The Centennial State is all about the great outdoors, but between adventures the great indoors is important, too. These hotels – bookable with Culture Trip – should keep you comfy and dry while you plan your next big day out in Colorado.
Durango’s denizens often say they chose to live here not for fortune but for the smashing quality of life. Surrounded by sandstone bluffs and craggy peaks, it’s little wonder that the former mining hub transitioned to a recreation hotspot. Hiking through fields of Colorado wildflowers, rafting the Animas River’s waters and skiing the Purgatory are just a few attractions – plus there’s Durango Adventures and Zipline to feed your daring side. From log cabins deep in the Rockies to rustic brick hotels and living history museums, here’s what to use as your base camp.
Were it not for the jade roof, this brickwork inn would be almost perfectly camouflaged against the brown Smelter Mountain lying behind. Surrounded by fragrant pines just a block from downtown Durango, it feels old school in the most charming sense. The wood-toned lobby and rooms, paired with gold-framed paintings and country-style furnishings, give it a retro feel – though you won’t have to sacrifice modern amenities, such as in-room TVs and a fitness center.
Strater’s colonial exterior is mesmerizing in itself, but the lobby’s intoxicating mishmash of styles will have you oohing in admiration. Wall art brings the old mining times back to life, while floorboards creak underfoot. Baroque furniture and chandeliers stand out, while the reception’s Biedermeier clock clamors for attention. You’ll be testing your partner’s patience as you gaze at the restaurant’s brickwork and tiffany lighting instead of them.
Near the banks of the Animas River, Homewood Suites combines the charm of a rural homestay with the high-end amenities of a billion-dollar brand. Raw stonework adds a rugged edge to the wood-clad exterior, while inside the lobby’s exposed wood beams are softened with marble counter tops and modern lights. Doubling down on Homewood’s ultimately outdoorsy spirit, the extra-large studios boast wood tones and earth colors. Want to keep fit? There’s a basketball court and gym, plus an indoor pool and spa tub.
Courtesy of Baymont by Wyndham Cortez / Booking.com
This simple hotel is a 45-minute drive from where you want to be in Durango, but jump in the car and you won’t be grumbling for long. The route east takes you along US-160, otherwise known as the Navajo Trail Highway – considered to be one of the country’s most scenic. You’ll pass towering mesas, wide-open meadows and mountainsides cloaked in dense forest. Not that you necessarily need to leave your hotel room for similar views, given the Baymont’s lookout.
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Davy Crockett, eat your heart out. Arriving at this immaculately restored Wild West mining town feels like arriving at a pioneer settlement, albeit with an excellent wifi connection. Each cabin here looks as if it was built in the 1800s – and in some cases, they were – but are meticulously deconstructed and put back together to bring them up to modern-day safety standards, plus they’ve installed electric cabling and luxurious showers in the bathrooms. Don’t miss a soothing bath in the hot springs – the miners didn’t.
We love the feel of this restored 1904 hotel. Owner Daniel hasn’t gone to town on installing modern fixtures and fittings inconsistent with the building’s history. He’s kept things simple with timber-framed beds, keeping original doors and floorboards, and furnishing dressing rooms modestly with a scattering of period furniture. It feels authentic to the building’s purpose, particularly downstairs in the restored saloon – where the evenings are a clamor of glass-clinking and mountain stories.
Situated near Residence Inn Marriott and Holiday Inn, no-frills Wapiti jockeys for position with internationally known brands – but it scores well with distinctive retro charm. The studios, with 1940s cowskin couches and gold-framed paintings, are a visual delight, as are the guest rooms’ wooden accents and old-style armchairs. Whether you choose a room with or without a kitchen, do check out the terrace. You may spot deer and elk or in native Cree, “wapiti.”
This two-star lodge in the heart of Durango offers excellent value for money. Each cabin is spotless, kitted out with a flat-screen TV and coffee maker, and comes with free wifi. Continental breakfast and local calls are complimentary, too. Choose a room with a balcony if you like fresh air, or take a trip through San Juan National Forest’s staggering canyons aboard the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The train depot is just five minutes away.