The holidays are a stressful season. You have to pick out the perfect gift for every loved one, try to remember who’s gone vegan this year, and keep that sweet smile on your face when Aunt Kathy asks why you’re still single (No? Just me?). A little personal pampering can go a long way toward getting through the next few months, but instead of a routine facial or manicure, try out one of these more unconventional spa experiences around Colorado. You’ve earned it.

5 Star Salt Caves

Washington Park West
You won’t feel like you’re in the middle of Denver when you descend into the pink glow of these Himalayan salt caves—and that’s the idea. This spa urges guests to leave their cell phones behind, cut the chatter, and spend 50 minutes of silence breathing in the salty air that circulates the cave. This treatment, known as halotherapy, is said to soothe respiratory ailments, reduce inflammation in the body, and clear toxins from your nasal passageway (although scientific research in this field is still nascent). If the thought of sitting in silence for nearly an hour unsettles you, consider signing up for the spa’s sound baths, where a soundscape artist enlists the help of singing bowls and gongs to fill the cave with meditative music. $40 for a 50-minute session 

Yampah Spa Vapor Caves

Photo courtesy of Yampah Spa

Glenwood Springs
Break a healthy sweat without performing a single squat by descending into the underground Vapor Caves at Yampah Spa. These natural steam baths are created by hot mineral water flowing through the floors of the caves. The result is a naturally occurring underground sauna, with each room averaging from 110 to 112 degrees Fahrenheit. They’re the only known natural vapor caves in North America, and for centuries, Indigenous Ute tribes used the sweltering space to heal their sick. You’ll need to make a reservation if you want to experience the detoxifying effects of this hot springs–fed sanctuary, so consider saving this spa sesh for after the holidays. That way you can sweat out all the mulled wine. $50 for a cave-and-soak experience

Lazy You Spa

If you need to put some distance between you and your troubles, head to this tranquil spa on a historic dude ranch nestled in the mountains. Duck inside one of the canvas tents perched on the banks of Willow Creek when it’s time for your massage. We suggest trying to score one of the tents with a glass floor that’s suspended directly over the water so you can watch the trout swim by while you slip into serenity under the masseuse’s trained hands. After your treatment, settle into a deep copper tub that overlooks the Continental Divide for what the staff has affectionately dubbed the Cowboy Soak. See Lazy You’s spa menu for pricing

Oakwell Beer Spa

Photo by From the Hip Photo

Whittier and Highlands Ranch (coming fall 2024)
It’s generally frowned upon to drown your stressors in alcohol, but not here. In fact, Oakwell Beer Spa believes that a day spent in the suds is just what you need for a physical and mental reset. But the key to feeling your best isn’t imbibing—although the self-pour tap wall certainly encourages that, too. The spa’s Beer Bath Hydrotherapy is a 90-minute experience during which you’ll immerse yourself in a cedar tub filled with a fizzy blend of hops, barley, and medicinal herbs crafted to maximize benefits to your skin, hair, and headspace. In-house herbalists change the mixture seasonally to ensure the blend is at its most beneficial. Don’t live near Whittier? The company announced it is unveiling a Highlands Ranch outpost in fall 2024 that will include a spacious patio for sipping post-service and larger beer therapy rooms that can be connected via rolling garage doors for parties up to six. $189 for a 90-minute standard Beer Therapy Room

Pure Elevations Spa & Garden

Baker (coming spring 2024)
If your New Year’s resolution involves shedding some of your anxious ways, be sure to schedule a stop at Denver’s first cannabis spa. Slated to open in April 2024, Pure Elevations Spa & Garden will be the only place in the Mile High City where you can indulge in a massage with THC-infused topicals, enjoy a joint in the courtyard, and buy ganja goodies from an on-site micro-dispensary that doubles as a coffee shop. This first-of-its-kind wellness space is possible thanks to changes in cannabis regulation, which are expected to go into effect on January 8. Check the spa’s Instagram page for updates on pricing as the opening nears.

Jessica Giles
Jessica Giles
Jessica is a senior associate editor on 5280's digital team.