Rocky Mountain High

Writer Rob McGovern | September 1, 2016

The Spa at Gateway Canyons Colorado Resort

Nestled in Unaweep Canyon, Gateway Canyons Colorado Resort is about five miles from the Utah border in the west of Colorado. The Red Rock Canyon is stunning at first light, at dusk, from close up and from afar and gives the resort a real sense of seclusion and connection to nature. The brainchild of Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks has won a host of awards.

Many of the treatments at The Spa at Gateway Canyons incorporate materials from the surrounding landscape, so choosing one that utilises natural clays or salts is a must. The Native Desert Sage treatment is a three-stage process that starts with an all-over body scrub to clean and exfoliate the skin. An essential part of the treatment, it straddles that line between pain and pleasure. After showering the now spent salt off, desert clay is applied and you are cocooned in thermal mylar foil to speed up the action of the clay as it draws out impurities and hydrates. After a second shower to remove the clay, the treatment is finished with a 50-minute massage using fragrant desert sage oil, which is native to this part of Colorado. The sage leaves skin softer and is said to lift your mood too, but then I have never left a massage feeling anything other than elated.


Allegria Spa at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa

Overlooking Beaver Creek Mountain, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek has stunning views and is equally beautiful no matter the season. Allegria Spa, the resort’s European-style day spa has a fresh, sophisticated design and a highly coveted Four Star rating from Forbes.

At 30,000sqft and with 23 treatment rooms, Allegria Spa is one of the larger ones on our list. A feature here that was very welcome was the Aqua Sanitas Water Sanctuary. Modelled on Roman public bathhouses called thermae, there are several steps to enjoying the aqua sanitas (literally healing waters) including the natural hot spring mimicking co-ed thermae pool. There is also the caldarium mineral pool, the cascata rain shower, the caldarium steam room and finally the fantastically named tepidarium.

A bona fide treatment that is definitely more medicinal than relaxing, the 105-minute Arnica Sports Cure is not for the faint of heart. The treatment started with a very relaxing bath infused with eucalyptus, arnica and juniper and a glass of champagne, and after a 20-minute soak was followed by a deep-tissue massage incorporating hot stones and wintergreen body butter. An Alpine thermal wrap and neck and scalp massage completed the treatment.

Vishi Shower 1

Spa Anjali at the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek

As the name suggests, the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek sits on the north bank of the Eagle River and is a short walk from the small town of Avon which served as a backdrop to the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2015 which were jointly held in Beaver Creek and Vail.

Spa Anjali is a beautiful spa with a modern design that incorporates nature and has a strong sense of eco-awareness. Spa Anjali has three spa journeys – Rocky Mountain, Alpen and Himalayan – as well as a range of other treatments.

The Himalayan utilises Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of healing designed to promote human happiness, health and creative growth. To balance chakras and release energy, it starts with a footbath using Himalayan salts which start the process of relaxation and energy rebalancing thanks to negative ions. A series of deep relaxing breaths are accompanied with instructions to let go of negative energy and create positive thoughts. Next, long, soothing massage strokes along the length of the back align chakras. After turning over the face, scalp and shoulders are given the same treatment. Feeling relaxed and somewhat rebalanced, I am sent back out into the world with an uplifting mantra to keep my chakras in line until the next treatment.

Eagle River view

Colorado is an outdoor enthusiast's dream whether you are into skiing, hiking, biking, climbing, kayaking or even burro racing, the state’s official sport