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Natural Awakenings Tucson

A Glowing Escape in the Sun: Revitalize at Sunglow Ranch

May 30, 2012 02:39PM ● By Jon D'Auria

Nestled in the Chiricahua Mountains, the beautiful Sunglow Ranch offers guests luxurious accommodations, desert adventures and a vacation like no other. Venturing east on the I-10 and 115 miles south from Tucson, the traveler will be treated to a vast and beautiful scenic drive filled with open landscapes, blue skies and a curiosity about what lies ahead. When the cities are left behind and only small towns and settlements dot the sparse roads, it begins to feel like abandoning all civilization and heading into the wild; until you arrive at the breathtaking confines of Sunglow Ranch.

The 475-acre property in the middle the 200,000-acre Coronado National Forest has served as a hotspot getaway for Arizona residents and travelers from all of over the country for the last 13 years, and after stepping onto the surreal landscape of the ranch, there is no question why.

One can only assume that this is the same reaction that Dr. Mitch Sayare and his wife, Christina Kazis, had when they first set foot on the premises and decided to leave behind their high-powered lives in Boston, where Sayare was CEO of a leading biotech company, and purchased the property, turning it into Sunglow Ranch. Their vision became a reality, and the ranch now boasts uniquely designed
boutique quarters for their guests, fine cuisine in beautiful dining areas, halls that are tailored perfectly for weddings and retreats and enough outdoor activities to bring out the inner child in even the most submersed businessman.

“Guests love our proximity to nature, and especially to the nearby Chiricahua National Monument,” says General Manager Brooks Bradbury. “The Echo Canyon trail is a favorite here, as is the Faraway Ranch loop. Hiking and walking are always popular at sunglow, as are our guided horseback trail rides into the national forest surrounding the ranch. The well-marked, threemile nature trail on the Sunglow
property is an enjoyable and easy walk for many. Guests usually discover that the best stargazing here is achieved while leaning back in the hydrospa, and the lighted, regulation bocce court makes for spirited competition, day or night.”

Whether it’s activity or a relaxing break from the hectic day-to-day routine, Sunglow’s impetus is all about escaping back into nature. With no noise pollution, light pollution or pollution in general to be found, wildlife seems to come alive. From the peaks of the Sky Island Mountains to the valleys and trails between, silence and peace of mind are golden at the ranch and comfortable accommodations are just the icing on the cake. “Our 11 individually decorated casitas are charming and comfortable, each unique in its own right,” says Bradbury. “Without telephone or television, our rooms help provide a wonderful balance to stressful lives. One can’t help but to feel close to nature’s
pulse here, and there is a blissful lack of manmade sounds and interruptions.”

While the rustic surroundings and southwestern decor make it feel like the Old West, the service and hospitality at the ranch makes guests feel like they’re in a four-star city resort. The staff waits on every detail and desire of the guests and the food boasts of local ingredients and flawless execution. “Guests can expect genuine, friendly hospitality, inspired meals from the café, full cocktail and wine service and a satisfactionguaranteed environment,” says Bradbury. “Chef Sarah Stanley and her team will prepare meals made with many local ingredients and we offer a one-of-a-kind wine list, with a predominance of local wines. Our cuisine will be unique, unlike what you’ve experienced before.”

For those looking for adventure, the ranch offers a slew of activities, from horseback riding to birding, hiking, cycling and mountain biking that can be enjoyed by guests of all ages and skill levels. From casual hikers to expert backpackers, the trails offer a scenic tour of the area and provide a look into the wildlife of the Southwest. But as Bradbury suggests, there’s no finer way to experience the beauty of the West than on horseback. “No visit to Sunglow Ranch would be complete without a guided trail ride from cowboy Miles “Bucky” Buckley, of Blue Sky Ranches,” says Bradbury. “Rides for all abilities can last as little as an hour or as long as all day. Lunch is provided for the longer
rides. Often, guests ride out into the Coronado National Forest and up the ridge behind the ranch for some amazing views toward the west. An incredible diversity of flora and fauna makes this Sky Island area their home. There’s an incredible diversity of bird life and larger
mammals such as black bears, javelina and mountain lions.”

Sunglow Ranch offers three different itineraries for those looking for a stay that is well tailored to their desires. The Adventure Itinerary schedule offers a thrill-seeking mix of mountain bike excursions, an 8.5-mile hike on Big Loop Trail (which is set at an elevation of 6,776
feet that begins at Echo Trail), sunset horseback riding, a hike to the old refuge of Apache Chief Cochise and caving at Kartchner Caverns, which is balanced out with cocktail hours, pool dips and rest periods to regain that sense of adventure. The Exploration Itinerary offers tours of nearby Bisbee’s mines, treks through the historic city of Tombstone, a picnic in the Chiricahua National Monument,
tours of regional cowboy museums and hotels and a stop at Cochise Stronghold. If that seems a bit much and guests would rather just be pampered by the poolside, then the Relaxation Itinerary includes plenty of pool and spa time, stargazing, leisurely hikes on sunset trails, winery tours, ranch picnics, golf, birdwatching at Cave Creek Canyon and more than a few cocktail hours.

As is apparent from the various itineraries, there is much to do in the area surrounding Sunglow, and the land possesses a unique, rich history, as it once was inhabited by Indian tribes and settlers from afar. “Geologists know this area as the ‘Turkey Creek Caldera,’
where ancient volcanos shaped the land,” explains Bradbury. “A soft glow reflects from the mountains each evening at sunset, giving the area it’s more modern name of Sunglow. Cottonwood, mesquite and oak trees predominate, providing sanctuary for all manner of wildlife.
When running, the Cottonwood Creek (a tributary of Turkey Creek) fills the upper and lower ponds.”

The ranch has also become a popular place to hold weddings, retreats and workshops, as the large capacity for guests can accommodate crowds both large and small. The intimate wedding venue provides a one-of-a-kind backdrop that would leave any bride and groom breathless and the isolated, distractionfree location of the ranch provides an ideal setting for corporate and business retreats.

“We have had the pleasure of hosting a number of weddings at Sunglow Ranch. Each wedding is custom planned and executed according to the wishes of the bridal party. Sunglow provides a beautiful, peaceful setting and our talented staff attends to all the details of a memorable celebration,” says Bradbury. “Guests attending a corporate gathering at Sunglow Ranch can expect uncommon privacy and freedom from the trappings of conventional meetings. Sunglow’s awayfrom- it all-environment means there can be a real focus on results, with little distraction. Sunglow ranch has hosted a number of yoga retreats, as well. These typically last a couple of days and include professional yoga instruction in our Chiricahua room. Yoga, Sunglow Ranch and Southeast Arizona wines make for a convivial combination.”

Bradbury, who has been atop the profession of resort hospitality his whole life, has managed and opened resorts and clubs all over the country and knows that there is something special about Sunglow Ranch. “Sunglow’s proximity to nature and its lovely southeastern Arizona setting make it very special to me. I delight in watching guests arrive who become totally disarmed by the property’s beauty and relax as they first encounter this peaceful setting.

“To me, Sunglow Ranch represents the best road less traveled in America. Far from the crowds, southeastern Arizona provides an incredible, unspoiled natural stage on which to balance complicated and stressful lives.”

For more information or reservations, call 1-866-786-4569 or visit SunglowRranch.com.

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