Tucson boasts a heritage of health

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The clarity and crispness of Tucson's high desert air coupled with an average of 360 days of sunshine are only two reasons why this city has historical associations with health and wellness.

For years, Tucson was sought out for its clean air and low humidity by people suffering from tuberculosis and asthma. In its early history, there were almost as many sanatoriums as there were dude ranches.

It's no wonder, then, that Tucson has become a significant spa destination for many travelers with varying health and rejuvenation needs.

Two award-winning spa resorts are situated in the Tucson area: Canyon Ranch and Miraval -- Life in Balance.

Adding to Tucson's reputation as a spa destination was the opening in December 2002 of the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Resort Spa, one of three Arden spas in the U.S. connected with a resort. In Tucson, it's the Westin La Paloma.

These major spa areas, plus others dotted along Tucson's foothills -- the Westward Look Resort and Spa, the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort and Spa and the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort -- provide Tucson with the reputation of "capital of spa destinations in the Desert Southwest."

The entryway at Miraval - Life in Balance in Tucson.Miraval
Miraval -- Life in Balance ("Life in Balance" is a Zen concept and the resort's credo) added to its accolades this year by being voted No. 1 U.S. Destination Spa by the Zagat Survey 2003.

Sprawled across 135 acres of the Sonoran Desert, Miraval has 106 guest rooms, four swimming pools, a Zen garden, a meditation labyrinth, a Native American sweat lodge and a spa with more than 100 treatment choices.

Guests are free to create daily agendas to suit their needs and moods. The programs include challenge activities, specialty mindfulness workshops, Oriental movement, body work and massage therapies.

The Ultimate Package runs from Oct. 1 through May 15. Prices are per person, per night, double, exclusive of tax and service charge.

The seven-night plan starts at $2,999 and features casita accommodations; a $95 credit toward a spa service or round of golf per person per day; three meals daily; access to all scheduled activities as well as the fitness center and swimming pools; and roundtrip transfers.

Under the Mother-Daughter Special, valid through Dec. 20, mother pays the full package rate of $520 and daughter pays half. The above rate is based on a four-night stay, double occupancy, and includes four $95 spa services to be shared.

Accommodations, meals and activities are the same as offered in the seven-night package.

For information and reservations, call (800) 232-3969 or visit www.miravalresort.com. Packages are commissionable at 10%.

Canyon Ranch
On the northeast side of Tucson lies Canyon Ranch, a renowned health resort that has garnered awards not only from the travel industry but from the medical and mental health professions, as well.

The Health and Healing Center, a highlight of Canyon Ranch, is a 14,000-square-foot area where guests may opt for such physical evaluations as a bone-density assessment and lifestyle counseling. Complementary disciplines often include acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

Canyon Ranch offers four-and seven-night winter packages, valid through June 5 and commissionable at 10%.

Four-night sampler rates, starting at $2,400 per person, double, feature a $95 allowance for spa and sports services.

For details, call (800) 742-9000 or visit www.canyonranch.com.

To contact the reporter who wrote this story, send e-mail to [email protected] .

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