The Spa: The Spa at Vail Mountain Lodge, 352 E. Meadow Drive, Vail. Call 970-476-7721, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.vailmountainlodge.com/vail-spa.Specials: "2 before 2": Go before 2 p.m., and get two 50-minute spa treatments (or one 100-minute treatment) and get 20 percent off and a complimentary spa lunch from Terra Bistro. First impressions: The Spa at Vail Mountain Lodge is small and quiet and oozes relaxation. Relax in the sunny solarium room stocked with magazines, books, snacks (including fresh fruit and homemade energy bars from Terra Bistro) and hot tea before your treatment. Curl up in a comfy lounge chair, facing the floor-to-ceiling windows that look out at Gore Creek. The treatment: Radiant Vitality, 75 minutes, $275. A medical grade Diamondtome microdermabrasion treatment with ultrasound serum penetration.Years ago, Lisa DeKoster, spa director of The Spa at Vail Mountain Lodge, told me about her approach to designing a spa menu. The mission is that every treatment offered is holistic and therapeutic, in that it contributes to the overall health of the client. "Here, everything is geared towards making the client comfortable and luxurious, but we want it to be very healing to the skin," she said. In line with that thinking, a treatment at The Spa would never feel purely clinical, either, even if it produces results similar to what you'd get in a doctor's office. Enter the Radiant Vitality treatment, the most relaxing microdermabrasion facial I've ever experienced, mostly because I felt as if my whole body was pampered, not just my face. "We've taken a clinical treatment and embellished it into a spa treatment," my esthetician Sally Peterson said. "The treatment helps fade dark spots and lessen fine lines and wrinkles. If someone were to have a series of these, they'd see noticeable results. It's a noninvasive way to get results." This is Peterson's 23rd season with The Spa, and she's been giving facials using the Diamondtome machine for a year now. "One piece that's really unique, we have a doctor on staff so we were able to get an ultrasound machine," Peterson said. "It's a very popular treatment; once people have it, they usually come back for it."That's likely because their skin literally glows for at least a week after the treatment, as mine did. "The skin is refreshed and polished," Peterson said. "Their skin looks like a pearl. All that dead skin is taken off, and beautiful products are infused with the ultrasound. Their skin is beautiful, alive and refreshed."The treatment begins with warm lavender aromatherapy compresses on the face and neck, followed by a deep pore cleansing and the microdermabrasion. "The machine has diamonds embedded in the wand tip and also has a vacuum," Peterson said. "It removes 50 to 75 percent of the top layer of skin, which leaves the skin open and receptive to what we put on next."And what comes next is a soothing tonic made from borage, a Mediterranean herb with anti-inflammatory properties which makes it very calming to the skin, Peterson tells me. Next comes a layer of vitamin C serum, and then a mask. Most of the products used during the treatment are from the holistic Dr. Hauschka skincare line. While the mask is on, Peterson gives you a hand, arm and foot massage. But this isn't the typical lackluster massage. Before she was an esthetician, Peterson was a massage therapist, which accounts for her serious skills in this department. Afterward Peterson uses the ultrasound machine to help the products penetrate into the skin. "The sound waved actually separates the cells while the wave carries regenerative products deep into the skin," DeKoster said. "This cannot be accomplished with manual application of product during a facial."The ultrasound is wonderfully relaxing, just like the rest of the treatment."You get that warm, wonderful wand doing its dance on your face," Peterson said. "The warmth and that rhythmical movement on the face is hypnotic. People really relax."The treatment ends with a neck, shoulder, scalp and face massage. "That's one thing that really separates our facials from others: the amount of massage that someone gets," Peterson said. "It really feels like a whole body treatment."Make the most of your visit: Arrive 30 minutes (or an hour, if you really want to feel spoiled) before your appointment to shower and sit in the steam room, sauna or Jacuzzi. Or better yet, soak in the outdoor hot tub by Gore Creek before your treatment.SpaReport is a feature the Vail Daily runs periodically about spa treatments around the valley. Know of something we should check out? Email email@example.com.
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