Dry, cold Colorado weather can be cruel on the skin and body during the fall and winter. That's why we always add a spa day (or two) into our cold-weather Colorado travel recommendations.
Spas are no longer just considered a luxury add-on to a vacation. They're increasingly treated like a wellness activity — an essential part of whole-body, mind and emotional health. That's one reason the spa scene is so popular in healthy Colorado. For travelers here, that means you can pick from extremely high-quality services by expert therapists.
Here's a look at some of our favorite spas. One is nestled up against the Colorado mountains in Golden, a charming town not far from Denver and close to Boulder. Another is a top-notch nail salon in Denver, Sweet Life Nail Bar & Lounge, in case you're looking to do something a little trendier and wild with your fingers this season.
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Luxury in Golden
Downtown Golden is a destination around the holidays. The streets and shops glow with lights and decorations. (Read five reasons to visit Golden in the winter.)
Just a few blocks off the main drag is Golden's finest spa, the Woodhouse Day Spa.
Woodhouse already has a solid reputation for quality and luxury in Colorado; this was its sixth location in the state.
The Golden branch, a full-service day spa, opened this in 2016 in the historic Oscar Barber House, 5,300 square feet of heaven — with dark wood accents, chandeliers, winding staircases and a homey feeling, well, if you lived in a mansion. Even though it is as elegant as it gets, the spa retains a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere that perfectly suits Golden's small-town, friendly feel.
Woodhouse Golden features 16 different treatment rooms on multiple levels, including a couple's massage room, a soaking room and a unique Vichy shower room that you have to add to your bucket list.
Services at the Woodhouse Day Spa are holistic, organic and health-centered, from the nail polish to the lymph-draining Vichy treatment. The atmosphere is peaceful and quiet, located with views of the mountains, which allows for full relaxation and stress-relief. Find more than 70 different treatments here.
Every detail is accounted for here, from the cozy robe and reflexology sandals that unwind your tension as you walk, to the relaxation room, filled with loose-leaf teas and snacks.
Conquer Winter Here
Our favorite three-part recipe to conquer fall and winter weather: a pedicure, a sugar scrub/Vichy treatment and a full body massage.
Pedicure: Just because it's boot-weather, don't let your feet get neglected. There's something wonderful about soaking your cold toes in warm water and rubbing the season out of them; it's surprising how much stress we keep in our feet. You can pick between different types of pedicures, but if it's available, we especially recommend the lavender and seaweed sugar scrub pedi, which will remove dead skin and calluses and energize your feet with a warm, volcanic stone massage.
Body treatment: The Wild Lavender and Seaweed Sugar Glow body treatment perfectly complements the lavender pedicure. This 50-minute treatment begins by scrubbing your body with a scrub made of organic seaweed, wild-crafted lavender and organic sugar. This exfoliates all the dry, flaky, winter skin off, so you leave feeling hydrated and nourished.
The treatment then features a Vichy shower, or a table shower, which showers you via a row of moving shower heads from above. What makes this treatment especially interesting is it alternates between hot water and a short circuit of ice cold water. This is designed to stimulate circulation and clean out the lymph nodes — a great way to combat the colds and flus that come this time of year. Just make sure you drink plenty of water afterward to flush out your system.
We're not going to lie. The cold bursts of water can be a little shocking. But they're quickly followed by warmth, so you're never uncomfortable for too long. In the name of health, it's worth it, though.
The body treatment ends with an application of hydrating lotion.
Massage: Pick your favorite kind of massage, from deep tissue to hot stone to a "balancing yoga massage." All massages include a relaxing foot-cleansing ritual and aims to help release tension, improve circulation and improve overall health. The therapeutic deep tissue massage is our favorite; it combines trigger point therapy, stretching, sports massage and special strokes to remove lactic acid and reduce inflammation.
Like any spa, the menu is always changing, so some of these offerings may not always be available. But more examples of some possibilities include the Woodhouse Signature Minkyti Facial or a four-handed massage (that's a massage by two therapists at the same time).
If the season changes or stress of the holidays has you struggling to get your sleep, Woodhouse even offers sleep services.
It's no surprise Woodhouse has won many day spa awards.
While in Golden, stay at the Golden Hotel — conveniently next door to the day spa.
Book your night at the Golden Hotel here.
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Sweet Treats in Denver
This is the place to go to get any popular nail treatment. Whatever Pinterest is pushing these days, these nail gurus can handle it. Find fun paint combos to intricate designs to all kinds of acrylic shapes, like coffin-shaped nails. Even for the longer nails, which may seem impractical at first thought, at Sweet Life, they secure them so well you really don't need to worry too much about them breaking or popping off.
This innovative salon also offers nail "stamps." Ask about mirror-styled nails or the exact opposite, matte, both of which Sweet Life can handle. Bring them any nail fantasy you may have and expect to see it brought to life, in a relaxing, hip environment.
Just like at Woodhouse, treatments here come with a beverage of your choice, so tip up a mimosa or wine and treat yourself before you're swept into the holiday rush.
Sweet Life Nail Bar is located in the Stapleton development in east Denver, an interesting pocket that's fun to visit for a different perspective of the city.
In Stapleton, you can find some great shopping and restaurants. East 29th Avenue is a hub of businesses, from coffee to ice cream. Do yoga, pick up a bottle of wine, go out for sushi or take a pizza to go and eat it by the fountain. Stapleton is centered around a neighborhood, and it's not exactly big-city, but it's a cute little hidden gem that many tourists overlook.