Peaks Resort & Spa: Alex’s Reboot

Peaks Resort & Spa: Alex’s Reboot

The Spa at the Peaks Resort & Spa introduces a brand new, 90-minute, deep tissue (with reflexology) package titled “The Peaks Elevated Relief.” The treatment features Lord Jones Pain & Wellness formula topicals, full-spectrum, whole-plant medicine designed to provides relief from pain, inflammation and a variety of skin conditions, a Tinseltown favorite. Inquire about that and other services and classes here or call (970) 728-2590.

The “A” team at the Spa at The Peaks.

In the U.S. alone, there are more spas than there are Starbucks coffee shops. (A good guess based on Internet sources is just over 21,000 versus roughly 14,000 respectively.) In that context, both the Topnotch Resort in Stowe, Vermont and the Calistoga Ranch in California (an Auberge spa), have always stood apart from the crowd: Topnotch has consistently pulled five stars and was twice ranked #1 for customer service by Conde Nast Traveler – with the Stowe Reporter, Stowe Reporter Burlington Free Press and Spa Finder also tossing bouquets. And Calistoga has pulled #5 in the US, again per Condé Nast. Those plaudits are largely thanks to the leadership of Spa Director Alexandra Sharpe-Keene, who wears her job like a second skin.

When she arrived several months ago at The Peaks Resort & Spa in Mountain Village, the facility was included on a list compiled by Women Fitness of the “19 Best Fitness Destinations for 2018,” a good thing, but there is still plenty of room to grow. And rest assured, Alex plans to continue her winning ways:

“I am thrilled to be joining a team that has already created a quality spa experience. In Telluride, we have the ideal location as a platform. However, my goal is to further transform the facility at The Peaks into a premiere destination for well-being with a national reputation as a bastion of customer service. That can only happen with a clear vision my staff and I share and also as a result of responding to the needs and wants of members and guests who will be asked to provide me with consistent feedback.”

Alexandra Sharpe-Keene, award-winning spa director helms the Spa at The Peaks.

A tall order, but Alex’s experiences at Topnotch (16 years) and Calistoga (one year) provide a blueprint for success. Her three-pronged strategy is based on first building an unrivaled team, then developing strategic partnerships and providing service packages supported by blue-chip products and equipment.

“In an ecology of hundreds, arguably thousands, of luxury hotels and resorts, I look to my team to differentiate The Peaks. Some of my service providers are physically oriented; others are more philosophical and spiritual. My front desk, led by a Spa Experience Coordinator, will be trained to find the perfect service provider match for the differing needs and temperaments of our clients. Even in the relatively short time I have been at The Peaks, I have noticed the look on people’s faces when they leave: they seem to glow from the inside and are clearly feeling better following a treatment or a class than when they came through our door. Then I look out our windows at Wilson Peak and Mt. Sneffels: the combination of an holistic spa experience in the context of all the majesty that surrounds us is virtually unmatchable.”

Spa at The Peaks features state-of-the-art equipment like Pelaton bikes.

A prime example of one of Alex’s strategic alliances is the Telluride Longevity Institute, established by Telluride local Dr. Alan Safdi, a world-renowned internist and gastroenterologist with encyclopedic knowledge of mind-body wellness and preventative medicine. The Telluride Ski Resort and the Spa in partnership with the Longevity Institute are hosting a series of intensives under the banner “Live Longer Retreat.”

Dr. Alan Safdi with Spa director Alexandra Sharpe-Keene. If living longer well is your goal, reserve a spot at the next Live Longer Retreat.

Using a scientific approach to health and longevity and featuring an experienced staff of medical professionals, along with Alex’s personal trainers, Pilates and yoga instructors, dietitians and chefs, all focused on the unique wellness profiles of the individual participants, each retreat is one-of-kind in the U.S.

The Big Idea is to support a client’s annual New Year’s resolution to get really healthy and therefore live longer well.

“I am thrilled by the opportunity to work with Dr. Safdi. He lives the life he is modeling over the course of each intensive week, based on years of deep scientific study. The man leads with intelligence, but is also warm and approachable. In the Live Longer Retreat, Dr. Safdi has created a program that can easily travel with participants when they leave The Peaks. The assets he or she will create with the team over a six-day period, again tailored to everyone’s expressed expectations and untapped potential, will be readily accessible and should prove to be life-changing.”

Among the products in alignment with Alex’s less-is-more philosophy is Naturopathica, a line that is stamped “Telluride” because the company uses local, squeaky clean ingredients such as arnica, juniper berry oil and pine needle oil in the manufacturing process.

SkinCeutricals, which contains vitamins E and C, is a perfect complement to aesthetic medicine.

But if your interests lie in treating basic aches and pains, stay tuned…




So yesterday.

Instead Alex is introducing the anti-inflammatory du jour: cannabis-infused lotions, specifically the ones prepared by the smokin’ hot brand Lord Jones.

Lord Jones Pain & Wellness formula topicals were developed by a team of personal care experts to deliver full-spectrum, whole-plant medicine that provides relief from pain, inflammation and a variety of skin conditions. The calming, cooling formulations include notes of sage, mint and green citrus which, along with the CBD, help soothe sore muscles while also hydrating the skin.

Celebs who swear by this new hot chick in the health and wellness club include Olivia Wilde, Jessica Seinfeld and Stacy London.

“Recently I did a play on Broadway for six months, and my body was wrecked,” Wilde told the New York Times earlier in the year. “My neck was really tight. The CBD has relaxing benefits and the idea was to avoid using too many painkillers.”

London wrote on social media about not having to depend on medication as she recovered from a major operation: “I am not a fan of prescription painkillers though they were kinda unavoidable after spine surgery,” she said. “I am so sensitive to medication the side effects were awful. But this product helped me off of them in 10 days. I never looked back.”

Alex plans to introduce Lord Jones potions and lotions through a 90-minute deep tissue with reflexology treatment package titled “The Peaks Elevated Relief” just before the 45th annual Telluride Film Festival weekend.

Can you spell “perfect timing”?

Tata Harper’s farm-to-face products is next in Alex’s queue. Harper bills her skincare line as the “next generation of beauty” and with good reason: everything – cleansers and masks – is made without a single drop of artificial chemicals.

Image courtesy of Alanna Taylor Tobin, The Bojon Gourmet

“Tata Harper grows ingredients, manufactures and packages her entire line of products from her 1,200-acre Vermont complex which features a certified-organic farm,” explained Forbes.

“The in-house lab helps ensure fresh, totally traceable and biocompatible formulas,” wrote Vogue.

“My plan has always been to bring lines into the Peaks that are completely safe, which means non-toxic to our bodies and to the environment. However, that is not to say all the products on our shelves are as pristine as Tata Harper’s are. Some contain synthetics, but they too will be certified ‘safe’ and ‘clean,’ which means when they wash off your body and go down the drain, they will not cause any environmental harm.”

A complete revamp of the hair and nail salon is also a work in progress.

Lead stylist and barber extraordinaire –in fact, Telluride’s only licensed barber – Dallas Sainsbury, has undertaken the task of ensuring The Peaks offers – excuse the pun – cutting-edge styling and coloring using on-trend products such as Innersence Organic Beauty and Victory brand. Dallas’s goal is to elevate the salon experience to mirror the upgrades Alex is putting in place throughout the facility.

A firm favorite of the beauty guru’s at Goop, Innersence is all about preserving the essence of botanicals through conscious chemistry to create a clean and pure beauty.

In tandem with Innersence, Victory products rinse from the hair completely clean. The company’s famed British Columbia barber shop promotes a sense of self-confidence in its customers, a notion soon to be amplified at the Salon at The Peaks.

“To me a barbershop is so much more than just a place to get a haircut. It is a pillar of the community where pride, dignity, camaraderie, and self-respect are forged. Where men can be inspired to achieve greatness in the small details of their lives. A place where a man walks out the door taller than he walked in…,” said Victory founder Matty Conrad.

Spas used to be the domaine of the rich and fast. Today they are as much a part of our cultural landscape as tweeting.

Exactly why is there more action at hotel spas than in Vegas?

Because peace of mind has become as precious a commodity as a D-flawless diamond. (Conflict-free, natch.)

Chillaxing while waiting for a treatment at the Peak’s Spa.


Hanging out enjoying the views by the indoor pool at the Spa.

So if life feels like you have jumped on a merry-go-round with a migraine, you might want to make a beeline for the Spa at The Peaks.

It’s not just the reboot Alex has set in motion.

It’s not just about the products and services being offered or even the skills of the service providers, which is very high (with a bullet).

It is Alex’s underlying management philosophy, clearly penciled out and actualized everyday in every way by a woman with a reputation for achieving excellence, who also walks her talk about the mind-body connection, health, wellness and spirituality.

If you paint by the numbers, the picture is pretty impressive: The Spa at the Peaks boasts a 42,000-square-foot health and wellness complex complete with 30 massage, esthetics and body treatment rooms, a total service salon, indoor/outdoor pools, full gym and yoga studios, steam rooms, saunas, and hot tubs.



However, very soon Alex’s Spa 2.0 at the Peaks will soon not just be the largest in Colorado.

It will also be the best.

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