Pure Nature

The cover of the recycled-paper-and-soy-ink treatment menu for Spa Anjali, the eco-focused spa at the new Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa (Avon, CO), features three simple words that sum up the spa's philosophy: Where Nature Nurtures. As guests peruse the menu, they soon discover that this phrase couldn't be more apropos. Since its inception, every aspect of the spa has been created in a way that nurtures the planet, and every treatment is intended to bring guests back to nature.

On the eco front, the entire resort has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Among the property's green initiatives are recycling stations on every floor, preferred parking for hybrid vehicles, and an on-site organic garden. This approach continues in the 23,000-square-foot spa. There, guest robes and spa uniforms are made with bamboo-based materials, environmentally friendly products are used to perform treatments, and environmental construction methods and recycled materials were used during the building process. "We also like to encourage a culture of sustainability in our guests by offering a monetary incentive through our green check-in," explains spa general manager Suzy Johlfs. "Hotel guests who come down for services in their guest room robes will receive ten dollars off their treatment price. It's a win-win—they save money and conserve natural resources."

Fitness offerings, like the Club Ride cycling class, and other active outdoor pursuits allow guests to partake in a true destination spa experience.
Fitness offerings, like the Club Ride cycling class, and other active outdoor pursuits allow guests to partake in a true destination spa experience.

Natural resources were also considered when planning the layout of the spa. As such, the design incorporates the four elements of nature. As guests approach the reception desk, they encounter floor-to-ceiling native Aspen trees, calling to mind the bounty of the earth. Next, they cross a short wooden bridge, passing a curtain of water along the way. Then, as guests wait for their treatments in the lounges, they can bask in front of a crackling fire. Guests are then ushered to one of 14 treatment rooms, made up of 10 massage rooms, two skincare rooms, and two body treatment rooms where hydrotherapy services can be performed, one of which is a luxe couple's suite complete with a fireplace. There, the air is scented with aromatic oils, and the journey through the elements comes full circle.

Spa guests check in alongside floor-to-ceiling native Aspen trees.
Spa guests check in alongside floor-to-ceiling native Aspen trees.

Once inside the treatment room, guests can partake in services that are also inspired by nature. The menu offers a selection of holistic options that are categorized in one of three mountain-themed groupings. Rocky Mountain services, such as the Red Clover and Mountain Honey Body Mask ($195, 80 minutes) and the Ponderosa Pine Polish and Soak ($265, 1 hour 40 minutes), are performed using ingredients found in Colorado. Alpine offerings, such as the Anjali Personalized Facial ($150, 50 minutes; $280, 1 hour 40 minutes), are inspired by European traditions. Meanwhile, Ayurvedic services, such as Indian Head Massage ($140, 50 minutes) and Shirodhara ($100, 30 minutes), incorporate the healing traditions of the Himalayas. "Each mountain journey brings you closer to self awareness; each mountain tradition holds the key to ancient healing wisdoms," says Johlfs.

The spa decor is accented with natural elements, like stone and wood.
The spa decor is accented with natural elements, like stone and wood.

In keeping with the spa's eco-friendly philosophy, treatments are performed using green product lines such as Amala, Anakiri, and SpaRitual.?"The products were selected based on the healing tradition that they represent, the ingredient formulations, and the proof that the companies we partnered with practice sustainability," says Johlfs.?"We try to avoid secondary packaging whenever possible and ask the vendors to partner with us in our recycling programs by offering discounts for returning empty skincare bottles, for example. We also use local vendors whenever possible to cut down on our carbon footprint."

The resort offers easy access to Eagle River and nearby Beaver Creek Mountain.
The resort offers easy access to Eagle River and nearby Beaver Creek Mountain.

Like most new spas, Spa Anjali's biggest challenge is preparing for its first high season, which will occur this winter when tourists descend on the region to take advantage of such activities as skiing, snowboarding, and more. At full capacity, the spa is able to accommodate up to 140 treatments per day, most of which Johlfs predicts will be targeted at soothing sore muscles and treating dry skin, two side effects of high-altitude Colorado adventures. The spa team, which is made up of 20 full-time staff members, has been honing their skills to prepare for the season since the spa opened its doors in September. "We were fortunate to open with the time and ability to fine-tune our systems," says Johlfs. "Every day is focused on our continuous improvement. We're always looking for ideas to improve our customer service and products."

Eco-friendly spa robes made of bamboo-based material were selected for the spa.
Eco-friendly spa robes made of bamboo-based material were selected for the spa.

Still, Johlfs and her team know that the current economy may impact winter travel, and they are working hard to remind guests of the importance of the spa. "We all know that it is vital to maintain good health, no matter what the economic times bring us," she says. Nonetheless, the spa is meeting penny-saving clients halfway by offering a two-for-one opening special. With the purchase of one 50-minute treatment, guests receive either a second treatment to give to a friend or they can upgrade their session from 50 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes. The promotion is available for hotel guests and locals, and ads in the regional papers also include a 20-percent discount on signature items in the spa boutique to further entice area residents to check out the new spa.

The spa boutique features homecare products, as well as lifestyle items, such as wellness books, teas, snacks, yoga gear, fitness items, and gifts.
The spa boutique features homecare products, as well as lifestyle items, such as wellness books, teas, snacks, yoga gear, fitness items, and gifts.

Even more enticing for all potential serenity seekers are plans to build upon Spa Anjali's nurturing notions. Also in the works is a second phase of development for the spa, which will be completed in early 2009. This phase will include an on-site chiropractor, an acupuncturist, and a nutritionist, as well as five additional treatment rooms and ongoing wellness programming that addresses personal development, healthy living, and mind-body healing. It's a natural extension of this high-country healing haven.

Eco-friendly products, such as Amala, are used during treatments.
Eco-friendly products, such as Amala, are used during treatments.

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