Vail Road Trip: Soak it up this offseason with a spa trip to Colorado Springs
Special to the Daily
If you go ...
• SunWater Spa — Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 514 El Paso Blvd., Manitou Springs; 719-695-7007; http://www.sunwaterspa.com.
• Cheyenne Mountain Resort — Spa is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday; 3225 Broadmoor Valley Road, Colorado Springs; 719-538-4000; http://www.cheyennemountain.com.
• MX Spa in the Wyndham Grand Mining Exchange — Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 8 S. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs; 719-323-2000; http://www.wyndham.com.
Out of the spa
Looking for a more active retreat? Head out for an invigorating outdoor adventure at Seven Falls, recently renovated by its new owner, The Broadmoor.
The natural attraction was flooded in 2013 (it was also wiped out previously in 1965), but Broadmoor owner Philip Anschutz has revitalized this canyon filled with waterfalls, some of which can only be accessed on foot.
Check out the new restaurant, 1858 (named for the year the Colorado gold rush began), completed with the high caliber of detail and class for which The Broadmoor is well known. The decor and service are comfortable and refined, offering a unique take on Colorado cuisine.
Seven Falls has a nonintrusive zipline course, as well, with another course of its Soaring Adventure still in production. The lines are very well hidden from hikers, with only the occasional fun screech of a rapid flyer passing through.
The canyon itself is peaceful, and it seems it will remain that way. An optional shuttle service keeps most cars out and the wildlife in.
“We’re starting to see animals come back from construction,” said Dan Sulewski, a naturalist for Greenbriar Outfitters.
He said a lot of people who have seen Seven Falls in the past think the transformation is “remarkable.”
“It’s the grandest mile in Colorado that you will ever see,” he said, mimicking the attraction’s tagline. “It’s absolutely stunning.”
The Broadmoor Seven Falls is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Nov. 30, and then 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday only through February. The shuttle parking lot is located at 6 Lake Ave., Colorado Springs (855-923-7272; http://www.sevenfalls.com).
there’s something in the water. From Alluvia Spa’s built-in babbling decor at Cheyenne Mountain Resort to the healing minerals of Manitou Springs and the rushing symphony of Seven Falls, the eastern helm of Pike’s Peak is a piece of this state that’s drenched in wellness.
A DAY-SPA TREAT
Head to Manitou Springs for a day-spa treat. SunWater Spa opened in August, offering wellness and healing services through yoga and meditation, mineral-water therapy and spa treatments.
Don Goede, managing co-partner of SunWater, said the focus of the facility is to promote healing and to honor the sacred place where indigenous health seekers have come for more than 150 years. Before he and his team began the project, he said they performed ceremonies with the Lakota and Northern Utes and asked for permission to break ground.
Every aspect of the space is intentional, drawn from a vision that was derived from a trip to India, which Goede took with Kate Tudor, SunWater managing co-partner. Modern bathroom fixtures, lockers, robes and slippers make the spa professional, but an authentic spirit shines through.
Cedar tubs are filled with water from Seven Minute Springs, and once heated, the baths smell of the rich wood. The waters are believed to be “health-giving,” full of more than a dozen natural minerals.
“It’s just really rare to be able to get 100 percent mineral water,” Goede said. “The water isn’t heated through the ground, but we have solar panels, so most of it is heated by Mother Nature — hence the name SunWater.”
There’s cold plunges, too, and indoor saline pools filled with salt to go for a soak. Stay for a dip, or sign up for one of the many spa treatments available on site. Open-air massages, couples’ treatments and Watsu — a rhythmic water massage — are on the menu, as well as a half-dozen facials.
The Garden of Eden is SunWater’s signature facial. It’s exfoliating and moisturizing, layering vitamins, antioxidants and botanicals onto the skin. Men can try the Warrior facial, which consists of a face mask to calm irritation from shaving.
CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN RESORT
For an overnight room with a view, check into Cheyenne Mountain Resort. It’s a dog-friendly lodging option, and the large property is made up of more than 200 acres, complete with a large lake, outdoor and indoor swimming pools, several dining options, a golf course, tennis courts and a new spa.
Earthy paint tones, stone accents and tree trunk wall hangings comprise the decor for Alluvia Spa and Wellness Retreat, a semi-hidden destination near the resort’s lake at the base of Cheyenne Mountain.
The 5,000-square-foot spa shares a building with the fitness center, but take a left once you’ve entered, and you’ll step into a peaceful reception area before being led into the spa.
Ground down with a massage, such as the Purify and Renew treatment with sea fennel, ginger root and eucalyptus oils used to add minerals back into the skin and improve immunity. A light body brush exfoliates the skin, followed by an energetic, whole-body massage, with special attention to the head, face, fingers and toes.
For more rigorous body work, go for the Deep Tissue Therapy. The therapist will focus on specific tensions, using trigger-point therapy and myofascial release techniques, paired with the healing and grounding scents of alpine arnica and sweet birch oils.
For fall, spa manager Katherine Bobbitt and her team are offering a caramel apple pear treatment. Bobbitt said Alluvia is also excited to coordinate with different departments of the resort.
“We want to pair a seasonal beverage from the juice bar or from up in our Elevations lounge,” she said. “We’ll have a package that comes with a gift card for a seasonal beverage offering.”
There’s always time for one more spa treat, and MX Spa in the Wyndham Grand Mining Exchange hotel in downtown Colorado Springs, which opened in July, is a unique combination of history and elegance.
Concierge Mark Rollert explained how, as they were converting the lower level into a fitness center and spa, they worked diligently with what was there. The hand-cut stonework inlaid into the walls was powerwashed and sprayed with sealant. You can still see some of the wood wedges that were originally jammed into the bricks for support.
The Mining Exchange was a gold-to-currency exchange that operated during the gold rush, and all the safes are still there, including some down in the spa. The rich history of the spa space is subtly interwoven with new elegance, such as silk curtains and glistening chandeliers.
Start your treatment with a complimentary mimosa, glass of red or white wine or a soothing cup of coconut chocolate tea.
Weathered, aged or dry skin will benefit from the Pure Opulence Oxygen Facial. A rich serum is applied first, which is then permeated into every pore by an oxygen machine. It’s the kind of facial that will leave your skin hydrating and glowing, not red and overly exposed.
Don’t leave the property without stopping by Spring Orleans, the on-site restaurant for the Mining Exchange. It’s New Orleans inspired, with all the classic Cajun flavors, capped off with powdered sugar-coated beignets. If you hit it on a Sunday, then check out the brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a carving station that begins at 11 a.m.
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