Imagine a Western movie set: a cowboy town located in a beautiful and secluded valley in the San Juan Mountains outside of Telluride, Colorado. Now picture an escapist all-inclusive luxury resort that never holds more than a few dozen guests. Merge the two and you have Dunton Hot Springs. Back in the 19th-century mining days, Dunton was a small town for miners in southwestern Colorado, built around the namesake hot springs they found here. When mining dried up, so did the town, but not the springs, and enlightened hotelier Christoph Henkel (who also owns some Aman and Four Seasons properties) spent seven years meticulously restoring the ghost town, transforming it into a tiny but luxurious resort.
Dunton has just 13 original settler cabins ringing a dance hall, saloon, hot springs bath house and library, while the massage and yoga studio occupies a former Pony Express mail office. The resort offers all sorts of outdoor activities, like horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking and fly fishing in summer, while winter brings snowshoeing and cross-country skiing onsite, with options for downhill, Sno-Cat and heli-skiing nearby, as well as ice climbing and dogsledding. All year-round you can enjoy the private hot springs, with two outdoor locations, a large indoor soaking pool and one of the cabins even has its own hot spring inside.
All rates include three meals of fantastic gourmet cuisine focused on ingredients that come straight from nearby Colorado farms — carefully paired with quality wines — most onsite activities and even long-distance calls and laundry. Call-brand cocktails are included, so belly up to the bar where onetime Dunton visitor Butch Cassidy famously carved his name a century and a half ago, an etching that can still be see today as you enjoy a fine bourbon or martini.