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Rancho Deluxe

Lenox, Mass.; July 31-August 1


One of my masseurs at the Canyon Ranch Spa described this Berkshires retreat as "part high-tech gym and part ashram." Built around a nineteenth-century mansion modeled on the Petite Trianon at Versailles, the 127-room complex offers a New Agey mix of physical activities (fitness classes, swimming, hiking) and spiritual rejuvenation (yoga, meditation, art classes) that appeals equally to Wall Street widows with time to kill and Boston real-estate barons looking for a quick tune-up. After an afternoon spent twisting my body into yoga poses, sweating on treadmills, pressing weights, and putting up a fight on the racquetball court, I felt exhilarated and sore. In the serene dining room, where many guests eat alone, I ordered a huge dinner from the all-you-can-eat menu and discovered how good low-fat food could actually taste. I joined the post-dinner rush to meet a masseuse before lights-out -- mine used a water wand instead of her fingers as I lounged in a jacuzzilike "thalassotherapy" tank. I was left in such a blissed-out daze that I fell asleep halfway through Atlantic City, the film I'd selected from the free video library. (Word has it that regular Joanne Woodward donates her Oscar screening videos.) During the summer, the Ranch also caters to your spirit by providing free tickets and transportation to the nearby Tanglewood music festival, which is celebrating Seiji Ozawa's twenty-fifth anniversary as its musical director. This Sunday's concert (August 1) features cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violist Yuri Bashmet.

DETAILS Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires (800-726-9900; a comprehensive three-night package, including all meals, starts at $1,370); Tanglewood (617-266-1492;


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