Business travelers who crave an escape from the noise, crowds, and glitz of Las Vegas can drive 130 miles northeast (about 2 hours and 15 minutes) to the Red Mountain Resort & Spa in Ivins, Utah. Although it’s just a couple hours from Las Vegas, the calmness and amazing natural beauty of this Utah resort are worlds away from the frenetic man-made pace of Sin City.
The Red Mountain Resort is an “adventure spa”—which means that in addition to spa treatments such as massages, facials, and body care, Red Mountain Resort offers hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, canyoneering, kayaking, rappelling, rock climbing, and other outdoor adventures.
Plus, visitors can take part in a wide variety of fitness classes, wellness consultations, personal discovery workshops, bodywork sessions, and cooking demonstrations.
Located just a half mile from the stunning Snow Canyon State Park, Red Mountain Resort also offers retreats for groups of all sizes with more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space and a medley of team-building programs and outdoor group adventures for corporate escapes.
Rates include three meals daily in the Canyon Breeze restaurant. (Or, guests can choose the a la carte payment plan and pay for meals separately.) The menu offers healthy choices such as daily fish specials, soup and salad bar, and vegetarian options, along with more indulgent dishes, wine and beer, and delicious desserts.
The Red Mountain Resort is a good choice for business travelers who want to escape the clatter of Las Vegas for a day, a weekend, or even a week or more.
It's also a beautiful site for business meetings and corporate retreats.
Red Mountain Resort is located 130 miles northeast of Las Vegas, a drive that takes about two hours and 15 minutes. Or, guests can fly into the St. George Airport, which is a 10-minute ride from the resort. The resort offers a free shuttle from the St.
George Airport. Several independent shuttle companies provide service from the Las Vegas Airport to the Red Mountain Resort.
Ivins is a tiny town, but nearby St. George has many stores and restaurants. A paved walking and biking path along the main road extends through Ivins to St. George.
The Red Mountain Resort is set on 55 acres in Southwestern Utah, nestled at the foot of dramatic red sandstone cliffs adjacent to the 10,000-foot peak of Pine Valley Mountain. It's just a half-mile from the entrance of Snow Canyon State Park, which boasts 16 miles of hiking trails of varying difficulty levels through 7,400 acres of sandstone cliffs and black lava rock.
Each of the resort’s buildings is painted a terra cotta color that blends in with the surrounding mountains. The grounds are landscaped with indigenous plants, and guests are never more than a few steps away from a hammock or lounge chair.
Gorgeous Zion National Park is about an hour and 15 minutes from the resort. Guests who want to explore Zion can drive there on their own or sign up for a day-long adventure trip offered by the resort.
The resort has 82 newly renovated guest rooms decorated with earth and desert tones and natural fabrics, as well as 24 two-bedroom luxury villas in a total of 11 buildings.
Rooms feature good-size bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, double vanities, granite countertops, slate floors, and separate water closets.
Standard rooms are on the small size, but most guests I spoke to didn’t mind because they don’t spend much time in their rooms. Larger rooms and suites are available in two-bedroom luxury villas. Guests traveling with pets can opt for pet-friendly rooms with tile floors.
During my stay—which was not at high season—rooms were quiet and I didn’t hear a peep from nearby guests. However, other reviews have mentioned that the rooms can be noisy. Heavy drapes blocked out all the light in my room, but some rooms have decorative blinds that are less effective at blocking light. The air conditioning worked well, and there was plenty of hot water and towels.
Many rooms have a view of the dramatic red sandstone cliffs nearby.
Rooms are located in several two-story buildings on the resort’s 55-acre grounds. Guests have to walk a few minutes to get to the spa, fitness center, pools, and restaurant, but that's not a problem since outdoor exercise is one of the goals at this health- and fitness-oriented resort.
Rooms include coffeemakers, flat-screen televisions, hair dryers, iron and ironing board, robes, and a basket of snacks that can be purchased. Kitchens are available in the villas.
Guest rooms are wired for Internet connection, and Wi-Fi is available in the lounge area near the front desk and the conference meeting space. Several guest buildings have coin-operated laundry rooms.
Service, Stay, and Spa
When you check in you receive a Red Mountain water bottle and light backpack. The backpack comes in handy for stashing your stuff for "hands-free" hiking.
During my visit, everyone from the front-desk personnel to the hiking guides and massage therapists were friendly and efficient. The resort boasts a 3:1 staff-to-guest ratio.
Tipping is encouraged—guests have the option of tipping on a service-by-service basis, adding tips to the final bill when checking out, or paying an automatic nightly gratuity (suggested amount: $35) that covers everything but one-on-one-services (such as massages) and wine or beer service at dinner. One-on-one services include a 15 percent gratuity, but guests have the option of adjusting it.
Located in a geodesic dome-shaped building on the resort grounds, the Sagestone Spa & Salon offers a comprehensive list of a la carte treatments and services, including facials, body wraps, massage, hand and foot care, hair care, waxing, therapy, reflexology, and lymphatic drainage therapy.
Guests have access to a well-equipped locker room with showers and a steam room. Before or after their spa services, guests can lounge in a relaxation area overlooking the resort’s grounds and red sandstone cliffs through floor-to-ceiling windows. (It’s worth arriving early or staying afterward to enjoy the view, along with a complementary cup of tea and soothing music.)
The spa has 14 treatment rooms, including two wet rooms, one multi-purpose room, two facial rooms, eight massage rooms, and one couple’s massage room. More than 50 spa services are available. Signature treatments include the Red Rock Hiker’s Massage and the Canyon Warm Stone Massage (done with warm canyon stones and sage massage oil). I opted for the warm stone massage, which was fabulous—although I don’t know whether it was the warm stones or the expert hands of the massage therapist, Jennifer, which made it so special. Probably a bit of both.
Red Mountain Resort offers a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities for people of all fitness levels. All are optional, so you can do as little or as much as you want. Some are included in the room fee; others cost extra. When you check in you receive a daily schedule printout with all of your activity choices and their fees. Activities can be arranged at the Adventure Concierge desk in the check-in building.
Each day begins with free guided hikes of about two and a half hours. Guests sign up for daily hikes the day before and can choose from several intensity levels. Guides drive guests to various nearby hiking sites in resort vans. During the hikes, guides point out geographical and historical points of interest. Hikers return to the resort in time for post-hike stretching classes.
A couple mornings a week, guests can opt to take the Pound Puppy Hike. Guide Robin, a former animal control specialist, drives hikers to the nearby Ivins Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, a no-kill municipal shelter. Hikers take ecstatic shelter dogs for a 1.5-mile hike along a flat trail at the base of Red Mountain, and then have a tour of the shelter and a chance to visit the kittens and cats in residence.
Other outdoor recreation and hiking adventures, which cost extra, include canyoneering, horseback riding, mountain biking, Native American rock art walks, rappelling, rock climbing, day trips to Zion National Park, and others. Guests can also design their own individual adventure hikes, climbs, bike rides, trail runs, or archaeological adventures with trained instructors and guides.
Each day’s schedule also includes wellness and personal discovery activities, including acupuncture, nutrition and detoxification consultations, foot and gait analysis, metabolic profile assessments, iridology, life coaching, meditation training, and classes in pottery, photography, and cooking. Most cost extra.
Guests can also explore on their own, either by foot or bike. (Bikes can be borrowed or rented outside the main office.) The resort has its own on-site Inspiration Trail through black lava rocks, and the trails of Snow Canyon are within walking or biking distance. For contemplation, the resort provides a sand garden with Japanese rakes outside the Sagestone Spa and a sacred spiral circle near the lava bed gardens.
For guests in need of gear, the Red Mountain Outfitters shop sells top-of-the-line equipment, apparel, and footwear for all activities.
The Business Travel View
The age range of Red Mountain Resort guests is 30 to 60. Approximately two-thirds are women. Guests frequently are traveling solo; they’re welcome to sit at community dining tables in the Canyon Breeze Restaurant.
Red Mountain has a full, well-equipped fitness center with Cybex strength equipment, cardio machines, and free weights. Guests can also participate in unlimited daily fitness classes that vary by day, including yoga, stretching, core conditioning, Zumba, aqua circuit, Chiball Stretch, kickboxing, Hip Hop Hustle, Power Pilates, and total body conditioning.
The resort has a beautiful indoor pool and two outdoor pools, as well as several outdoor hot tubs.
The registration building has a small business area with two computers and a printer/fax machine. It's not much of a business center, but the focus at Red Mountain Resort is disconnecting from everyday responsibilities. Consider it an opportunity to unplug before or after business commitments in Las Vegas.
Red Mountain Resort has meeting space to accommodate up to 150 people in the Red Mountain Conference Center, or in either of the private rooms in Canyon Breeze Restaurant and Red Rock Lounge. Several outdoor meeting areas are also available.
There's plenty of free parking.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available at the Canyon Breeze Restaurant. Meals can be paid for a la carte; many guests opt for a package fee that includes all meals. Breakfast and lunch served buffet-style; dinner is from a menu served by wait-staff.
A soup-and-salad bar is available at lunch and dinner.
Kosher, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free diet requests can be accommodated—upon arrival, guests can fill out a special diet card at the front desk of the Canyon Breeze restaurant. Menus and buffet cards designate choices that are gluten-free or that contain some common allergens.
During my visit, certain foods were designated as detox-friendly for the guests taking part in a detox program.
Room service and a snack bar are also available.
Overall the food is very good. Breakfast and lunch buffets offer a range of choices, including fresh fruits, fruit juices, and salads. The soups were very good—I especially enjoyed a hearty minestrone and a savory onion soup; other diners raved about a delightfully sweet carrot-ginger soup. A lunch of Indian food was particularly tasty.
At dinner, guests choose from entrees featuring fish, beef, pork, bison, chicken, pasta, and meat-free options, along with a starch and vegetables of the day. I found the daily fish specials particularly delicious—one evening, mahi with curry-coconut rice and broccolini left me scraping my plate clean.
Because of the resort's emphasis on healthy eating, some of the food choices—especially on the breakfast and lunch buffet—offer more in the way of good health than good taste. Heavy buckwheat pancakes, dry turkey sausage, and bland veggie burgers were disappointingly dull. A few of the buffet choices I tried were cold, which is sometimes an unavoidable fate of buffet food, especially when guests arrive toward the end of the meal time.
And although the salad bar was very good, I felt the low-cal-tasting salad dressings fell a bit short. I enjoyed the salads much more when I dressed them with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar available at the salad bar. And even with a few less-than-stellar buffet items, I always managed to have an enjoyable and healthful meal.
The desserts at dinner were a surprise. I wouldn't expect a spa to have any dessert, so as a dessert lover I was thrilled to find a menu of delicious treats that ranged from healthy (fruity, freshly made sorbets-of-the-day) to decadent (chocolate cake, cheesecake, and ice cream sundaes). Serving sizes were reasonable, so even if you choose to have dessert you’re not completely undoing a day of calorie burn.
Diners can also order beer and wine, which isn't the case in some spas.
General Manager Tracey Welsh explains that Red Mountain Resort offers healthy spa food as well as richer items, desserts, and alcohol because guests have different goals: Some want to lose weight or detox their diets; others want to relax and unwind with a bit of indulgence after a day of hiking, biking, and strength training. The menu lists nutritional information (calories, fat, carbohydrates, etc.) for each item, so guests can make informed choices.
At dinner, guests can opt to sit at individual tables or community tables. I traveled solo to the Red Mountain Resort, as do many guests. The community table was a great place to swap stories about the day's activities, chat about our favorite spa treatments, and plan next-day adventures. I loved the community tables—sitting alone in restaurants is one of the least enjoyable parts of business travel, and the guests at the community table were lots of fun. Many of them have been to Red Mountain Resort before—in fact, several I spoke to look forward to coming every year.
Dress at dinner is casual; it's fine to dress up, but it’s also fine to dine in yoga pants, a sweatshirt, and sneakers, as well as the happily dazed expression and rumpled hair that comes with a pre-dinner massage.
The Red Mountain Resort
1275 East Red Mountain Circle
Ivins, Utah 84738
Phone: (877) 246-HIKE (4453)
Guest Service Phone: (435) 673.4905
Adventure Concierge: (435) 652.5712
Sagestone Spa & Salon: (435) 652.5736
Fax: + 1 435 6525777
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.