Colorado’s unique wellness getaways, retreats, programs & clubs
posted by: Guest Blogger
In Colorado, wellness is not just a trend. Historians estimate that as many as one-third of Colorado’s early settlers moved to the state for reasons associated with health. Several historic Colorado destinations and landmarks such as The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and the Colorado Chautauqua in Boulder were originally founded, and are still sought after, as places for wellness retreats and individual healing.
Colorado’s outdoors, active lifestyle, fresh air and sunshine continue to appeal to visitors in search of wellness offerings.
These one-stop wellness spots will give visitors the opportunity to refresh, recharge and reconnect.
Boulder: In the late 1800s, John Harvey Kellogg founded the Boulder-Colorado Sanitarium and Hospital promoting ‘hydro-therapy, exercise and a vegetarian diet’ as the way to good health. The area, Mount Sanitas, derived from the word sanitarium, is home to popular hiking trails today. In 1898, the Colorado Chautauqua was built at the foot of the Flatirons as a family retreat focusing on nature, culture and music. Today, Boulder offers 45,000 acres of unspoiled outdoor beauty for visitors to explore via 300 miles of hiking and biking trails. Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks offers Shinrin Yoku, the Japanese art of forest bathing, a research-based framework for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural environments. Shinrin-yoku has been scientifically proven to reduce stress hormones in the body, lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and depression, boost mood and more.
Buddhist-inspired and nonsectarian, Naropa University is rooted in contemplative education and is the birthplace of the modern mindfulness movement. The Boulder Shambhala Center is a cultural institution established by Tibetan Buddhist master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and offers classes and meditation instruction for both beginners and people with years of experience.
Breckenridge: In recent years, Breckenridge’s county was ranked for the highest life expectancy in the country according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Wellness is the way of everyday life in Breckenridge with more than 60 miles of trails taking off from downtown historic Main Street for year-round adventures, a newly-renovated 17-million dollar recreation center, welcoming yoga studios and innovative spas (complete with grottos, reflexology, CBD, TCM, reiki treatments) peppered throughout town and local makers creating tinctures, salves and elixirs from native Breckenridge plants (including workshops to even make your own). The first annual Breckenridge Yoga Festival will take place over Labor Day Weekend.
Colorado Springs: As far back as 3,000 years ago, the indigenous Ute people lived near Garden of the Gods Park. The area also served as a Native American crossroads, where numerous nomadic tribes gathered in peace. Beginning in the early 20th century, the city’s dry air, nearly year-round sunshine and high altitude attracted those afflicted with tuberculosis. Following the Gold Rush, Colorado Springs’ first major economic driver was wellness tourism. More recently, Colorado Springs became known as Olympic City USA and is home to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center. The city offers athletes a mild climate, incredible natural training grounds and awe-inspiring beauty.
For decades, members and guests have come to Garden of the Gods Resort and Club not just to disconnect from the outside world, but to reconnect with the best that life has to offer. Strata Integrated Wellness Spa is a destination for holistic wellbeing that is multilayered and all encompassing. This wellness spa offers energy practice, psychotherapy, acupuncture, mindfulness work and more.
Crestone: This picturesque mountain town in the Mystic San Luis Valley region of Colorado has emerged in the last few decades as a spiritual mecca for world religions. What began as a small mining town now accommodates a Hindu temple, a Zen center, a co-ed Carmelite monastery and several Tibetan centers. Visitors can experience nearby Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa for a soak in secluded mineral hot springs and a full-service spa treatment. Joyful Journey offers a variety of accommodations ranging from classic hotel rooms to Tipis, all-season yurts and campsites.
Glenwood Springs: Therapeutic healing via hot springs and wellness treatments have a long and
storied history in Glenwood Springs—a Rocky Mountain town historically called “Colorado’s Spa in the Mountains.” A wellness paradise, Glenwood Springs’ global reputation as a healthy destination dates to the 1880s, and the healing tradition continues with numerous spas offering an ever-increasing array of exceptional treatments and services. With its ample geothermal amenities and outdoor activities, Glenwood Springs is a Colorado wellness hot spot for relieving stress and restoring balance.
Glenwood is home to one-of-a-kind wellness attractions that include the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, considered the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool; Iron Mountain Hot Springs with its 16 soaking pools situated along the banks of the Colorado River; and the Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves, the only known vapor caves in North America that offer therapeutic steam naturally.
Unique Wellness Getaways and Therapies
The Botanique, Fort Collins: The Botanique offers ancient ritual treatments, conscious retreats, educational experiences and a variety of gatherings to foster community. Wellness rituals range from lymphatic flow and detox baths, to gemstone facials and energetic openings. There’s also vibrational sound healing paired with cranial sacred massage and more spiritual offerings, like energy medicine and intuitive spiritual guidance. Each treatment uses herbs, flowers, therapeutic oils and teas customized from the in-house apothecary.
Chipeta Solar Springs Resort, Ridgway – Chipeta Resort Spa offers a serene space with treatments inspired by the southwest and experienced therapists intuitive in the healing arts. Chipeta features four treatment rooms, a circular cedar sauna, steam room, mirrored yoga room and two outdoor, solar heated thermal pools. Chipeta Resort offers exquisite treatments from ancient East Indian Ayurvedic medicine and Alpine tradition therapy. Unique treatments offered at Chipeta spa include the Himalayan Heaven therapeutic massage, Colorado CBD Wellness massage, Alpine Herbal Dream Steam and Southwestern Stone Massage.
Dark Skies Vacations, Custer County: Improve your wellness by stargazing in Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, Colorado’s first International Dark Sky Association designated dark sky community and highest in the world. Stargazing is a free, constantly changing show that allows for great conversation and bonding. It fosters inspiration and imagination, alleviates stress and increases happiness. More importantly, it’s an activity enjoyed by people of all ages in all parts of the world. Dark Skies Vacations hosts travelers in comfortable vacation homes to experience the amazing night sky views of the dark sky community. During the day, guests can explore views of nearby wildlife, verdant grassland valleys, rolling hills and the majestic Sangre de Cristos, with a half-dozen nearby fourteeners.
Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa, Gateway: Visitors can unwind at Gateway Canyons, nestled in the Mountains and Mesas travel region of Colorado. Surrounded by adventure, natural wonderment and untouched discoveries Gateway Canyons offers restorative spa treatments with natural ingredients, state-of-the-art technologies and custom treatments. Gateway Canyons also offers private and group yoga for guests to enjoy during their stay set amongst the vibrant high-desert landscape and ancient Colorado canyons.
Sacred Spaces, Cañon City: Sacred Spaces, an apothecary in Cañon City, provides nourishment and healing through yoga/herbal medicine/gardening classes, 1:1 herbal medicine consultations, and personalized plant sanctuary or homestead creation. Products for purchase include but are not limited to teas, essential oils and tinctures.
Salt 360 Float Studio, Durango: Ninety percent of the brain is consumed with the effects of routine environmental stimulation including light, sound, temperature, touch and gravity. Salt floatation voids all external stimuli, in a space where guests are able to completely quiet the mind and find ultimate relaxation. At Salt 360 Float Studio, guests experience a state-of-the-art custom designed floatation room. The float pool is filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt, 12 inches of water and the saline solution is warmed to about 95 degrees. Guests are effortlessly suspended, and the restorative effects, both mental and physical, begin to take hold.
Spa Anjali at The Westin Riverfront, Avon: The Westin Riverfront now offers free Sound Bath Meditation Sessions twice monthly at Spa Anjali. These free 45-minute group Sound Bath sessions feature Himalayan singing bowls and light meditation. Tibetan Singing bowls are placed on and around the body as guests’ energy fields are balanced and enhanced through the resonating sound and vibrations. Sound Therapy produces profound relaxation, bringing the receivers brain wave frequencies into an alpha or theta state; these are frequencies used to heal on a cellular level. Sound reinstates health and wellbeing by restoring the natural frequencies of our body, mind and energy.
Vista Verde Guest Ranch, Clark: This ranch, situated at 7,752 feet in the Elk River Valley and surrounded by the National Forest, is a unique blend of AAA Four Diamond amenities and authentic western hospitality. Vista Verde offers several programs to help the whole family unplug, including a robust kid’s program that now includes a new mindfulness component. Activities like horseback riding, fishing, scavenger hunts, panning for gold, paddleboarding and more now include mindfulness exercises where kids are encouraged to be aware of what they can discover when they’re observant.
Wellness Retreats, Programs & Clubs
Awakening Together Retreat House, La Veta: The Awakening Together Retreat House is located next to the Wahatoya Lake in La Veta near the legendary Spanish Peaks and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. Guests are invited to come to the Retreat House for respite, solitude, enlightened teachings and spiritual communion. Awakening Together offers personal retreat led by one’s inner calling as well as special events.
bRUNch Running, Denver and Fort Collins: bRUNch Running is a social fitness community that uses restaurants and parks and trails as their studio and playground. The community is made up of individuals known as bRUNchatarians, those who enjoy all things running and fitness related and eating brunch. The organization offers a supportive and welcoming environment, where individuals can get their sweat on and meet new people. Participants are welcome to walk, jog, run, skip or even ride their bike. The events fit any budget, with several free events offered in addition to the $5 community events in both Denver and Fort Collins.
Mt. Carmel Center, Trinidad: Mt. Carmel is a wellness and community center that brings a holistic approach to wellness. Mt. Carmel partners with the Las Animas County Health Department and the Mt. San Rafael Hospital and offers programming on five key areas of wellness: nutrition and exercise, behavioral health, community wellness, community outreach and spirituality.
Shambhala Mountain Center, Red Feather Lakes: Nestled high in the Colorado Rockies in a serene 600-acre valley surrounded by rocky peaks and pine and aspen forests, Shambhala Mountain Center provides a safe and supportive container for the teaching of paths of personal health, deepened awareness and transformation. Offering over 100 different programs per year, taught by a remarkable array of accomplished practitioners and teachers, Shambhala Mountain Center combines natural beauty with the comforts of a modern retreat campus. The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya crowns a meadow at the upper end of Shambhala Mountain Center’s main valley. Standing 108 feet tall, it is one of the most significant examples of sacred Buddhist architecture in North America.
Shoshoni Yoga Retreat, Rollinsville: Shoshoni Yoga Retreat invites guests to participate in their yoga and meditation retreats and connect with nature. Guests can stay for one night, a weekend or more. Each day, two yoga and two meditation classes are offered and vegetarian meals are sourced from the organic gardens on the grounds. During free time, visitors can relax in the sauna or hot tub and explore hiking trails and meditation shrines. To personalize the retreat, one-on-one classes may be scheduled.
Total Wellness Retreat, Mount Princeton Hot Springs: A partnership between Mount Princeton and Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center (HRRMC), the Total Wellness Retreat is an all-inclusive, lifestyle-changing program that spans five days and four nights. Led by medical providers and staff from HRRMC, the program is designed to spur a lifestyle change for better health with focus is on preventing disease down the road as opposed to treating illness. The retreat includes daily meditation, group counseling, tai chi, hiking and a healthy cooking class to help participants not only learn to prepare food, but to understand what and how to eat. Participants have access to the pools, spa services, mountain bike rentals and fitness classes. This retreat is held twice per year with the next retreat scheduled Nov. 3-7, 2019.
True Nature Healing Arts, Carbondale: True Nature is a little slice of heaven in the Rockies. It is a sanctuary for inspiration, connection and self-discovery offering a therapeutic spa, organic cafe, conscious gift boutique, full schedule of classes, workshops, events, retreats, bio-dynamic peace garden and more.
For more information, go to Colorado.com.