After a fun, long holiday weekend getaway for Thanksgiving visiting our daughter and her husband near Vail, Colorado, we headed west on Interstate 70 to get our Glenwood Springs “fix.” We love this Colorado mountain town. It’s the perfect getaway about three hours west of Denver.
Our room was ready early, so we checked into one of our favorite hotels, The Hotel Denver, conveniently located in historic downtown Glenwood, directly across the street from the Amtrak Station. Roxie and her front desk staff are always friendly and helpful. This boutique hotel boasts a unique style with the perfect mix of old and new. Beautifully exposed original brick walls, antiques (not replicas) and modern chic touches throughout remind you that you are not in a “brand” hotel. Our room was impeccably clean, had its own unique quilt on the bed, a Keurig coffee maker, and other modern amenities. We enjoyed the beautiful view of the town and the surrounding mountains from our room.
After we checked in, we walked a few blocks from the hotel to the corner of 12th Street and Bennett Avenue, where the hiking trail to the historic Linwood Cemetery begins. Here you can follow the trail to well-worn paths and signs inside the Cemetery to the Doc Holliday grave marker. John Henry “Doc” Holliday, of American legend and folklore, was a dentist turned gambler and gunslinger and died at 36 of tuberculosis in Glenwood. He was in Glenwood hoping the hot springs water would cure him. We also followed signs to the grave of the bandit, Harvey “Kid Curry” Logan. This is a moderate hike about .7 miles roundtrip, and the views of the town from above are fantastic.
After the hike, we went back to our room to get our suits on and headed over to the Iron Mountain Hot Springs for a soak. A couple of years old now, the Iron Mountain Hot Springs is always on our “to do” list when we visit Glenwood. With your daily pass, you can spend as much time as you want there. You can soak in the morning and go back after dinner if you want (just keep your receipt). It’s less than a mile walk from many of the popular hotels and located right on the Colorado River. Enjoy views of the river while soft music plays in the background. We loved the 102-degree pool, close to the river, with a layer of river rock on the floor, providing the perfect tool for a foot massage. The Sand Bar and Sopris Cafe offer food and drinks – we choose to rehydrate with a couple of Vitamin Waters but saw a few margaritas and beers being consumed. Towels are $3, or you can bring your own. Lockers are free. Sixteen different mineral hot springs pools with varying temperatures and a heated freshwater family pool make for a relaxing and rejuvenating day.
Although I had a nice lunch there on a previous visit, dinner at The Pullman was even better (we recommend reservations). Our server recommended the calamari and shrimp served on top of a thick bed of cheesy grits as a starter. Wow! It was savory and delicious. Our pasta dishes were really tasty too. They had lots of menu options to appeal to a variety of taste buds, and we enjoyed our table by the window. Go for lunch or dinner – you won’t be disappointed. It’s located next door to The Hotel Denver, across the street from the Amtrak station, and a close to many downtown shops.
From our table by the window at The Pullman, we could see the historic Hotel Colorado across the Colorado River. Their holiday lights lit up this “Grand Dame” and its courtyard and I couldn’t wait to take a tour. So, when dinner was over, we walked across Glenwood’s new pedestrian river bridge (which was impressive) to get into the Christmas holiday spirit. The bridge was also beautifully lit with white holiday lights and even had an elevator for those that can’t or don’t want to climb the stairs to access the bridge. Hotel Colorado makes a big deal of Christmas, and they are ready to show it all off to everyone by Thanksgiving weekend. They even shoot off fireworks the Friday after Thanksgiving to celebrate the start of the holiday season. While we were not in town for that event, we were able to witness the hard work that went into their magnificent lights and displays. Inside and out the holiday decorations were amazing and worthy of a visit.
In the morning we decided to head back to Hotel Colorado to eat in their beautiful Baron’s Restaurant. Their new chef, Aaron Haga, formerly a sous chef at the well-known Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, does an amazing job. The bison hash was recommended (don’t knock it till you try it) and was truly one of the tastiest breakfasts I’ve had in a long time. The bison meat was tender, and the eggs, veggies, and potatoes were cooked perfectly. They are open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Whether your thing is an outdoor adventure, relaxation and restoration, or bonding with the “fam,” Glenwood has it all – rivers for rafting and fishing, mountains for skiing, hiking and biking, and attractions like hot springs pools and the Caverns Adventure Park. An easy drive on I-70 or take the Amtrak right into Glenwood for a truly relaxing getaway.
We never tire of our Glenwood Springs getaways.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Lori and Bruce Moss, Owners of Gateway Reservations