As far as human activity goes, it doesn’t get more basic than walking. One foot in front of the other, repeat, repeat, and you’re off. Add a degree of difficulty, like speed or elevation, and you’ve moved on to running and hiking. But the simple principle remains: Take it step by step until you get where you’re going.
This foundation sums up the philosophy behind RESET (resettelluride.com), the hiking-based wellness retreat launched last year in Telluride, Colorado. The all-inclusive, four- and six-day programs ($5,500 and $10,000, respectively) are designed to encourage guests (no more than 18 at a time) to take stock of their mental, physical, and spiritual health, and use their time at the retreat to refocus and set goals—at their own pace.
How does RESET do this? Again, simply: through a daily schedule of rigorous morning hikes; filling, plant-based meals; vigorous, restorative massages; yoga, fitness, and meditation classes; evening lectures and programs; and, despite what may seem like a packed agenda, plenty of downtime for recovery, such as strolling through town, soaking in the outdoor pool, basking in the steam room, and watching sunsets from the mountain.
Behind the scenes, the execution of this successful method isn’t simple at all. Every detail is curated by co-founders Dylan Bates and Holli Owen, who bring expertise in physical therapy, hospitality, and nutrition to the program, which operates on a dedicated floor within Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection. The recently renovated building features a refined cowboy aesthetic throughout its public spaces and restaurants. RESET participants stay in guest rooms customized with amenities designed for maximum recovery and have access to the hotel’s outdoor pool, gym, steam room, and sauna.
In addition to a bedside oxygen delivery system, a massage table for daily treatments, a meditation bolster, and a yoga mat, some of the thoughtful room touches are meant to be enjoyed there (herbal teas, spirulina-enriched drinking water, blue light glasses, a device-storing box), while others are for taking home (fluffy Acorn slippers, noise-reducing Quiet earplugs, hiking socks, a recipe booklet, and ISUN sunscreens for the face and lips). Bath products are full-size but aren’t kept in plastic bottles. In fact, there is no plastic in sight. Down the hall in RESET’s hospitality suite, guests take meals together, and self-care options include self- or staff-administered mineral-salt foot baths or massages in Normatec’s brilliant—and instantly addictive—recovery compression “boots.”
“Everyone resets in their own way” is the guiding principle communicated from the welcoming orientation, and the theory is evident throughout the stay, starting at daybreak, when the concierge team delivers a tray to every guest, personalized with their morning beverage of choice. No need to give up caffeine, because they don’t believe in denial either (though all milks are strictly plant-based). Absolutely need a tipple at the end of the day? No one will stop you. And while nutrition and fitness are obviously a strong focus, weight loss is not. A high-tech body composition machine in the fitness and yoga center (located across the village) can measure body fat down to the body part, but anyone who wants to do a before-and-after comparison must request to be weighed. The goal is wellness, and that may or may not equal thinness.
As for the four-hour hikes throughout the surrounding San Juan Mountains, in a word, they’re gorgeous. Led by compelling and engaging nature guides, the treks are sweaty, exhausting, and heart-pumping, but, above all, beautiful. It’s amazing how quickly huffing and cursing is replaced by oohing and aahing at the first sight of a waterfall, an alpine lake, fresh bear tracks, and the breathtaking vistas that serve as simple reminders that it doesn’t take much to find balance, perspective, and a connection within.