Putting the Performance into Wellness

Luxury resort and hotel Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection in Napa Valley is at the centre of an increasingly performance-focused wellness culture emerging in Northern California. Best-in-class wellness facilities are a core offering of the group throughout the wider Auberge Resorts Collection, which operates 28 resorts across three continents including Stanly Ranch, with plans to open a further five properties in the next three years.

However, Stanly Ranch and more broadly Northern California, are becoming a locus for specialised performance-based wellness practices, which is distinguishing the property and engaging customers in a saturated market.

The company recently opened Springhouse centre, complementing its Halehouse and Fieldhouse facilities. The three wellness centres are designed to work in concert to optimise the performance of your mind and body, with focuses on sleep, hydration, mindfulness and recovery across targeted programmes, based on breakthrough science and technology.

In addition to its focus on performance-based wellness, Stanly Ranch launched a series of residential homes situated on its properties, available to buy as sole or factional owners. Positioned as the ultimate investment in an individual’s wellness practice, impeccable, intuitive service and innovative spa and exercise programmes and facilities maximise the positive impact of your time on the property, meanwhile buying into the wellness-focused lifestyle onsite.

BoF sits down with Auberge Resorts Collection’s VP of operations in wellbeing, Vivianne Garcia-Tunon, to learn more about emerging consumer trends in wellness and Stanly Ranch’s unique approach.

VP of wellbeing at Auberge Resorts Collection, Vivianne Garcia-Tunon. (Auberge Resorts Collection)

How would you describe the Stanly Ranch Experience?

The farms, the vegetables, the vineyards, the views, the mountains — it is absolutely ideal. I was surprised that no other company had taken advantage of that because there’s a huge appetite for wellness. It is built around being able to go to Napa and yes, drink the wine, which is fermented at the end of the day, so great for microbiomes, but to also be able to take an incredible class, change your perspective, nourish our bodies. You can meet with one of our physical therapists, learn about your posture, learn how you can improve your performance, whether it’s for running, weightlifting or any of your goals because everything is interconnected.

We have a hyperbaric chamber, we have contrast therapy, we have the ability to do ice baths, lymphatic drainage — all of this because guests are asking for these modalities. It’s no longer that we put an infrared sign out, asking individuals: “would you like to try it for its detoxifying properties and boost to the metabolism?” The guests are already coming with that information. It is incredible.

How informed are consumers on wellness innovation today?

Ten years ago, everything relating to wellness was fringe information. Now, with all the research invested into the market, with the pandemic also acting as a huge accelerator for consumer awareness around health and wellness, customers are exceptionally well-informed. Our programmes are tailored to the specific goals of that informed guest.

That’s what we are trying to champion and educate around through the properties where we have these modalities and we are rigorous in our approach. We are now at a point where our industry needs to ensure that they are engaging guests with these protocols in a mindful way because typically, we all want to achieve results too fast — to infrared harder than anybody else, ice harder than anybody else.

How is the wellness industry responding to evolving consumer lifestyles?

Our guests are often huge fans of podcasts and people are becoming informed from multiple sources — I think a lot of that awareness has been driven by people like the physician Peter Attia and neuroscientist Andrew Huberman. For me, I’ve been a practitioner for 26 years and had low-level laser therapy in my home for over 10 years now — I learned about it back in massage school during a course that used light therapy to heal muscle tears. Now, our clients seem to already have many of these modalities in their home.

Performance is becoming an integral part of wellness because growing numbers of individuals not only want to live a very long life, but we want to add life into those years.

All these different technologies have been available for years, but now you have all these scientists and influential people gaining more popularity in the market and awareness booms. The wellness space has really listened and incorporated all of those modalities into the offering specifically at Halehouse, our wellbeing centre and spa.

What is unique about the wellness facilities Springhouse and Fieldhouse, situated on Stanly Ranch?

We shifted our normal model to ensure we have an extensive bath house with incorporated technology that complemented the performance-based treatment that we offer — it is hyper-customised to specific guests and their needs, while the hyperbaric chamber is great for muscle recovery, for wound healing, for overall health. We also decided to incorporate some lymphatic drainage modalities through advanced lymphatic drainage machines.

A figure wearing black cycles on a grey road amongst greenery. There is blurry greenery on the left in the foreground and the backdrop is a green vineyard and green trees.
The wellness team at Stanly Ranch curate cycling tours and host a running clinic for their guests, helping them to improve their sprint time. (Auberge Resorts Collection)

Outside of the treatment room, the team also curates wellness programming on a yearly basis, whether it’s a cycling tour with a professional, or a running clinic to be able to improve your sprint time.

We then have a beautiful spa that overlooks the vineyards with a salt room with Halotherapy, which is great for breathing and respiration, a steam room too, and we use a brand that has a scraping technology, which is great for exfoliating the skin and for lymphatic drainage. We have an assigned attendant on site that helps move guests through the different temperature changes and through the different modalities in adherence with their specific programme.

Why do you believe performance is an increasingly important part of the wellness market?

Performance is becoming an integral part of wellness because growing numbers of individuals not only want to live a very long life, but we want to add life into those years. It doesn’t matter the age group, whether it’s Gen-Z or millennials or boomers — everybody wants to be able to move better.

I’ve been a practitioner for 26 years and had low-level laser therapy in my home for over 10 years […] Now, our clients seem to already have many of these modalities in their home.

That has filtered into the travel and wellness industries as people no longer want to place their health habits on hold when they travel — they want to maintain their performance in running or their performance in lowering their resting heart rate, weightlifting, flexibility.

How significant is the wellness programme to the recently launched residential villas?

Residents want to be able to access these modalities and experiences throughout the day and their daily lives, to enjoy a sense of community, for which Stanly Ranch is really a great place. Never in a million years did I think that I would receive calls from potential buyers asking for me to explain, in detail, exactly what modalities are available, what machines are available.

A wooden sauna looks out onto a landscape, just visible on the right of the image.
The sauna at Stanly Ranch. (Auberge Resorts Collection )

We then have a great team that will cater to all your needs, while you’re looking out over the vineyards. Experts also come in on a monthly basis to help you enrich your life, offer opportunities for growth and education, which is something that’s incredibly important for us.

But wellness is also being with Nick, our local farmer at Stanley Ranch, feeding the hens, putting your hands in the dirt. And Bear, our restaurant, is vegetable-focused. It’s an entire property experience, all elements of it coming together to create this wellness ecosystem for our residents.

This is a sponsored feature paid for by Auberge Resorts Collection as part of a BoF partnership.

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