Bring the spa home
December 19, 2003
Most who live in the valley have heard from friends toiling away in less idyllic parts of the country: “Gee, it must be rough livin’ in Vail.”
OK, so a bike ride along Gore Creek is far more emotionally edifying than a trip under New York City on a jam-packed subway. But along with the vistas, powder days, whitewater rapids and bears – it’s true – we have stress up here in the High Country.
Not that much, but it’s still stress.
Solution: Quit your job.
Here’s a better solution: make your own bath salts.
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“When you want a relaxing night at home, you can bring the spa into your own bathroom,” said Cathleen de la Parra, operations manager at Allegria Spa in Beaver Creek.
Folks go to spas to relax. But the spa can also come to you to help you relax after a rough day in the High Country. You just have to bring a little bit of the spa home with you in the form of soothing products like aromatic salts and lotions, wind chimes, candles and even a new coat of paint.
“A lot of people go to the spa to escape their normal everyday activities, to get away from the tension and action they’re used to experiencing,” de la Parra said. “We have cushy couches, music in the background, tea is offered, people are quiet. It’s just a calm, comfortable experience.
“Plus people don’t usually have jet tubes at home and they like to be pampered,” she said.
So how do we stressed-out Vailites go about pampering ourselves in our own bathrooms? Take a trip to the hardware store, the supermarket or the retail shop at any local spa.
One way to mellow out your bathroom is paint the walls a more soothing color. That’s in case you’re one of those weirdos who painted your bathroom day-glo orange with yellow polka-dots.
“Paint your bathroom blue or green,” de la Parra suggested.
Then buy towels and wash clothes to match. And think about plants or flowers for the window in the case your view of Vail Mountain isn’t relaxing enough.
To enhance the soothing sound of the water splashing into the tub, hang some wind chimes or play soothing music. In many parts of the valley, these gentle tunes can be a lot more calming than the truckers applying their jake breaks out on Interstate 70.
For those of you dying to find out how to make your own bath salts, some advice from expert Monique Busold:
“Anyone can make bath salts,” said Busold, assistant manager of Allegria Spa. “You can just get coarse salts like Dead Sea salts and just put essential (scented) oils in them. You can have your own little spa soak.”
If you’re not so ambitious, you can of course buy premade bath salts in a variety of scents. Usually, the scents are aptly named. For instance, the more relaxing ones have names like “jackhammer” and “train crash.”
If they’re supposed to be calming, they’re usually called things like “comfy pajamas” or “starry night.” Tip: anything with lavender in it is usually calming.
There are also soothingly scented bubbles and lotions to apply after the shower or bath. Remember: Don’t forget to buy the ones with calming names.
“It’s anything that creates a happy environment,” de la Parra said. “Even changing a shower head, fluffy rugs, a robe, slippers.”
Finally, next time you call the landlord to have him do some repainting, ask him about installing a bathtub with massage jets. Better yet, ask him for a personal spa.
“Instead of using a jet bathtub that you fill with water and then drain, install a custom small spa in the master suite,” said Steve Williams, sales manager at Accent Spas in Eagle-Vail.
A whole spa?
“It’s an ergonomically designed tub. It’s not just a bowl that you sit in,” Williams said. “There’s contoured seating and jets placed to act on specific muscles.”
What if I don’t have a “master suite”?
“The idea is you would get into this thing after a workout or before bed and it’s designed comfortably for two people. Romance is one of the highest reasons to own a spa,” he said.
And you don’t even have to put the spa in the bathroom. You can put in whichever wing of your mansion you want because a regular old bath tub just doesn’t cut it for the full-spa experience, Williams said.
“Most people don’t take baths just to get clean,” he said.
OK, that section about personal spas may not be very helpful for you renters out there. Unless you house-sit in Beaver Creek or Cordillera or just wrote a best-seller.
But don’t worry. Along with all the massage jets, aromatic salts and comfy rugs, if you put your significant other to work, you don’t need a personal spa, de la Parra said. It can be something really simple.
“Have your husband or your boyfriend or girlfriend bring you a smoothie while you’re in the bath,” de la Parra said.