Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado
Our final stop on our wild west road trip was Colorado, or more specifically Dunton Hot Springs, an old ghost town turned beautiful hotel nestled on the edge of the Rocky mountains.
The landscape here was yet again, totally different and totally amazing. It really felt like it was in the middle of nowhere, a proper old Pioneer town straight out of West World (lol) with endless forest trails, waterfalls and pine-covered mountains as far as you could see. Driving here from Utah was pretty spectacular, if a little stressful when one wrong turn seemingly adds two hours to the journey time on google maps. I’d love to be someone that didn’t freak out with stuff like that but alas, driving non-stop for 6 hours with the threat of it being 8 and no one else to take the wheel, figuratively and literally, will do that to someone coming down from some serious anxiety over the last month. I’d love to always be the ‘cool girl’ but look what happened to the chick in Gone Girl when she tried to do that – she really fell off the deep end and turned into a psycho of the first degree! So yeah, it wasn’t the mellowest of journeys but despite a meltdown at the beginning, I was still able to appreciate what was going on outside the window….And it was pretty mega. I’m still upset we didn’t have time to do Monument Valley after all but you know, always good to save something for another adventure, another time. It was hard to imagine the landscape merging into what I expected Colorado to be after hours and hours of Mars-like red earth and rock formations. But just like that, I turned a corner and suddenly we were in Rocky cowboy country and starting the descend down a winding dirt track to Dunton…
So different from either of the cavernous, awe-inspiring Aman hotels, this was the perfect cosy bolt hole to end our trip. The cabins are like something out of Little House on the Prairie both inside and out, rugged from the outside but filled with little luxuries inside like Aesop products, wood-burning stoves and genuinely the most comfortable bed I’ve slept in in years. The name isn’t just for show either; the property is home to three different thermal hot springs you can soak in. All ranging in temperatures and different mineral compositions (lithium bath anyone?), they’re essentially the most back-to-nature spa experience you could hope to have. Days at Dunton are, like all of the other places on our trip, spent outside as much as possible. Hikes, rides and soaks are interspersed with communal meals served family style, games of pool and glasses of wine and chats around log fires. I can go both ways when it comes to communal dining at hotels. Sometimes, I just really want my own space and a lack of small talk. Other times, as I found at Dunton, you can meet a whole host of interesting people from all over. We even had one couple who had eloped and got married just the two of them one day at Dunton so we celebrated with them that evening which felt really sweet. We stayed in Chrissy’s tent, the only tented room on the property. I was kind of nervous it would be a little too like camping for me and you’d wake up to icy breath and condensation but it was the polar opposite and perfectly proportioned and snug inside. This is the kind of place where dogs belonging to various members of the team lol around in the sun and come and say hey, nothing seems to be too much trouble for the laidback staff and within a few hours you’re in the firmly rythm of Colorado life from a by-gone era. I would have loved to stay for a week and explore the surrounding areas a bit more, but two nights was more than enough to unwind and soak up the away-from-everything vibes Dunton’s based on.
If you’re ever in this part of the world or thinking or doing some kind of road trip through the Western states, definitely keep this little gem in mind. It’s really, really special and will get under your skin in a way no tropical getaway could I think.
Cord jacket | Urban Outfitters
Jeans | Levis at Free People
Bikini | Matteau
Necklaces | Lucy Williams X Missoma
Dark jeans | Redone
Suede boots | Ayede
Burgundy dress | Ba&sh
Hiking boots | Danner at Free People
Khaki jumper | Nililotan
We stayed at Dunton Hot Springs courtesy of Smith Hotels.
Ph. by myself and James Wright using the Olympus Pen-F and Contax G2