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

You Need… A Special-Occasion Spa

Ella Bliss Beauty Bar
640 Broadway; 720-446-5588

When it comes time for a bachelorette party or Mother’s Day celebration, the mission tends to fall into one of two categories: partying or pampering. At Ella Bliss Beauty Bar’s six-month-old second location, you can do both. For your fun-loving side, there’s the outdoor patio, where you can sip complimentary wine, beer, or nonalcoholic drinks (or pay for a cocktail).When you need a break from mingling, head to one of four treatment rooms (two for facials and waxing, two for massages), then sprawl in the party lounge while trained specialists give you and your girlfriends pedicures. Ella Bliss’ personal party planner will try to make your every wish a reality, even decorating the 3,000-square-foot lounge and coordinating catering. Bonus: All party guests are eligible for member pricing, meaning they’ll receive a signature service—a massage, mani-pedi, blowout, facial, or makeup application—for $50 and get 10 percent off take-home products. That way, they can save pennies today—and continue to indulge themselves tomorrow.

—Photo courtesy of Ella Bliss Beauty Bar

You Need… a Body Wrap

Indulgences Day Spa
4100 Federal Blvd.; 303-561-0566

For decades, spas and wellness clinics have advertised body wraps as instant weight-loss solutions. Indulgences Day Spa, located on the border of Sunnyside and Berkeley, doesn’t bow to that profiteering premise. Instead, the staff at this 15-year-old spot tells the truth: You may get rid of some water weight, but you’ll mostly lose toxins during these soothing treatments. Estheticians and massage therapists apply essential oils, body polish, or masks with natural ingredients like French clay to your skin before wrapping you in a thick, heated blanket that makes you feel like a caterpillar ready to turn into a butterfly. During each of Indulgences’ six regular body services (we like the seaweed wrap, $95), you’re never left alone to sweat. Instead, your provider will wait with you, adding helpful information about your treatment’s detoxifying properties (like why peppermint lotion is better for moisturization than lavender) while you relax. When you finally leave, you’ll feel lighter, even if the numbers on the scale haven’t changed.

—Photo courtesy of Kurt Green

You Need… A Spa That Saves You Money

Bliss Skin Care and Massage
1675 Fillmore St.; 253-278-6518

We don’t mind spending money on the essentials (food, rent, good whiskey), but why blow big bucks on an indulgence when you can have the same level of service for less? Joe Ann Solomon agrees. Her two-woman business, located in a City Park Denver Square, offers 14 different massages and facials through one of the most cost-effective pricing structures in town: a 60-minute Swedish massage or customized facial for $55 once a month. If you commit to a full-year membership, that price drops to an even-more-reasonable $45 per month. You’ll find the same amenities available at high-end hotel spas, including your choice of aromatherapy blends with names like Relaxation (lavender, chamomile, mandarin, marjoram, patchouli, and geranium) and Muscle Release (clove, helichrysum, peppermint, and wintergreen). Plus, the quality of Solomon’s hot basalt stone or bamboo stick massages can exceed that of big-box treatments—so your body is just as happy as your wallet. 

You Need… A Spa For Athletes

Symmetry360 Therapeutic Massage
Multiple locations

If pro athletes get to have multiple trainers, so should you. And one of them should be Symmetry360 Therapeutic Massage, which fuses traditional bodywork techniques with Thai yoga massage to help athletes recover after intense workouts. In fact, Symmetry360 already does this for the athletes at the Fast Lab as part of its partnership with the Denver Tech Center sports performance training and rehab facility. Although Thai yoga massage is typically done on a yoga mat, Symmetry founders Celeste O’Brien and Kina Ueda repurposed the ancient practice for the table, where they rhythmically move clients into various yoga positions to balance the body’s energy, similar to acupuncture. (The mat is still an option if you prefer a more authentic rubdown.) Once their clients have attained mental focus, they use Western methods (read: kneading and concentrating on trigger points) to target chronic problem areas. This combination not only stimulates the recovery process, but also helps athletes recognize new ways their bodies can move—and hopefully prevents future injuries. It’s worked so well that O’Brien and Ueda will open a fourth location in Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace early next year.

—Photo courtesy of Mark Stevens

You Need… “We” Time

Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center
918 17th St.; 303-867-8100

Before your calendar fills with holiday get-togethers, squeeze in the couple time you and your honey deserve with the Renaissance’s Discover-Spa overnight experience (from $395 per person). This luxe date night begins in the lobby of the hotel’s 100-year-old building, where a black car will pick you up and take you to the Woodhouse Day Spa’s Uptown location. Savor a 50-minute Swedish couples massage, and up the ahhh ante by adding ginger-and-cinnamon-spiked Warmed Spice Mud Wraps (an extra $105). Upon returning to your suite, you’ll find views of downtown, plush bathrobes, and a bottle of sparkling wine waiting to help you transform that ahhh to an ooh-la-la. denver.woodhousespas.com

—Photo courtesy of Nickie Boehland

Local Lotions

Bring the spa experience home with products from these three Colorado companies.

Fifteen years ago, biochemist Dr. Cindy Jones started making soaps and serums from herbs she grew in her Lakewood garden to give as Christmas presents. Word spread about her all-natural products, and by 2007 she had relocated her growing business to a 10-acre farm north of Longmont and dubbed it Colorado Aromatics. Her Meadow Mist face cleanser, made with cucumber distillate, mallow and rose extracts, and oat powder, is our favorite for daily use, but the green tea herbal bath is an excellent pick-me-up on days that get you down. coloradoaromatics.com

Christin Wingo put her background in business consulting and herbalism to  use when she created Canopy Skincare in 2013. And the Boulderite puts her Colorado knowledge to use in products like Ski Cheeks, a face balm that uses ingredients such as mango butter and sesame oil to rejuvenate your post–Winter Park wind-burned cheeks. canopyskincare.com

Designed to help women over 35 combat the effects of Colorado’s strong sun, Sharon Gnatt Epel’s skincare line, La Ishá, includes an age-spot eraser and Breast SOS (a serum for cleavage wrinkles—yes, they’re a real thing). la-isha.com

—Photo courtesy of Souders Studios