Have you ever had a day, week or month (any longer and I can recommend a great therapist) where you just couldn’t catch your breath? Where you find yourself doing, doing, doing? Where your turn and find your shoulders wrapped around your ears?
Not good. Not right. Try to ski like that. Try to be nice to your friends, husbands or kids like that.
Maybe it was record days of cold, snow, yucky air, runny noses, flu bugs (projectile vomiting? Really?), science fair projects (or, as my kid calls it, “science un-fair”), volunteer commitments, or the dreaded laundry, which, honestly, is piled so high right now I could sell lift tickets. “I just want to sit on a warm beach with a fruity drink in my hand!” I whined to my Skimums.
After emailing Snowbird one of my musings on a day in the life of Skimums, the folks there suggested I hit the Cliff Spa and write about that. Whether they believed that I would write an informative and amusing bit about the spa high in the sky or “that girl needs a break,” their timing was beyond perfect. So, I grabbed my SkiMum gal pal, Bettina, who had a gift certificate her hubby (hint, hint), and hit the Spa.
Some pictures do, in fact, say a thousand words –
Like most spas, The Cliff Spa asks you to arrive early so you can relax and take advantage of the amenities. Bettina was running late and wasn’t sure how to get there (for those that know her, stop laughing), so, I threw on a robe, chucked my gear in two lockers (I never pack light) and plopped into a comfy leather chair in the Solarium, a long, skinny room flanked by a wall of windows overlooking Chip’s Face. The sun was just coming over the Peak. This was starting to look and feel really nice. Honestly, the only thing I could complain about was that there weren’t enough magazines to allow me to just sit there, unbothered, in the sunshine all day long.
Bettina arrived, and we grabbed some herb tea and cold water (hydration is key at a spa), and opened the door to the steam room. Whoosh, eucalyptus filled my nostrils. An aromatic steam room. Very nice.
Before long, Judy, came to take me to a “treatment room” for my Cliff Custom Massage. Also facing the mountain, the room was filled with warmth as the sun was now streaming in and onto the table. “Do you want the curtain open or closed? Some people like it completely dark,” queried Judy. “No, no, please, keep it open. The sun feels great,” I replied. Then Judy went to work. I’ve had plenty of massages over the years with the therapists all telling me the same thing, “Your shoulders are full of knots and tension. You carry all of your worries here. It’s very common. You shouldn’t wait a year to work these out.” God bless Judy. One knot gone, another muscle loosened. I don’t know how long I was in there, because, for the first time ever, I fell asleep.
Afterward, I didn’t see Bettina, who bewilderedly confessed later, that she, too, dozed during her facial. So, I went to check out the rooftop pool and hot tub. I’m not a swimmer, must be the short legs and intense feelings about being immersed in hot versus cold water, but I could have done laps in the hot tub as it was almost as big as the pool. Flash back to the picture above – the hot tub was amazing. The only thing I was missing was the pina colada. A half-hour later …
I eventually met Bettina back in the Ladies’ Locker Room, which, in addition to showers, towels, robes and lotions, has the only sauna with a view. If you’re even a tiny bit claustrophobic, this “dry” sauna, with a picture window looking out onto Little Cottonwood Canyon, is the place for you. Bettina had to beg off on lunch leaving me to get dressed to meet my husband on the slopes.
A brief but notable aside… Knowing I would ski afterward, I decided to valet my car at The Cliff Lodge so I wouldn’t have to walk back and forth from my typical parking spot. Tommy and the guys kept my car and my skis while I went to the Spa. Afterward, they stowed my Spa gear, handed me my skis and gave me all the “inside” tips on where to ski out and ski in from there (the elevator takes you right to Chickadee and cat tracks back are right outside the entrance). Heading up toward the doors to Chickadee, the Lodge Manager even offered to carry my skis. I felt like I was actually on vacation. There is no charge to valet at The Cliff Lodge, but gratuities are appreciated.
Before leaving the Lodge to ski, I stopped at the snack shop to grab a Luna Bar and another drink (I wasn’t kidding about hydration). Plopping myself into a leather club chair in the adjacent lounge staring out the sun-filled windows, I looked at my Sobe and laughed. A fruity drink. It truly was a magical day.