Have you ever wondered what it’s like to get away and focus on your well-being? I have which is why I was thrilled when invited to spend a day at The Ranch at Live Oak/Malibu recently.
A group including bloggers and travel agents spent the day learning about and, to a degree, experiencing a guest stay.
The Ranch Facilities
The Ranch is the historic working ranch once owned by silent film star Hopalong Cassidy and is located above the ocean in the Santa Monica mountains. We started our day at the main building which is where meals are served and there’s a library for guests to use during free time. Although there is no WiFi or cell service a business room is provided with telephones and computers for brief use.
Guest accommodations were simple but inviting and homey at the same time. It was well-appointed for rest and relaxation.
They start their day in this room stretching before the day’s activities. Two things we didn’t experience are the daily nap and massage every guest enjoys.
There’s also time before dinner to swim in the gorgeous pool or just soak in the jacuzzi.
Ranch guests spend 8-10 hours daily exercising. It’s not super strenuous but very different than how most of us spend our days. They are thoroughly screened before taking part in physical activities and we even had to complete a questionnaire which was reviewed before starting out with a hike.
The hike was probably about 90 minutes long (no watches allowed at the Ranch) but we never left the property. The sights were amazing!
Unfortunately, I became a little overheated on the warmest afternoon of the week but a staff member, Tremmel, stayed with me and another visitor to ensure our safety. Our group met up with the other pack at the end of the hike.
We then had lunch which I’ll describe later followed by afternoon exercise sessions after the tour.
The exercise time began with a foam roller session. After everyone’s muscles were warmed up, it was time to work out on the TRX.
I’d never heard of TRX let alone seen it previously. This is a picture I found to show you TRX. We were too busy working for me to take a picture at the Ranch. 🙂
I liked that it uses your body weight for resistance. You can increase or decrease the intensity by moving forward or backward for virtually every exercise we did with it.
The final part of the afternoon was a yoga session. The first part was harder and faster paced than I’m used to but I liked the challenge. Ted gave modifications for us when/if needed. The second part was static poses and relaxation. Our reward was dinner!
Dining at The Ranch
The Ranch serves a gluten-free, dairy-free vegetarian menu; they only use eggs (from their own chickens) in a breakfast granola.
Chef Rob Dalzell served us a Kale and Chickpea Salad with Olives and Pickled Onions. I seriously didn’t realize this was the entire lunch until the staff said it was time to head out on a tour. However, it was very flavorful and (at least for a couple of hours) filling.
After our afternoon session, it was time for dinner and I think we all were ready to eat! We had a Celery Root “Pasta” with Cauliflower Bolognese and Fava Bean Mint Pesto that was even more tasty and definitely filling.
We were told guests get small snacks every couple of hours although that wasn’t our experience. Beverages served at both meals included water or a variety of herbal teas.
I can see the benefits of an immersion focusing on health and wellness. The staff was terrific and obviously knew their stuff. Of course, this type of vacation doesn’t come cheaply but it’s probably not as expensive as you may think.
The only thing I didn’t like about the experience was the lack of food. I don’t believe in cutting calories to that extreme — slow and steady weight loss is best. Other than that, it was a fantastic experience even though I’m not physically ready for that long a day of activity.
Let me know if you have any questions about the day at the Ranch. What is your experience with wellness vacations?
Disclosure: This media event at the Ranch at Live Oak Malibu was provided at no cost and I was not obligated to write anything. All opinions are 100% mine.