Need to know
Eight, including six Queen Cabins (three of which have lofts with twin beds), and two family-sized suites with two bedrooms and a bunk room each.
3pm; earliest check-in, 10am (both are flexible, subject to availability).
Double rooms from $1670.00, excluding tax at 10 per cent.
You can go room-only, but the (all the way to) Eleven Experience includes meals (prepared by an in-house chef), the house alcohol selection, an ensuite fresh-food minibar, use of all the facilities and guided expeditions.
The hotel is owned by the mega-luxe, extraordinary Eleven Experience group: if you like what you see, check out its Smith-approved sibling: Deplar Farm.
The lodge is designed for summer and autumn adventures, opening on Memorial Day (late May) and closing in mid-October, annually.
At the hotel
Extensive grounds; access to the river and fly-fishing pond; guide service with included activities: rock climbing, hiking, rafting, mountaineering, mountain biking, walk and wade fishing, drift fishing, stand-up paddle-boarding; spa cabin; games room (pool, foosball, darts); gym; climbing wall, marksman range, teepee, yard games (horseshoe, beanbags, table tennis). In rooms: free WiFi, iPod dock, minibar, Kiehls and Jack Black bath products. Green Drake is the only sleeping quarters with a TV.
Our favourite rooms
The Queen Cabins can feel a little on the cosy side, so if you’re not a light packer, we’d advise opting for the more spacious Green Drake, which is set out like a little standalone house, with two king-size bedrooms, a kids’ room with two bunk beds, a full kitchen and a living room. Three-bedroom Royal Wulff is another great option for families.
There’s a peaceful pool cabin decorated with a high, vaulted ceiling, elk antlers on the walls, floor-to-ceiling windows and river views. The pool spans about six metres; notch up mini laps while admiring the trees outside. Alternatively, idle around on a sunlounger or bubble away in the Jacuzzi positioned at one end of the pool. The pool cabin has a sauna, steam room and showers, too...
Unwind after your rambles and river-rafting with a massage or facial in the spa cabin, whose lures include cosy treatment rooms, Pilates machines, a running machine, yoga mats and more. It’s best to book treatments at least a day ahead, so you don’t risk disappointment. Outside the cabin, there’s a pretty lawn set up with games: table tennis, throw the bean bag, hula hoops and the ilk.
The great outdoors will feel much greater if you remember the following: polarised sunglasses for fishing trips, bug repellent and bite cream, a sun hat and waterproofs (it can get a tad rainy up in them there hills).
Full-package rates also include adventure gear and kit, a photography day, on-loan bicycles, airport transfers from Gunnison and Montrose, transfers to Crested Butte (subject to availability), local transportation and full concierge and holiday planning.
Four-legged explorers can come too for $50 a night (this includes an on-loan bed, bowl and leash, plus a care package). The hotel’s pooch-friendly cabins are Golden Stone, Pale Morning Dun and Green Drake. See more pet-friendly hotels in Almont.
Little Smiths will be in seventh heaven. Three of the Queen Cabins have bunk beds; there are also two three-bedroom lodges, which offer a lot more space. Babysitting can be arranged (from $20 an hour for two children).
All ages are welcome, although the hotel reckons it’s best for little Smiths aged between six and 12, or teenagers.
Book either Green Drake or the Royal Wulff: these standalone log houses each have three bedrooms and buckets more space for families to sprawl out in.
Active Smiths will love the outdoors adventures on offer here, which include fly fishing, white-water rafting, mountain biking, hiking, horse-riding and more. The excellent guides make sessions appealing to Smiths of all sizes and abilities, tailoring activities to different ages. Other distractions include the pool table, table football, table tennis and on-loan bicycles.
Water-babies will love splashing around the six-metre pool housed within the pool cabin; it’s unsupervised, so you’ll need to keep a beady eye on less confident swimmers.
The obliging resident chef will tailor to tots’ tastes and fussy palates; the hotel can provide highchairs and cutlery, if needed. Parents will be grateful for those well-stocked, free minibars, which contain a pleasing array of soft drinks, healthy snacks such as dried mango and sweet treats such as chocolate-coated pretzels.
Babysitting can be arranged for $20 an hour for two children (an extra $2 an hour charge applies to each additional ankle-biter).
No need to pack
The hotel can provide baby bedlinen, baby monitors, high chairs, booster seats, bibs, weaning spoons/kids cutlery, books, puzzles, crayons/paints and paper, U-rated DVDs and toys. For older ones, there are games consoles, arts and crafts and more.
The hotel also has an impressive stash of games, most of which are in the games room (natch); some of which are set up on the lawn outside the spa cabin: table tennis, throw the bean bag, hula hoops and so on...
As you’d expect from a lover of the great outdoors, Taylor River Lodge’s produce is either grown on-site or locally sourced; earth-kind cleaning and bath products are used.