How Water is a Wellness Practice at The Springs Resort
At The Springs Resort, Director of Resort Wellness Operations tells us about what make the Colorado resort special. With the world’s deepest geothermal hot spring at its core, Mother Nature is the star at The Springs Resort, a 79-room Condé Nast Traveler award winner and Member of the Wellness Tourism Association We spoke with Sharon Holtz, Director of Resort Wellness Operations to find out why The Springs Resort is a good place to explore, resort and connect, plus how she incorporates wellness into her own life.
Conversation with Sharon Holtz, Director of Resort Wellness Operations
1. How long have you been with The Springs Resort, and what do you do with this property?
I have been with The Springs Resort, located in the town of Pagosa Springs, (about a five-hour drive from Denver, Colorado) since April of 2021. I have the pleasure of overseeing the property through the lens of wellness, with all of its offerings, amenities and programming.
2. There are so many hotels, resorts, retreats and tour operators offering wellness programs and packages – tell us a bit about The Springs Resort, and what is the main point of distinction?
Our geothermal mineral water that fills our 25 soaking pools creates a one-of-a-kind wellness experience for our guests. The water comes from The Mother Spring, the deepest measured spring known in the world. We don’t even know how deep it is, as after 1,002 feet, we ran out of plumbline to measure it. This deep source of water has a truly unique mineral content that provides many benefits to our guests.
The benefits of soaking are then enhanced with our other wellness activities that are included for our overnight guests who stay with us. All of this set, in the beautiful San Juan Mountains of the Rockies, creates an opportunity to reconnect with nature and bring you a sense of renewed well-being.
3. What pandemic-inspired policies and procedures has The Springs Resort implemented to keep travelers healthy and safe?
We continue to keep our guests’ health and safety our priority and our policies align with that priority.
4. What does The Springs Resort offer that might attract a customer like the readers of LA Yoga?
A break from the urban environment that many live in is essential to connect with yourself and other loved ones in your life. Being able to come visit The Springs Resort and be surrounded by three million acres of National Forest, beautiful mountain peaks and tranquil flowing rivers envelops you in the energy of Mother Nature. This place of connection allows you to find ways to nurture your well-being and rejuvenate your spirit.
5. How do you incorporate wellness into your own daily life?
My wellness is about the rituals I put into place for myself, my yoga practice, and being mindful of the food I eat. My evening rituals are one-on-one time with each of my children, a tea ritual with my husband and an evening ritual for myself. These allow me to have a quiet time for connecting that grounds me and brings me peace of mind. Morning rituals with key essential oils helps me start my day off with the right mindset.
6. What are the top wellness trends you seeing at The Springs Resort?
The guest interest in Aqua Yoga and our Warrior Plunge, a guided “contrast bathing” (the back and forth use of hot and cold pools) experience, are definitely our most popular. Practicing yoga while soaking in mineral-rich geothermal water is very special. The support and warmth of the water can deepen the practice, yet is very approachable to those who are new to yoga.
The Warrior Plunge begins with a soak in a hot pool to warm the core and muscles of the body, guests are then guided into the adjacent San Juan River (which averages 50-60 degrees, depending upon the season) for about one minute to experience the fortifying benefits of contrast bathing.
We are just launching a new experience which is our Aqua Sound Bathing. Using Tibetan singing bowls to amplify the benefits of the sound vibrations and the water together. The feedback so far has been very positive about the profound impact.
7. Do you feel technology is important as it pertains to wellness, and if yes, how and why? If no, why not?
Advances in technology can absolutely facilitate the accessibility of wellness to many people and create opportunities to learn more about what your body may need or benefit from. At The Springs Resort, we are working with a Naturopathic Doctor to develop a series of educational and interactive Wellness Guides in print, digital, and audible formats. The guides will lead guests through unique pathways that take advantage of varying pool temperatures to optimize their soaking experience and enhance their desired results.
So far, we have created pathways for Sleep, Detox, and Recovery, we are very excited to launch these new intentional wellness experiences. The key with digital technology is to ensure that you know how to disconnect from it. It should not be given the power to overtake our capacity to connect with ourselves, others and nature.
8. Do you and, if yes, how do you incorporate the local community or culture into the programing at The Springs Resort?
Pagosa Springs is a small, tight-knit community of about 2,000 people. Our community is essential to us. We look for ways to partner with members of our local community and small businesses, to provide guest experiences unique to Pagosa Springs. Culturally, we guide a daily Gratitude Ceremony where we reflect on our history, pay respect and give gratitude to the Mother Spring. We thank her for the impact her healing waters have on our guests, associates, and community- just as people have done for thousands of years.
9. What is your final note of advice for living your best life?
Remain open to new experiences and opportunities, as you may not know the true gift of what is being presented until a later time. Smile, laugh and play more!
Co-Founder and President /CEO of the Wellness Tourism Association, Anne Dimon has been a travel writer and industry journalist for close to 25 years, and has traveled the world as a columnist/contributor to a variety of publications. Anne is also Owner/ Editor of TravelToWellness.com launched in 2004 as the first online magazine/resource for the wellness-minded traveler. Prior to her life as a journalist, Anne was president of her own public relations company specializing in hospitality. She has also worked in the hotel industry as a director of public relations. An acknowledged wellness travel expert and industry consultant, Anne is also the co-author of The Travel Institute’s new Wellness Travel Specialist Course.