It turns out that you can get pretty close to nirvana by taking a mindfulness walk. I’ve recently leaned into the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who encouraged the practice of mindful walking. Yet, to truly deepen the connection, one needs to be in a place where the magical properties of wellness can take hold. For me, that was on a trip to The Green O.
Nestled into a quiet ponderosa pine forest hillside, the resort sits on 37,000 sweeping acres outside of Missoula, Montana, and envelopes visitors like a soft hug. One part luxury ranch and two parts nature immersion for body and soul, the all-inclusive, adults-only property is an exclusive assemblage of 12 design-forward, glass-boxed villas constructed with sustainable principles that dot the land like works of sculptural art. Of all the semi-secluded “haus” designs, my favorite was Tree Haus, which sits on stilts rising 23-feet above ground and features a spiral staircase running through its three-story spine. I enjoyed lavish comforts sheltered inside while simultaneously immersed in the panoramic landscape, glimpsed through towering floor-to-ceiling windows that provided views of wildlife and a hint of warm twinkling lights from Green Hauses beyond.
This communal-like setting is crowned by Social Haus, the property’s heart center that functions as dining room, bar and central gathering spot. Architect and designer Kristen Becker of Seattle-based Mutuus Studio worked alongside interior designer and executive co-owner Nadine Lipson to conceive interiors that cast a smoky Modernism vibe with cozy campfire-style seating, leafy green hues and shou sugi ban wood reflective of the woodland surroundings. The Michelin-worthy culinary experience, led by executive chef Brandon Cunningham, impresses with nightly curated nine-course tasting menus, gourmet wood-fired pizzas available for delivery to your private hot tub, and artful delights by James Beard-nominated pastry chef Krystle Swenson. It could well be that her rosé-soaked rhubarb cake and dark chocolate brown tart with conifer green gelato ice cream were all the wellness I needed!
I spent my days learning how to flyfish on the Blackfoot River accompanied by a patient guide; riding ATVs through sprawling pastures; stopping off at the equestrian center for a bit of horse therapy and luxuriating in a mineral mud bath at the spa. But the most profound part of my stay was the stillness of early morning strolls in the woods, practicing mindful breathing and walking— and connecting to the wonders of the earth.