Luxury in the Southwest

Camping is cool, but have you tried a Clawfoot Bathtub?

As the quickly approaching summer days get longer and the Western Slope begins to thaw out, all of Colorado begins to wake up. You can feel the excitement as the summer mountains begin to call.

Like any good Coloradoan we know that you have your sites set on Telluride Bluegrass, but after a week of rolling in the dirt and sleeping on the ground, a little luxury is in store. We love the Bluegrass camp life as much as you do, as we mourn another year of Telluride Bluegrass gone by, why don’t we celebrate this year’s momentous festival with another round (or three) of good food, hot springs, more music and endless amazing Colorado stories, along the trail back home.  Here are some of our favorite stops along the way.. 


The Surf Hotel, Buena Vista 
Spend a night or two at Surf Hotel, Buena Vista 

Overlooking the rapids of the Buena Vista Whitewater Park, the Surf Hotel offers a boutique travel experience where details are carefully crafted and spaces tell a timeless story. Guests enjoy a sense of luxury without pretension, inspired by both the understated elegance of European hotels and the spectacular natural beauty of our home in the Rocky Mountains. Whether for solo travelers, families, corporate groups or wedding parties, the contemporary approach to hospitality will suit any kind of travel.

While you’re there, enjoy Music on the Lawn

If you time your travels right, and you can’t quite get enough of the live music, the highlight of the trip is to enjoy big act names in a small setting at the Surf Hotels Lawn. Catch artists like Shakey Graves and LeftOver Salmon playing to the background of the river surfers riding the waves of the Arkansas. 

Take a day to hang in Salida, Colorado
While you’re in the area, Salida is a can’t miss. Take some extra time to cruise to this river town and enjoy the millions of parks, water and recreation areas. The ​​Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area  allows visitors to partake in multiple adventure activities at once, such as kayaking and whitewater rafting, hiking, camping, wildlife watching, and mountain biking. Riverside Park is just downtown and great alternative if your looking for a casual nature cruise 


The Western, Ouray Colorado 

The Western Hotel is the crown jewel of Southwestern Colorado located fifteen minutes South of Ridgeway in Ouray, Colorado. Trust us when we tell you that the Western Hotel is an experience that one cannot pass up. The Western was built in 1891 and was used to lodge the silver miners at the turn of the century. The hotel is built on layers and layers of history– which are still exhibited on the beautiful walls of the dining room and main entryway. As you look into the layers of plaster, and intricately patterned wallpaper,  not to mention the original 1891 front desk, your eyes are brought to the various hunting trophies, pot belly wood burning stove, original to the building, and spectacular views of the San Juan Mountain range peering over the little town.

While the historical artifacts are stunning, what makes the Western outstanding is the attention to detail and dedication to preserving the historical integrity of a cherished Western story. Developed by Kyle  Zeppelin of Zeppelin Development (of Zeppelin Station, The Source, and A Frame Club), The Western possesses the signature mark of all of Zeppelin’s developments; impossibly complicated paired with a determined sense of integrity, a duty to tell the stories of Colorado history while shepherding spaces into the hands of new multiple of generation of users that will be left from years to come. 

The Saloon 

We would be a miss if we wrote this piece and not mentioned one of the most exquisite restaurants in all of the Western slope if not all of Colorado (we know, hot take.) Chef Nic Weber, of A-Frame fame brings a menu that not only offers one of the most complex meals we’ve had in years, but turns his food into a dialogue between the past and the future of the Southwest. Dishes are inspired not only from local plants, such as Anasazi beans, Red Mole as a nod to the red mountains of Colorado, and cooked over local Colorado Scrub Oak from Kokopelli Farms, but work to form a new relationship that the rural West is building with a vibrant economy and furthering stories created by the locals of today. Take, for example, the Three Sisters. From native agricultural farming practices is the wisdom that corn is planted, squash will provide the necessary soil nutrients and the beans will climb up the tall stalks of the corn. A dish changing with the seasons, incorporating this ancient wisdom will always be at the top of Nic Weber's menus; reflecting on the past, engaging with the local land, and creating beloved dishes to feed future stories.

The Face on the Bar Room Floor 

The Western Hotel and Saloon are full of historical Easter eggs. While you can tour the lobby photos and play eye spy for surviving bars or taxidermy, the real gold mine is The Face on the Bar Room Floor. The face of a woman, some call her Juanita, others endearingly named her Jezebel, was  painted near 100 years ago. We can’t tell you much about her other than the whispering of the legends from other bar goers. Some say she left a scorned lover and in his passionate effort to find her he painted her face in every bar room floor from here to the Gulf of Mexico.  Today only two of these paintings survive, and the Western’s very own has gone on to inspire the name of the restaurant, Jezebel. 


Dunton Hot Springs, Dunton Colorado 

If luxury calls you, there is no answer more honest than the Dunton Hot Springs. The rural resort adds an extra hour to your trip from Telluride, but for the luxury girlies out there, it is a must-see. And we mean- you can. not. miss. these springs.  You’ll find yourself at a small and exclusive resort nestled deep in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies. This perfectly restored ghost town thrives on contradictions; hand-hewn log cabins exquisitely furnished, a life-worn saloon serving food of startling quality, lung torturing trails followed by pampering massages, sensuous hot springs. 

Dunton is a collection of extraordinary, secluded, unique resorts and homes situated in the most striking of locations.  Providing authentic, immersive experiences and value in all of the things money can’t buy rather than “just a nice place to stay;” Dunton is a celebration of exceptional food & wine, active engagement with stunning natural surroundings, and industry leading sustainable operations to protect those natural surroundings in a compelling way.

While You’re at it, Take a Dip

Clothing Optional:
Orvis Hot Springs 

Orvis Hot Springs is a clothing-optional natural hot springs resort that does not heat or treat the water in any way. Orvis offers seven soaking areas that range in temperature from 98-112 degrees. Four of the soaking areas are outside where you can enjoy the gorgeous Colorado sun and the star-filled evening sky.

Family Friendly
Mount Princeton Hot Springs 

The Mount Princeton Hot Springs outside of Buena Vista is another hot spring resort that offers pools fed by a natural hot spring, which heats the water to temperatures ranging from 70 degrees to 120 degrees. The pools here are large with plenty of space to bring the whole family or large groups. Situated on either side of the Arkansas River, these springs are especially exciting given the unique pools of thermal springs water pooling inside the river.

Ouray Hot Springs
Ouray Hot Springs is another great spot to bring the whole family. Located in downtown Ouray, the facility houses five pools, three of which are geothermally heated. The water contains a vast number of minerals, including, iron, manganese, zinc, fluoride, and potassium, among others. During your stay you will notice all of the pools are odorless. This is because our water does not contain any sulfur. Temperatures range from 75 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit in

The facility is larger than your average small pool and contains an adults-only option for those wishing to relax, 8 lap lanes, two water slides for people of all ages to enjoy, a climbing wall, and an inflatable obstacle course.

Penny Hot Springs
The Penny Hot Springs might be some of the most “organic” hot springs. They are naturally fed with hot mineral water and are free to use. It’s located on the Crystal River just past Carbondale, about forty-five minutes from Aspen. The springs are surrounded by rugged snow capped peaks and breathtaking canyons and makes for a rejuvenating experience after a long day enjoying the area’s numerous outdoor activities. The Penny Hot Springs are clothing required but as they are free and right of the side of the road, you can’t get any better than tha. 


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