Aria Spa

Nestked in the mountains in vail Co, Aria SPA & Club at the Vail Cascade Resort provides the ideal respite for outdoor enthusiasts. In the adventure playground that is Vail, Aria's therapists stand ready to soothe tired muscles brought on by a day on the slopes. It's not uncommon to see guests strolling into the spa still wearing their ski boots, as it's the only ski-in/ski-out facility in the area. Many come straight off the mountain to make the highly coveted late afternoon appointments. According to spa director Ingrid Middaugh, things begin picking up around 3 P.M. The spa caters mainly to non-skiers in the early part of the day. However, only about 20 percent of the spa's treatments occur before 2 P.M.

Aria's cozy lodge-inspired relaxation area comes complete with a stone fireplace.
Aria's cozy lodge-inspired relaxation area comes complete with a stone fireplace.

Not surprisingly, the spa's ski clientele plays an important role in determining its menu offerings. "Massage is eighty-five percent of what we do," says Middaugh. In the high season, guests often book multiple massages. "They'll book one for every day they're here—same therapist, same time," says Middaugh. This past summer, the spa updated its treatment menu. Assembling a panel of therapists, Middaugh and spa general manager Maggy Dunphy solicited feedback on how they could improve existing offerings. They ended up tweaking some treatments with the addition of a hot towel here and there and substituting products where necessary. Offering a range of services designed to appeal to its active clientele, the spa features a number of unique 50-minute wraps, such as the Organic Wrap, Hungarian Mud Wrap, and Blue Detox Wrap, which make use of the spa's Softpac bed. All are priced at $165.


Consistently booked on the weekends, Aria handles approximately 150 treatments on a typical Saturday. During the week, the staff performs 80 to 100 treatments each day. In the winter, the spa operates with a staff of 55 employees, dropping to 45 in the summer months. Sixty percent of the staff works on a part-time basis. According to Middaugh, her biggest challenge is getting guests to the spa on time for their treatments. "Because many come straight off the mountain, they often run late and don't necessarily have time for the whole experience," says Middaugh. "True to our theme, everything revolves around the mountain."


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