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The new Allegria, completed in 2006, has raised the standards for what a spa experience can be in the Valley.
The new Allegria, completed in 2006, has raised the standards for what a spa experience can be in the Valley.
Dan Davis
Dipping into Vail and Beaver Creek spas
A guide to five favorites
By Tom Boyd

March 28, 2007 — The following five spas are recognized around the nation and the world as among the best.


There are a few tiny, telltale signs of a good spa. It’s all in the details … yes, the lighting … yes, the aroma … yes the lovely music. Yet even more so, it is the quality of the therapists themselves. At the Vail Mountain Lodge there is very little turnover, with good reason – it is a wonderful place to be. One of the Valley’s smaller, cozier spas, the Mountain Lodge is a little gem which leaves nothing to be desired in the way of elegance and fine touch. The therapists are mistresses of the spa art … the art of oil, the art of human interaction, comfort, silence, the art of using fingers, palms, elbows, even the chin in to create their masterpiece – your pleasure and relaxation.

CONTACT: Call (970) 476-7721 or visit

LOCATION: Just east of the Covered Bridge in Vail, in the Vail Mountain Lodge.

Me time at the spa
Doesn't the body need a holiday within the holiday?

The feet are constantly talking. Sometimes, when they are walking along cool, fresh-cut grass, they are happily chatting away, but mostly they are grumbling. They send messages up through the nerves, along the spine and into the main headquarters of the brain, and they are grumbling. They are telling the brain that, down on the surface, carrying the body around all day, stuffing themselves into ski boots, you know, it’s just not easy. They want some relief.
The brain doesn’t listen. It's thinking about other things, like where to have dinner and whether to ski Beaver Creek or Vail in the morning.

But the body knows that it needs a holiday within the holiday – a few hours at least, but hopefully a full day to give itself true rest, true relaxation, between the rigorous duties involved in loving every minute of life. The brain agrees. It needs time to listen to the soothing music and wander away for a while into imaginary green fields of its own design. Reflection, contemplation, a spiritual breath of fresh, fragrant air – these are the things of the spa, and in Vail and Beaver Creek, the art of the spa treatment is at its finest.


This place is so beautiful, so grand, so opulent and elegant that it can bring tears to the eyes. Delving into its 21,000 square foot, utopian design is like a journey into one’s very own inner sanctum, a journey punctuated by arrival in the beautiful, rock-lines, scented Grotto. Director Gillian Agre and the spa team there are at the leading edge of spa treatments, and they concentrate on the entire body’s wellness, even going so far as to have a nutritionist on staff to prepare special meals. It’s therefore not surprising that it is recognized as among the top three spas in the world by the reader’s of Conde Nast Traveler’s magazine, and was ranked fourth by Travel and Leisure in September of 2006.

CONTACT: Call (970) 343-1138 or visit

LOCATION: At the Bachelor Gulch Ritz Carlton in Beaver Creek, just west of the Beaver Creek village.

The spa at Cordillera is among the top-rated spas in the nation.
The spa at Cordillera is among the top-rated spas in the nation.


Since its inception, Cordillera has been designed and built to be one of the finest, most pleasurable lodge and spas in the nation. The wise will combine a spa treatment here with a multi-day experience, taking advantage of Cordillera’s bountiful amenities. The fitness center includes a 25-meter indoor lap pool, a heated outdoor pool, a fully equipped jim and a scenic Nordic center. Nationally top-ranked triathlete Lisa Isom is on hand to guide guests through the fitness part of their day, and then its time to indulge in the award-winning spa facilities.

CONTACT: Call (970) 569-6359 or visit

LOCATION: At the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera southwest of Edwards


In Latin, the term “Aqua Sanitas” means “Healing Waters,” and the concept has been at the heart of spa treatment in Europe for thousands of years. The Allegria Spa has completely remodeled and expanded, building itself around this ancient concept. The new spa, which was unveiled December 19, 2006, is designed to send Allegria to the forefront of the nation’s spas. The ebb and flow of the spa is directed by Gaye Steinke, who brings the spa alive with aromas and treatments that embrace the changing seasons of the year and bring health and healing to the guests. Think of this: even before the remodel, Allegria was ranked among the top 30 spas in the nation by Conde Nast.

CONTACT: Call (970) 748-7500 or visit

LOCATION: At the Park Hyatt Resort in the Beaver Creek village


Perhaps the most heartwarming room in the entire valley is the Aria spa’s Sanctuary room. No matter what treatment is involved, the importance of arriving early and spending time in the Sanctuary cannot be overstated. There you can enjoy poetry or Dickens by the flickering fireplace as you sip a French-brewed herbal tea. The flavor of the mountains is in everything at Aria, from the décor, to the design, to the pine-scented private oil baths. The adjacent athletic club, easily the most popular among locals, is also available for use.

CONTACT: Call (970) 476-7111 or visit

LOCATION: In the Cascade Village just west of the Vail Village on the South Frontage Road.



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