19 Spa Experiences to Help You Relax This Winter

You need—no, deserve—a way to untie those weekend-warrioring (and workday) knots this ski and holiday season.

November 2015

—Photo by Jeff Nelson

As winter, the holidays, and ski season loom, your weekends start to fill with mountains, travel…and agonizing hours in I-70 traffic. You need—no, deserve—a way to untie those weekend-warrioring (and workday) knots. Luckily, the vast number of relaxing spas near Denver means this is one activity that requires little car time. We’ve uncovered 19 local experiences to fit your needs, whether you’re picky about your nail polish or looking to soothe tired muscles, so you can find your refuge—maybe even right down the street.

You Need… A Pop of Color

Polished Nail Boutique & Beauty Lounge*
250 Fillmore St., Unit C; 303-997-4414

As a successful makeup artist in London and New York City, Lisa Hintgen had plenty of places to get her polish on. But after moving to Denver in 2007, the South Africa native couldn’t find a nail salon that met her high standards for sanitation, service, and product. So in 2014, after a year of research and small-business school, Hintgen started her own: Polished Nail Boutique & Beauty Lounge. Polished’s all-white interior offers an ultra-chic space that highlights its cleanliness: Sleek, pipeless pedicure chairs eliminate any danger of infection because fresh water never runs through the same system as old water, and tools like nail files and buffers are each used for only one client. The Cherry Creek North shop primarily uses only two brands of nail polish—Alessandro and Essie—because they are high-pigment and formaldehyde-free formulas. The cherry on top: Complimentary cozy blankets and a no-cell-phone-conversations policy ensure you’ll get the most out of your “me” time.

Editor's Note 5/3/16: Polished is temporarily closed; please check their website for updates.

You Need… A Foot Focus

The Dragontree Spa
1521 Pearl St., Boulder; 303-219-1444

Voodoo Doughnut isn’t the only Oregon import we’ve become addicted to. Boulder’s Dragontree Spa has been satisfying our foot fetish (not that kind) since 2013, when Oregon transplant Briana Borten opened Dragontree’s third location (the other two are in Portland). Using Ayurveda—an ancient Indian tradition of mind-body medicine—Dragontree will calm you from head to toe. The real magic happens in the latter, though. Duck in for a 30-minute foot bath ($26) inside the sangha room—a small community space lined with raised, cushioned couches that sit above large copper bowls—and submerge your feet in one of more than 15 soaks. The warm baths are infused with nourishing, detoxifying, and calming ingredients like honey, milk, sea salt, and aromatherapy oils such as lavender, clove, and nutmeg. Maximize your meditative experience by pairing your session with a 20-, 30-, or 40-minute neck, foot, or hand massage, and settle in for a little Portland-style Zen.

—Photo courtesy of Jeff Nelson

Ingredients of the Moment

Cherry Creek’s Apothecary Tinctura manager Joelle Mouchati breaks down the most popular ingredients in today’s spa treatments.

Apple cider vinegar
Long used as a home remedy for warts, mildly acidic apple cider vinegar helps regulate the pH balance of skin and softens hair.

Mango butter
Mango butter’s healthy fats make it a great option for nourishing dry skin.

Jojoba oil
An oil in name only, this wax closely resembles the substances your skin naturally produces and is great for treating acne or inflammation.

An aromatic herb that improves circulation, peppermint also provides a cooling sensation.

This spice serves as a powerful antioxidant and can send warmth to stiff muscles.

Packed full of minerals such as potassium and iron, seaweed also has calming properties that help inflamed skin heal.