By Kirstin Graber
Sometimes, the best part of a vacation is the lodging experience, and Colorado offers a wide variety of unique accommodations that can be the highlight of any trip. From sleeping in the luxury of the Broadmoor’s Cloud Camp to staying in a sleep yurt at the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse in Leadville’s backcountry, Colorado has plenty of unique places to stay. Below are just a few distinctive lodging offerings for travellers to experience on their next trip.
CHAUTAUQUA IN BOULDER
The Colorado Chautauqua, opened in 1898, is a historic 26-acre compound made up of 100 cottages, a restaurant, an auditorium, and a large park at the foot of the Flatirons. Originally opened with rustic tents, it now has lovingly restored cottages with historic charm. The cottages have no phones, televisions, or computers, but the cell and Wi-Fi coverage are excellent. Chautauqua also gives immediate access to Boulder’s famed open space and jaw-dropping vistas.
CLOUD CAMP IN COLORADO SPRINGS
The Broadmoor’s luxurious new Cloud Camp is located 3,000 feet above the storied hotel on Cheyenne Mountain. Guests check in at the Broadmoor and are then transferred to Cloud Camp by a four-wheel-drive vehicle, on the back of a mule, or by a guided three-hour hike. Cloud Camp sits at 9,200 feet and sleeps 56 guests. For a truly unique experience, stay in the Fire Tower Suite, a suite located at the top of the historic Colorado fire tower with 360-degree views of the Rockies and Pikes Peak.
FAR VIEW LODGE IN MESA VERDE
Mesa Verde National Park is a one-of-a-kind destination in itself, but staying at the Far View Lodge will enhance that experience. Located 15 miles inside the park, the Far View Lodge is a true western adventure. The lodge has 150 rooms, each without the distractions of an in-room television or cell phone service. Instead, guests spend the day viewing wildlife, exploring the park’s extraordinary cliff dwellings, and looking at the scenery of four different states.
TENNESSEE PASS COOKHOUSE IN LEADVILLE
Accessible by cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or hiking, guests at the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse — located in the backcountry around Leadville — enjoy a delicious four-course meal while viewing the sunset over the mountains. Tennessee Pass Cookhouse also offers sleep yurts, each with its own kitchenette, hand crafted log beds, cozy linens, and more for those looking for a unique Colorado sleep adventure.
THE BIVVI IN BRECKENRIDGE
Staying at a hostel is something everyone should do at least once in his/her lifetime, and the Bivvi in Breckenridge is the perfect spot to try it out. The mountain lodge has six classic hotel rooms and four rooms designed to serve as a contemporary hostel complete with cozy bunk beds that are custom-made from Norwegian Pine, as well as personal reading lanterns and privacy curtains. After a day on the mountain, guests enjoy relaxing back at the Bivvi, hanging out at the community fire pit, or in the hot tub while sharing tales of the day with other travelers.
Denver’s only pop-culture hotel, The Curtis — a Doubletree by Hilton — recently underwent a $7 million property renovation last summer and upgraded all 336 guest rooms and the lobby. On the 13 themed guest floors, the hotel created “hyper themed” suites that include a Star Trek Enterprise suite on the “Sci-Fi” floor, a Ghostbusters suite on the “Dun Dun Dunnnnn” floor and a Talladega Nights suite on the “Pedal to the Metal” floor.
THE CRAWFORD IN DENVER
In the old offices of Denver’s Union Station, the recently-opened 112-room Crawford Hotel, provides an opportunity to experience Denver’s Western heritage while enjoying modern amenities. The Crawford Hotel has a unique vibe with three different styles of rooms including “Pullman” rooms modeled after the luxury private railroad sleeping cars, the “classic” rooms with tall ceilings and large windows, as well as “loft” rooms with exposed wood timbers and contemporary designs.
THE OUTLOOK LODGE IN GREEN MOUNTAIN FALLS
Situated northwest of Colorado Springs, the six- room Outlook Lodge is known as a Victorian style, private, hidden escape. The lodge is surrounded by trees and the untouched American west, with a view of Pikes Peak in the distance. The Little Beaver Inn, a sister property that was originally a motor lodge built in the 1950s, will open in early 2015 as a five-room private property in Green Mountain Falls in Pikes Peak National Forest.
THE RIVER HOUSE AT SMITH FORK RANCH IN CRAWFORD
What started as a restored historic ranch where only friends of the owners would vacation, is now the beautifully appointed Smith Fork Guest Ranch. Visitors stay in historic buildings, which have been lovingly restored and furnished with American primitive antiques, and original art and crafts from the hands of the best western and Native American artisans.
TWO RIVERS WINERY & CHATEAU IN GRAND JUNCTION
France comes to Colorado at the Two Rivers Winery & Chateau in Grand Junction. Surrounded by beautiful vineyards, the chateau offers upscale lodging with stunning views of the Colorado National Monument, the Bookcliff Mountain Range, and the Grand Mesa. After a day of exploring, wind down at the Two Rivers Winery tasting room with some delicious wine.