I am face down on a table at the RockResorts Spa at The Arrabelle at Vail.
This place is huge—10,000 square feet and slope side. The treatments are alpine inspired and I’ve signed on for a Mountain Wildflower—a refreshing body polish made of lemon verbena, jojoba and shea butter that the therapist promises will smooth my skin.
I don’t care, it feels so great. When she’s done, I rinse off in the adjacent shower with so many shower heads I can’t even count them and hop back on the table for a massage with French alpine lavender. Excellent! I end in the steam room.
Skiing these days isn’t only about skiing with an ever growing array of spa services, including a growing number for teens and younger children like at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek. Take your pick of massages, scrubs, wraps and more. The Arrabelle offers the “Ultimate Body Bliss” complete with a therapeutic body peel, foot treatment, massage and more.
Certainly I’ve had massages in many far flung places—with birds chirping in Belize, in a garden on the island of Kaui, on a cruise ship in the Med and a private villa listen to crashing waves in Jamaica. In Hong Kong, we were pampered after a day of sightseeing at one of the many reflexology shops with the best foot massage I’ve ever had. In Tanzania, a manicure never felt so good or was so needed after we finished climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with dirt and dust under our nails.
But I don’t think I ever enjoy spa treatments as much as après ski. It’s not just the massage—though that feels great. It’s the whole shebang—the steam, the sauna, and most important, the “me” time on what is usually a frenetic family trip.
This Colorado swing may be a spa record for me — three treatments at three different hotels in a week. One massage at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and then after a couple of more days hitting the slopes in Aspen, a hot stone massage at the Viceroy in Snowmass.
The Spa at the Broadmoor is more than four times the size of The Arrabelle–43,000 square feet and includes a fitness center, indoor pool, a studio where classes are offered, and outdoor whirlpool.
There are even Customized Oxygen Treatments. My daughter Mel and I each opt for a massage, followed by some time in the steam room and the aromatherapy lounge breathing in eucalyptus. “I really need this I have so many knots in my back,” says my outdoors-loving daughter.
A few days later, I opt for a hot stone massage at the new Viceroy at Snowmass. I don’t know if it is all that skiing but those hot stones sure do the trick. “You are in much better alignment now,” my massage therapist tells me at the end of the treatment.
All I know is that I feel great.