The sun had long since gone down and our attitudes seemed to go down with it. At 9PM we hit road construction requiring us to turn around and go another hour and a half out of the way to get to our ultimate destination, St. George Utah. We had spent a long fun-filled day of hiking and driving across Arizona and Utah; we were tired, hungry, and ready to arm wrestle over who got to use the shower first. After coming across the ‘Road Closed’ sign, we tried to keep our spirits up as well as our energy with some Diet Coke and an upbeat playlist on our ipod (Steve chose heavy metal). As we drove the extra miles in the wrong direction, we knew we were driving through some beautiful scenery, but we had no idea what it looked like as it was bathed in black, inky, darkness.
As we crossed over time zones we arrived in St. George at half past midnight, tired, hungry; not quite according to our road trip plan. The hotel property was dark and there was one man at the front desk; as soon as we walked in he knew who we were. We were most likely the last reservation to arrive that night. He welcomed us to Red Mountain Resort and Spa with a pleasant smile, checked us in, gave us a folder of information and then said, “I believe we have a saved you some dinner in the refrigerator. One moment and I’ll get it for you.”
That’s when the night took a turn in the right direction. We walked in the room in our villa and knew immediately, 2 nights here wouldn’t be enough!
I had actually heard of the Red Mountain Resort and Spa on Twitter of all places. I was tweeting about some hikes I wanted to do in Zion and the Red Mountain Spa twitter presence chimed in with some information for me; I was pleasantly surprised. A few days later when Steve said he wanted to go to Zion National Park, I looked up Red Mountain Spa’s website and passed it along to him; he ended up booking our nights there. Who says Twitter isn’t good for business?
I woke up the next morning, moved aside the curtain, and peeked out the window; to my surprise I was greeted by glowing red sandstone cliffs of the Mojave Desert. Since we had arrived in complete darkness it was as if I woke up in another world. The resort buildings blended into the surrounding landscape as if Martha Stewart had designed the perfect picture of home and nature.
We went to the restaurant on the premises to have breakfast, as all of our meals were included with our Signature package. After a few days of eating at fast food roadside stops, the healthy menu served at the resort was a welcome sight! A buffet of healthy choices awaited us. Each had a little tent sign next to the serving dish indicating if it was ‘detox friendly’ or not. I found this a humorous thing to point out as it seemed that everything about this resort and spa was detoxifying – not just the food.
As we walked to the main building after breakfast – I tried not to notice the dark cumulus clouds over the cliffs. The main reason I wanted to go to Zion was to hike the Zion Narrows river hike. But I knew what those clouds in the distance meant; the Narrows hike would be closed if there was any threat of rain due to the deadly flash floods in the canyon. We talked to the recreation director and they confirmed my fears; there would be no hiking in the Narrows today.
I felt like the all of the excitement had just been squeezed out of me until I was empty. I don’t think Steve was nearly as effected by this news as I was, but maybe he had his eye on the list of spa treatments for a rainy day.
After a short sulk at Mother Nature, I looked around our spacious room in it’s soothing desert colors and lovely terrace and decided, this isn’t a bad place to be stuck for a day. Our Signature package could keep us more than happy here with included meals, fitness classes, cooking demonstrations, and spa services. I had my first spa treatment since I left Vietnam a year earlier and enjoyed every moment of it; a very different and calming Arabian ritual treatment that felt like an out of body experience. We did some full moon for photography, and ate an amazing outdoor dinner bringing an end to a day that didn’t quite go as planned, but was a great substitute for the Narrows hike.
The next morning we were able to take part in one of the highlights at the resort – a guided morning hike through Snow Canyon State Park. I was surprised at the number of people who met that morning for the hike. There were about 6 different hikes going out that morning alone; each with 2 guides from the resort. They drove us into the park and we proceeded on a wonderfully guided hike perfect for photography and exercise. The guides were helpful and super social; what a great start to the morning! In addition, I learned about the resort’s weekly Pound Puppy Hike; hikers can hike with a dog from the nearby ‘no kill’ animal shelter. We missed the puppy hike by a day – but definitely a reason to go out of your way to stay at Red Mountain Resort.
Overall, we had some bad luck with roads and weather, but the resort more than made up for it. Steve was already determining when he was going to come back to St. George just so he could stay at the resort! Upon leaving, I felt like my body and mind had been fully detoxed. Plus, I now know where I will stay when I come back to Zion to try to do the Narrows hike again; Mother Nature permitting of course!
Disclosure: our original room reservation was upgraded for the purpose of this review.
Location – St. George, Utah
A 40 minute scenic drive to Zion National Park makes this an ideal place to stay for your National Park visit. Plus the resorts location is nestled near the Snow Canyon State Park which is an excellent recreational playground!
It was all about balance. From the soothing décor to the healthy food choices and fitness centers; you’ll find your balance here. In addition, the resort has various lodging options, spa services, indoor/outdoor swimming pools, life coaching classes, cooking classes, and a super staff to keep everything running and the guests satisfied.
It really was a laid back, soothing place to stay. Many of the guests were there for a week long stay and I understand why. It’s a great get away from the rush and demands of daily life. I really appreciated the environmental approach they took and I love the various unique programs such as the Pound Puppy Hike.
Red Mountain Resort and Spa have a great online presence and as I said I was made aware of them thanks to their Twitter presence.
Website: Red Mountain Spa – www.redmountainspa.com
Facebook: RedMountainResort on Facebook
Photos from our Snow Canyon Morning Hike with Red Mountain Spa: