Atmospheric, luxurious Dunton Hot Springs in Dolores, Colorado.

In the 1800s, Dunton was a mining camp with workers housed in some of the most basic living quarters imaginable. Today, the miners’ shacks of Dunton (and a few other mining ghost towns) have been relocated, restored and reinvented as Dunton Hot Springs featuring some of the most luxurious digs in the world.

The historic and the hedonistic mingle seamlessly at Dunton Hot Springs.Expect buffalo skin rugs and Elemis and Molton Brown bathroom amenities in your cabin.  The saloon is stocked as well as any urban watering hole yet the original wooden bar is engraved with dozens of names of patrons past, including Butch Cassidy who is rumored to have hidden out in the mining town after robbing the bank in nearby Telluride.

The exteriors of each of the 12 cabins and houses look much as they originally did with plain and rugged sun-bleached boards and hand-hewn logs, corrugated iron roofs and small simple porches. But if the exteriors evoke the look and feel of a mining town, the interiors are all about eclectic, modern design. 

The Vertical Log Cabin, for example, has a copper bathtub on wheels (rescued from a brothel), a modern metal circular staircase up to the second floor loft and a Samurai coat on the wall in the master bedroom. The Honeymoon Cabin has a Rajasthani wedding bed. The Dunton Store Cabin is decorated with vintage western movie posters. Geysir Cabin is filled with African artifacts from the owners’ personal collection.

Dunton Hot Springs has even created a plushly appointed spa room inside a log cabin. Guests can choose from facials, massages or hot stone therapy.

Gourmet meals are included at Dunton Hot Springs where executive chef Dennis Morrisroe, who cooked with Thomas Keller in the French Laundry, turns out consistent stunners which are served at elegantly-set communal tables and usually accompanied by excellent Sutcliffe Wines.

Owned by John Sutcliffe, a former British Army officer who helped run Maxwell’s Plum restaurant and opened Tavern on the Green in New York City (among other varied and illustrious accomplishments), the winery in nearby Cortez produces a wide range of estate grown reds and whites.  Dunton Hot Springs can arrange an appointment to make a day trip to the beautiful winery and vineyard—highly recommended for the great wine (be sure to try the Hafoty Fawr blend), the area’s stunning beauty and the sheer passion of Mr. Sutcliffe.

The namesake natural hot springs at Dunton are not just a nice afterthought but a crucial part of Dunton’s past and its present. The presence of the soothing, restorative naturally occurring hot water (high in magnesium with a bit of lithium) is a major reason why the miners set up camp on the spot in the first place. Today Dunton Hot Springs makes it easy to take advantage of the springs with many different ways to soak in pools that range from 85 degrees F to 106 degrees F.

The restored 19th century bathhouse is home to a very large concrete soaking tub with a partially submerged swing seat that is comfortable, functional and playful. A plethora of plants give the bathhouse a terrarium-spa feel. Behind the bathhouse is a large natural outdoor pool.  Another outdoor pool is located behind the Dunton Store Cabin and guests can even climb down a ladder and sit in the water at its source near the Major Ross Cabin and the Echo Cabin (this is where the water is the hottest).

It is not uncommon to see guests strolling to and from these pools in the thick hooded robes provided in each room. Perhaps the most luxurious—and certainly the most private—way to soak, however, is in the spring-fed tub located in the middle of the Well House Cabin. The miners would have approved.

Rates from: $650 (summer/fall) including all meals, non alcoholic beverages unlimited use of the natural hot springs and hiking and mountain biking trails.

Dunton Hot Springs
52068 West Fork Road
Dolores, CO 81323
Phone: (970) 882-4800


Our review of this hotel was originally published by iTraveliShop

Visit our Travel Features page and our Hotel & Restaurant Reviews page to see all of our freelance travel stories.

Here’s more about travel in the USA


Share via