Places to Visit

Malibu’s Top Wellness Retreat, The Ranch, Is Coming To New York—And It’s Giving Adult Camp Vibes

Photo: W+G Editorial / The Ranch
For a concept as über-elite as The Ranch, a luxury seven-day, all-inclusive wellness retreat, Malibu has always been an apropos setting. The food served is plant-based and locally sourced, the daily activities begin with a hike through the surrounding Santa Monica Mountains, and the typical clientele? A very Malibu set of A-listers and execs eager to unplug. But now, The Ranch is branching out beyond its Southern California origins. In May 2022, the resort opened its first permanent international location at Palazzo Fiuggi, in Italy, and in 2023, it’s heading to New York’s Hudson Valley.

Next summer, The Ranch will make its East Coast debut near Sloatsburg—about a 45-minute drive or train ride from New York City—bringing its intensive programming far closer to the 40 percent of its guests who come from the New York tri-state area, according to founder and CEO Alex Glasscock.

That proximity to a major market also inspired the idea to launch this location as a “Ranch Lite” of sorts, with options for three- and four-day stays, as opposed to the Malibu location’s classic seven. “We realized that we could offer [New York] tri-state guests a place to quickly drive and reset over a few days and do so at a lower price point,” says Glasscock. (For reference, The Ranch Malibu rates start at $7,600 for six nights; while The Ranch Hudson Valley will cost less for a stay, the brand couldn't confirm exact rates at press time. Reservations are set to open later this year.)

Here’s a sneak peak of what to expect at the new Hudson Valley location of The Ranch

The setting and vibe

It wasn’t just the closeness of the Hudson Valley to tri-state clientele that made it appealing to Glasscock. It was also the scenery and topography of the region itself, which naturally lends itself to hiking. And hike you will at any location of The Ranch, practically infamous for its multi-hour morning treks through the mountains.

The terrain, then, was an easy check in Glasscock’s book. But the climate of the Hudson Valley posed a bigger question: How could it support The Ranch’s signature daily hike once winter struck? Glasscock went hiking there himself to find out. “I was [in the Hudson Valley] in January, and it was snowing, so we put on our snow boots, took out the dogs, and walked on the trails just to see if we could stay warm hiking for hours on feet of fresh powder,” he says. The verdict? Totally doable when wearing sufficient layers. He even returned for a hike when the ground was covered in black ice, with crampons strapped to his shoes and hiking poles in hand, to really test the limits of the area's year-round accessibility. (Total success, he says.)

“What we discerned is that if you dress appropriately and you have the right gear, it can work year-round,” he says. Which is all to say, don’t expect to remain cooped up indoors if you visit The Ranch Hudson Valley in the winter—because you’ll definitely be braving the elements for your steps.

Outside of the hikes, though, the experience at the new Ranch will happen in one indoor space, an estate built for William Pierson Hamilton (the great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton) and his wife, Juliet Pierpont Morgan (J.P. Morgan’s daughter), in 1904 and most recently owned by the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate. “That’s unique because, in Malibu, we’re all in these individual cottages, but in this case, everyone’s rooms will be contained in this three-story mansion with a semi-subterranean basement, where the spa treatment rooms will be,” says Glasscock.

“Our average guest is between 45 and 50 years old, but this experience is designed to make you feel childlike, almost like you’re coming to Ranch camp.” —Alex Glasscock, founder and CEO of The Ranch

The idea is that, once everyone returns from the morning hike, even if it’s blistering cold outside, they can stay toasty for the rest of the day, flowing through the other wellness activities (more on that below) without going outside. Glasscock imagines that this structure of people doing the program in one building, right next to their new Ranch companions, will give the whole thing a casual, camp-y vibe. “I think it’ll be really fun because it’ll feel like being in a college dorm again,” he says. “Our average guest is between 45 and 50 years old, but this experience is designed to make you feel childlike, almost like you’re coming to Ranch camp.”

The programming

In keeping with the ethos of the Ranch brand, the programming at Hudson Valley will include a single all-inclusive itinerary of wellness activities and meals that shifts daily. As noted above, you can opt to book either the four-day experience (which is just a shortened version of the classic Ranch seven-day retreat) or the three-day option, which is the new offering that Glasscock refers to as a “gentler” Ranch.

“We’ve heard from a lot of people that they would like to take part in the Ranch programming, but they feel super intimidated by it, or they’re like, ‘I could never hike for four hours,’ so we’re introducing Ranch 3.0 to make our philosophy more approachable for more people,” he says. The main swap? A two-hour hike each morning instead of the classic four-hour one, with a wakeup time of 7 a.m. instead of 5:30 a.m.

For both programs, the back half of the day includes some combination of nap time, an exercise class, massage, yoga, and meditation, along with a plant-based and dairy- and gluten-free lunch, dinner, and a couple snacks. Almost all of this (excepting the massage and nap) happens as a group—for the benefit of a little “healthy peer pressure,” says Glasscock.

Because of the intensity of the schedule, it could come as a bit of a shock to the system if you don’t get your mind and body in wellness mode ahead of arriving. For that reason, guests also receive a 30-day pre-arrival guide upon booking, which includes lifestyle changes they can make for the four weeks leading up to their visit. High on that list are moving your body every day (to mentally and physically prepare for that daily hike), weaning off caffeine (which won’t exist on The Ranch premises), and eating less meat.

The rest

Though there won’t be much downtime for guests of The Ranch Hudson Valley, retreat schedules will factor in some time for exploring the various wellness additions of the property. Right now, Glasscock has plans to offer cryotherapy, hot sauna, and infrared sauna, as well as his version of Kneipp pools (shallow pools of contrasting hot and cold water that you wade through in succession).

Because the property will be located on Shepherd’s Lake, it’ll also likely offer a slate of water activities when the weather is warm, like kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and even playful swimming relays, says Glasscock. (The camp analogy is real.)

“What’s special about this area is, we’re going to have four seasons, and we can play to all of them,” says Glasscock. That could mean offering outdoor pool activities in the summer and also distributing Carhartt onesies for frigid hikes in the winter, he says, with a laugh. “Being able to get people outside at different times and in different weather conditions will help show them more of what’s possible.” That is, you certainly don’t have to be located in Malibu or even any of its mild-climate counterparts to enjoy nature’s wellness year-round.

Loading More Posts...