Housed in a historic sandstone bathhouse that dates back to 1888, the Spa of the Rockies in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, pays tribute to the healing hot springs just outside its windows with holistic water- and mineral-based treatments. This modern facility, which opened in the fall of 2008, is a lovely complement to the amenities and services at Glenwood Hot Springs, which include a two-block-long hot springs pool (the largest outdoor mineral pool in the world), a neighboring hotel, athletic club and on-site casual grill.
Spa of the Rockies Facility
One thing I noticed upon entering the Spa of the Rockies is the subtle textures and colors that are reminiscent of water and mountains — perfect for this spa, steps away from red-rock hills and the Colorado River. The carpet is striped in varying shades of blue and brown; waiting-room chairs are different shades of brown and beige. The water theme continues with large pieces of modern art featuring ripples and droplets; small river rocks are clustered at the base of blue, white and brown mosaic-tiled accents on the wall.
The women’s locker room — with steam room — is spacious. (The men’s locker room also has a steam room.) Upon entry, you can pour yourself a cup of ice-cold cucumber water or pic up some fruity trail mix.One little perk I think is thoughtful: each locker is stocked with a towel wrap; the robes are not unusually big, and if you fear that you might show some assets as you’re relaxing in the serenity room, you can put on the wrap underneath your robe.
The long and narrow serenity room features large windows that face the hot springs pool, which, on a busy day, will be chock full of families (read: loud kids). I don’t believe the pool-goers outside can see into the windows, but you can absolutely look out — to the splashing kids, lifeguards, and all sorts of differently shaped bodies licking ice cream cones, floating on noodles or canoodling themselves in the pool. It’s a funny dichotomy to be seated inside a soothing Relaxation Room while pure chaos is going on just outside.
However, while waiting for your treatment, you can nibble on more trail mix or fix yourself a cup of tea. The long banquette seating isn’t particularly comfortable; you can’t “lounge” in it, but rather I felt prompted to sit up straight. The chaise lounges are better built for putting up your feet and relaxing while reading a magazine.
Spa of the Rockies Treatments
I sampled a Signature Herbal Soak prior to my Mineral Massage. These soaks take place in private, claw-footed tubs in the women’s and mens’ locker rooms. Before entering my private tub suite, I was able to choose which specific Kniepp Herbal Bath product I wanted in my tub; I chose “balancing” lavender, to “combat fatigue and bring peace of mind.” My spa attendant finished drawing my bath by pouring in the purple liquid, adding a cup of juniper muscle-soothing salts, turning on the jets and turning down the lights. I soaked my cares away for about 15 minutes.
My 50-minute Spa of the Rockies Mineral Massage began with a mineral gel rub — containing 34 different therapeutic minerals — applied on my back (my mom had the same treatment, and she felt it was a bit cool and tingly, but I didn’t feel that; it just felt like massage oil to me). Then my back was covered with hot, wet towels to help the minerals penetrate into my skin; I was on a heated massage table so I was super cozy and warm. Following, I had a great full-body massage — though I did have to ask the therapist to use a firmer touch (she obliged, no problem).
Other nifty massage treatments here include Rockies River Warm Stone Massage, using basalt stones collected from the Colorado River (cool!), Reiki Energy Healing, Lymphatic Drainage Massage and Kneipp Leg Release Treatment, featuring the plant arnica, known for its healing, anti-inflammatory properties. Facials, body wraps and scrubs, manicures and pedicures are also offered.
Bottom Line: For a day spa, the Spa of the Rockies is sublime. Go.
– Review and photos by Kara Williams, who visited April 2010