Nestled in a valley bordering Snow Canyon State Park and the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area in Southern Utah, just outside of Saint George, Red Mountain Resort is guaranteed to take your breath away. Located in the artsy desert-mountain City of Ivins, the sweeping, majestic views would be worth the trip alone. Add to that a luxury spa resort with a taste of the culture of the indigenous people native to the area and adventure (and hammocks) around every corner, and you’ve got a vacation destination that everyone in the family will love. My sister, mother, and I spent a girl’s weekend there in mid-May, and we are already planning another trip with the husbands and kids included. Red Mountain Resort truly has something for everyone.
The resort features flat-roofed, brown stucco buildings which house eighty-two guest rooms designed to blend into the breathtaking surroundings, and there are also twenty-four luxury villa suites available for those with a bigger budget. Even though the property is fifty-five acres in total, every amenity feels like it is right around the corner, and the accommodating staff is always willing to whisk you off to a spa treatment in one of their golf carts if needed. All over the property are black lava rocks, which were strewn about the valley long ago when an ancient nearby (assumed to be inactive) volcano erupted. The black lava rock contrasts beautifully with the rust-red surroundings, and the scent of mesquite wafts through the air. One of my favorite views on the property was from the rock Labyrinth looking towards the mountains. Silent and slow, we walked the spiral path, deep in contemplation. I repeated two related mantras, one for each step with the right foot and one for each step with the left foot. “I am enough, I have enough.” Just as promised, my sister and I both felt renewed as we completed our silent walking meditations, left stones of our own as offerings, and exited the Labyrinth.
There are so many amenities at Red Mountain Resort that it is a challenge to enjoy them all in one weekend. In addition to the spiral labyrinth, there is a native medicine wheel which includes one of the most beautiful raw Snowflake Obsidian stones I have ever seen, countless walking and hiking trails, a meditation grotto, one indoor and many outdoor pools, each with its own hot-tub for soothing sore muscles after a long (or short) hike. Delicious meals are served at the on-site restaurant, Canyon Breeze. We ate there for dinner during our stay and found the presentation and quality to be excellent. The menu changes often enough that regular patrons will not get bored. There is also the Canyon Cafe for a quick bite. It could be considered criminal to visit the resort without booking at least one of the fabulous spa treatments available at the dome-shaped Sagestone spa. Get there early so you have plenty of time to soak up the views from the tranquil waiting area; you won’t be sorry. Mom said the hot stone massage was the best she had ever had. Before you leave, take some time to rake patterns into the sand at the zen garden.
If a spa day is not your thing, you are still in luck. The resort offers fitness and wellness classes, personal Shamans, guided hiking and biking tours, self-guided hikes, and custom adventure retreat packages. The Activity Calendar for each day offers an abundance of fun and unique experiences that is bound to include something for everyone. They even host marshmallow roasts by the campfire ring and despacho ceremonies at another fire ring reserved exclusively for that purpose. Nearby are the famous Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, the Virgin River Gorge, Tuacahn Center for the Arts, and of course, Snow Canyon State Park. The Anasazi Valley, where some of the earliest evidence of humankind in North America is located, is also nearby if ancient history grabs your interest.
If you do decide to visit the Red Mountain Resort, stop and sit for a moment with my friend, the praying native woman, who sits outside the Canyon Breeze. Turn your face up to the sun as she does and let yourself take a moment to stop doing and just be.
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