Destination Spa Guide

Even if you’ve just driven up the hill for a quick weekend away from Denver, there’s something about visiting a spa on vacation that seems especially indulgent. We scouted out a range of high-country spas—you know, for some extra encouragement to schedule that appointment you were already dreaming about. Plus, we revisit some tried-and-true urban favorites, scope out spas with a twist, and give you the 411 on spa etiquette. Go ahead. Get pampered. You deserve it.

November 2012

Health Care
A local spa gears its services toward cancer patients.

Like any spa owner, Julie Bulatovic is invested in her clients’ well-being. But unlike many other spas, her focus goes well beyond pampering. The owner of Cherry Creek’s one-year-old Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa (a franchise with a separately owned location in Highlands Ranch), has certified about 80 percent of her therapists in oncology massage techniques and has partnered with a local nonprofit to develop the franchise’s first free massage program for cancer patients. ¶ The idea: Those struggling through the aftermath of cancer and treatment likely have daunting medical bills, plus lingering physical and emotional scars—which is why they need the benefits of therapeutic massage. Having witnessed the effects of cancer on her family, and with a real understanding of how massage can relieve tension and restore balance, Bulatovic put the idea into practice. “How wonderful would it be if we could provide free massage for people who couldn’t afford it?” she says. “So they can have real ‘me time.’ ” ¶ By working with local hospitals and Denver-based nonprofit Re-Org, which pairs cancer survivors with massage therapists, Bulatovic launched her program in September: Once a month, the spa brings in two clients who are at least 30 days out from their last treatments, plus a family member and caregiver if they want, for free massages. The clients are free to come in as many times as they want over the next six months for a highly discounted price, as are other cancer patients who don’t participate in the program. Bulatovic hopes her efforts can be a model for other franchisees. “This is my pilot,” Bulatovic says. “But corporate says other owners are interested, too. So many cancer patients don’t realize they can feel comfortable in environments where they may not otherwise go.”

2727 E. Second Ave., 303-394-4444, handandstone.com/spa/Colorado/Cherry-Creek