Discover Boutique Hotels in San Juan Mountains, United States
When to go
It’s said that skiers who fall in love with Colorado in the winter will really fall in love with it in summer, when the technicolour wildflowers bloom, melted mountain snow floods into the rivers and sunny blue skies are all around. Spring is known as the ‘mud season’ due to the melting taking place on the mountains.
PlanesThe region’s main air hubs are Durango, Cortez, Telluride and Montrose, but don’t expect international flights to reach here – get to Denver instead and pick up a connection with United Airlines (www.united.com). Other airlines serving the area are Great Lakes Aviation (www.flygreatlakes.com) and Frontier Airlines (www.frontierairlines.com).
AutomobilesThis patch of the Wild West stretches far and wide, so it’s best to pick up your own wagon at the airport; there are rental desks at both Durango and Cortez airports. In winter, make sure you request snow chains and four-wheel drive.
TaxisTaxis aren’t really an option around here – the distances are too big for a meter to master. Hire cars are best.
With its old village dance hall, bath house and saloon, former mining town retreat Dunton Hot Springs seems to come straight from the set of a Golden Age Western. Make your home on the range for five nights in the Well House cabin – the most requested accommodation at Dunton Hot Springs. Built around its own hot spring, it has a cosy wood-burning stove, a raft of a king-size bed and a bathroom with shower. Revive après-ski with a dip in the private plunge pool inside or soak up the clear mountain views from the spacious deck outside.
As for the dining as part of your stay, recently named #4 Best Hotel for Food Lovers by Bon Appetit magazine, and, with an in-house merlot (Sutcliffe Vineyards), this is some fine campfire fare. The menus change daily based on guest preferences, and all food is sourced locally, regionally and organic whenever possible for the extravagant family-style meals served in the saloon.