FOR A LUXURY SOAK WITH A HISTORIC BACKDROP, DUNTON HOT SPRINGS RISES ABOVE THE REST.
The main bathhouse at Dunton Hot Springs is set inside a historic cabin. PHOTO COURTESY OF DUNTON HOT SPRINGS
THE STEAMY, MUSCLE-MELTING SPRING WATER at Dunton Hot Springs (duntondestinations.com) was the sole luxury afforded the gold and silver miners who burrowed into Colorado’s San Juans in the late 1800s. Today, those prospectors’ hand-planed cabins envelop travelers in a full spectrum of sensory delights, with mineral baths being but one.
Two cabins include private soaking pools: Well House incorporates a spring-fed indoor tub and Dunton Store sits beside an outdoor, summer-only plunge. Most guests take the waters inside Dunton’s timbered bathhouse or at two outdoor plunge ponds. Spa services and yoga sessions round out the restoratives. Outdoors, panoramas unfold, including the jagged 14,000-foot peaks of the Wilson Group and 13,296-foot Dolores Peak.
At Dunton Hot Springs, the Well House cabin has its own private soaking pool. PHOTO COURTESY OF DUNTON HOT SPRINGS
Inside the resort’s 15 guest lodgings, plush, sustainably made Parachute mattresses with down toppers will appease even pea-discerning princesses. Turkish cotton towels complement baths and soaks. Meals (included in the nightly rate) are served in the historic saloon, where chefs stationed in an open kitchen prepare whatever guests might fancy for breakfast. Dinner menus are steered by the food preferences noted at booking, but they always tap into the region’s finest small-farm edibles in dishes that are simple yet exquisite.
Continual upgrades ensure that luxury keeps pace with history. The cabins’ interior furnishings were renovated for 2023, and Dunton now welcomes guests in Chuck’s Cabin (formerly staff housing). Comprehensive modernizations also helped the resort achieve LEED Gold Certification, awarded this spring. Sustainable, authentic and lavish, Dunton checks all the boxes.
SOAK AND REPEAT.
Another Colorado destination, Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa (durangohotspringsresortandspa.com) earns runner-up status. While there’s no on-site lodging on the property, it makes for a paradisiacal day destination with over 40 mineral pools and Japanese-inspired Ofuro tubs nestled among botanic gardens. In 2020, a comprehensive makeover transformed the historic yet stodgy Trimble Hot Springs into a chic wellness oasis. Upgrades continue: A new Zen meditation garden and spa, opening in June, will offer a tranquil space. Starting at $80,000, property buyouts let groups make this their own exclusive Eden.
Durango Hot Springs has 40 mineral pools to choose from. PHOTO COURTESY OF DURANGO HOT SPRINGS RESORT SPA
Durango Hot Springs. PHOTO COURTESY OF DURANGO HOT SPRINGS RESORT SPA