Garden of the Gods Collection | By Kim Fuller

Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2018 issue

Health + wellness practices shine new light on this legacy property in Colorado Springs 

Gardens have a way of inviting attention. Usually planned spaces, and most often outdoors, they are a display and cultivation of plants or another form of nature. For anyone who has looked upon Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, the red rock sandstone formations set against Pikes Peak are a prominent reminder of true natural beauty and inspiring spiritual energy.

The red rock sandstone formations set against Pikes Peak are a prominent reminder of true natural beauty and inspiring spiritual energy.

Garden of the Gods has just announced the opening of Strata Integrated Wellness Spa, a new destination for holistic wellbeing. Drawing upon Colorado Springs’ legacy as a century-old wellness destination and the indigenous red rock formations of its namesake, Strata Integrated Wellness Spa is multilayered and all-encompassing. Formerly the International Health & Wellness Center, the evolution incorporated additional doctors, clinicians and spa service providers, and fully integrates the spa and wellness center’s offerings.

As of October 1, 2018, the breadth of services to support optimal health and wellbeing, including medical treatments, holistic healing, body assessments, massages, facials and more, will be provided in a fully integrative manner. Like the name suggests, Strata Integrated Wellness Spa is designed to restore balance layer by layer, in harmony with the transformative powers of nature and time.

After a fascinating tour of the beautiful new facility, I went in for energy work with Dr. Charlene Wanga holistic registered dietitian and professor of nutrition, health and wellness. She helps improve the health of her clients by focusing on optimal nutrition for wellness and disease prevention. The treatment was energetically stimulating followed by a fascinating conversation with Dr. Wang about personal practices I can follow regularly to reduce tension and inflammation.

My wellness visit was directly followed with a grounding and luxurious Cleopatra Milk & Honey Float at the spa, which included a cocoon-like experience into a weightless water bed. Every minute in this blissful treatment seamed to clear away any fragments of stress within my body, and it created the space I needed to truly settle into the Garden of the Gods Collection for a few days.

For those staying overnight, each guest room features its own private balcony or patio showcasing views of Garden of the Gods Park, with just-like-home additions that include a fireplace and refrigerator.

Guests can enjoy actives like golf, tennis and swimming, and it’s easy to take full advantage of the facility’s new state-of-the-art fitness center and daily group classes.

For meals, choose between several establishments, including the Grandview Dining Room that overlooks the stunning Garden of the Gods red rock formations and a towering Pikes Peak, and The Rocks Bar & Lounge, a popular spot to mingle and sip on craft cocktails made with fresh ingredients and local spirits alongside delicious fare, such as truffle french fries and Sweet Water Ranch bison sliders.

Most mornings, I enjoyed breakfast at Beach & Cable, located within the Grandview Building which houses the Spa and International Health & Wellness Center. Great coffee and fresh morning pastries, including decadent bacon cheddar scones, are available alongside healthy green smoothies. I also enjoyed breakfast in the room one morning, and it was a delight to quietly savor the meal while witnessing the morning sun strike the incredible red rocks.

Every day spent at Garden of the Gods Collection becomes a physical and spiritual rejuvenation. If I could gaze upon or walk through this incredible natural haven every day, I would, but for now, the memory of my lovely time in this place still sparks a reminder of why to always follow a path of joy and vitality.

Photo by Steve Thompson.

Kim FullerBased in Vail, Colorado, Kim Fuller is a freelance writer, editor and photojournalist, as well as a yoga teacher, legacy ambassador for Lululemon Athletica Vail, and co-founder of In Your Element, a yoga and outdoor adventure company. When Kim is not diligently writing and editing in her mountain nook, teaching yoga around town or finding a new adventure, find Kim at a local cafe or craft brewery, where she enjoys the more indulgent side of inspiration.