The “Aspen Idea,” launched in the mid-20th century by Elizabeth and Walter Paepcke, founders of the Aspen Institute, is dedicated to the mind, body, and spirit credo that spa-goers consider intrinsic to the spa experience. Today, it still flourishes as a core community value. While Aspen may be best known as a swank ski resort, the environmentally caring destination offers an extraordinary Colorado Rocky Mountain experience with a plethora of fitness activities.
In winter, you can ski from atop an 11,775 summit on the black diamond ski run or go snowshoeing. On warmer days, you can hike, bike, go water rafting, do sun-salutations atop the peak, or participate in Full Moon Yoga. The former mining town (1879 to 1893) at the foot of “Ajax,” which is what the locals call Aspen Mountain, is now a sophisticated, mini-metropolis with luxury hotels, fine restaurants, chic shops, international art galleries, and a vibrant cultural ambiance. It’s also home to a superlative subterranean spa.
The Remède Spa
Inside the red-brick walls, steeply pointed peaks and castle-like porte-cochere entry to The St. Regis Aspen Resort, there’s a classic, timeless feel and posh public spaces studded with bronze statues and paintings. Down the extravagant staircase to a lower level, Remède Spa, with its circular reception area, offers a hi-tech fitness center, pebbled flooring leading to steam caves, cold plunges, hot tubs, and a river-like, stone-walled Confluence waterfall. The newly refreshed oxygen lounge, adjacent to the main spa lounge offers individual chaises and chairs—each with an oxygen tank. I spent about 15 minutes breathing the oxygen through a cannula in my nose and truly believe it enhanced my breathing at the near 8,000-foot altitude!
I spent about 15 minutes breathing the oxygen through a cannula in my nose and truly believe it enhanced my breathing at the near 8,000-foot altitude!
One of the treatment specialties is the Rocky Mountain Ritual, a full-body treatment that starts with an exfoliation and an aromatherapy bath. A warm hydrating cream is applied and is absorbed into the skin during a foot and scalp treatment. The treatment continues with a 30-minute massage using a warm moisturizer.
The massage that I experienced was a first for me because it incorporated a That’s Natural Premium CBD Hemp Oil product. CBD—an abbreviation for the cannabis compound Cannabidiol—is legal in all 50 states and doesn’t contain any THC—the abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis that’s responsible for getting one “high.” Considered a supplement, the product is grown by hemp farmers in Colorado, and is said to restore the natural balance within the human body. Some folks claim it reduces anxiety, stress, inflammation, and muscle spasms, but I didn’t notice a significant difference between how I felt after this massage and my usual massage after-glow.
A Taste of St. Regis Cuisine
The St. Regis Aspen Resort offers a full food menu via room service, with ample opportunities to order healthfully and according to your individual dietary needs and wants. Many items are sourced fresh and locally. There are a variety of juices, including a Green Goddess with celery, cucumber, green apple, and pear; an Antioxidant Juice with blueberry, honey, strawberry, mint, and orange juice; or a Tropi-Kale juice with pineapple, kale, and banana. Among the array of egg white dishes, there’s the Egg White Frittata with Roasted Tomato & Arugula (with or without smoked bacon). For lighter fare, there are fruit-based platters, berries, or Fruit-Infused Yogurt. I always favor a smoked salmon plate, because there’s lots of protein and the carbohydrates can be limited. Here, it’s Smoked Salmon Pastrami served with toasted Pretzel Chips, Dill Cream Cheese & Caper Berries.
There are fresh soups, salads, sandwiches, and pizza choices, including two that appeal to vegetarians: Wild Mushroom Pizza with Mushrooms, Pine-Nuts & Truffle Oil and a Margherita Pizza with House-made Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella & Basil. Healthful entrée choices include Local Striped Bass with Olives & Tomato Vierge Sauce or Organic Chicken Rotisserie served with Spring Vegetables and mashed potatoes. (Indulge, or ask for a substitution!)
Access to the spa is available to non-hotel guests who have a treatment, or for a $75 fee.