Splendid Spa + UTV day at Gateway Canyons Resort + Spa
PHOTO: On the very top of John Brown Canyon with endless views of MOAB (c) Sery Kim
I can't say enough good things about the soothing calm and peace of being here at Gateway Canyons Resort + Spa. In addition to having had a pretty crazy two years of international travel, as well as the recent scrum of the presidential campaign, I caught bronchitis campaigning so I've been severely under-the-weather. Being here with the fresh air, incredibly comfortable bed (can I buy it, please?!?), and general stillness has brought me mostly back-to-life. My head still swims with dizziness, I cough all the time, and my body temperature is about 10 degrees higher/colder than it normally is, but the resort has done everything they could do to make me feel less sick.
Thank goodness the spa here at the resort is impeccable, leaving my skin looking better than it has in months. First of all, the staff is quite friendly. While the spa space itself is not nearly up-to-date and expansive as say The Dolder Grand in Switzerland, it has the basic elements of sauna, steam room, and jacuzzi. By the numbers, since Grand Junction is tiny and Denver is a 3 hour drive away, it doesn't make sense to have thousands and thousands of square feet devoted to the spa so I really didn't focus on anything other than the services offered and, in this, Jody (my technician) was very good.
PHOTO: Art in the spa (c) Sery Kim
Since I am a spa-junkie, I had both a massage as well as a facial scheduled. The "Native Desert Sage" massage is a combination of both scrub as well as massage. It was fine, nothing amazing, but the facial was really were Jody did a fantastic job.
As an Asian-American, I am incredibly particular about how my face is being treated. Yes, I realize how it sounds like a stereotype but I think it is incredibly disingenuous when someone critiques a spa and they have only had one previous spa treatment their entire lives. We, as Asian women, are taught by our mothers to be very keen to upkeep our skin. As a result, I have been having facials, once-a-month, since I was 18 so multiply that by 15+ years ... thus, when I say I know my facials, I really REALLY truly know my facials.
Jody gave me the "Gateway Canyons Signature Facial," which is an amalgam of differing technical treatments ranging from light therapy to extractions to general scrubs and masks. Elemis is the product used at the spa and it is a very nice product, overall. The combination of the product, as well as Jody's technical skills, left my skin glowing. I loved it! I think the only other time, this year I was truly happy with a facial was at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, D.C.
PHOTO: View of Palisades from my Casita this morning (c) Sery Kim
I left the spa immediately to go on an adventure: my first ever UTV. I am not much of an outdoorsy person. I mean, I do love to hike and be on boats, as well as ski, but overall if the choice is to drink inside or to spend hours outside, I'm going to be inside.
The UTV ride is a three-hour journey up one of the John Brown Canyons to the top of the MOAB Valley. My instructor thought I would be "timid" but when we stopped and he told me "You are really fantastic!," it made me so happy to blow away expectations like that. I guess being a city-slicker like me means guys don't think you can always be great at outdoor sports but I'm FEARLESS and COMPETITIVE so I kept up even when I was scared. I loved it though! The view from the top is worth the drive and I highly recommend anyone do it!
PHOTO: Tacos at Paradise Grill (c) Sery Kim
After the UTV ride, I went straight to Paradise Grill for a lunch/dinner of chips and tacos. I miss having great southwest food and being here in Colorado, this kind of cooking is truly well done. The tortilla chips were super fresh, as was the guacamole and two different kind of salsa, and the tacos were nicely cooked as well.
I'm sad to be leaving today because I really have had the most relaxing time, but I look forward to returning in April (sans bronchitis) for some hiking. I really do want to come back!!
Thank you Gateway Canyons Resort + Spa for the most relaxing weekend!