Oh my word! Arrived after a long drive (you are an hour from the nearest town in each direction) and it felt like you had arrived in paradise! We pulled up and were met by a nice lady named Chel who showed my wife where to check in and said she would be back with a buggy to show us the way to our room. The receptionist was efficient, if not very effusive, but Chel went back in to the reception and offered my wife a bottle of chilled water and also brought one out to me in the car.
We then followed Chel (who was in a golf buggy) to the parking area. We were staying in one of the Palisade Casitas so we had our own covered car port. Chel then transferred the cases (and us) to the buggy and took us to our casita.
We entered the casita, which was absolutely glorious. It had a massive living space including a large couch, two soft chairs and two huge pouffes, a gas log fire, dining table for eight people. There was a fridge, and a coffee maker and mineral water was provided to use in this.
The bathroom included a massive shower (could easily accommodate five people), a huge soaking tub complete with wine glass holder, and a double vanity. The toiletries were lovely – coconut and mango. There were plenty of towels and my wife particularly liked the ‘make-up remover’ flannel – it was black to hide the mascara! We also had an outside shower, and a further shower in the powder room down the hall. There was a separate cloakroom for hanging coats, etc., which included an umbrella and torch.
The bedroom was a good size and also had another gas log fire, bed was very comfortable. Outside the bedroom there was a little garden with a table and chairs. There was a massive walk-in closet which also had a wardrobe and ironing board. Towels for use outside were kept in this closet.
There was also an upstairs sitting room with a writing desk and a balcony looking out across the estate towards woodland with lots of wild turkeys wandering around in the one of the fields. This had a table and a couple of chairs.
Finally, there was another outside area next to the sitting room, with two reclining loungers, a table and four chairs, a fire pit with more chairs and a telescope. We also had our own hot tub. The fire pit was very easy to use – just flick a switch in the living room and it came to life. It was utter bliss sitting out there, looking at the stars through the telescope and staying warm by the fire.
The rooms each have a garden surrounding them, which helps to screen you from other casitas and certainly makes it feel more private.
Although there are several restaurants on site, we opted for room service our first evening. This is brought to you in an adapted golf cart, with a heated section at the back. The menus in the restaurants are good and it is not too expensive. If you were staying four or five nights you could easily have a varied selection.
As for the resort itself, there was a fantastic pool area that was virtually deserted. This included a massive hot tub, a water polo pool and a ‘proper’ pool with a lovely waterfall splashing into it. There is a bar at the pool, which provides drinks and snacks (sandwiches, kobe dogs, salads, etc).
There are a number of lakes and lots of wildlife. You could sit in your garden enjoying the absolute silence and watch the humming birds flit around and the rabbits wandering in and out of the shrubs.
You could use bikes to go around – there was no charge for this but you were politely asked not to keep the bikes for more than a couple of hours, so others could use them. There were many activities available but the one we booked was the helicopter tour. This was absolutely fantastic. When we booked we were asked if we would be prepared to share the ride with others, thus reducing the cost to ourselves. However, as this was a 50th birthday holiday for both my wife and myself, we asked if we could just have the helicopter to ourselves and we were told this was fine. So a huge shout out to both Sandy (the organiser) and Mike (the pilot) for making this a truly memorable birthday present. The 30 minute trip was outstanding and Mike was so knowledgeable.
Now the (very few) negatives. Although we have given the resort five stars, it would really be 4¾. I know that you are in the middle of the countryside here, and as such you would expect cobwebs, etc. However the gap between the windows and the outside screens were very grubby, as were the outsides of the higher windows. There were lots of cobwebs that had obviously been there a long time. I don’t think it would take too much to clean them off – just a long broom and sweep them off once a week. There was also a lot of dried bird droppings on the chairs outside. These were easy to get rid of but housekeeping didn’t do this.
The fridge was mostly clean but there were a few ‘drink rings’ in one of the sections (think cola on the bottom of your glass that has not been wiped away). Also, although there were four cans of wine in the fridge, they were all a sweet wine, and there was no red wine.
Finally, the room information folder included the in-room dining menu but not a drinks menu. When we ordered our dinner we had to rely on room service to choose the wine. A list in the room would make things easier.
I stress that these are minor niggles and would in no way stop us from coming here again. In fact, we are already planning this.
It is not a cheap place to stay – we paid $1,500 dollars per night – but if you want somewhere for a honeymoon, or a special occasion, this is absolutely the place to go.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- There are many reasons to visit Colorado's Gateway Canyons Resort, an award-winning destination located in the secluded Unaweep Canyon of Western Colorado. Surrounded by the vast lands of the Uncompahgre Plateau, Piñon Mesa and La Sal Mountains, our full-service resort features exceptional lodging, dining, outfitting, educational programs and the world-class Gateway Colorado Auto Museum. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gateway Canyons Hotel Gateway