Mountain Majesty: Dunton Town House in Telluride, Colorado
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To The Point
Dunton Town House is a friendly escape in the midst of a beautiful, mountainous landscape. Pros: amazing service, perfect location, charming rooms. Cons: breakfast only, limited number of rooms, not for points or miles.
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To celebrate the big 1-0 anniversary this year, we flirted with the idea of going somewhere far away but ultimately decided on two smaller getaways. The first without the kids was courtesy of Hyatt award nights at the Miraval Resort and Spa outside of Tucson, Arizona. But for the second half of the celebration, we wanted somewhere that was much cooler in early September than Texas. We were also craving a touch more adventure than could be found at a spa retreat.
That’s where Dunton Town House in Telluride, Colorado, came in.
Telluride is a small mountain town of fewer than 2,500 residents with few traditional hotels and virtually no large properties. Since it is a ski town, there certainly are places to stay, but it’s a town that can sell out of lodging options during big events. We happened to decide to visit Telluride during the annual film festival, which almost landed us an anniversary weekend spent in a rental car.
Thankfully, our preferred bed and breakfast, Dunton Town House, had a last-minute cancellation. Dunton Town House opened in late 2016, making it the newest lodging in Telluride, though it is far more bed and breakfast than hotel.
Rates vary by room type and season, from $350 to $700. Our room, Reh, was one of the larger rooms, and we paid the highest festival rate of $550 per night.
While I am fairly certain I have seen Dunton Town House on sites like Hotels.com in the past, I couldn’t find it listed there when we booked. If you can find the property on Hotels.com, you could earn 10x miles by booking via Hotels.com and paying with your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (through Jan. 31, 2020). Alternatively, you could use miles from your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard by charging the travel purchase to those cards.
We booked our stay directly with the hotel and earned 3 points per dollar on the travel charge by paying with my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Dunton Town House was in an absolutely ideal location for exploring Telluride, roughly a block away from the free Telluride Gondola and about two blocks away from Telluride’s main thoroughfare, Colorado Avenue. We were easily able to walk to all of our meals, some hiking trails, shops and more. Despite its central location, we heard virtually no street noise at night, even with the windows partially open.
When we arrived on a Friday afternoon, a farmers market was set up right in front of the property.
Dunton Town House was not a big hotel but rather a high-end bed and breakfast that houses a maximum of around 10 guests at any one time. Our host for the stay met us out in the street to help park the car when we arrived and continued to meet all of our needs for the duration of the weekend visit. There was not a traditional formal check-in process, but rather a tour of the home and a rundown of ways we could relax and enjoy ourselves there during our stay.
The keys to the room were real keys, we had a direct line to our on-site host, and we felt right at home from the moment we walked in the front door.
Each of the five rooms at Dunton Town House was unique. Our room was a king room on the ground level, accessed by walking through the entry room of the house and then back out onto an exterior hallway.
“Reh” means “roe deer” in German, and the deer theme was carried throughout the room, with accents on items such as pillows and curtains.
There was a large couch, dresser and TV.
The bed felt large even for a king and was comfortable enough, though the pillows were quite floppy and it took two or three of them combined to get decent head support.
My favorite thing about the room was simply cracking open the windows and feeling the cool early-September mountain air chill the room. Add a cup of hot tea brought to us by the host and you have my version of vacation perfection.
Our room had a relatively large, bright and white en suite bathroom with two pedestal sinks and lots of cozy towels.
There was a shower/tub combo, but the tub was deeper than most. If you have any mobility issues, getting in and out may be a challenge, but I found it perfect for soaking after a long hike. The shower pressure and temperature were good and easy to control.
There were a variety of high-end Aesop bath amenities available in the bathroom in addition to two thick robes with the Dunton logo.
Food and Beverage
An included continental European breakfast was served each morning from 7:30am to 10am. Breakfast quickly became one of my favorite times of the day, as it was a true joy to chat with the other guests and the host. We often stick to ourselves on vacation, but the warmth here made us want to sit down and chat with other travelers over coffee.
Breakfast consisted of pastries brought in from a Telluride bakery, fresh berries, yogurt, granola, sliced meats, cheese, bagels, jam, orange juice and coffee.
The food was laid out on the main table, and you could make and refill your plate as often as you wished. I found the selections to be plenty varied for a weekend stay.
As a coffee lover, I was particularly impressed that the coffee was made using a Chemex, which we first learned of last year while staying at the Andaz Costa Rica and have periodically used for our own morning coffee routine ever since.
Though breakfast is the only meal served at the Dunton Town House, you could help yourself to the well-stocked fridge and pantry, which held wine, beer, soda, candy and fruit, for no additional charge.
There were also bowls of beef jerky, granola bars, chips and fruit set out on the main table each afternoon.
Factoring in the breakfast, snacks and drinks we enjoyed at Dunton, the $350-plus rates weren’t quite as painful as they were at first glance.
There weren’t a lot of amenities to speak of at this small bed and breakfast, but there were a couple of things worth a mention. First, we were told they’re actively looking into putting in a small heated pool. They don’t like the word “hot tub” and want something a bit more sophisticated, so fingers crossed.
There was a common room above the breakfast area where you were free to watch TV, play games, read a book or just kick back and relax, which is exactly what we did. There was also a room for your skis, boots and winter equipment.
The host himself was an amenity of sorts, as he was great at making local recommendations, reservations and could even coordinate activities at their sister property, Dunton River Camp, about 90 minutes away. If we had stayed another day, I would have almost certainly booked the $100 full-day fishing trip, which included fishing on the Dolores River, lunch at the farmhouse deck and access to their hiking trails.
Though no children were present on our stay, large families can book out the entire five-room property at a discount, and children 2 years and up can stay in the in the rooms for an additional $100 per night. Though the website states no rollaways, we were told in person that rollaways could be an option for families, so I’d inquire directly with the property.
I would not hesitate to book a stay at Dunton Town House with just my two girls on a future ski trip to Telluride, as the property is steps from the gondola that takes you up the mountain, but it may work best for a couples getaway.
We enjoyed our stay immensely, and the only thing that made leaving OK was looking forward to a return trip. This historic home with its warm and personalized service would be special anywhere, but in the middle of a magical place like Telluride, it was just about perfect. A summer visit was idyllic, but I hope my next visit is during the ski season so we can take full advantage of the gondola.
Many of our stays are at chain properties in order to leverage miles and points to stretch our vacation budget. However, there is a time and place for everything, and a 10th anniversary was the perfect time to slow down the pace, let in some fresh mountain air and enjoy our time at Dunton Town House in Telluride.
All images courtesy of the author.
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