The wide-open landscapes, combined with a rich heritage of Native American healing that goes back thousands of years, have long made the Southwest a siren call for people searching to renew their body and soul. In Tucson, some of the world’s most nourishing wellness retreats offer unparalleled getaways filled with spa treatments and activities. From mud cocoon treatments using Indigenous desert botanicals to sunrise horseback rides, the programs at these world-class spas and resorts bring deep relaxation and revive to any style of wellness traveler.
Renowned as an elevated destination spa, Canyon Ranch’s Tucson location is the original and truly next level. Set your intention (stress alleviation, weight loss, and improved sleep are all popular) and let the spa’s experts do the rest. They’ll get you on the right “Pathway” (they range from Executive Physical and Breakthrough Performance to Integrative Weight Loss and Find Inner Calm), tailored just for you.
Canyon Ranch is synonymous with stylish accommodations and five-star restaurants, and its Tucson location is nothing less than a dreamy desert escape. And a trip there is more than a spa getaway—although you’ll of course enjoy plenty of time at the spa, which beckons with treatments such as Radiant Glow HydraFacials, Angel Card Readings, Omega Body Buff scrubs, and A Slice of Heaven massages. A stay at Canyon Ranch is also a life-transforming journey that begins with a health evaluation by an integrative physician and focuses more on fitness than many other resorts.
Your immersive experience—which lasts between three and seven days—spans lectures, exercises, and activities with dozens of practitioners and therapists to expand your physical and mental limits, while creating an optimized health plan for home that includes everything from recovery routines to an improved nutrition strategy to fuel your body’s physical performance. And when you’re in need of a refresher, you’re always welcome to pop in on a day pass.
The stunning Miraval Arizona resort—a favorite of many a boldface name—offers accommodations that range from cozy guest rooms, with amenities such as outdoor showers and fire pits, to secluded villas that boast private plunge pools and spas, plus unobstructed views of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Tibetan singing bowls in every room underscore the emphasis on holistic self-care.
More focused on relaxing the mind and soul than some of its counterparts, Miraval is home to a 16,000-square-foot Life in Balance Spa with 23 indoor and outdoor treatment rooms and famously awe-inspiring views. An abundance of energy work and eastern healing practices are on offer, including acupuncture, Thai massage, neuro-reset, and qi awakening. And the daily activities schedule is as robust as they come—wake up with a morning stretch or meditation and make time to don a beekeeper suit for the All the Buzz class or test your fear of heights in all sorts of ropes and zip line courses.
The resort is also heralded for its equine program—there are plenty of activities for non-riders that allow guests to simply have time with the animals—and its Conscious Cooking classes, with themes such as curbing inflammation with food, honey-tasting, and boosting your immune system via nutrition. The culinary focus also welcomes you to end the day with a toast, as this is one wellness resort that serves wine.
Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa
From the local ingredients used in the creative, seasonal dishes at the on-site restaurant to the native desert botanicals grown on property for use in its spa, Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa is deeply connected to its 80 acres of Tucson’s famous Sonoran Desert. And you can take in that sweeping desert landscape from each of the upscale resort’s 241 rooms, all of which have a private balcony. Dining options include Gold, the Southwestern-style restaurant where you can savor breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. The seasonal menu spotlights the chef’s currently garden harvest. (There’s also a more casual Lookout Bar & Grille.)
At the resort’s Sonoran Spa, consider its signature treatment, an 80-minute scrub using seasonal Indigenous plants and herbs—from citrus trees in the spring and summertime aloe and mint to pomegranates in the fall. The spa puts their Wellness Garden to good use during other treatments as well, including the desert botanical oils used in its massages and healing botanicals used in the body wrap and garden ritual. A moving meditation is also offered in the spa’s outdoor labyrinth, which was blessed by an elder of the Tohono O’odham tribe.
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Imagine sinking into your very own soaking tub after breathing in the desert views on your private balcony to kick off your wellness escape at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. This destination spa is also mere minutes from the Ventana Canyon Club and Lodge’s two award-winning championship golf courses. Tom Fazio’s lush 18-hole links sit on 600 acres and feature dramatic mountain views.
Not a golfer? Take in fairway views while dining alfresco at the resort’s Flying V Bar and Grill or enjoy drinks at the lounge inside. While eating on property, keep your eye out for local foods from such artisans as the Tucson Tamale Company as part of the hotel’s commitment to showing off local fare. And then there’s the dreamy Lakeside Spa—try Reflexology, a Desert Herbal Cocoon Wrap, or an Alginate Facial that includes a cooling algae-derived face mask and foot and hand massage.
Tanque Verde Ranch
Although many of the nearby resorts offer horseback riding, for a true ranch experience (after all, you’re in the Southwest), head straight to Tanque Verde Ranch, a cattle ranch established in 1868. This family-friendly guest ranch in the Rincón Mountains offers a full kids program and boasts a whopping 60,000 acres that border Saguaro National Park and Coronado National Forest. All that land makes this resort an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts, offering mountain biking, fishing, and hiking, in addition to horseback activities for all levels, including lessons, sunset and sunrise rides, a Saguaro Adventure Ride, and advanced lope rides.
In this sublime setting, you can also delight in everything from the hearty Southwestern breakfast and lunch buffet, bursting with local flavors and dishes, to a delectable sit-down dinner or authentic Cowboy Cookout, featuring steaks and ribs on the BBQ. When it’s time to unwind, La Sonora Spa is waiting for you with a spa menu of relaxing treatments.