Rustic Rewards at Dunton Hot Springs
What happens when a German billionaire focuses his attention on a 19th century ghost mining town in the shadows of Telluride that happens to be rich in natural hot springs? In the case of Dunton Hot Springs, the result is an absolutely stunning collection of 12 original miner cabins (appointed with antiques, modern comforts and luxurious amenities, as well); a tented, high-end suite for the more outdoors-inclined traveler; and a nearby sister camp (eight tented suites with river- or mountain-facing views).
All told, Dunton’s two main properties—located in Dolores, Colorado—encompass more than 1,700 acres of private wilderness, providing no shortage of activities (some included, others a la carte). From fly fishing, mountain biking, show shoeing, hiking and horseback riding in the wilderness to snow mobiling, dog-sledding, ice-climbing and exceptional skiing at nearby Telluride (plus heli-skiing direct from your cabin for the truly intrepid), you won’t find yourself wishing there was something to do here. There’s even a boxing gym for those who relax by sparring.
The best reason to visit, however, is the chance to submerge in the natural, sulfur-free hot springs of the blissfully updated bathhouse that the town’s old miners once enjoyed. Afterward, stroll down to the town’s old saloon (now a restaurant) for gourmet Alpine cuisine, followed by a peek at the scrolled signature of Butch Cassidy who, the story goes, paid a visit after robbing a bank in Telluride.
BEST ROOMS All of Dunton’s cabins are centered in “town,” whose focal point is a saloon, but the best of the bunch is the 740 square-foot Wellhouse (seasonal from $1,400-$1,900 nightly). This small but stylish one-bedroom cabin, which sits just opposite the saloon, features a large, copper tub in its center, which is fed directly by water from the hot springs (there’s also a cold-plunge pool in a wooden barrel to accommodate any cryotherapy needs). In addition, there’s a comfy king-size bed, a wood-burning stove, a private porch with mountain views and all-inclusive food and beverages (with exception of the reserve list), as well as some included on-property activities. [email protected], 877-228-4674, www.duntonhotsprings.com