I discovered massage chairs at airports about 10 years ago, and I’ve been a frequent customer ever since. Small, no-frills airport spas offer quick neck rubs for busy (sore, haggard, tired, fill-in-the-blank) travelers on the go. Some offer nail services, too, and all are notoriously overpriced. But sometimes it’s worth it to plunk down $25 to go to your happy place for 15 minutes in the midst of a busy travel day.
I’ve gotten to know A Massage at Denver International Airport pretty well over the years. Its new storefront – smack dab between the Cantina Mexican restaurant and Kazoo & Company toy store — is conveniently located on the mezzanine level in the middle of the B Terminal between gates B37 and B39. Another location is near gate A49.
A Massage Facility: I like that the massage chairs (about 10 of them) are located in the back of the spa storefront; in some airports you’re on display front and center to passers-by (perhaps so that the image of someone getting rubbed will lure them in). At the A Massage in the B Terminal at DIA, there are also two tables for full-body massage behind closed doors, and a reclining chair for foot massages, as well. Foot massages on the recliner are the same prices as neck/shoulder/back massages in the chair.
A Massage Treatment: I opted for the 15 minute neck and shoulder rub for $25 (prices range from $20 for 10 minutes in the chair to $140 for 90 minutes full body massage). What I like about these short chair massages (where you remain fully dressed) is that the therapist doesn’t waste any time. For my most recent treatment at A Massage, my female therapist immediately started in with the firm pressure, working on tight neck and shoulder muscles. She used her whole body to lean on especially troublesome knots, and pressed her elbows up and down my lower back (down to my glutes), too.
While I was seated near a vent, so I heard whooshing air during my chair massage, I did appreciate the soothing background music — again, just a nice little respite from the crowds of people found at the airport on any given day.
Quality can be sporadic at A Massage; you never know which therapist you’re going to get, as customers get whomever whichever therapist is “on deck.” I suppose if you’re a true regular, you could request a certain therapist you like; I’m not in there that much to warrant remembering who worked on me the time prior! I think the only time I didn’t like a massage here was when I had a therapist who made funny whistling sounds through her nose nearly every time she breathed in – which was a lot. Note, however, that all are licensed massage therapists in the state of Colorado; they know what they’re doing.
Bottom line: Services here are not cheap, and the facility isn’t fancy at all, but if your back or feet are sore from traveling, I’d hightail it into DIA’s A Massage. If you stop in during a layover, it’s right back to carrying luggage and sitting in a cramped airplane seat after an airport terminal massage. However, those few minutes of bliss during a long travel day are often worth the dollars spent.
By Kara Williams