What woman in her right mind wouldn't love a summer escape to Evergreen, Colorado's award-winning TallGrass Spa? Add five more ladies ... my mom along with four girlfriends who happen to be my sisters ... and some delightful bed & breakfast accommodations at Highland Haven Creekside Inn to this escape and we might just be in for some fantastic memory-making!
Although Evergreen is a mere 15 or so miles west of the bustling urban capital of Denver, this authentic Colorado mountain town seems like a million miles away in lifestyle. As the girls and I climbed the I-70 grade toward Evergreen we were surrounded on all sides by the majestic Rocky Mountains covered in vibrant lush greens hues of summer. Lake Evergreen's cerulean water mirrored the blue skies where the sun passed in and out of puffy white clouds. Deer, horses and other fauna roamed among whispy silvery-green grasses bending in the cool mountain breeze. Yes, you can leave your stress on the outskirts of Denver and be luxuriating in peaceful tranquility about 30 short minutes!
A diminutive stone entrance bridge over the trickling waters of Bear Creek invited us to Highland Haven Creekside Inn, where we were greeted by incredibly friendly staff who immediately offered to upgrade our accommodations. Guest rooms filled with lodge-style amenities including overstuffed leather sofas, chairs upholstered in colorful ikat-print fabric and massive stone fireplaces provided us with yet another warm Highland Haven welcome. http://www.highlandhaven.com
Dinner at the Bistro at Marshdale was highly recommended by Roxy and Blake, managers of Highland Haven. A meandering 15 minute drive beyond Evergreen placed us at this historic 1920's majestic mountain lodge. Executive chef and owner Brian Bailey and his wife Sarah brought their extensive culinary experience to Evergreen, and together they've created an exceptional mountain dining destination offering euro-continental cuisine in a rustic, yet charming setting. Among the favorites we shared were the house-smoked pork short ribs glazed with peach-jalapeo barbecue sauce, coriander crusted Scottish salmon with ginger honey glaze and the Frutti di Mare, a steamy bowl of seafood and linguini in lobster-tomato broth. Savoring the incredible flavors in these entrees clearly justifies the Bistro's collection of achievements including their Open Table Diners Choice, Best Overall, Best Food and Best Service Awards. A full bar complete with live entertainment by local musicians, dining rooms offering spectacular views of the Continental Divide, outstanding customer service and Brian and Sarah's driving passion for culinary excellence all blend harmoniously to assure that The Bistro at Marshdale is a world-class mountain dining experience! http://www.thebistroatmarshdale.com
After a restful night of sleep, we "spa girls" gathered at Dailey Cabin, Highland Haven's library which is transformed each morning into an inviting breakfast space filled with decadent pastries, homemade granola, yogurt, egg casseroles and a coffee and juice bar. After a quick stroll around the village, we embarked on our day of pampering at TallGrass Spa, where the mission of owner Gail Ridings and her team of professionals is "to awe and inspire". Arriving at the spa and admiring the grounds, it was clearly evident that they're right on point with their mission! I thoroughly luxuriated in an Ultimate Facial, the Ultra Chakra Pedicure and reflexology massage, then a meditative respite in the Great Room lounge. Lunch was served on the patio where we enjoyed breathtaking views of Colorado's lush, natural scenery and Mount Evans in the distance. TallGrass Spa, highly acclaimed for their dedication to philanthropy, has deservedly accumulated a bevy of awards including the Denver Post's "Top Work Places 2014" and ColoradoBiz Magazine's "Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses". Travel & Leisure Magazine lists TallGrass Spa as "One of the Top 3 Salon/Spas in the Country" and Oprah Magazine rated TallGrass as "One of O's Favorite Spas Across the Country". http://www.tallgrassspa.com. Spending an afternoon in pampered luxury with five of my most cherished ladies while relaxing among the esoteric tranquility found in this Rocky Mountain oasis was an absolute gift. As we reflected on our Evergreen retreat, Mom, Polly, Sarah, Emily, Karen and I decided that some things need to happen not just once, but once a year. Our second annual spa getaway is yet another excellent reason to embrace 2015, which will no doubt arrive much more quickly than any of us want!