It’s exactly what you expect. The subdued lighting, plinky global music, trickling Buddhish water features, a hint of eucalyptus in the air and, of course, the robes. I always find it strange to strip down and cruise around in a fluffy robe and mingle with other people, also in robes. Am I part of some new-age robe cult? But this is what we do at the spa, specifically the Alpine Serenity spa at Stein Eriksen Lodge, where I’m about to experience a healing massage with CBD oil, the latest addition to the rubdown routine. The therapist collects me from the ultra-mellow waiting area and in soft, hushed tones directs me to the treatment room. One hour later, I will feel like I’ve undergone an Egyptian Pharaoh’s preparation rites for the afterlife, without mummification or actually dying. Instead, I’m a be-robed pile of blissed-out skin and bones settling into the remaining pleasures of sauna, steam, hot pools and cold plunges that await to revive me for my return to the mundane everyday world.
Utah is home to some of the best spas in the world to experience this wonderful this euphoria. Last winter, we visited six luxury spas (tough gig) in anticipation that folks like us would come out of yet another pandemic-tainted season needing a reason to disappear for a while.
Spa at Stein Eriksen Lodge
7700 Stein Way, Park City
Every year, you schedule a trip around the kid’s spring break. Pile the whole crew into the car and get out of town. But how about this year, you ditch the kids and take time for yourself. Spas, like the spa at Stein’s, are the essence of escape. Once you’ve got that robe on, there is no going back. And, while you might feel a little guilty, there are only your fellow robe people around to judge. And hey, they’re here too, so what can they say? They’re all guilty, too. Why not turn it all off and enjoy?
URBAN SERENITY, NOW
The Grand Spa at The Grand America
555 S. Main St., SLC
The Grand America is literally a Salt Lake City landmark. The giant, granite-gray building can be seen from all over the valley. And while traveling film scouts and NBA teams call it home when passing through, we like to think of it as our hotel. The Grand has always made it a point to cater to locals and the Grand Spa is no exception, offering deals and staycation packages for those of us yearning to go somewhere but need to stay here. Book a spa treatment for $100 and afterward relax in the indoor and outdoor pools and lounge in the heart of Salt Lake City, while wearing a robe, of course. Bonus: Maybe you’ll see an NBA player taking a schvitz.
WELLNESS WITH A VIEW
Alpine Wellness at Goldener Hirsch
7570 Royal St., Park City
Goldener Hirsch, located in the heart of Deer Valley’s upper base area, Silver Lake, recently became part of the Auberge resorts and completed a massive renovation making the marquee of its rooftop pool and infinity edge hot tub that overlooks the surrounding peaks. After a big spring ski day, there are few spots in Deer Valley that rival a rooftop soak at Goldener. The also has an adjacent fitness center (indoors) with equally stunning views. Book a yoga session and then chill out in the zen garden. Namaste.
The Edge Spa at The Lodge at Blue Sky
27649 Old Lincoln Hwy., Coalville
With all the fuss about the popular Kevin Costner vehicle Yellowstone, there seems to be a “cowboy moment” happening. Last year, the producers of the hit series, set in Montana, relocated the production from Utah to actual Montana after a tiff with the Utah Governor’s office over funding subsidies. But the original backdrop for the Dutton family’s machinations didn’t go with them. Utah is still here and Blue Sky Lodge is smack dab in “Dutton” country. (A stretch of river where the Lodge takes guests for fly fishing lessons was used as a location in the show.) Fittingly, its Edge Spa has some western twang to it, offering treatments accented with wild-harvested ingredients and a relaxation pool overlooking Alexander Creek. But in addition to all this mindfulness, you can book the aforementioned fly-fishing lessons, “natural horsemanship” classes or fire off shotguns on Blue Sky’s sporting clay range. That’s right. Serenity and firearms.
The Stillwell Spa at Snowpine Lodge
10420 Little Cottonwood Rd., Alta
Six treatment rooms compose the tranquil Stillwell Spa along with a posh relaxation room and a serenely lit grotto replete with a plunge pool encased in granite walls. A yoga and fitness center add to the rejuvenating experience. Swen’s Restaurant indulges with breathtaking mountain views and delicious, locally-sourced fare. Similarly sited nearby, The Gulch Pub cheers with creative cocktails and a relaxed, après-ski menu. Lounges on every floor invite convivial gatherings and The Nest—a fully equipped game room—invites fun off-the-slopes competition. A large, heated outdoor pool treats guests to dips surrounded by breathtaking scenery.
WORTH THE DRIVE
The Spa at The Broadmoor Resort
1 Lake Ave., Colorado Springs, Colo.
While Utah has its share of luxury resorts, we’d be remiss if we didn’t encourage you to travel farther afield to one of America’s grand spas. The Spa at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs has a history going back to the late 1800s and is the kind of place generations of travelers have visited to “take the waters.” Its founders, Spencer and Julie Penrose, were world travelers who came to Colorado to create an “oasis of culture” in what was then considered the “uncivilized” West and succeeded. Today the Broadmoor lets you step back in time and is truly a bucket list destination.