Untie the Knots

Our picks for the 15 best local massages, all of which are sure to bring a bit of bliss to your day. Plus: Spa treatments—on a budget.

August 2009

Every once in a while, we all need to take care of ourselves—you know, schedule a little "me time." These days most of us would settle for an uninterrupted half hour on the couch, but we recommend investing a bit more time (and, OK, a little money) in your physical and mental well-being by scheduling a much-needed, well-deserved massage. Our advice? Book one of the following 15 treatments and release all that built-up tension.

TallGrass Aveda Spa and Salon

The Vibe Nestled in the pine forests of Evergreen, TallGrass' foothills location infuses an added dose of serenity into its ambience. Dressed in light woods and stone, and sporting large windows with beautiful views of the surrounding landscape, TallGrass feels less like a day spa and more like a destination for relaxation.

The Treatment Take your significant other with you when you head up the hill—after all, he (or she) needs a little pampering, too. Book the spa's TallGrass Tango (two people, 65 minutes, $210), a custom-scented, side-by-side massage in the private Sage Room. Afterward, enjoy a cuddle by the fireplace or a stint in the steam room.

Book It 997 Upper Bear Creek Road, Evergreen, 303-670-4444, www.tallgrassspa.com

Product Pick-Me-Up For him: Aveda Lip Savor lip balm with SPF-15. For her: Rosemary Mint body lotion.

Spa Universaire

The Vibe Secreted away on the second floor of the Belvedere in the Golden Triangle, Spa Universaire doesn't enjoy spacious digs with square footage for saunas and quiet rooms. But Spa U devotees don't come for resort-style furnishings; they come for the outstanding massage therapy—a treatment for which the spa has long been known.

The Treatment A deep-tissue massage featuring Aveda's Blue Oil Balancing Concentrate—a refreshing blend of peppermint and soothing blue chamomile oils—the Deep Blue Sea Therapy (60 minutes, $82) releases muscle stress and fatigue. An added bonus: The scent of peppermint permeates the treatment room, awakening your senses and making the treatment all the more invigorating.

Book It 475 W. 12th Ave., Suite D, 303-629-9070, www.spauniversaire.com

Product Pick-Me-Up Try Aveda's Enbrightenment Brightening Intensive Massage Masque, a biweekly treatment that made our skin firmer and more radiant.


The Vibe With more of a health club atmosphere than the typical day spa, Elixir attracts those looking for less pomp and more service. With a menu that offers nothing but massage and massage packages (for example, the PMS Survival package or the Techie Tweak package), you're certain to find a massage that suits your particular mood.

The Treatment Book the 60-minute Elixir massage ($65), a customizable treatment that employs firm pressure to increase circulation, ease muscle tension, and improve flexibility. When we have the time, we like adding the 30-minute scalp and facial massage ($35).

Book It 1518A Wazee St., 303-571-4455, www.elixirinlodo.com

Product Pick-Me-Up The aromatherapy neck wraps are an awesome at-home remedy for weary neck muscles.

Spa at St. Julien

The Vibe With plush robes, a 60-foot indoor lap pool, steam and sauna rooms, fitness center, cozy treatment areas, and vanities full of complimentary products, the Spa at St. Julien will wow even the most veteran spa-goer. Yet, the spa doesn't feel too over-the-top formal: The check-in staff is friendly, the quiet rooms feel homey, and the locker rooms cater to the whims of guests who've just stopped by for a lunch-hour treatment.

The Treatment The aromatherapy massage (50 minutes, $110), a treatment that combines the use of botanical essences and Swedish-style massage techniques, encourages a deeply calming sensation. As the heady scent of lavender or rose or eucalyptus (you get to choose) hangs in the air, you'll want to snuggle farther down into the heated massage table.

Book It 900 Walnut St., Boulder, 720-406-8218, www.stjulien.com

Urban Escape Day Spa

The Vibe Simple and small yet decidedly upscale, this spa in historic downtown Golden will exceed your expectations with its leather chair-lined quiet room equipped with herbal tea and snacks, well-heeled locker room with decadent robes, and super-cozy massage tables.

The Treatment Sign up for the Urban Escape signature massage (50 minutes, $75), but take five minutes at the beginning of the treatment to tell your therapist what you want her to focus on. Never overly thrilled with lower-body work, we asked for the full 50 minutes to be spent on the upper bod. Our therapist didn't bat an eye—and the massage was spot-on perfect.

Book It 700 12th St., Suite 130, Golden, 303-278-1709, www.urbanescapespa.com

Product Pick-Me-Up Golden-based Bath Nation's coconut-vanilla bath gelée smells like the beach and doesn't contain any nasty parabens or mineral oils.