From Taste to Touch

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Remède Spa offers a new, signature Farm-to-Massage-Table treatment that treats the skin, palate and soul to a deeply nourishing experience. – By Christine Benedetti

As the farm-to-table movement sweeps the country in restaurants, local shops and homes, the Remède Spa is one of the first to combine local products with five organic courses of pure indulgence for the body. The Farm-to-Massage-Table doesn’t just source natural, decadent skin care products but goes beyond to pair each treatment with mouth-watering morsels from a seasonal menu. Think slow food movement meets a complete sensory experience.

Treatment du Jour

While relaxing in the oxygen bar sipping fresh-pressed honeybee organic juice, guests choose a savory and a sweet scent. The savory appetizer’s aroma, either cabernet-neroli, cucumber-mint or oatmeal milk and honey, is used during the initial body scrub. The sweet dessert course fragrance, a choice of almond-biscotti, lavender-vanilla or coconut-mango, will linger during the final polish.

To pique the taste buds, the salt glow scrub is paired with a custom food creation prepared by Executive Chef Thomas Riordan. The cabernet-neroli inspired a cabrales cheese pairing served on a miniature toast point with bitter orange marmalade. Cucumber-mint is complemented by chilled cucumber consomme, with freshly picked mint “caviar,” and oatmeal milk and honey comes with a baked miniature oatmeal cake topped with honey butter. Once the mouth is happy, it’s time to move onto the body for an unparalleled pampering experience that starts off with a decadent scrub.

“The scrub feels like Champagne,” says Julie Oliff, the Aspen Remède Spa director and creative mind behind the entire service. “The minerals are actually from the Great Salt Lake and it’s naturally dried. It’s heavenly and simple because it’s only mixed with grapeseed oil and the savory scent of your choosing.”

As Remède moves entirely toward natural products, it has partnered with Utah-based Salt of the Earth for this specific treatment. Everything is hand-mixed to order and made from sustainable products. (Each guest also receives six ounces of product to take home.)

The gentle scrub exfoliates the skin as well as warms and loosens the muscles for the main course, says Annabel Golden, the lead massage therapist at Remède. It lasts 30 minutes, but like any great meal, the best is yet to come.

After a hot shower rinse, a complete hour-long full-body massage is tailored to each guest’s specific needs. Upper back pain? No problem. Sore legs from a day on the hill? Smoothed away. From Swedish to deep tissue, the massage therapists cater to the guest during the entree. In Aspen, she says, relieving tight hips from skiing and snowboarding tends to be a popular request.

“Once you feel like Jell-O, it’s time for the intermezzo,” Oliff says. “This is both mentally and physically cleansing.”

A warm eucalyptus-scented towel drapes the body to alert the senses, cleansing the palate for the final serving. The fragrant mist awakens and clears the breathing passages.

Then, it’s time for the finale—dessert. A cashmere-like body butter satisfies any lingering sensory cravings, as it is rich and creamy in both scent and feel. That almond-biscotti fragrance that the guest chose in the beginning returns, and the supple treatment allows the body to absorb the benefits of the hour-long massage, while natural lotion moisturizes the skin.

“Of course there’s whipped cream and a cherry on top,” Golden says. That comes in the form of a Moroccan oil scalp massage, which incites tingling from head to toe and leaves hair as soft as the skin.”

“Generally, when you get toward the end of a massage, you have that sinking feeling that it’s over,” Oliff says. “But when you finish on that sweet note, you actually walk out of it feeling like you’ve had everything you needed.”

Chocolate-dipped almond biscotti wait in the parlor, along with a glass of bubbling 315 Champagne. This final touch offers a sense of completion, she says, providing closure to what’s been a transformative experience.

Culinary Inspiration

Food took center stage when the Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE opened in June at The St. Regis Aspen Resort. In partnership with FOOD & WINE, the concept restaurant features a menu curated by the several of the magazine’s Best New Chefs, an annual list of who’s who in the gourmand world compiled by FOOD & WINE magazine.

Oliff collaborated with chef Riordan to create something to complement this endeavor, knowing the restaurant was in the pipeline. “We really wanted to up the ante and that meant making the service itself include a food portion,” she says.

The Farm-to-Massage-Table treatment debuted to more than 300 spa professionals in June, and since then it’s been a “raging success.” The innovative treatment has become contagious, and spas throughout the country are now adding local products and food pairings to their spa menus. This winter, the scents and menu match the time of year, keeping in theme with local and seasonal items.

Custom Menu

The entire Farm-to-Massage-Table is three hours of pampering. Often, clients stay longer to relax in the 15,000-square-foot spa, soaking in the hot pools and steam caves or sipping Champagne and hot tea in the waiting room.

Tranquil waterfalls empty into the confluence pool, which is enclosed by thick granite stones that mimic being “inside” Aspen. Heated bathrobes surprise with comfort when drying off.

If guests opt out of the full service, they can choose a la carte items from the Farm-to- Massage-Table, such as the body scrub and massage, or by substituting the massage with a 60-minute facial.

“The treatments are really the bread and butter of it,” Oliff says. “And the food pairings make it all so intriguing.”