Telluride’s Ultra Luxe Mountain Spas

Capella Spa Telluride:  Better Than What the Romans Could Imagine

Capella Spa Telluride: Better Than What the Romans Could Imagine

Hmmmm. There’s nothing like spa-going after a day in the mountains. Whether you’ve been out skiing, hiking or just wandering around taking in the sites, a visit to a spa in the mountains seems so much more deserved, so much more of a must. Maybe it’s the contrast of the rugged scenery and the high altitude sun with the soothing interiors of such cosseted spaces.  At elevations of close to 10,000 feet, the spa experience is indisputably enhanced tenfold. And if you’re lucky enough to find yourself sitting in a heated pool or a hot tub with snowflakes falling gently down around you, you’ll truly understand why spas and mountain destinations go together like robes and slippers. (My favorite visual is one of steam billowing up from outdoor heated pools and tubs, a common occurrence throughout winter and most summer evenings at spas in the mountains. When you’re in the middle of that misty scene, you can’t help feeling otherworldly.)

In Telluride, we’re truly spoiled. Maybe it’s because our mountains are so mighty that we boast such heavenly spas, super luxurious enclaves housed within the finest hotels of Telluride Mountain Village, the heart of the ski area. The little known secret is that you can enjoy these superlative spas for the price of a treatment or in some cases a day pass: Access to them is not reserved exclusively for their hotel guests.

Your Choice at The Peaks:  Indoor or Outdoor, or Both?

Indoor or Outdoor at The Peaks? Why Not Both?

I wasn’t in Telluride long before I descended upon the Spa at The Peaks Resort, by far the largest and most impressive of all the Telluride spas. (Actually the Spa at The Peaks Resort ranks as one of the finest in the Rockies—-even in the country. It’s consistently the recipient of many recognitions including Spa Finder magazine’s 2009 Reader’s Choice Award in Best for Winter Sports.) Magnificent panoramic views of some of the most spectacular mountains of the Rockies grab you here, so much so, in fact, that even the locals that frequent this vast facility delight in the vistas provided at The Peaks.

I’m a black liner—that’s to say I love doing laps, swimming end to end, entirely transfixed on the black line at the bottom of the pool. This is what draws me to the Spa at The Peaks on a somewhat regular basis and when I’m there I also love reveling in their many relaxation options from lounging poolside (indoor and outdoor) to soaking up the heat in the sauna and in the steam. Their fitness room—outfitted in the finest state-of-the-art equipment—has unfortunately eluded me so far. I took a yoga class there once—just the antidote for too many days of skiing—but I have not made it back to anymore of those wonderful sessions nor the pilates and spinning they offer either. I guess I’m just part fish, yet some day soon I’ll give the rest more of a try. Oh, how I envy the tourists that come here and don’t have to worry about trotting back to their desks.

The Coed Sauna at The Peaks:  The Place to Go After the Pool

The Coed Sauna at The Peaks: The Place to Go After the Pool with Your Hunny Of Course

I’ve had a number of treatments at the Spa at The Peaks over the years and certainly my spray tanning session ranks among the most memorable. The others have all been incredibly relaxing and healing. Perched at some 9,500 feet, many of the treatments here focus on the restoration and nourishment of your skin; indeed you’ll find some of the best skincare products and estheticians in the country nestled in to this sunny mountain spa. I experienced an ISUN facial recently, one of the newer additions to the spa’s menu of treatments. A seemingly endless variety of these 100% organic skincare products were expertly applied for the cleansing, exfoliation and hydration of my skin. The aromatherapeutic benefits were extraordinary and afterward my skin felt revitalized, moist and fresh. Concocted in our own backyard, not far from Telluride, these nationally-recognized ISUN products, are on sale in The Peaks Spa Boutique along with a bundle of other spa goods including workout clothing and scented candles.

One of Many Fireplaces to Choose from at The Himmel Spa

One of Many Fireplaces to Choose from at The Himmel Spa at The Franz Klammer Lodge

If you’re looking for a cozier, more European-inspired setting, book an appointment at The Himmel Spa at The Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge. I love the warm, wood, chalet-inspired décor here. Be sure to leave plenty of time to enjoy the spa’s indoor and outdoor hot tubs. And I suggest you sit and sip a cup of tea at the snuggly fireplace nook located at the Lodge’s reception area. That’s truly Old World elegance at its finest. The massage therapists here—especially Darren and Marianne—are among the best. For further relaxation and revitalization, add an Oxygen Service to your treatment. I found it lovely to sit and breathe in copious amounts of O2 before my massage, but you can also enjoy supplemental oxygen throughout your whole treatment. Wow, that’s what I call mountain therapy! Leave time to shop for a wide range of healing therapies and fun togs in The Himmel Spa Boutique.

Soaking and Shopping at The Himmel Spa

Soaking and Shopping at The Himmel Spa

Envelope yourself in earth-toned luxury at the Capella Spa, the newest addition to Telluride’s bastions of beautification and well being. The look here is one of subdued elegance, just like the Capella Hotel and Resort itself. It will surely make you want to speak in hushed tones and tiptoe around their indoor pool. I’m dreaming of savoring a cinnamon-dusted hot chocolate, sitting in my robe and slippers on their outside deck overlooking the slopes.

Spa Treatment Suite at Capella Spa, Fabuleux!

Spa Treatment Suite at Capella Spa, Fabuleux!

As for the Capella Spa services, know that most of the dimly-lighted treatment rooms boast a private steam shower. Truly this is an establishment that prioritizes intimacy and supreme relaxation. Looking for something that is the ultimate après ski experience? Try a Fire and Ice Pedicure. Your feet will love you. The combination of hot stone massage, cooling menthol lotion and warm booties will set you right for another fantastic day on the slopes. These special shea butter booties are sold in their spa boutique along with an array of other up-to-the-minute products including vegan nail polishes, paraben-free creams, yoga mats and lots of other irresistible treats.

Shopping for the Holidays and a Brand New You for 2010 at Capella Spa Boutique

Shopping for the Holidays and a Brand New You for 2010 at Capella Spa Boutique

Have I convinced you yet? Spa-going in the mountains is truly the best. It’s so good that I suggest you set aside at least a few hours to fully benefit from all that is offered. Soaking and shopping alone takes over an hour! It’s all so good that you might even want to take a day off from your mountain activities to fully enjoy it all. Just don’t say I said so.

The Peaks Resort & Spa, 136 Country Club Drive, 970-728-6800,

Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge, 567 Mountain Village Boulevard, 970-728-3318 and 888-728-3318,

Please note that the Capella Telluride became Hotel Madeline Telluride, 568 Mountain Village Boulevard, 970-369-0880,

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