My husband was heading to Las Vegas for a big political conference so of course I tagged along to get in on the fun. I spent my days checking out all of the classes and a few spa services at Canyon Ranch @ The Venetian. It was a tough job but somebody needed to do it. Here’s a recap of my experiences.
Woke up early Thursday morning (thank you jet lag) so I was ready to maximize my spa time. The Canyon Ranch Spa is hidden away inside the Venetian Hotel straddling both the Palazzo and Venetian rooms. Walking down a long, quiet, dimly lit hallway I started to get the sense that I was escaping the hustle and bustle of Vegas and entering a “happy place”. Early morning at the spa is not too crowded and I easily checked in and found my way to the gym area. They have 6 or 7 classes a day ranging from yoga, cycle, resistance, barre etc.
I often dread that the spin classes in hotel spas are designed for beginners so I was excited to walk in and see the “Real Ryders”. I had never used them before and was thrilled for the challenge.
According to their website http://www.realryder.com
The patented articulating bike frame and operational headset exclusive to the RealRyder® Indoor Cycle allow you to lean, turn, steer and balance through three essential planes of motion, becoming fully engaged with the bike, and overall riding experience. Whether you’re a cycling nut or a functional training junkie, the RealRyder® Bike offers superior biomechanical, physiological and emotional benefits over your everyday stationary bike.
- Increase core strength and stability
- Challenge balance, full-body coordination and proprioceptive skills
- Recruit more muscles during learning and steering movements to burn approximately 20% more calories compared to a conventional stationary bike (CSUN Study; Conducted by S. Loy, Ph.D. March 2009)
- Improve endurance, speed and agility for sport
- Identify and help correct muscle and joint imbalances.
- Benefit from greater joint mobility (especially, hips, back and knees) as the bike moves with your body’s natural pedaling motion
Hopping on the bike for the first time, I was a little thrown off by the movement. I consider myself a cycle class veteran and this was definitely different. After a few minutes of playing around with the settings, I started to feel more comfortable. This bike feels much more like an outdoor bike with it’s ability to turn the handle bars right and left by leaning your body into the turn much as you might outdoors. I really felt my core engage so much more than with a typical indoor bike as well as my upper body as I turned the handle bars. This was going to be a little tougher than a typical cycle class and I really enjoyed the challenge.
I took 3 spin classes over the weekend as I really wanted to get a feel for the bikes and how to use them in order to push myself a little harder. The instructors led me through rides that simulated mountainous and hilly terrain. They encourage the class to lean and turn into the “curves” of the road while recruiting the core and biceps. While standing on the hills, it is even more apparent that the core is in play. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge that these bikes provided. Grade A- because there is always room for improvement.
Next up “Muscle Max” described as challenging strength exercises using a variety of resistance equipment. I was kind of psyched to realize it would be just me and one other guest who also looked like she knew her way around a gym. After a couple questions from our instructor, John, he was willing to kick it up a notch to meet our fitness levels. Bring it John-let’s see what you got!
Today this class was set up in a circuit and used a pyramid style (repeating each circuit 3 times). We started with standard squats with presses, rows with bands, abs with weights all in a fast moving circuit style. We did this for about 30 minutes then out came the ropes. I’ve been using these at home for a few months now and they are definitely one of my new favorite additions and are much more challenging than they look. John had us use the ropes in ways that I had never thought of and it was hard-really hard. Check out some of these crazy positions:
I really appreciated how John tailored the class to us and our fitness level. I had a great workout and really enjoyed the class. The only thing I would add would be to work in some stretches at the end. I tend to forget to do them if I don’t them at the end of class. Class grade B+
So of course I had to check out the Spa Services as well
In addition to the customary spa services (massage, facial, body wraps & scrubs etc.), Canyon Ranch has what they refer to as “Aquavana”. According to their literature, “water movement and temperature variations provide relief for muscle and joint problems and create a deep sense of relaxation”.
Sounds pretty good to me so I gave them a try
I spent about 45 minutes on two days trying out some of the water therapies.
The “Crystal Steam Room’s large natural crystal and optical effects provide meditative focus as you soak up steam enhanced with essential oils”. I found this very relaxing and not too hot for about a 10 minute experience.
The “Experiential Rains with invigorating, multisensory cooling rains” ranging from “Polar Mist, Atlantic Storm and Caribbean Rain” with thunder and lightening effects were really soothing and cooling after the steam room.
I passed on the “Finnish Sauna”- a little too hot and dry for me.
The next day I checked out the “Herbal Laconium with it’s warm, ceramic tiled floor and heated seating thrones” which was amazingly relaxing and not too hot.
I then slid into the “Hydrospa” essentially a hot tub with “jets to provide gentle massage at the optimal temperature for rebalancing and release” aah this was really nice and felt great on my tired muscles.
I passed on the “Igloo” with “cool air and 3 Arctic Mist experiences” I’ve had enough cold back home in DC.
I finished out my spa experience with a great 60 minute deep tissue massage. My therapist asked lots of questions about pressure and any areas of focus. I was satisfied with my massage and felt like he really hit all of my spots. Just what I needed.
After your services, they encourage you to lounge on one of the many bed type options to read, have tea or fruit and just recover from a tough day at the spa. Don’t mind if I do. Obviously pictures are not really allowed in the spa so I hope you get the gist of peaceful, relaxing atmosphere I described. I was able to snap a pic early one morning of the lounge area.
Hopefully I captured some of what Canyon Ranch at The Venetian has to offer. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and it was so nice to escape some of the stresses and most certainly the weather from home.
I finished off my weekend with a little lounge by the pool as well.
Have you ever tried a “RealRyder”?
What’s your ideal get away or pampering day like?
Have you ever been to Las Vegas?