So Worth It! By Suzanne Aaronson

Suzanne Aaronson, founder of www.whatsworthit.com, shares her top reviews of escapes in the USA with The Luxury Channel….

Dunton Hot Springs – Dolores, Colorado

www.whatsworthit.com


“I went to Dunton with a group of fun, sporty friends and my boyfriend – we mixed up our time between hikes, fly-fishing, horseback riding and plenty of reading and chilling out in the property’s hot springs. Think Wild West with a BIG difference. Built on the site of an old mining town, this charming resort combines the rugged outdoors with beautifully decorated log cabins dotted around the central lodge. Romantic enough to suit a honeymoon couple cosying up in one of the rustic cabins, but also well situated for an active hiking trip in the national parks, then relaxing in the hot springs of the spa — or even with kids or a large family party: not many places can suit all groups!” – Suzanne & Friends.

Great For:
Really getting away from it, going back to basics to some degree, all in pretty mountain scenery and unspoiled landscapes!

Memorable Moment:
A 3-hour horseback ride along snow capped mountains, evergreen forests and ice-cold streams, followed by a long dip in the outdoor mineral-packed hot springs, and ending my day with a hearty and delicious dinner at the main house’s communal table, chatting and laughing with our friends. Just a really nice day.

Best Time To Go:
Depends on what you seek: summer for long walks, horseback rides and wildlife, late fall/winter for skiing, snowshoeing and cosying up to read and ponder by the roaring fire.

To Do And See:
Get yourself outdoors into the rugged Wild West… In summer: fly-fishing, hiking, riding and climbing; Winter: cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, ice-climbing and skating, snowmobiling etc. Plus there are two national parks nearby, so plenty of outdoorsy goodness to be had. They are also one of the few places in the US to offer dog sledding on the property. For some much needed TLC, head over to the charming log cabin spa and request their soothing hot-stone massage; one of the many treatments offered. Follow that with a dip in the mineral-rich indoor or outdoor hot springs: Bliss! (Especially after a long hike).


Where:
Dunton Hot Springs
52068 West Fork Road #38
Dolores, CO 81323

Getting There:
Part of the charm of Dunton is its remoteness, and this makes it a bit of a challenge to get to, but for many, it is worth the effort; you will truly feel as though you have escaped. Plan to fly into Denver and take a ‘puddle jumper’ to Telluride or Cortez. The hotel can advise you of the best option for your particular needs.

Contact:
www.duntonhotsprings.com
info@duntonhotsprings.com
+1 (970) 882 4800
General Manager: Edoardo Rossi

Montage Deer Valley – Park City, Utah

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“This gorgeous family ski resort just opened in December 2010 – not only is it one the top places I’ve ever stayed worldwide, it is in my opinion and that of other guests this Winter, North America’s top ski resort. The vibe, aesthetic, amenities, warm service, activities, setting, fine food, thoughtful generous touches… in the world of hospitality, it is the real deal of What’s Worth It!” – Suzanne.

Great For:
Ski enthusiasts — due to its ski-in/ski-out location on the base of six-peak Deer Valley. Plenty to do outside of downhill: access nearby Nordic tracks + other winter recreational pursuits including snowshoeing, ice-skating or snow mobiling. Everyone enjoys the hotel’s 35,000-square foot spa & massive gym including 25 meter lap pool, bowling alley and cosy/chic dining & bar options. Summer would be stunning here as would early Autumn. Outdoor pool, hiking, mountain biking, long scenic walks, excellent stylish restaurants in the nearby village “Main Street.”

Memorable Moment:
Being greeted by the adorable Monty (Bernese mountain dog) upon arrival, shown up to our handsome slope-side room with fireplace already lit, check-in done fastidiously in-room, and feeling that we were in for a real treat. We definitely were…

Best Time To Go:
While I am partial to the ski season between December and April, I plan to return in Summer to enjoy the warmer pursuits including: hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, fly-fishing, kayaking and rafting.

To Do And See:
Essentially, this is a place to get out and about and enjoy the scenery safe in the knowledge that there is a roaring fire and wonderful service to retreat to. If you want to inject your trip with a little something extra, nearby Park City has plenty of cute galleries and a historical museum. The 35,000 square feet Spa Montage Deer Valley is just the thing for after an active day on the slopes (winter or summer!) with all sorts of alpine-inspired treatments from anti-ageing to detox. Love the Surrender program — you just sit back and relax, they’ll do the rest, right down to personalizing the spa service.


Where:
Montage Deer Valley is located in the Empire Canyon area, mid-mountain, near the top of Deer Valley Resort, just 36 miles east of Salt Lake City International Airport and minutes from Old Town Park City.
Driving directions are available on their website.

Contact:
www.montagedeervalley.com
+1 435 604 1300

Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa In Miami Beach – Miami Beach, Florida

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“A bit embarrassingly, I’ve not yet stayed at the flagship Canyon Ranch in Arizona, so I wasn’t sure what to expect outside of the positive feedback I’ve heard from friends and family. I went to Miami Beach for an offsite think-tank of sorts run by the wonderful group to which I belong: Access Circles and now plan to return whenever possible! What a fabulous, healthy, fun, easy, restful experience. Very different from the Arizona and Berkshire locations, this Canyon Ranch is an a la carte proposition, smack on the beach midway between South Beach and Bal Harbour shopping mall. Feel like taking a few classes a day? As you like. No spa treatments or many? Go for it. Eat super light – delish and healthy dining – also easy! One of the things I valued most was the daily customization I could choose for myself. The best value in the whole of Miami for room sizes, fitness classes galore, 70,000 sq foot state-of-the art spa & fitness center, fresh high-quality tasty food, four pools on the beach….you get it – so get your arse in gear and book it!” – Suzanne.

Great For:
A fit, healthy at least 3 day visit with sun, breezy/balmy pleasure (season depending), and Miami at your fingertips – if you decide to leave the property, that is…

Memorable Moment:
Super morning workout: Spin class followed by TRX class outside (in the shade) facing the ocean and pool – after a completely satisfying breakfast – felt great.

Best Time To Go:
Miami has many beautiful months, the best of which tend to be December through May. I’ve visited in October when it was lovely and even June!

To Do And See:
For ideas on what to do/see/shop/experience in Miami, as there is so much diversity and choice, I recommend buying a fun little guide: LUXE Miami. Upcoming things to do on-property: View their calendar for all events. Sport and activity – this is my favourite part. Dip in to as many or as few classes and lectures you’d like. From spin to kickboxing to Pilates to gentle yoga to wet workout… there are 4+ classes every hour from which to choose. There are four large, pretty and varied swimming pools – each uniquely situated for sun or shade throughout the day; lounging or playing. The cardio machines literally look out to the beach/ocean; the stretch of beach is great for walking (including your pooch) and there are nice community tennis courts a 5 minute walk away. In the evenings, there are classes led by experts in sleep, breathing, meditation, cognitive therapy, sex tips, etc. The spa is 70,000 sq. feet of state-of-the-art everything. Take a look here. Do make time for the Aquavana water therapies – even if you are not treating yourself to a treatment. WON-derful. (Outdoor massage is on offer BTW…) Full service salon, entrance just opposite the spa, with every basic service on offer.


Where:
6801 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida
Smack on the beach, complete with wide walking/skating/biking path. 10 minute drive to South Beach area, traffic depending.

Getting There:
Approx. 15 minutes drive from Miami International Airport; 30-45 minutes from Ft. Lauderdale Airport (which tends to be less hassle & stress than Miami and has non-stops from many East Coast locales and others in the US & Canada)

Contact:
www.canyonranch.com/miamibeach
Within USA: 1 800 742 9000
Outside USA: 1 305 514 7000
General Manager: Matthias Kammerer
Head Concierge: Chauncey Sullivan