Canyon Ranch in Arizona is famous. But despite its proximity to Long Island, Canyon Ranch in Massachusetts is less well-known. And that’s a shame, because it has all the immersive indulgence of its original sister property, plus something they don’t: snow. Besides the mind and body-boosting pampering Canyon Ranch is known for, this estate in the Berkshires has become an upscale haven for cross-country skiers. Bellefontaine Mansion, circa 1897, is authentically and meticulously upkept (wait until you see the library). Here, wellness is smoothly integrated with snowy fun.
Low-key outdoor fun on a historic property. Not everyone is up for the physical demands of downhill skiing. Cross country skiing has become nearly as popular, and this is a great place to do it. Both lessons and guided tours are given regularly. This winter, for the first time, the owners are offering snowshoe lessons, pole hiking (good preparation for first-time cross country skiers) and hiking tours. They supply all the equipment (except for a good pair of waterproof boots). The groomed trails are in a beautiful area that was once the vacation destination of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edith Wharton and Norman Rockwell.
The mother of all spas. Lots of ski resorts have a spa but not all of them are 100,000 sq. ft. To boot, Canyon Ranch is in the heart of a wellness center that contains an indoor pool, hot tubs, a gym, yoga studio and treatment rooms where guests can try holistic programs. They can choose a goal and make meeting it, with the help of a counselor there, the focus of their stays. They come up with goals as varied as maintaining weight loss, performing better at work and getting ready to run a marathon.
A revitalizing ritual. You’ve never had a massage like this before. Canyon Ranch’s six-part (!) massage body ritual combines the therapeutic properties of flower oils and fruit essences with yuzu mimosa sea algae, scrubbed in with warm gingergrass to purify skin. That’s just one part. Others involve wild lime silk oil and plum wine. Enough said.
A better body wrap. Warm organic shea butter is painted onto patrons’ bodies. That’s not flowery language; they use a brush. Then they are wrapped in a cocoon, soaking (again, no hyperbole here) in antioxidant vitamin E to soothe, plump and smooth skin.
Healthy tanning. True, those words don’t seem like they belong in the same sentence, but this place is full of surprises. One of their most popular treatments is a full-body exfoliation followed by a self-tanning cream that totally quenches travelers’ weather-weary skin and leaves behind a winter glow to rival their summer one. Zero skin damage, of course.
Cooking demos. Rather than just eating healthy meals for a few days, only to quickly fall back into old habits, travelers get to learn a thing or two. Take home new cooking techniques, shortcuts and recipes that have already been tested and loved.
All-inclusive ease. Aside from all meals and around-the-clock snacks—organic, local or regional produce and humanely raised hormone-and antibiotic-free meats and sustainable seafood—guests get WiFi, dozens of daily classes and outdoor activities, airport transfers from Albany or valet parking and an allowance towards spa treatments. Tipping is not allowed.