With great powder comes great responsibility, and Dunton Town House rises to the challenge admirably: set in snowy Telluride, this cosy inn is just the place for ski-worn Smiths to hang up their salopettes, kick back with a coffee and snuggle up in quaint, Tyrolean-style rooms. Dunton feels more like your own chalet than a hotel and, while it may be pared-back, its traditional, friendly charm more than makes up for five-star facilities.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of wine in your room on arrival; GoldSmiths get a bottle of champagne instead
11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £329.09 ($417), including tax at 12.65 per cent.
Rates include a buffet breakfast of home-made granola, yoghurt, freshly-baked pastries and bread, plus cheese and cold cuts.
The communal living room and library is a comfortable spot into which you’ll long to sink after a day’s mountain exploration: a padded chesterfield sofa and tartan throw-strewn armchairs sit around a cool coffee table (a collection of wooden letters making up the word ‘Dunton’), facing a large TV and stacks of books to borrow.
At the hotel
Living room, breakfast room (with free fridge supplies including cold cuts and milk, plus tea and coffee), free WiFi. In rooms: Nespresso coffee-maker, Aesop toiletries.
Our favourite rooms
As a nod to the hotel’s Tyrolean heritage, all the rooms have Austrian names. We’re particularly fond of Mankei, named after the local marmots which scurry around the mountains: dark-wood floors are strewn with furry rugs, and a separate entrance and small deck make it ideal for Smiths who prefer a little privacy. Alternatively, go for Hirsch – German for ‘deer’ – which has the best views of the Ajax Peak and Bridal Veil Falls.
Make room for your warmest woolies (and plenty of ski kit) in the winter months: Colorado temperatures dip well below freezing. In June and July, you’ll want jeans and sturdy hiking boots for exploring the many mountain trails.
Innkeeper Gareth is your first port of call for any questions: he’s a mine of information when it comes to ski gear, restaurant recommendations and what to see nearby.
Little ones are welcome, though there aren’t any baby monitors, toys, prams or other extras to borrow. With this in mind, we’d recommend it more for older Smiths. Baby cots can be added to all rooms free of charge.
All the tables are cosy and perfect for a mountain breakfast; we’d bag one facing the window to enjoy the quaint street views.
Ski gear, if you’re heading straight to the slopes, and classic country cowboy garb in the summer months – jeans, well-worn boots and a cotton shirt.
The cosy breakfast room is small but sweetly decorated; benches covered in burlap sacks sit opposite cushion-covered wooden chairs, and polished-bronze pendant lamps hang above white tables. Every morning, take your pick from freshly-made pastries and local cold cuts. If you find yourself peckish outside dining hours, the fridge and coffee-making kit is free for guests to use all day long (you’ll be thankful for a steaming cup of Joe come après ski).
Rise and shine for breakfast between 7.30am and 9.30am.
Dunton Town House is in the heart of Telluride, a skiing hotspot set in a box valley at the foot of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Situated on Oak Street, the hotel is steps from the gondola and a few minutes’ walk from the main street.
Telluride Airport is a 15-minute drive from the hotel, which can organise transfers from US$50 each way. Alternatively, jet into Montrose, which is better served by international airlines but further away from the hotel. From here, it’s a three-hour drive to Telluride and the hotel can organise transfers from US$690 each way.
Hire a car from the airport if you’d like to explore the area more widely in summer. In winter, however, it’s a different story: snow-packed mountain paths are dangerous to navigate if you’re not familiar with the roads, so stick to hotel transfers and taxis where you can.
Worth getting out of bed for
You probably already know what Telluride’s famous for, but you might not be aware that Dunton is pretty much as close as you can get to the action (without actually being on the slopes). The free gondola lift is a two-minute walk away, and will take you to the little town of Mountain Village – aptly named, as it’s your jumping-off point for all things piste-related: ski lifts, ski schools, mountain passes and kit rental. When the season’s over, there’s still plenty to do back down in Telluride. The summer months boast film and music festivals virtually weekly, with the top ticket being the annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in June. Warmer climes are also the ideal time to visit the magnificent Bridal Veil Falls and go horse-riding, fly-fishing and rock-climbing. For a truly special evening all year round, book a trip to the Aldasoro Ranch, where you’ll be taken by sleigh (or wagon, if it’s the summer) to a three-course dinner.
Housed in a wood-panelled chalet, La Marmotte is family-owned and as cosy as they come. It’s hard to predict what’ll make the daily-changing menu, as produce is always seasonal, but previous treats have included slow-baked sea bass, gruyère-stuffed chicken and panko-crusted lamb. Tucked off the main street, the Italian Telluride Bistro is a local favourite, especially in summer, when the wooden deck is always packed (make sure you order the pizza, which you can customise with pretty much any topping).
Locals and visitors alike flock to There, a bar serving fabulously inventive cocktails and even better light bites. Try the ‘apricot crisp’, an addictive blend of apricot jam, campari and prosecco, teamed with a few plates of tostadas, steamed buns and miso-glazed eggplant.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique Americana hotel at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and unpacked their skis, snowboards and goggles, a full account of their slopeside break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Dunton Town House in Telluride…
Telluride has earned the nickname ‘To-hell-you-ride’ thanks to its superb network of ski slopes criss-crossing the Rocky Mountains; however, you’ll be less in hell, more in heaven at Dunton Town House. This tiny inn – there are just five rooms – is a simple, understated stay that’s nonetheless as cosy as your own private mountain retreat. Decorated in classic, Tyrolean style in homage to the area’s history (this former mining town was once a hive for Austrian immigrants), you’ll find antiques, hand-woven fabrics and European ceramics displayed in every nook of the gabled, clapboard house.
Let innkeeper Gareth greet you with a wide smile and a steaming mug of Nespresso coffee in the living room (there’s a TV and a library here, so you’ll never be short of post-slope amusement) before showing you to a traditional, homespun room, complete with powder snow-soft bed and thick, shaggy rugs. However, you won’t want to sit around for long: with over 2,000 acres of prime skiing slopes surrounded by verdant forest, active Smiths will be longing to snap on their helmets, zip up their jackets and swoosh down the mountains.