John Quarles has been a spa director for twenty years. His passion for the spa industry has led him to work with countless establishments, from skin studios to resorts spas. However, it was not until he began his job as the spa director at The Brown Palace Hotel seven months ago that people really took notice of his exceptional background, “It’s no longer that I’m a spa director that piques their interest, it’s that I’m at The Brown Palace”.
It is no surprise that they would have such a reaction, as The Brown Palace is one of the most well-known hotels in Denver, Colorado. Created in 1892 by Henry Cordes Brown, this hotel is highly recognized for its grand Italian renaissance design and antiquity. The triangular building is faced with Colorado granite and red sandstone, while its walls and floors are built with blocks of terracotta fireproofing, making the hotel the second fire-proof structure in America.
What is perhaps the most captivating aspect of The Brown Palace is its emphasis on historic preservation. From the famous murals to the 18th century Czechoslovakian chandeliers in the ballroom, most of the structures and furnishings in the hotel have a sense of historical importance. The eight-story atrium, for instance, was once the largest atrium in the world. Today, thousands of guests and tourists enter the hotel just to admire and take photos of its original stained-glass ceiling. “There is immediately an emotional feel of the history of the property. It’s almost like a step back in time,” says John.
Just across from the main entrance is what used to be the hotel’s grand fireplace, now the entrance of the hotel spa. The spa - a two-story facility with a 20th century ambiance - consists of 6 treatment rooms, a VIP suite, a hair salon, manicure/pedicure rooms, and its own 720 feet artesian well. The guests can enjoy a variety of services, from massages and body scrubs, to facials and microdermabrasion. “What makes our spa special is our variety of technicians,” said John. “We have people who have backgrounds in physical therapy, as well as people on the other side of the coin who are experts in Reiki and energy work. Depending on what the guest needs, we have a great ability to accommodate them.”
Currently, the spa is in the process of relaunching their treatment menu with all new services. Little is known about it, but one thing is certain: there will be CBD treatments on the list. On the current menu, Vital Body’s CBD spa products were incorporated into most services. Guests can obtain a full body massage using the VBT massage cream, or they can enjoy a CBD plunge using the VBT CBD Epsom Soak with the spa’s artesian water. They can also receive a CBD infused mani/pedi, followed by a therapeutic CBD hand and foot massage.
According to John, these CBD treatments are exceedingly popular. An average of 170 CBD massages are done each month. Guests are also left incredibly satisfied with the CBD mani/pedi. “ It is the fragrance of the soak, the softness of the water, how it makes their feet feel as the nail tech moves through the exfoliation and cuticle work, and then the VBT cream as a phenomenal hydrator,” explains John. “After all that work, we leave them all soft, smooth and happy.” He also revealed that a “true performance driven CBD service” will be provided as a part of the relaunch menu, in which the VBT Pain Relief Balm will be used as a tool within the treatment, similar to how a stone is used in a hot stone massage”.
Surprisingly, the reason why the CBD spa services are especially high in demand is not just because of the CBD factor. According to John, many of the guests who request them enter the spa not knowing what CBD even is. Instead, they become interested in the treatments after hearing about the benefits of the other ingredients that Vital Body products consist of, as well as CBD. The additional organic ingredient and pain relieving herbs like arnica and ginger draw people to choose the CBD services.
“CBD is hot on the market and it definitely has some great benefits, but, just like anything else, it is just one ingredient in a group of ingredients that go into the product.” John explained. “There are a ton of companies out there right now that are putting CBD in some very terrible products just to push CBD. We chose Vital Body specifically because of their ingredient deck, and then the CBD. I want to emphasize that as CBD continues to grow in the market and show its benefits, [it is important] that we don’t just promote CBD products, but that we are actually promoting wonderful, high-end products that happen to have CBD in them, like Vital Body.”
The spa’s new menu will launch August 1st, and, with it, new Vital Body treatments that will continue to help educate the public about CBD. It is still a fairly new topic that many do not know about, but what better place to expand this knowledge and write it down in history than at The Brown Palace?
By Gloria Huang
Gloria Huang is a Vital Body Therapeutic intern, who is currently a fourth year student of Theater and Communication at UCSB. When she isn't writing for Vital Body or studying for her college classes, she is acting in theater productions and films.