Owner and senior wine instructor Dani Cross created VinBoutique with a mission to introduce palates to the best French wines. A certified level-III sommelier, Cross personally travels to France to hand-pick vintages from small production companies and develop relationships with local vintners, ensuring her customers enjoy a collection of reds, whites, and bubbly that is exceptional not just in craftsmanship and taste, but also in value. "By tasting my wines, you can actually hone your palate way quicker because [the wines are] technically correct" in the way they are selected, shipped, and stored, she says. "If you're not tasting something that's proper, you won't know what chardonnay is supposed to taste like."
A strong belief that wine should be enjoyed and shared with others inspires VinBoutique's tasting classes, where Cross and other wine experts share insights into different varietals, food pairings, and wine-making techniques. Using an approach designed to be both fun and unintimidating, Cross also includes a question-and-answer section, as well as easy-to-follow tasting notes, making her classes accessible to everyone from the casual wine fan to the connoisseur who can uncork a bottle using only their mind. As Dani continued to try new wines and savor her favorite French vintages, she became dismayed. Often, the wines she bought had been stored improperly or for too long, destroying the bouquets and noses that she loved. "Born of frustration, I decided to start my own [wine boutique]." And thus she curated a selection of French wines for VinBoutique. "By tasting my wines, you can actually hone your palate way quicker because [the wines are] technically correct" in the way they are selected, shipped, and stored, she says. "If you're not tasting something that's proper, you won't know what chardonnay is supposed to taste like."
In addition to bottles of red, white, and bubbly, Dani and a team of instructors offer wine classes suitable for everyone from the casual wine fan to the connoisseur who can uncork a bottle using only their mind. Each class comes with notes and take-home materials, and is taught by a teacher who can both go into great technical detail or give thorough overviews so that student's don?t "get cross-eyed."
A former staff sergeant in the Air Force. An airplane mechanic who repaired oxygen masks. A master massage therapist, registered medical assistant, and certified laser technician. Tina Long is all of these things and more. As the owner of Parker Med Spa, she combines her unique background with innovative technology to offer clients the latest anti-aging and beauty solutions.
Long helps her clients to deal with the frustration of weight loss with body-contouring treatments such as the Zerona and Yolo laser systems, having herself lost pounds, inches, and degrees of insulation with the fat-emulsifying devices. The historical ambiance, array of facial and body treatments, and advanced technology earned her spa recognition on ABC 7 and CityVoter's 2011 A-List; it was named a finalist in the Best Day Spa category and nominated in the Best Medical Spa category.
The practice is located within the charming yellow Hoskins House, a century-old Victorian landmark surrounded by cottonwood trees, complete with a porch swing. Inside, massage therapists and aestheticians perform relaxing massages, hot-stone pedicures, and skin-rejuvenating chemical peels in 15 private rooms. Technicians use seven different lasers to perform procedures ranging from vein and hair removal to nonsurgical face-lifts.
At Mile High Pole Club, flirty fitness moves on poles and chairs do more than just build muscle and flexibility. They also build a sense of empowerment in their students, one that stems both from the accessibility of the classes and the emotional bond formed between students. Co-owner Lauren Saenz says that one of her favorite parts of pole fitness is the attainability of "mini-goals… It's not like [training for] a marathon" and having a single, daunting aim. With pole fitness, "you can really accomplish one [goal] per class… which is fun." Five classes sorted from intro to "vixen" send women of all shapes, sizes, and fingertip stickiness up and around stainless steel poles to learn tricks catered to each skill level. The intimate atmosphere also makes for strong class camaraderie. "My students confide in me," Saenz says. "Everyone seems to have something going on in their life that they're not happy about," and they use pole classes as "an emotional outlet." But blowing off steam is fun at Mile High; in an interview with CNTV, Dionne, an instructor, says that pole fitness isn't all sultry moves and intense workouts. "Women in here are laughing."
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all of the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray-tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Beauty may only be skin deep, but at Zolarium Tanning Studio, that's OK. Versed in a vast array of tanning and skincare services, the studio’s technicians help their clientele achieve golden-bronze hues without having to withstand the sun's creepy leer. Each one is Smart Tan certified, a benchmark that measures each operator's knowledge of ultraviolet light, safe tanning practices, and ability to disassemble a tanning bed should it become sentient. They use this knowledge to monitor each tanner in their studio simultaneously, through Zolarium's networked array of horizontal and vertical tanning beds.
The beautifying treatments don't stop at tanning; DaVinci teeth whitening, Evolv airbrush, and a plethora of skincare lotions help clients maintain all manner of youthful glows. Zolarium also keeps the community looking good, giving back through charitable efforts such as sponsoring the Denver Firefighter Calendar every year.
Traditional and contemporary recipes reign at India's Kitchen, where chefs sheath chicken, lamb, seafood, and vegan entrees in a flurry of freshly ground exotic spices. They sizzle naan and kebabs in a tandoor clay oven and flood kormas and masalas with housemade yogurt, cream sauces, and coconut milk. Chefs can customize spiciness levels or swap in gluten-free ingredients for the handful of dishes that aren't already gluten-free, adeptly maintaining each dish's intricate flavors and inspirational coming-of-age story. An extensive daily lunch buffet lines up some of the kitchen's greatest hits for guests to sample, and the restaurant also extends its culinary services to the catering realm.
Cylindrical light fixtures dangle amid the dining room's vibrant red-orange walls, which contrast charcoal-hued floors and furnishings. A trickling faux rock fountain beckons patrons to venture to the full bar, where staffers sling Indian beers that harmonize with the aromas and flavors of the cuisine.