Pamper and Indulge: Ski Alternatives at Keystone

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At the end of my first day skiing at Keystone, SVV had recovered enough to take a stab at dinner. So we headed down the road to Ski Tip Lodge for dinner with Justine and her professional skier husband.

Not into skiing? You'll still enjoy Keystone's food and spa options nonetheless. | CamelsAndChocolate.com

I realize that not everyone who goes to ski resorts actually enjoys skiing and snowboarding, and that’s fine. I can’t think of a sport I like less than baseball, and yet I occasionally don’t mind attending a baseball game: It’s less about the (lack of) action on the field, and more about the whole experience—the mustard-covered hot dogs, the frothy beer, the pulsating crowd, the fact that baseball is a sign that spring has come. The same metaphor could be applied to ski resorts: At many of them, but particularly Keystone, there’s so much more to do than spending your days on the slopes. SVV and I could have foregone skiing entirely and spent our time eating our way through the place. Which is precisely what we did that night at Ski Tip Lodge.

Not into skiing? You'll still enjoy Keystone's food and spa options nonetheless. | CamelsAndChocolate.com

I can’t even remember what all was on the menu for our four-course tasting, but I recall it was one of the hardest dining decisions I’ve made in a really long time! Rough life, I know.

Not into skiing? You'll still enjoy Keystone's food and spa options nonetheless. | CamelsAndChocolate.com

After soup, salad and entrees—and wine for those of us not recovering from a migraine—we retired to the living room. Dessert and coffee were served in front of a giant crackling fire. We each ordered a different dessert—I had the s’mores, of course, which is within my top three desserts of all time, no contest—then passed them around to share.

The Ski Tip Lodge also rents out 10 rooms during both winter and summer season, and I can’t imagine a more romantic place to stay than in the secluded log cabin draped in mounds of fresh-fallen snow.

Not into skiing? You'll still enjoy Keystone's food and spa options nonetheless. | CamelsAndChocolate.com

The next morning, SVV and I logged another 15,000 vertical feet on our EpicMix pass. Since we had the Vail Resorts season pass to Tahoe this winter and Keystone is also a Vail Resorts property, all of our stats were added to our existing count. How excited was this Harry Potter freak to log on at the end of the day and find she had earned the Wingardium Leviosa pin? Very.

SVV kept getting things confused and calling it the “Expecto Patronum” badge. Bless him. (You’d think I didn’t make him re-read and re-watch all six movies just before the holidays.)(I totally did.)
EpicMix at Keystone in Colorado

Our ski day was cut short as I had an appointment at Keystone Lodge’s spa. (We didn’t have to wait a single time for any of the lifts so we got plenty of runs in, and I can’t imagine we would have lasted more than four hours on the slopes anyway.) I took the free shuttle from River Run Village to Lakeside Village and prepared to get my pamper on, while I left SVV to fend for himself.

I wish I were one of those people who is a frequent visitor to a spa, and with as much running as I do, I really should get more massages. (If only my bank account would agree.) But for now it’s more of a special occasion treat: on my birthday, occasional trips, an amazing Groupon I can’t pass up. In this case, I was scheduled for a Mala Mayi, an Aboriginal treatment that’s only offered at six spas in the United States. My therapist Peggy (I think?) was awesome, sitting me down before we started to explain the process and the purpose of each step.

First, I had to close my eyes as she waved three kinds of oil in front of my nose. My body was supposed to be instinctively drawn to the one I needed most, which turned out to be “reharmonizing” (with as many long runs as I’ve logged lately, I’m shocked it didn’t pick the muscle-soothing oil instead). Next up, she did the same with the salts and the mud.

After my nose was given a break, Peggy cleared the negative energy in the room by burning sage (called “smudging”) as I settled in for what was possibly the greatest 100 minutes of my life. She exfoliated every last inch of me with the desert salt first before layering the Mapi Body Mud over my body then wrapped me up in a warm cocoon. After letting the mud soak into my skin, I showered off my red body armor; then, Peggy returned and it was time for the best part of the whole day—the massage, a special Kodo treatment for which therapists have to be specially trained—which was not too hard, not too soft, but just right. She had to peel me off the table when she was through with me.

That night, SVV and I returned to Lakeside Village for dinner. We had wanted to dine at Alpenglow Stube, the highest elevation AAA Four-Diamond restaurant on the continent, or Der Fondue Chessel, the fondue restaurant atop the mountain, but as luck would have it, the day we arrived was the night many of the restaurants stopped serving during the shoulder season. (They start serving again mid-June should you be visiting Keystone this summer.) Instead, we had delicious steaks, Parmesan mashed potatoes and crème brule at Bighorn Steakhouse before returning to the Springs for a soak in the hot tubs.

Not into skiing? You'll still enjoy Keystone's food and spa options nonetheless. | CamelsAndChocolate.com

(But not before taking a few photos first, of course.)

Not into skiing? You'll still enjoy Keystone's food and spa options nonetheless. | CamelsAndChocolate.com

All in all, not a bad day, wouldn’t you say?

COMMENTS
  • April 11, 2011

    Now THAT is how I’m going to spend my time next time I’m in Keystone 🙂

  • April 11, 2011

    Don’t recognize anything you ate, but it sure is pretty. Boy, could I use a spa treatment like that. Plus a nice soak in a hot spring.

    • April 12, 2011
      Kristin

      We didn’t make it to any hot springs that trip, but we’re fully planning to find as many as we can on our trailer trip this spring!

  • April 11, 2011

    SVV and I could totally bond on the migraine hell. There should be a secret handshake or something.

    • April 12, 2011
      Kristin

      Totally. You guys can moan in pain in the darkness while I go hit the slopes solo! Oh wait, that would be mean, wouldn’t it =)

      In all seriousness, he’s seeing a half dozen different specialists at the moment so I’m *praying* they finally find something to temper the pain a bit.

      • April 14, 2011
        SVV

        There is a secret handshake but our hands are tied up rubbing a skull nerve..

  • April 12, 2011

    I’m not much of a skiier but I could get into some of the other stuff – well mostly the food.

    • April 12, 2011
      Kristin

      Here’s an idea: Whenever–if ever–you move back to the continent, we plan a ski trip somewhere in the middle with the sole purpose for us to eat our way through the resort! And I’ll ski mornings while you’re well tended to in the spa =)

  • April 12, 2011

    Ahh, this sounds heavenly. I’m a sucker for massages, but I’ve never had any sort of wrap.

    Also, love the Harry Potter reference. 😉

    • April 12, 2011
      Kristin

      The Harry Potter badge kind of made me love Vail Resorts even more! I’m holding out hope that next year they break out even more HP “theme” pins like this one since it was only the first season implementing EpicMix (their social media tracking service).

  • April 13, 2011

    You know, generally I look down upon people who go to a ski resort and don’t ski. And I still maintain that anyone who goes without at least TRYING to ski is a gigantic pussy.

    However.

    That food looks delish and that massage looks fucking delightful. So maybe there’s more to do than just skiing. (But everyone should still ski.)

  • April 14, 2011

    Hey Kristin, I work for Vail Resorts and just wanted to give you a shout out. Looks like you had a blast and I’m glad you got a chance to check out EpicMix. 15,000 vertical feet in a day is solid. 🙂

  • April 19, 2011
    Sara

    Love the Ski Tip!! We stayed there after getting married at the Breckenridge Courthouse, suprise from my family!! It is so cute!!

    • April 19, 2011
      Kristin

      What a perfect spot to spend your first days as newlyweds! Such a gorgeous, intimate little lodge.

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  • August 11, 2017

    SVV and I could totally bond on the migraine hell. There should be a secret handshake or something. I am really thinking of that. 😛

    • August 15, 2017

      Oh man, I totally feel for you! I get them, too, but nothing that Excedrin Migraine and Maxalt don’t usually cure. He has to go full on nuclear and give himself shots!

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