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Smith’s roving hotel hunter, Mary Garvin, has been dispatched on a very special mission – revisit her Stateside homeland, go deep into the Wild West, and don’t come back without finding hotel gold in them there hills. Oh, and take some nice piccies for the Smith Travel Blog, of course.

First stop: Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado

Dunton Hot Springs is hot indeed – no chance of getting cabin fever in these parts – unless you sit in the bubbling springs for too long. The abandoned ghost town has been lovingly, luxuriously, and authentically resurrected to make one of the most unique retreats we’ve ever come across. The European owners bring an elegant touch to this tucked away corner of the San Juan mountains in the Colorado Rockies. Complete with natural mineral hot springs indoor and out, a roaring waterfall, tepees, rushing river, hiking trails, fly-fishing, horseback riding, and exquisite food – this is a place that quietly draws you in and makes it oh-so-hard to leave. Hands down, one of my new favourite places in the world.

1) This is the view from Vertical Log, our two-bedroom cabin  (with spare beds in a loft upstairs if you’ve got kids in tow) at Dunton Hot Springs…


2) Sitting room in the town saloon…


3) One of the coolest bars we’ve ever come across – you can just feel the history by running your hands across the bar top – hundreds of names are scratched into the wood.


4) Check out the bottom right – ‘Butch + Kay’. Why, that would be none other than Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – they holed up in Dolores after robbing a bank in Telluride just over the mountain. Doesn’t get much more Wild West than that.


5) And back to the front porch of our luxuriously cosy cabin (I grew up in Brooklyn watching double bills of Little House on the Prairie, desperately wishing that one day I could live a day in the life of Laura Ingalls so I’m pretty jazzed about this joint). Views so good even the wildlife stop to take it all in. That there is a marmot – the squirrel’s overweight cousin.

Watch this blogspace for more news on Mary’s snap-happy adventures, bizarre 70s TV fantasies, and new additions to Mr & Mrs Smith’s US boutique hotel collection

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