By Jeffrey V. Smith
Relax, restore and rejuvenate. It’s an admirable—and healthy—goal, but difficult to obtain in everyday life. Even when given the opportunity, many people find ways to avoid stress reduction and maintain their unbalanced, hectic lives. It’s not easy to find the time, or place, to successfully pamper and indulge yourself. For mountain residents, it can be even more difficult to get to a relaxation destination. An escape, however, is easier than one might think.
The ara Spa at the Ameristar Black Hawk offers a respite from everyday life and easily allows patrons to “experience balance, harmony and relaxation.” The luxurious full-service day spa is more indicative of facilities found in Aspen, Vail or Cherry Creek, then those in Gilpin County. The 7,000-square-foot facility features six treatment rooms and a menu of services including innovative spa experiences “to enlighten your mind and body” and traditional services like massages, scrubs, facials, pedicures and manicures. Its hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms, however, really set this place apart, and make it the perfect refuge for relaxation.
The spa’s “splash at ara” hydro-experience includes a steam, sauna, Swiss shower and pool circuit to stimulate circulation and provide deep muscle relaxation. It comes complimentary with any 30-minute, or longer, service and day passes are available independently for $50. The opportunity to warm-up, unwind and start the relaxation process prior to a massage or other body work is invaluable, and being able to hang out in a hot tub after a treatment is simply luxurious. Even without any added services, spending an entire day—or just an hour—utilizing these first-rate facilities goes a long way toward providing relief from muscle tension and finding head to toe bliss. It’s also the perfect way to get warm to the core and refresh muscles following a day on the snowy slopes.
A soothing design highlighting stylish glass, tile, furnishings and water features has an exclusive, yet welcoming feel and further assists in the relaxation process. The calming, peaceful environment carries over from the front lobby, through the changing rooms, hot tub areas and lounge, and into the treatment rooms. All guests are provided a large locker, soft robe, towels and sandals.
While there are separate saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms for men and women, a co-ed lounge provides a place to meet your partner or await a treatment. A fireplace, snacks, water and tea are available as well as a light food and wine menu.
Some of the unique menu items offered at ara Spa include services like the “Dream Weaver” where a gentle stream of warmed oil flows over the forehead and nourishes hair while receiving a scalp massage. The “Rocky Mountain Ritual” is designed to rebalance the body with a special high-altitude moisture treatment, complete with a full body exfoliation and hydrating mini massage application. There are hot rock, aroma and even prenatal treatments as well as upgrades like couples massages and hydrating treatments. Facials, wraps, soaks, special manicures and pedicures as well as other treatments are also available. Click here to view all of ara Spa’s Services.
The spa also offers patrons a way to create a custom half- or full-day spa experience. Choose three or more 50-minute or longer spa treatments and take 10 percent off the whole package.
Combine a day pass or spa treatment with an overnight stay in the Ameristar hotel for an even more extravagant experience, and to maximize the potential for relaxation.
The hotel is rated among the nation’s elite lodging facilities and earned the prestigious American Automobile Association Four Diamond designation. All rooms feature luxury furnishings, top-of-the-line mattresses, luxurious linens, HD flat screen televisions, double vanities, separate tubs and showers, and premium bath products. Wireless high-speed internet access is also offered.
Hotel guests also have access to a fitness center, complete with state-of-the-art cardiovascular and strength-training machine, 24 hours a day as well as the rooftop pool and hot tubs until 11 p.m.
Several specials to take advantage of the spa and its services are available throughout the winter. The “Ara Spa Seasonal Massage Treatment” includes a soothing massage with a seasonal Warming Winter Massage Oil. The cinnamon, ginger, and orange essential oils provide therapy from the elements of winter. The massage is paired with aroma-infused moist heat therapy mitts and booties, and finished with a warm cup of cinnamon tea to immerse patrons into the scents of the season.
Additional hotel and spa specials include the “Mid Week Spa Getaway” starting at $354. Enjoy a two-night stay Sunday-Thursday in a deluxe room, $100 spa credit, $50 food and beverage credit valid at any of the casino’s four restaurants.
The “Couples Massage Package” starts at $429 midweek and $679 on weekends. Retreat with a loved one and experience duel decadence. The package includes a two-night stay in a deluxe room, 50-minute couples massage and $75 food and beverage credit. Share a blissful experience where our therapists will utilize a variety of modalities ensuring a customized treatment for both.
Live in luxury with the “Spa Suite Package,” which starts at $579 midweek and $1,019 on weekends. Be embraced by the luxurious linens, spa tub and panoramic views for a truly memorable experience. Enjoy a $200 spa credit, followed by dining at one of the restaurants with a $75 food and beverage credit.
Keep the ara Spa in mind during the holiday gift-giving season. There’s no greater gift than that of pampering, relaxation and wellness. A surprise getaway that’s close to home is a great way to surprise a loved one while gift certificates are perfect for friends, family members, business associates or teachers.
ara spa Hours:
Sun-Wed: 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Thur-Sat: 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
The Ameristar Black Hawk is located at 111 Richman St. Visit ameristar.com/black-hawk, find them on Facebook or call 720-946-4000 for more information.
Originally published in the December 2016 issue of the MMAC Monthly