As much as I love Denver, I also love getting out of the city. A couple weeks ago, we drove 2-1/2 hours across the state to hang out in Glenwood Springs.
When you drive west on 70, you slowly ascend out of the ruddy brown canyons and make your way up to those indigo mountains dusted with snow. Ski resorts surround you left and right. However, if you keep driving past Vail, the road starts to level out and you can see for miles around you. Then, you begin your descent into Glenwood Canyon.
On the other side of the canyon is Glenwood Springs, which is famous for its hot springs. There’s also an amusement park, tons of restaurants, and shops to check out. It’s a pretty small town but it’s well kept and reminds me of cowboys and old western movies.
Before checking in for our reservation at Iron Mountain Hot Springs, we stopped in downtown Glenwood for lunch at Slope & Hatch. At the moment, it was carry-out only but they let us know there were heated igloos outside that we could eat in.
When we went to Iron Mountain, there was quite a few people there as 1. it was Valentine’s Day and 2. it was a three-day weekend. They have a great facility there with a little boutique, spacious locker rooms, and food & drink stand. The hot springs themselves are split off into little pools with a range of temperatures. Even though there was a crowd, we still had plenty of room to relax and take in the views at a safe social distance.
Later, we checked into Hotel Colorado, which is listed as a Historic Hotel of America. It was built in 1893 and the go-to of anyone who was anyone back in the day. The Unsinkable Molly Brown stayed there, the Mayo brothers of Mayo Clinic visited to investigate the healing properties of the hot springs, President Taft, and most notably, President Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt. The beloved “teddy bear” is said to be coined at the famous hotel.
The story goes that after an unsuccessful hunting trip, Roosevelt returned to the hotel empty handed. To cheer him up, the hotel staff crafted a little bear made out of fabric scraps, and that’s where the story of the stuffed bear came from.
The hotel itself is very beautiful and decorated with a mix of vintage leather and plush furniture. Its high ceilings and wide hallways also double as a gallery filled with memorabilia. If you’re looking for a place to step back in time, I recommend a stay here.
We went to dinner at the Pullman, which is an excellent little gastropub conveniently located across the bridge from Hotel Colorado. I ate there last fall upon my friend Lily’s recommendation and I was very excited to hear that we would be dining there again. The Pullman has a seasonal collection of small plates and entrees, plus a great wine and cocktail list. I give its service, ambiance, and experience a 10/10.
The next morning for brunch, we decided to “stay in” and check out the restaurant at the hotel. We ordered the buffalo hash and banana’s foster crepes, and had plenty of time to eat before we had to check out and head back to Denver. The springs, the history, the food — it was definitely just what we needed.