Platts: A sample of luxury
In Aspen, we live for luxury. Even if we are not directly connected to it, as locals, our lives depend on it. Without the expensive lift tickets, the grandiose parties, the designer apparel and the overpriced entrees, we would have a hard time keeping our economy — and our paychecks — steady.
But we all know that the people who can afford to spray 15 bottles of Veuve Clicquot all over their fellow partiers during après ski at Ajax Tavern are not the full-time residents of this town. They are the visitors who can sustain a lavish lifestyle on the slopes and fly their private jets out when it’s time for reality, or possibly, another version of paradise.
But then how do us locals tie into this lifestyle? We are constantly surrounded by luxury yet we don’t get the opportunity to indulge often. It almost acts as the forbidden fruit. We can look, but if we touch it’s going to cost us. Because of this, most of us set our sites low. We get used to window shopping and ordering from the bar menu.
But do our taste buds not orgasm when a splash Dom Pérignon drenches them? Do us locals not succumb to relaxation at the firm touch of a masseuse? Can we not tell the difference between real mink and that synthetic crap that’s made to “look” and “feel” like real fur? OK, maybe I lost you at mink, but you get the idea right?
For me, moving to Aspen meant altering my spending habits a bit. I love to shop, but I’ve tried my best to ignore the cleverly dressed manikins in the storefronts in town. And I’ve also, for the most part, given up one of my favorite pastimes, the spa.
I’ve always been a bit of a spa junkie. I try not to talk about it often because it brings up such wonderful memories of lavender soaked tubs, almond scented sugar scrubs, detoxifying mud baths, herbal massage oils and…I shouldn’t go on.
Anyway, the point I was attempting to make before I started envisioning smooth volcanic hot stones gliding up and down my oiled back was that I’m a large fan of the spa, but in order to keep my wallet plump and happy I tend to avoid spa-related services.
However, that changed last week when a good friend of mine sought my camaraderie in a spa day. She wanted a facial. I was dreaming of a massage. And we both wanted our toenails done. So I decided to hop off the wagon and indulge to the fullest by scheduling our services at Reméde Spa — the mother of all spas in Aspen.
Upon entry to Reméde, I knew that we had made the right decision. The spa, located downstairs at the St. Regis, felt welcoming and uncontrollably relaxing. The staff acted the same way, talking softly and smiling calmly. We were led back to the locker room where we stripped down and wrapped up in soft robes. Before the treatments even began I could feel a huge weight lifting off of me. The stress from the weeks’ prior left seamlessly as we were called in for our massages.
After each service we were lead to the oxygen room where we took in fresh air that made us feel like we were at sea level. Even for the acclimated local, a nice oxygen treatment is rejuvenating. This is where my friend and I could meet to chat about our treatments and ponder how much time had gone by in the outside world. With no clocks on the walls and our cell phones left in our lockers, we were happily disconnected. And, as if the spa and its staff had not already won me over, they then offered us complimentary glasses of Champagne, quite possibly winning over my loyalty for a lifetime.
The conversations with my friend started simple, but with some help from the bubbly, they got deep. We talked of friends, family, hardships and what we had to look forward to, all while waiting for services and relaxing after them. I’d forgotten how much of a bonding experience a spa day could be.
Once we were done, we returned to the locker room and soaked in the hot tub before coming to terms with the fact that it was time to head back to reality.
In Aspen, we live for luxury. It constantly surrounds us, whether we want it to or not. For us locals, it’s nice when a bit of luxury can fall into our laps from time to time. Even if this can sometimes compromise one’s paycheck. On occasion, a spa day is well worth the price.
Barbara Platts could only afford to spray one bottle of Veuve Clicquot at Ajax Tavern during après ski. She’s only slightly bitter about it. Reach her at email@example.com.
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Perhaps it’s because we are in the abbreviated days of winter and I instinctively know that the sun is shining down-under. But every January I go through a nostalgic period where Australian wine dominates my mind.