There is no shortage of spas in Colorado where a guest can get a relaxing massage, bliss out in an aromatherapy room or have skin and nails buffed and enhanced. While the traditional spa isn’t going away, some spas are looking to offer more than chilling out with sports recovery services for all those people who overdid it on the slopes or trails of our iconic mountains.
“The spa industry continues to evolve to meet the needs of today’s consumers,” said Jennifer Razee, spa director at Well & Being in Vail, which opened in November. “While recovery spas aren’t limited to Colorado, it makes sense that they would populate in western mountain towns like Vail where many travelers participate in mountain sports.”
Essentially, if people are coming to Vail to ski, then spas want to be ready to cater to their needs so they can limber up and hit the slopes again the next day if desired.
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At Well & Being in the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort, sports recovery treatments that are a step up from the usual massage and skin scrub on offer include:
- Recovery Body Treatment, which combines “massage with a cocoon of warm magnesium melt towels” to reduce inflammation and cramping.
- Hyperice power percussion massage devices and jade stone infrared mats to “open up the tissue and flush lactic acid to expedite recovery.”
- Salt Therapy Lounge with a “halogenerator to dispense and maintain a controlled level of dry salt aerosol in the room.” The claim is that the particles can reduce inflammation and improve lung function, as well as decrease fatigue.
- For those days when you’re especially sore, Well & Being also offers “compression with NormaTec boots, a cold plunge, and EMS (electromagnetic muscular stimulation).”
“We see our demographic being performance-driven and have developed a menu that targets their needs,” said Razee, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. “Of course, we still incorporate a bit of self-care indulgence too, which helps reset the body and mind for another day on the mountain.”
The Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa in Mesa County also attracts guests who want to work hard and relax even harder after horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking. Sports recovery treatments here (and at some other spas) often include CBD oil, which has quickly taken root as a salve for soothing overworked muscles, possibly reducing inflammation. Services here include a CBD Healing Massage and treatments specifically for feet and hands, including a unique one called “Hands Down” for those whose digits are sore from “shooting and roping.”
According to the International Spa Association, CBD (Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive part of cannabis) is one of the biggest trends in the spa industry, with 86% of the spas offering CBD in services incorporating it in a massage treatment.
In Evergreen, the Tallgrass Aveda Spa & Salon has a “Colorado Recovery Massage” that has proven popular with so-called weekend warriors.
“We wanted to offer a massage tailored to the guest with an active Colorado lifestyle,” said Melissa Rackliff, spa director at TallGrass. “It’s not just a deep tissue massage, but one that activates the parasympathetic nervous system, releases sore muscles, increases blood flow and improves flexibility.”
And it’s not just for athletes, she says.
“It is for all those who hike, bike, ski, snowboard, run and generally enjoy the Colorado outdoors,” Rackliff said. “By using tools like the RAD Rollers, and a local, organic, CBD salve, we are able to provide maximum relief body, mind and spirit.”
A RAD roller is a brand of foam rollers, which are used as massage tools to release muscle tension.
At the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon, the Spa Anjali is intentionally located next to the Howard Head Sports Medicine physical therapy clinic so that guests can access both types of services — day spa and sports recovery.
“Visiting Spa Anjali is a consistent part of the overall experience,” said Colleen Rynn, manager of the physical therapy clinic. “Massage provides a nice adjunct to their rehabilitation both physically and mentally.”
Spa Anjali also offers a sports massage, a CBD massage and a magnesium melt in addition to the services such as sound therapy with Tibetan singing bowls, crystal body polish and full-body mud wraps.
Perhaps this trend toward sports recovery can also be attributed to more men getting comfortable with a trip to a day spa, and preferring massage, body and fitness-type services.
“It makes sense that a growing interest in general in fitness across the generations contributes to growing demand for these services within a spa,” the ISPA noted.
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