“Everyone resets differently, and no one leaves the same,” states Dylan Bates, the co-founder of the luxurious wellness resort RESET Telluride, which I reviewed for myself for a week. The resort is situated in the charming storybook town of Telluride, surrounded by the stunning San Juan Mountains. The lushly forested peaks and the whispering wind invite you to explore — and boy, will you explore. The air is crisp, the elevation is high, and the rigorous half-day treks are no joke. But Bates is right; after six days and six nights of eating plant-based nutrient foods, moving your body, and challenging yourself mentally and physically, you will not return the same.
I was pretty nervous when I was first invited to attend RESET Telluride. I’ve never traveled to a wellness retreat, let alone a $10,000 one. My wellness journey is an inconsistent one with a sprinkle of yoga and meditation, here and there. Before the trip, I was overworked and exhausted; frankly, I was not taking care of myself. I saw this as an opportunity to take a break from the everyday grind, recharge my batteries, and get back into shape.
I hopped on a plane from LAX, connected in Denver, and continued to Montrose — a small airport an hour and a half from Telluride. From there, a Telluride Express van (which was included in the $10,000 package) took me to my final destination. It was a beautiful drive where clouds hugged mountains, lakes welcomed paddle boarders, and the picturesque backdrop looked more panoramic than sea-level views. The driver highlighted points of interest along the way like Wilson Peak (the mountain on the Coors beer can) or the quaint town of Ridgeway, where the film True Grit was filmed.
Once I arrived, I realized RESET Telluride resides within another resort, the elegant Madeline Hotel & Residences in Mountain View, which is only a two-stop gondola ride into town. Instantly, I was greeted by an employee who led me to the suite to get settled. After a long travel day, a foot soak was precisely what I needed. Foot soak options include soothing, refreshing, or detoxing, and featured bath salts and aromatic scents to help you relax.
So, what makes RESET so luxurious? And what does that $10,000 price tag look like exactly? “Choose your own adventure” is what I heard repeatedly throughout the week. Bates says, “We want the word to get out that we are extremely approachable. We train our staff to have a high level of awareness. There’s also a detailed intake process to understand everyone’s incoming fitness and activity level.” Choose among “‘Reach,” “Recharge,” or “Roam.” Whether you’re here to push your physical limits, slow down and unplug, or explore fly fishing and rock climbing, RESET aims to deliver a fully customized experience.
During the six days and six night “Reach” program, guests can look forward to daily guided hikes in the morning and unlimited access to Reset’s private wellness center afterward. Schedule a body scan, hop on a Peloton bike, or book a trainer in addition to the group classes like full-body workout, yoga, pilates, and meditation on your itinerary.
When asked what he wanted people to get out of the program, Bates says, “We want to create a very warm and supportive environment. Some people are needing a physical jolt. Others need to declutter their mind, rest, move their body in nature. Maybe they can get new perspectives. But we want people to walk away saying, ‘I had a series of moments that were incredibly special.’”
On my first mountainous trek, we met our friendly hiking guides near the downtown area. The young ladies explained how one would be in the front with a walkie-talkie and the other in the back. Suppose you choose to charge ahead with a guide; great. If you wanted to take your time, that was fine too. We started close to the downtown area for a 3.1-mile loop, and the elevation gain was about 1,100 feet. I struggled with the altitude and tried to push through, but the elevation held me back. Luckily, there was no shame from anyone, and one of the hiking guides redirected me to a different hike with fewer uphills, but equally breathtaking views.
When I got back to the resort, the concierge set me up with a hyperbaric chamber appointment that would help with my elevation sickness. I walked over to a physical therapy practice around the corner and was put into what looked like an MRI scan machine — not really for the claustrophobic type. I learned it was a proven therapy for altitude sickness, sports injuries, fatigue, and performance enhancement. I lay there for an hour, breathing through an oxygen mask and took a nap. Far from a torture chamber, you’re welcome to bring your phone inside for entertainment if you wish.
In typical wellness retreat fashion, the early bird gets the worm at Reset — coffee or tea arrives at your door promptly at 6 a.m. At 6:30, you walk to the wellness room for a simple yet effective practice: morning movement. It’s like a gentle yoga class solely focused to aid sore body parts from the day before. Afterward, enjoy a quick plant-based breakfast and get ready for the climb. Make sure your pack has water, sunscreen, snacks, and a little oxygen canister to help with the elevation if needed.
The hike’s difficulty level varies daily but each is as magical as the last. The guides were another unique part of this program. Hiking with strangers for four-hour days daily, whether it’s with the guides or the other people in the program, leads to a camaraderie that enriches the total experience. Looking back at the trail you just conquered, hearing the birds chirping, waterfall cascading, and your heart thumping — there’s no greater feeling of accomplishment.
Some days, a picnic lunch is served by the San Miguel river, where you can take off your hiking boots and feel the cold water run through your toes. Other days, lunch is served at the suite, and afterward, a foot soak awaits you. Then, relax for an hour and a half until the next activity starts. It varies daily between yoga, pilates, a full-body workout, or a relaxing guided meditation with acupuncture in the wellness room. If this is too “go go go,” take it or leave it because you “choose your adventure.” The best part has to be the 50- to 80-minute massage in your room every afternoon to work on muscles you didn’t know you had. I felt pampered and as light as a cloud, and surprisingly ready for my next grueling mountain challenge.
Reset’s culinary program prides itself on its plant-based offerings. The menu takes a holistic Ayurvedic approach, a natural healing system originated in India. It focuses on creating an inner balance of body, mind, and spirit. Reset facilitates a healthy balance by choosing ingredients to energize, detoxify, and satisfy. Examples include anti-inflammatory ingredients like farmer’s market tomatoes and other seasonal vegetables, and quality olive oil, nuts, and leafy greens. Enjoy meals like Overnight Oat Peach Cobbler for breakfast with toasted almonds, cinnamon, and rolled oats. For lunch, my favorite meal was a tasty Beet Poke with fluffy coconut rice.
Dinners in the RESET suite were another high point. Starting the evening with a refreshing mocktail almost made you believe it was alcoholic. But no need; the buzz from all the physical and emotional activity and the daily bonding was just as good. Dinner options included fascinating vegan meals like Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with cashew ricotta — opening up a whole new world for the uninitiated. And just when I thought I didn’t have the energy for anything else, the night ended with a deep and meditative sound bath, and any stress that followed me to Telluride melted away. The Ayurvedic cherry on top was the warm golden milk made with non-dairy milk, turmeric, and other spices to soothe you to sleep as you breathe in the oxygen emitting from a small conduit hooked up to every RESET room, which could easily be confused for a reading light.
When I got back to LA after the program ended, I returned utterly renewed. I’m more intentional about my food and drinking habits. I’ve continued working out and practicing yoga. My nervous system has wholly recalibrated. And when everyday stress creeps up again, I just remember all the times I breathed, re-centered, and pushed myself to the other side of those majestic San Juan mountains.