Though I admit I’m given to hyperbolic statements, my massage at Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection, a recently renovated five-star property in Telluride, Colorado, really was the best massage of my life. My therapist Adrianna gave me the “Alpine Remedy Muscle Relief” treatment—deep, targeted pressure with arnica-infused anti-inflammatory oil. She worked her way through every knot in my back and neck, even the ones I hadn’t known were there. She used CBD, she used lavender, she used shea butter…words fail me when I aim to describe exactly what she was doing to me. All I know is that I wanted that massage to go on forever.
But all good things must end, so when my hour was up, I hung out in a cozy easy chair in the Spa Lounge, sipping water, returning to earth. And then I stepped outside to the Alpine Swim Club, where I soaked in the jacuzzis, let the jets penetrate my muscles, and stared at the majestic mountains surrounding me like a hug. Servers strolled by to take my drink order, so I sipped a local craft beer and thought about what I might like for dinner.
If this sounds like a dream, well…Telluride, an upscale ski town on the western slope of Colorado, is a dream: Huge, multi-hued mountains loom against the blue sky, people travel by gondola, and regardless of season, there’s always so much to do—skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, climbing, kayaking, world-class dining, shopping, art, and a stream of music festivals.
But back to the spa. The spa treatments at Madeline are “nature-inspired.” Think hot river stones easing the tension in your spine; a local skincare line made of Colorado mountain spring water, quartz crystals, and organic essential oils; a reflexology treatment for tired feet after a long day of skiing or hiking; and a treatment specifically designed to ease altitude sickness. There’s also a salon that offers everything from haircuts and styling to airbrush tanning to lash tinting and a little boutique at the reception area that slings crystal jewelry and creams and lotions and oils to make your skin glow.
If you’re not a hotel guest, booking a spa treatment over $100 means a full day’s access to the Alpine Swim Club, state-of-the-art gym, and Spa Lounge. You can make a Saturday of it—lift some weights, swim a few laps, get your massage, soak in the jacuzzi or do some sun-bathing on the umbrella-shaded lounge chairs, and then shower and hit one of the hotel’s on-site restaurants for dinner—the more casual Black Iron Kitchen & Bar (don’t miss the potato dumplings with morel mushrooms) or the new, aprés-ski-chic Timber Room, where lush throw rugs, dark woods, rich leathers, and contemporary art create a cozy yet elegant atmosphere. Make sure to order one of the famous craft cocktails.
If you are a hotel guest, get ready for five-star treatment. Every room is a work of art—rustic earth tones complementing bright patterns on fine fabrics. The beds are the kind you never want to get out of. In addition to the magical little spa, the property offers endless curated guest experiences—foraging with the chef, guided trout-fishing expeditions, mountain biking in the San Juans, a helicopter tour and picnic, even a dog-sledding adventure in the snowy months.
It would be impossible to have a bad time in Telluride. Everyone loves Telluride. By anyone’s standards, it is one of the most beautiful corners of the country—its mountains unmatched, its luxury endless. But what I’m telling you is this: Book a massage at Madeline. Better yet, book one for every day of your vacation. You can thank me later.