Chipeta Solar Springs Resort
Ridgway is best known as a jumping-off point to all the San Juan Mountains adventure you can have in nearby Telluride and Ouray. But it’s also a glorious peak-strewn destination unto itself. Visitors love this quirky community for its vibrant Ridgway Creative District and quick access to Mother Nature. Make Chipeta Solar Springs Resort your home base, and you’ll find yourself wishing you could stay a bit longer.
At this boutique resort, you can take your pick of one-of-a-kind guest rooms featuring a variety of styles and sizes, many of which come with gas fireplaces, granite wet bars, private decks and hot tubs. Furnishings and decor have a decidedly Southwestern feel, with colorful tiles, ornate metal detailing and woven-blanket wall hangings dotted throughout the resort.
Other Chipeta amenities include two outdoor solar-heated soaking pools, a full-service spa, a circular cedar sauna and steam room, The Ridgway Restaurant and the Great White Buffalo Bar.
What makes it special?
It’s the hotel’s luxury finishes and focus on creating unique spaces for guests. For instance, you can kick back in one of the Great Room’s mahogany-colored leather couches while appreciating flourishes like unfinished wooden beams, warmly lit stained glass, antique wood-and-leather snowshoes and a grand wooden bar that looks like linked tree trunks. This is also where breakfast is served, so plan to tuck into freshly baked quiche while you lounge.
The most “Colorado” thing about this place
Colorado is known for its many hot springs, and Chipeta has two of its own. During your stay, you can soak in two solar-heated thermal pools in the resort’s courtyard. The smaller of the two — tiled like a Roman bath — is heated to 103 degrees. And the larger lap pool is heated to 85 degrees, even in winter.
All said, the private spa is pretty awesome. Guests can book nurturing massages, body treatments and facials. Schedule the Rose Quartz Massage, for example, for scents of floral and citrus, then get stretchy with one of the spa’s complimentary yoga classes. After your treatment, head to the Spa Garden for even more relaxation. This walled courtyard features numerous places to lounge while wrapped in a white fluffy robe. You’ll love the ambient noise of a babbling fountain as you sip a fragrant tea.
Best room to book
We’re going with Chipeta’s well-equipped and stylish Locha Studios that boast their own private hot tubs with breathtaking views of San Juan peaks.
Our favorite traveler review
“I stayed here with a friend when we were in the area for an ice-climbing festival. As soon as you get out of the car the place smells amazing, like cedar wood, whether you're in the parking lot or your balcony. The bed/comforter/pillow were by far more comfortable than other hotel beds. The balcony has stairs so that you can access either side of the building right from your room or can use the inside door to stay inside for breakfast. [The] hot-spring soaking tub was great, perfect temp and private, with a fire going in the evening. The breakfast was diverse, staff were kind. Would definitely stay here again, loved it.” — Lauren J., Tripadvisor
Things to see and do nearby
Tour the Ridgway Fuse, which includes artist studios, jewelers, galleries and a historic theater lovingly nicknamed “The Sherb.” The artsy town also hosts monthly full-moon art walks, so you may want to take note of the lunar cycle while planning your visit. Here are more fun ideas for three days in Ridgway >>
Just under an hour away by car, Telluride makes for a fun day trip. No matter the time of year, there’s something to do in this historic silver-mining town known for wintertime skiing and summertime music festivals.
Or hop in the car for a quick 20-minute drive and you’ll find yourself in Ouray, another silver-boom town loved for challenging ice-climbing routes. You don’t need to wield a pick and snow ax to enjoy Ouray’s offerings, however. You’ll feel amazingly relaxed while soaking in a toasty pool at either Orvis Hot Springs or Ouray Hot Springs.
Photos courtesy of Chipeta Solar Springs Resort