In Touch

Kicking back with Gayle King, journalist & TV host

Setting a goal is a popular way to approach a visit to Canyon Ranch. In fact, many first-time guests want to do everything the Ranch offers and forget to leave time for simply sitting and being. Gayle King took the opposite approach on her recent first visit to Canyon Ranch in Lenox. Her goal was relaxation, and lots of it.

Being co-anchor of CBS This Morning and editor-at-large of O, the Oprah Magazine, is energizing, she says, but she was more than ready for a break. “I wanted total chill. I don’t think of myself as prone to stress, but I was worn down. Between CBS in the morning, and the magazine in the afternoon, it’s like two full-time jobs. Before you realize it, you’ve worked 99 hours a week.

“I wanted to relax in pretty places, and I wanted somewhere convenient that I could drive to from New York. I’d heard about Canyon Ranch for years, and I had some friends who had been raving about it. I wanted pretty, and I wanted good food. I was not disappointed.”

Though it was her first visit, getting acclimated to the property wasn’t a problem, says Gayle. “I like that it’s so well-organized and easy to navigate. Sometimes in a new place it takes a day or two to adjust – but I just dropped my bags and found it very easy to immerse myself in the experience.”

She took her daughter Kirby, her two sisters and her niece. “I told everybody, ‘do all the activities you want.’ I just wanted to sleep, read and be absorbed. I hadn’t had a day off in I don’t know when. That’s the beauty of Canyon Ranch – you can do your own thing. They offer activities if you want to do any, but I didn’t feel pressured to do anything. We were there for a four-day weekend, and it was nirvana. Everybody wanted to make it an annual event.”

Being outdoors is Gayle’s preferred way to relax, so doing “nothing” included hiking the Appalachian Trail and a first-time experience of canoeing. “I liked it so much,” she says. “I really like the instructors. We had a good little group.”

Hiking in mountain scenery – and great food – were the standout memories from Gayle’s stay. “I don’t know how to cook, but I’d heard great things about the food. And I really loved the Pumpkin Crunch trail mix with cranberries they gave us for hikes.” In fact, she says, “I asked them to send me the recipe, and included it in the magazine.”

At home she works out on her elliptical machine and treadmill and with free weights, but she doesn’t stress if she misses a day. Sometimes a good night’s sleep is more important, she says.

At Canyon Ranch, though, it was all about kicking back and relaxing. “I can’t stress enough that I wanted to relax in pretty places. I believe that everybody needs and deserves a break. I work hard and I play hard. At Canyon Ranch, I play really chill. So many who work hard forget to take a break. I don’t want to be one of those people.”