Hotels & Lodging Outdoor Adventures Restaurants Spas The Rockies Travel: Hotels & Lodging Outdoor Adventures Restaurants Spas The Rockies Travel
I returned to Gateway Canyons recently and became even more enchanted by this magnificent site than when I first visited this resort two and a half years ago. Clearly they’d been busy at Gateway throughout this period, cultivating and refining the soothing oasis that has been created within the awe-inspiring red rocks of this unique southwestern Colorado location. Indeed, Gateway Canyons is well on its way to being a world-class resort. And certainly Gateway Canyons owner and founder of the Discovery Channel, John Hendricks, must feel proud about how his burgeoning resort has more than added to the beauty of this already spectacular setting.
Although just a two-hour (and quite scenic) drive from Telluride and Grand Junction, getting to Gateway can require a bit of an effort. But to me, this only adds to the appeal of this lovely resort. I can’t ever imagine it overrun by tourists and that certainly wasn’t the case when I stayed here a couple of weeks ago during peak time. This enabled me to while away peaceful hours by the Kiva Pool, sipping lemonade and eventually a prickly pear cactus daiquiri as I leafed through magazines. A quick dip in the pool’s cool, saline water allowed me to lounge in the desert heat until the surrounding rocks soaked up the sum of the day’s blistering sun. Ahhhh, that’s what I call relaxation.
Each evening, however, provided other opportunities for fun. I selected a different spot as the day ebbed on the resort’s beautifully manicured grounds to sip a glass of wine from my private stash. Here I marveled at the changing display of light on the rocks and in the sky as I chatted with friends. We enjoyed a bite one evening on the patio of the Paradox Grille, the resort’s more casual restaurant. But I fell truly under the spell of Gateway grandeur as we dined on the patio of Entrada, the resort’s fine dining establishment. I often say that fine dining is part theater, and outside at Entrada, you sit upon one of the most glorious theater sets of the world. Here, you’re just high enough to take in the best views the resort has to offer: the vast stretch of green lawn punctuated by giant cottonwoods, the interplay of light on the palisade, the towering monument that marks Gateway and the sky-blue pink sunset as the day morphs into night. Opera, twinkling lights and a fire pit made for smore-ing added to my “I feel like I’m in a movie/play” sentiments. A crescendo was hit as I savored a perfectly prepared piece of filet. And as fireworks were set off for a group of South Americans here on a Discovery Retreat, I remarked to myself that it wasn’t surprising that the man behind one of my favorite T.V. channels would fashion such an unparalleled experience.
In addition to taking in the resplendent grounds and superlative car museum of Gateway, there’s also lots of outdoor adventure to be enjoyed. This time I floated down the Delores in a duckie, an hour and a half fun-filled expedition that provided me with even more extraordinary vistas and giggles galore. I also ventured up into the canyon on an energetic hike that made me want to come back some day and go even farther. But it was my time in the new Spa at Gateway Canyons that lulled me into total reverie the most. As throughout the entire resort, the warm, earth-toned decor of this luxurious space eased me into deep relaxation. My highly-skilled esthetician gave me a facial that left my skin feeling plumped and pampered, well toned and hydrated. Here—as well as throughout the rest of the resort—the service was excellent.
I left the Spa and all of Gateway Canyons feeling like I had embraced the many healing benefits of this surely sacred place. I felt like the sun-drenched energy of the red rocks would live in me forever. And not surprisingly, I vowed to add to that red rocks vibe as often as my schedule would allow.
Read about my first trip to Gateway Canyons, a wondrous adventure I did with a girlfriend, at Going to Gateway.
Know that you can enjoy many of the amenities of Gateway Canyons—such as the Spa, the Auto Museum, the Adventure Center and the restaurant—without spending the night.