Overview: On the banks of the Arkansas River, adjacent to the Buena Vista Boulder Garden, the 20-room Surf Chateau does things differently. First, there’s no lobby or keys: guests are sent a room number and entry code prior to arrival (don’t worry, someone’s on call 24/7). Second, many rooms are unique, with various sleeping configurations ideal for groups, and lush, stylish interiors featuring canopy beds, claw foot tubs, and gas fireplaces. Tucked in a walkable part of town, the hotel serves as an idyllic home base for the region’s outdoor offerings, including fly fishing, rafting, SUPing, mountain biking, and peak bagging Colorado’s famed 14ers.
Notable: Visit nearby Cottonwood Hot Springs, open until midnight, to relax after a long day outdoors. On the way, you’ll pass the ’60s-era Comanche Drive-In Theatre, open May to September.
One Tip: Get a buzz going at the Buena Vista Roastery before heading across the street for homemade pretzels and a to-go lunch at Simple Eatery. The café shares space with The Trailhead, a well-curated gear shop perfect for any last minute buys or rentals.
Stay Here If: You want to experience a genuine, small Colorado town, with history and pristine mountain views.
Information: Rooms start at $130 for a Cottage Queen in the off season, and go up to $250 for a Riverfront King Suite during the high season. surfchateau.com —Kiran Herbert
From our Early Summer 2016 issue.