Introducing XOJET’s New Partnership: An Interview with Canyon Ranch COO Thomas Klein
In its longstanding commitment to put clients first, XOJET places special emphasis on values like high-touch service, customized experiences, and personal well-being.
Known for its world-renowned destinations in Tucson, Arizona and Lenox, Massachusetts—plus state-of-the-art Spa Club facilities in Las Vegas and at sea—Canyon Ranch is based on founder Mel Zuckerman’s original vision from 1978: Create a holistic, mind-body-and-soul retreat that fosters a long-lasting commitment to healthy living. Together with XOJET, today it provides travelers with seamless experiences across every stage of their wellness journey. (The partnership’s exclusive benefits, available to our Preferred and Elite Access members, can be found here).
We sat down with Canyon Ranch’s COO, seasoned hospitality leader Thomas Klein, to find out more about the brand, why it’s so special, and his thoughts on the new partnership with XOJET.
How long have you been with Canyon Ranch and how do you resonate with its mission?
I joined Canyon Ranch about 18 months ago after 35 years in the hospitality business. I was looking for a new chapter where I could join a company with tremendous growth potential as well as the potential to impact the lives of other people. Canyon Ranch has almost forty years of experience in the wellness field and it’s truly an inspiring company to be a part of.
What sets Canyon Ranch destinations apart from other luxury wellness retreats?
Of the 20-30 brands that inhabit the wellness space today, virtually none have the four decades of experience that we do within transformational wellness. Our founder Mel Zuckerman has always had this mantra of living younger longer and living your life to the fullest. Our mission is more than just words; we embody our five pillars—fitness and movement, nutrition and food, health and healing, mind and spirit, spa and beauty—for a truly immersive health experience.
What’s unique about Canyon Ranch is that we’re a one-stop-shop for all forms of wellness practices, both traditional and alternative. We have top-notch experts working for us full-time, from medical physicians to nutritionists and spiritual healers to exercise physiologists. The 17th Surgeon General of the United States, Richard Carmona, for example, heads up our health innovation program.
Couple this with our vast programming and you realize that true health is so much more than a good workout or great spa treatment. We approach it from an immersive standpoint to have guests meet with experts who create an individualized wellness plan based on their specific needs. They can unwind, develop new practices, and find a healthier lifestyle that stays with them long after their stay.
How does today’s Canyon Ranch build on Mel Zuckerman’s original vision from 1978?
Maintaining Canyon Ranch’s original family feel and philosophy is one of our most important objectives. We regularly meet with Mel and his wife, Enid, to ensure that we’re staying true to what made us who we are. We can still add new practitioners and programs—to expand the offerings of Canyon Ranch—but our philosophy will always remain the same.
What does a stay at Canyon Ranch look like for guests?
I always find it difficult to capture the full Canyon Ranch experience in just words. When you arrive in Tucson or Lenox, it feels like a true sanctuary. Guests can let their guards down, escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and completely relax.
To get what they want out of their stay, a Canyon Ranch guest can customize their itineraries based on what their personal intentions are. We have over 500 different programs and guests can consult with our expert advisors to decide exactly which ones suit them best. Or, they can take part in our curated programs—for instance, a six-day Life Enhancement program focusing on needs like weight loss, stress relief, sleep study, or spiritual health.
Do you have an especially impactful story from a Canyon Ranch guest that comes to mind?
I could tell you hundreds, but one was a gentleman in his mid-30s who came and stayed with us from New York. He worked on the stock market and had all the material items in the world, but he was burned out, 80 pounds overweight, and didn’t have a purpose to his life. He just wasn’t happy.
He had never been to Canyon Ranch before and signed up for the Life Enhancement program with hopes of losing weight and finding a new purpose in life. After meeting with our physicians and nutritionists and spending a week at Canyon Ranch, he was so happy with his progress that he extended for another week. He eventually stayed for a little over three weeks, lost over 15 pounds, and found a whole new outlook on his life.
It wasn’t just a one-track life anymore; his life became far more fulfilling and about enjoying himself and the friends around him. It completely changed his way of thinking.
What would your personal itinerary look like at Canyon Ranch?
I’m a bit of a workaholic; I exercise when I can and eat pretty well, but there’s room for improvement in both areas. So I would fly into Canyon Ranch with XOJET, then meet with our advisors to create a proper exercise program and achieve a healthy nutritional balance. I’d show them what I’m currently doing, run through the results of my blood work, and ask for a way to get me to put down my iPhone and tune out. I’d love to get help from a spiritual healer to start with meditation, maybe try a bit of yoga, and enjoy some spa treatments. Ultimately I’d like to walk away with a program, which I can download on my app, that’s going to hold me accountable after I leave the resort.
How do XOJET and Canyon Ranch align in their philosophies?
To me, what stands out about XOJET is the heart and soul of the company. Both XOJET and Canyon Ranch are all about creating memories and emotions; we pride ourselves on personal engagement with our customers, high-touch service, and attention to detail. You don’t have to ask for something; it just magically appears. We get to know each traveler on a personal basis and tailor our service specifically to what their individual needs, intentions, and desires are. In turn, I’ve also found that the customers are quite similar in their mindsets—they really value the concept of conscious living, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle. It’s a perfect fit.
How can XOJET and Canyon Ranch help each other provide a more seamless customer experience?
XOJET’s customer wants to get from Point A to Point B as conveniently and expediently as possible. Our customer also wants to get from Point A to Point B, albeit from a personal development standpoint. Together we can combine our efforts to provide travelers with the same standard of service from the time they leave home to the time they return. It’s what both of our customers want.
To experience Canyon Ranch and take advantage of exclusive partnership benefits available to XOJET Preferred and Elite Access members, simply contact your dedicated Aviation Advisor.