At registration you are given a bag with a personal, reusable water bottle and a listing of the week’s programs, which can be overwhelming as the choices are plentiful. An orientation tour around the property really helps, as well. The goal of the Canyon Ranch programs is to help guests feel their best at every age. Holistic, integrative medical care integrates Western and non-Western practices with top physicians on staff and a range of diagnostic services, making it the perfect place for a comprehensive whole-body check-up and consultation for treatment programs. Food and nutrition programs, weight loss, lifestyle management, and Eastern healing medicines round out the offerings.
In addition to meeting with physicians for a medical consultation, including in every stay is a range of wellness workshops and programs that might include the following:
Reduce your stress with healing touch
The science of weight loss
Is your sleep posture causing you pain?
Mindfulness and the brain
Keep your joints healthy
There are also daily 12-step meetings, and the entire resort including dining areas is alcohol-free. Some people come to Canyon Ranch due to crisis and are choosing recovery, while many others are looking for maintenance, cleansing and restoration.
Spa & Aquatic Center The spa complex at Canyon Ranch is very large, incredibly equipped and a delight to spend time in. With more than 80,000 square feet, the complex includes gyms and workout rooms, yoga studio, hair and nail salon and of course, the spa treatment areas. In the spa guests can receive classic bodywork massages and Asian therapies, Ayurvedic treatments, body scrubs and wraps, and facials. There are many beautiful, relaxing common areas with numerous soaking pools of varying temperatures, from hot to a cold plunge pool; a steam room, aromatic Eucalyptus room and sauna. The complex also houses a Healthy Feet clinic, with gait and footwear analyses, reflexology and touch therapies. The salon is full service, offering hair, nail and makeup services. There are also special maternity offerings for special attention to moms-to-be. The gym portion of the complex has nine gyms, a yoga dome, courts for squash, racquetball and wallyball, a strength and cardio training room that is outfitted with all the latest computerized fitness equipment, and personal training. Just behind the spa complex are tennis courts, and the Aquatic Center that houses two heated indoor pools for free swimming, aquatics classes, Watsu water massage and underwater treadmills. Three other outdoor pools are located around Canyon Ranch, so no matter where your guest room is, you are sure to be near a pool.
Fitness & Activities This is definitely a highlight of a stay at Canyon Ranch. The beauty of the environment and programming is that you can do as much or as little as you like. The program advisors do warn against not getting so excited about all the offerings that you are too over-zealous and leave exhausted. That was my temptation. I definitely wanted to take advantage of the dozens of exercise and fitness classes offered each day, and I enjoyed hiking, yoga, pilates, aqua fitness and many others. Classes on the weekly schedule typically include many of these classes as well as:
Abs and core conditioning
Stretch classes and walking
Boxing workouts, and many more
There are golf and tennis clinics and private lessons also available, as well as high ropes adventures and obstacle courses. Besides the physical fitness aspect, Canyon Ranch programming also puts just as much emphasis on internal, emotional health. Many workshops are offered on topics such as meditation, cultivating inner peace, creating sacred space, harnessing your intuition and many more. Also offered are art and creative classes, bingo, live music, bingo, cooking demonstrations and hands-on classes. Food here, in fact, is something of an art form. Guests can dine in the dining room (by reservation for dinner) or at the more casual, order at the counter Double U Café. All dishes are described with their ingredients, calories, fat content, etc. The aim is to provide delicious and healthy gourmet cuisine, with snacks and drinks available all day long.
Guest Rooms Accommodations are clustered in different groupings throughout the resort, all with stunning views of the mountains and surrounding desert landscape. The original art and décor is inspired by the natural surroundings, and plentiful outdoor areas provide more comfortable lounging outside the room. All guest rooms include the following amenities:
Cloud-soft feather beds
Your choice of pillows from 20+ options on our Pillow Menu
Mascioni® luxury Italian linens
Terry cloth robes
DVD, cable TV, stereo/CD player
Computer phone jack
Wired or wireless Internet access
In-room coffee and tea service
Hair dryer and thoughtful amenities
In short, if you are looking for the ultimate, all-inclusive and holistic way to immerse yourself in health and wellness, the beauty and expertise of Canyon Ranch is the way to go. It was named a Conde Nast Top 10 Best Destination Spa for 2014 (having been recognized by the veteran travel publication numerous times). There’s a very good reason Canyon Ranch has been around for more than three decades…in fact, hundreds of them.
Details Canyon Ranch 8600 E. Rockcliff Road, Tucson AZ 85750 Telephone: 520-749-9000 or 888-239-5149 Rates: From $2,140 per person for 3 nights, $4,495 for 7 nights. 4 and 10 night stays also available. Rates are all-inclusive of meals, programs and activities, use of all facilities, resort fees, a daily spa allowance and taxes. Canyon Ranch is a no-tipping resort.
When you’re traveling, a quintessential detail is to ensure you're staying somewhere central; effortless to see the sites being ticked off that bucketlist you've dreampt of for so long. So when visiting Paris, you’d be wise to look at staying somewhere like St Christopher's Gare du Nord, Paris, which is located just 100-metres away from the famous Gare du Nord train station, and connects London to Paris, and Paris to lots of cities across Europe.
When you visit the most romantic city in the world that is Paris, France, you want to stay in style - hey, it's a stylish city. And if you're on a budget, hostelling is the way to do it, so my tip is to book with St Christopher's Paris Inn. St Christopher's Paris Inn launched in 2008, where a well known architect called Chaix et Morel was brought in to fuse a 19th centruy warehouse with the most modern of qualities to create one of the most progressive feeling backpackers in the city.
We were looking for somewhere nice to stay in Coolangatta on Queensland's Gold Coast, not far from the airport as we had an early morning flight to catch and found Mantra. The Mantra Hotel is an upmarket tower, right on the beach, so the location is fantastic and within walking distance of the main CBD. Restaurants, cinema, supermarket are all nearby. Plus it's only about a 10 minute drive to the Coolangatta International Airport. Our three bedroom apartment (limit four people) featured self contained cooking with complete kitchen facilities, three tvs, two bathrooms (one ensuite) and a laundry. There were two King beds and one bedroom with two singles. It's always a bonus when traveling to be able to wash clothes without searching for the laundromat and it's awkwardness. Also an awesome balcony with a southern view looks out onto the beach on the 17th floor - and the views were just beautiful. The apartment was well laid out with privacy for each room, and is peacefully quiet. Some nice touches were detailed here and there in the decor. There is undercover secure parking and good security. The receptionist was very professional, friendly and informative and made us feel at ease. The hotel pool is positioned on such a superb beach with barely a soul in sight, making for a lovely private swimming day. Coolangatta has a nice mix of upmarket meets olde worlde beach village. For a night out on the town, you'll find is a first class venue at the Twin Towns Club. Just a block from the Mantra, major international, and local artists play, along with heaps of local music around the clock. Coolangatta Hotel is a big rock venue and the local Greenmount Surf Club has a jazz band and cheap meals on a Wednesday night. There is excellent dining nearby. We chose the O Sushi Japanese restaurant and the food lived up to it's award winning reputation. The second meal we had was breakfast at Belakai which was also more than adequate, and right next door. If you're exploring the main street there is a fascinating Antique market with a fascinating, quite mind boggling array of interesting olde worlde items well worth the view. Make sure you walk up to the lookout on the southern point, it's breathtaking and inspiring. Recommended: All-in-all a totally satisfactory and good value stay. Loved staying at the Mantra and would like to book that room permanently!