Known for its remarkable natural beauty, Colorado is the place to be for those craving a reconnection with nature. During the summer months, you can ride horseback across the state’s great plains; in the fall, venture to the forests and surround yourself with golden, quaking aspens. Spend winter mornings atop one of many ski slopes, gazing in awe as the snow-covered mountain peaks and pastel sky gently meet. And, in the spring, take a hike through lush fields alongside glistening lakes.
When it comes to falling asleep at night, consider one of these eight stays, and you’ll never have to part with nature on your Colorado getaway.
Cliff House is one of the most literal examples of ‘bringing the outside in’. On the Sleeping Ute Mountain in the McElmo Canyon, a 20-minute drive from the town of Cortez, the home provides a next-level nature immersive experience. Built into the rock face, the orange-textured cliffside creeps into multiple rooms in the house. Outside you’ll find panoramic views of the canyon and an array of native plant species. They bloom all summer long, juxtaposing green against the orange of the rock face. It’s impossible to escape the outdoors here.
Dunton Hot Springs
Venture deep within the San Juan Mountains, and you’ll stumble across Dunton Hot Springs. The reincarnated 1800s ghost town is now a charming, old-world boutique hotel resting in nature in the Rocky Mountains. At this exclusive location, you’ll stay the night in one of the 14 whimsical hand-built cabins. While here, you’ll find a bathhouse brimming with the warm water of the town’s original spring, a tumbling waterfall, and a tranquillity that can’t be matched.
Frontier Drive Inn
Once a drive-in movie theatre and now a blend of film, food, architecture and art, Frontier Drive-Inn is Colorado’s newest experimental hospitality destination. In the vast San Luis Valley, the drive-in has reopened after 35 years as a ‘drive-inn’, with 14 accommodation options, from swanky Steelmaster sheds to luxurious yurts. Every room is a truly unique experience, with no two being alike. Come for a movie night under the stars amongst agricultural land, and stay for embellished retro dwellings, live music, art and design events, and curated dinners.
Gravity Haus Steamboat
Hospitality group Gravity Haus is known for its award-winning blend of adventure and modernism. Having recently expanded, they’ve opened their 4th hotel experience in Colorado in Steamboat Springs. At the base of the Steamboat Gondola, the boutique hotel brings the ski slopes as close to you as possible. For those wanting a break from the slopes, the hotel’s heated outdoor pool and hot tub are a great alternative for connecting with nature. Inside you’ll find an eatery and bar where you’ll be met by the signature Gravity Haus community atmosphere, an ideal stay for those looking for a modern adventure lifestyle.
Find yourself in the depths of Colorado’s wilderness at the Zapata Ranch, where the San Luis Valley and the Great Sand Dunes National Park meet. During the day, spend your time horseback riding through colossal plains alongside Zapata’s 2,000 wild bison, taking in the views around you. At night, fall asleep in the original ranch homestead built in the 1800s, a fusion of history and elegance. Included in your stay are three indulgent meals per day made using only the finest of gourmet ingredients and local produce.
Ski Bridge Lodge
The epitome of rustic luxury, Ski Bridge Lodge is an exquisite six-bedroom home crafted from reclaimed barn wood and Canadian wood beams. The home’s grand windows provide impressive views of the surrounding mountains in Breckenridge, specifically Peak 8 and Baldy Mountain. On the Snowflake Ski Run, Ski Bridge Lodge brings the slops — quite literally — to your doorstep. Its location couldn’t be more ideal for any avid skier. While inside the home, there’ll be no disconnect from the outside world. The house boasts deep wooden ceilings and floors alongside floor-to-ceiling stone fireplaces.
Flora House in Denver is a stay to consider for those who prefer the city but are still after a subtle touch of nature. In the city’s oldest subdivision, the renovated Victorian mansion was built in 1892 by one of Denver’s “most historically significant architects”. Originally a residential building, Flora House has been operating as a hotel since 1996. The three-story house has seven room options for your stay, each with its own natural charm. The hotel focuses on embracing sustainability and the natural environment by incorporating live plants and unique botanical details into each room.
At the base of Winter Park, nestled amongst towering Aspen trees, you’ll find 31 newly built A-frame cabins. The A-frame Club is a throwback to the early days of skiing in Colorado, with an original saloon on site. On three acres of land, the property combines nature and the outdoors with a classic 1970’s inspired aesthetic; it’s a comfortable and cosy stay. Spend your afternoon at the Saloon sipping a refreshing beverage on the heated outdoor apres deck.
Lead image: Dunton Hot Springs