Nestled three miles above the Pacific Ocean in the Santa Monica Mountains, The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu (CA) is set on a historic working ranch that offers breathtaking mountain and canyon views to create the ideal setting for guests to focus on their health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness goals. The 20,000-square-foot no-options property, results-oriented resort provides guests with a customized week-long program to help them get started on a path toward wellness. “We have guests who use our program as a kick-start to a lifestyle change and others who are just seeking a week off the grid,” says Marc Alabanza, program director. “Many guests are looking for life recalibration, and The Ranch supports both a physical and mental transformation. Guests are also looking to be inspired and to learn how to lead healthier lives through sustainable, habit-forming change.”
The Ranch, which opened in September 2010, can accommodate up to 15 people each week ($5,600 per person), and each guest is required to stay a minimum of one week to ensure results. The program was designed in collaboration with Alabanza, owners Alex and Sue Glasscock, and several specialists including a medical doctor specializing in preventative proactive medical care and treatment, a doctor of Eastern medicine, a licensed nutritionist, personal trainers, and outdoor hiking and wilderness guides. “I wanted to create a safe and beautiful environment where people could unplug from their daily lives and recharge their minds and bodies,” says Alex Glasscock.
Guests literally “unplug” from their daily lives, as The Ranch does not have WiFi or cell phone reception. An on-site business center allows guests to access a computer and phone if necessary, but for a minimal amount of time each day. The property’s intimate settings are designed to offer guests a chance to relax and feel at one with themselves and nature. In addition to private accommodations, The Ranch offers an organic farm, an open-air kitchen, an exercise pavilion, a yoga pavilion, and an outdoor pool and spa.
One of the main components of the program is a daily group fitness routine, which is required for all guests. Rather than intense exercise, the program consists of low impact, moderate activity to stimulate the mind and body through sustainable exercise to enhance metabolism, cleanse and detoxify the body and achieve healthy weight loss. The program involves four to five hours of group mountain hiking, core and abdominal work, weights, yoga sessions, body toning, private afternoon Deep Tissue Restorative Massages every weekday, a daily nap, and more. Additional massages, chiropractic services, and acupuncture treatments are also available at an extra cost of $150 per hour.
Another noteworthy aspect of the program is the cuisine. Fresh ingredients are harvested daily from The Ranch’s on-site organic garden, and these ingredients are incorporated into every meal. Nutritional alchemist Kurt Steeber creates a 1,500-calorie-a-day meal plan that draws upon the latest technology and techniques to satisfy guests with nutritious dishes that not only taste good but are also good for them. “The all-vegetarian diet is both nutritionally dense and calorically calibrated to aid in shedding unwanted pounds and sustaining guests throughout their stay,” says Glasscock.
Guests, who consist mainly of men and women in the 30- to 60-year-old range, stay in their own private California-ranch style cottages that feature wide-plank wood flooring and Dutch doors that open to panoramic views of the property and surrounding landscape. Natural colors and a simple, elegant decor were intended to reflect the stunning natural surroundings.
Celebrating its one-year anniversary this month, The Ranch has already expanded the property by adding a Romper Room to offer guests more space for afternoon strength training. In addition to existing classes, like boxing and weight training, new classes such as rope climbing are planned. Each new addition and update to The Ranch attracts more guests, which is also what Alabanza admits to being the biggest challenge. Due to the limited number of cottages, The Ranch is not able to accommodate the high demand of guests wanting to reap the wellness benefits of a week spent on the property. Says Glasscock, “Both the setting of The Ranch and the program forces guests to focus on themselves to create a positive shift in their physical and mental health and jump-start a more conscious approach to healthy living.”