Tim Foolery

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The Spa at the Arrabelle Vail

We had a wonderful weekend at the Arrabelle Hotel in Vail.  I don’t ski, but I do enjoy après-ski and a relaxing weekend away from the City.  We stayed from Friday morning through early Sunday afternoon.  Mike skied Friday and Saturday.

On Saturday I had a 90 minute massage.  You walk outside, behind the concierge to reach the spa entrance – it was a 20 second walk.  I arrived at the relatively small spa about 45 minutes before my appointment to shower and use the amenities.  There was a line of about 4 people ahead of me, checking in for their appointments.  The line moved quickly, except for one patron, who, by my estimation, had never visited a spa before, and likely had never left her house before.  Her questions were basic (which is fine, everyone is a beginner at one point in their life).  She was extremely frustrated that she couldn’t get a massage right then.  The appointments were taken and she had failed to make one.  She couldn’t understand why people behind her in line were getting massages, but she wasn’t.  The staff handled this frustrated woman well.

Spa Reception Area

I was escorted to the men’s locker room and given the high level run down – my guide was a woman who was then going into the women’s locker room with a couple of female guests to show them how things work.  I didn’t need the additional attention – I know how to use the lockers, etc.

The men’s locker room has a handful of lockers, but not much seating near the lockers.  If there are more than 2 people in the locker area you are going to feel crowded – you should just go sit near the hot tub and wait for the traffic to die down.  There are only two showers in the men’s area and during my visit it took a surprisingly long time for someone to come in an refresh each shower after it was used – towels and bathmats were laying around.  This is a huge pet peeve of mine – bathmats are one thing, but all spa users should be respectful enough to put their own robes, slippers and towels in the laundry hampers.  The staff wouldn’t be running so ragged if people would do their fair share.

Men’s Locker Room

The men’s area has a steam room and a dry sauna.  While these rooms weren’t huge, there weren’t many people around to crowd the space (they were likely all on the slopes).  I spent much of my non-massage time in the steam room.  I’d spend 15 minutes in the steam, then left to get some water, relax in the regular sitting area, then return to the steam.  Unfortunately, we ran out of ice water in the men’s area.  I asked a couple of people for a refill, but it never happened by the time I left.  That being said, the people I found to ask to refill the water were women, so they had to track down a guy to do it.  Still a little frustrating.

My massage was great.  Travis was my masseuse.  He managed to really knock the kinks out of my shoulders and neck. The room was quiet, but a bit cooler than  I like for a massage…luckily the table was heated which made the massage that much more relaxing.

Following the massage, I was led to the co-ed relaxation room – the same room where I had waited for Travis to pick me up before the massage. As I relaxed, I was given a glass of cold infused water and a great small portion of vanilla Gelato. After a bit of rehydration, I headed back to the steam room.

I ended up spending a total of about 3 hours in the spa including the massage itself and both pre and post-massage relaxation time.  I found out too late that I could order champagne which would be waiting for me after the massage. I wish I had know that earlier…Nothing like detoxing then immediately retoxing.

I enjoyed my spa afternoon at the Arrabelle.  The spa itself is a bit small and could get crowded very easily.  The massage was really great (although Mike had one the next day and he asked for a deep tissue massage, but the woman didn’t have the hand strength to really dig in).  I don’t think the spa is a destination in and of itself, but if you are having a ski weekend or like me, just après-skiing, you should tack on a visit.  All the pictures in this post are from the spa’s website – while there weren’t a ton of people in the spa when I visited, there was always someone around and I didn’t want to take photos making them feel uncomfortable…I hate being that creepy guy.

Have you been to the spa at the Arrabelle?  What other spa facilities do you enjoy in Vail?


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