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Easing into summer

Caramie Schnell

We know it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. As part of our ongoing effort to review the valley’s spas, we take a look this week at The Spa at the Sonnenalp Resort and the Spa at Cordillera. To view our other spa reviews see vailtrail.com.The Spa at the Sonnenalp Resort of VailVail, (970) 479-5404, sonnenalp.com.Signature treatment: Five Star Signature Treatment, 50-min., $225, 80-min., $325.Off-season special: Half price mud and seaweed wraps, 80-min., normally $160, now $80.Bliss is inspired by different things for different people. However there’s little doubt that two technicians (think: four hands) working to inspire a state of complete relaxation qualifies as sheer bliss. The Spa at the Sonnenalp Resort offers just such a treatment, which they call the Five Star Signature Treatment (50-min., $225, 80-min., $325). The literal head-to-toe treatment combines a custom facial with reflexology, where the nerve endings of the feet are manipulated. Reflexology is based on the theory that different points on the feet correspond with specific organs of the body. As different areas on the feet are manipulated, different sections of the body react. The lucky recipient of the treatment is left feeling equal parts relaxed and revitalized.”It’s heaven to have four hands working on you at the same time,” says spa manager Angie Bolich. “We love this treatment it’s the best of both worlds.”The Sonnenalp Spa prides itself on being a little bit different from some of the other spas in the valley.”We don’t really do the ‘grotto’ or the ‘dark’ thing, we believe in a lot of light and air and that’s what we try to capture,” Bolich says.Over the next three years the Sonnenalp Resort, a Vail mainstay for the past 25 years, will be undergoing a renovation. The spa is looking forward to a major expansion the now 10,000 square-foot spa is set to triple in size, extending over what is now the front parking lot of the resort all the way to Meadow Drive.”The theme we have now will continue in our next spa lots of light, lots of air, brighter colors,” Bolich says. “(The dark, grotto look) is actually on the way out in the spa industry; it’s already pass.”The spa is getting ready to introduce a new facial to their already extensive menu: The Caviar Facial (80-min., $225) which will feature Pevonia products; vegetable Botox, crushed pearls and marine caviar are layered together for intense penetration and anti-aging repair.”They actually use caviar extract in their products,” Bolich says. “We’re really excited with that addition.”For off-season the Sonnenalp Spa is offering their mud and seaweed wraps at 50 percent off. The 80-minute treatments are $80 after the discount.The Spa at CordilleraCordillera, (970) 926-2117, cordilleralodge.com.Signature treatment: Cozy Chai Tea Mask body treatment, 75-min., $175. Cordillera Custom Massage, 50-min., $120.Off-season special: Mention their ad through May 18 and locals will receive 20 percent off all services (except nails and waxing), complimentary lunch from Mirador and a glass of wine.Picture this: you’re sitting next to the pool at the Lodge at Cordillera on a day that makes you feel like a child just let out for summer vacation. You sip a glass of wine while you admire the mountains. It’s been a long winter season, but now it’s your turn to take a breath and enjoy the off-season. It’s time to pamper yourself without hesitation, much like the tourists that traipsed around town during ski season.Now’s the time to make the vision a reality.Last July The Spa at Cordillera completed their renovation, having expanded the spa, which is now nearly 20,000 square feet. Treatment rooms were added, the fitness room was expanded, the entrance revamped and an indoor fireplace was installed next to the indoor pool.And now, with the spa offering a locals appreciation discount, is the best time to take advantage of the luxurious treatments.”Being smaller than some of the other spas (in Vail), I feel like we’re a bit more cozy,” says spa manager Angie Primmer. “You don’t feel like you’re walking into a factory, you feel like you’re walking into a spa where people will be waiting on you.”At The Spa at Cordillera, the focus is on customizing treatments for the clientele, making their spa experience the best it can be.”We’re really trying to customize our treatments,” Primmer says. “Custom massages are the most popular here. We also have a couple of different (facials) on our menu, all customized to the clients’ skin type. They don’t have to decide, most people know the difference, but some don’t. The therapist asks the appropriate questions, putting the person at ease.”The Cozy Chai Tea Mask body treatment (75-min., $175) is one of the signature treatments the spa offers. A mandarin orange body scrub is applied to the body. A chai tea mud mask containing Colorado Indian spring clay is then applied on top of the scrub. As the mask penetrates the skin, tired muscles are soothed and the skin naturally tightens. Showers are located in many of the treatment rooms, so there’s no need to leave the room to rinse off. The treatment ends with a massage with facial quality lotion.”It’s truly a fantastic treatment it does everything: you get the exfoliation, the massage it’s the ultimate,” Primmer says.The competition among spas in a valley that has its fair share can be intense. It’s no surprise then that The Spa at Cordillera is very attune to the smallest details. Candles are always lit, tables are always heated to discourage any chill, and your therapist is always there to meet you at the end of your treatment with a cup of tea or ice water.”We encourage people to really take advantage of the amenities. They can have lunch, work out, have their spa services, relax, swim, and make a day of it whatever they’re looking for.” VTCaramie Schnell can be reached at cschnell@vailtrail.com.


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