Rock Solid

More than two decades ago, law school grad and real estate developer Alan Coombs and his wife, Carole, moved to southern Utah. Inspired by the stunning red rock vistas, the Native American heritage, and the crisp, clean air, Coombs decided that the then-relatively unknown town of St. George would be a perfect site for a destination spa. As such, the couple opened Green Valley Spa & Resort in 1986, and the rest is history. Nearly 25 years later, St. George has become a booming community for both retirees and active-minded individuals, and Green Valley is still going strong. "Green Valley is different from other destination spas because it has thrived for two decades as a progressive center for spiritual and physical wellness," says Alan. "We specialize in healing the mind, body, and soul while elevating one's higher consciousness. Plus, southern Utah is a perfect location because of its ideal climate, desert landscape filled with rich minerals, and miles of open hiking trails in the stunning red rock canyon country."

spectacular red rocks which are ideal for hiking, biking, and rock climbing.
spectacular red rocks which are ideal for hiking, biking, and rock climbing.

Throughout the years, the Four-Diamond property has garnered a loyal following of devotees (70 percent of clients are returning guests) who enjoy the resort's inviting accommodations, dynamic hiking programs, rigorous fitness offerings, nutritious cuisine, and Good Medicine, the signature skincare line. "Good Medicine is based on a distilled tincture of wild desert plants that are untouched by chemical fertilizers, uncultivated or crossbred, and nourished by rain and sunshine," says Alan. "Gathered from their native habitat, the raw botanical ingredients retain their natural qualities and are truly organic. They are gathered by hand, formulated with an exacting process, and bottled in glass with loving care and gratitude."

Green Valley Spa & Resort is ideally situated in the midst of St. George's
Green Valley Spa & Resort is ideally situated in the midst of St. George's

Equal care has been given over the years to developing the 17-acre resort. Green Valley includes 50 pueblo-style casitas that range in size from 750 to 2,500 square feet, six swimming pools, the Vic Braden Tennis College with indoor and outdoor courts, a Wilson Golf Learning Center, a business center and conference room, a gift shop, and lush gardens brimming with more than 10,000 roses. The 50,000-square-foot spa center includes an exercise studio, a 64-seat dining room, and a 15,000-square-foot spa area with 20 treatment rooms. There, guests can choose from several skincare and bodycare options, though most gravitate to the more relaxing and muscle-soothing sessions, such as the Pearl Skin Polish ($115, 60 minutes); the Rapunzel's Secret Hot Oil Treatment ($115, 60 minutes) for the head, neck, and scalp; and the Steaming Stones ($115, 60 minutes) hot stone massage. Spiritual services, such as Aura & Chakra Analysis ($115, 60 minutes), and Personal Life Coaching ($115, 60 minutes), are also available.

Rock climbing excursions are popular with active guests
Rock climbing excursions are popular with active guests

Though local clientele are invited to enjoy ala carte spa services and out-of-towners can purchase an accommodations-only option, most guests enjoy all of the resort's amenities, as well as complimentary excursions throughout the surrounding canyons, as part of a number of packages. These packages focus on fitness, spa, tennis, and more (starting at $380 per night, double occupancy) and include accommodations, meals, spa treatments, activities, and gratuities.

The new spa residences offer en-suite spa services
The new spa residences offer en-suite spa services

Alan believes that these all-inclusive programs and well-rounded offerings have contributed to Green Valley's continued success over the years. "Since opening our doors in 1986, the spa industry has experienced tremendous growth despite difficult economic challenges," he says. "I am confident that the current recession will have little effect on the success of spas like Green Valley that are just as essential in stressful times as in good."

The property features six inviting swimming pools.
The property features six inviting swimming pools.

Still, the Coombs's have augmented Green Valley's enticing cache with a number of new additions, including decadent new 3,500-square-foot, two-bedroom spa residences, which include a private courtyard, an exercise studio, and state-of-the-art eco-friendly amenities, and the hCG Weight Loss Program, a medically supervised weight loss and obesity clinic that has clients flocking to the spa. Because Green Valley is the only full-service facility in the country that offers the program, Alan says it is directly responsible for the spa's 2009 advance bookings, which are up 100 percent from 2008. The injection of hCG, a hormone that releases stored fat to be metabolized by the body, is an integral part of the weight-loss regime. As part of the program, each participant is medically supervised and receives a thorough fitness assessment, a blood test, personal sessions with a nutritionist and a life coach, a specifically prepared organic diet, a supervised fitness program, and injectable hCG supplements. To ensure its success, the minimum stay for the hCG weight-loss program is seven nights with a cost of $995 above the basic all-inclusive spa package. Most guests find the experience to be priceless, however, losing an average of one pound per day.

"We are witnessing a resurgence of one of the only truly safe, successful weight-loss programs ever supported by five-year follow-up studies," explains on-site physician Gordon Reynolds, M.D. "Not only did the hCG diet study reveal absolutely no negative side effects, but it also showed that 85 percent of the participants in the study remained within 10 percent of their newly achieved weight goal, with none regaining all their weight. No other program can claim this."

Alan isn't surprised by the program's success. He and his team of approximately 110 employees have made progress a priority since the resort's inception. Most recently, medical spa services have been made available, and that program is currently under expansion. Additionally, plans are in the works to build more luxury residences. Says Alan, "No matter what we do, moving forward, we will remain on the cutting edge of healing and wellness offerings."

GREEN VALLEY SPA & RESORT

(St. George, UT)

OWNER: Alan and Carole Coombs

SPA DIRECTOR: Annalee Allred

OPENED: 1986

CLIENT BASE

80% female, 20% male

SPACE

50,000 square feet;20 treatment rooms

OFFERINGS

acupuncture, aromatherapy, body treatments, chromatherapy, couples' treatments, energy work, eyelash extensions, facials, fitness, guided meditation, hair and scalp treatments, hand and foot treatments, hydrotherapy, hypnosis, life coaching, makeup application, massage, medical consultations, medical spa services, nailcare, naturopathic medicine, nutrition consultation, outdoor treatments, Pilates, prenatal services, Qigong, reflexology, sound therapy, sunless tanning, tai chi, watsu, yoga

SIGNATURE SPA SERVICE

Painted Desert Clay ($115, 60 minutes), which includes a weight-reducing clay mask and a light massage

MOST EXPENSIVE OFFERING

Ultimate Massage ($230, 1 hour 40 minutes)

PRODUCTS

-Good Medicine

EQUIPMENT

-Chadsworth & Haig

-Fraxel

-Life Fitness

-Lumenis

-Oakworks

-SLIM Lipo

ARCHITECTS & INTERIOR DESIGNERS

Alan and Randy Coombs (St. George, UT)

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