Kicking off a series to share our most recent adventure – five luxurious nights at one of our very favorite destinations, Dunton Hot Springs. Located approximately an hour south of Telluride (slightly longer if you go in the winter when the forest service road is closed), Dunton Hot Springs is a truly magical place.
Our love of this place is deep. In fact, when we got engaged, we knew there was only one place we would consider getting married. After we booked it, the most common question we got was how we knew about it. A Relais & Chateaux property, Dunton had been on Margaret’s travel dream list for many years before our first visit in February 2018, and her love affair was reinforced when it was selected to the Conde Nast Traveler 2018 Gold Medal List. (You can check out this year’s list here.)
The drive from Telluride takes you right past Mount Wilson, the peak that appears on Coors Light cans and bottles.
After winding your way up the mountain, you’ll end up on a narrow dirt road, where you’ll pass over the river,
Through the woods,
And around a small curve in the road…before coming upon a little town of cabins of all sizes.
With utter joy and giddiness, you’ll drop your car off, knowing you won’t have to see it again until it’s time to leave, and settle into your new surroundings. Free from cell phone service and the normal demands of life, you can actually take the time to unwind and find peace.
We can’t do the resort justice without going into its background a little bit. When gold and silver were first discovered in the Telluride area (around the 1880s), Dunton became a thriving homestead, largely because of its natural hot springs. About 40 years later, however, the town was largely deserted. When the property was acquired by its current owner in the 1990s, he decided to preserve the cabins as rentals, starting a long process of renovation and preservation.
The property consists of 13 individual cabins of different sizes, most of which are named after the miners who built them. Each cabin is equally comfortable, but they all have a unique character. We stayed in Bjoerkmans (shown directly above), the oldest cabin in the town. (As a point of clarification, the town and the resort are one in the same. The buildings are all associated with the resort, and the only residents are the guests and staff.)
Where the bed is warm and cozy, and there’s ample space for all the wedding necessities.
History dots the wall,
And there’s a perfect view from the tub.
The town is built for exploring.
As every window tells a different story.
And every corner reveals another gasp inducing view.
The mining spirit’s apparent throughout the property.
And artifacts reminiscent of the abandoned days.
A little pathway leads to a stunning (frozen) waterfall, surrounded by red cliffs.
In the same view as the pine tree framed chapel.
The alpenglow over the mountain beckons you to dinner at the saloon,
And the crescent moon over tree line leads you home.
Where the wood-burning stove lures you into the dreamiest of sleeps.
A real all smiles, all the time experience!