The Peck House
83 Sunny Ave., Empire, CO 80438
The Peck House’s bragging rights are that it is Colorado’s oldest operating hostelry. It was built in 1860 as the Peck family home and began operating as an inn in 1862. Its 10 antique-filled guest rooms without televisions or telephones rewind the calendar to an earlier era, when comfort rather than grandiosity were the marks of hospitality. A small parlor invites quiet socializing, and the inn’s restaurant serves American and Continental classics. Set back from U.S. 40 just 2 miles from I-70, the Peck House is surrounded by extensive gardens.
Rochester Hotel & Leland House
721 E 2nd Ave.
Durango, CO 81301
These two historic buildings across the street from each other are under the same family ownership and management. Built in 1892, the Rochester Hotel has 15 rooms, and the Leland House, built in 1927 as an apartment house, has 10 rooms. All guest rooms and all public spaces are filled with antiques and memorabilia – and ineffable charm. Gourmet breakfast with a changing entrée every day is served year-round in the Rochester Hotel lobby and in summer also in the hotel’s old-fashioned train car or flower-filled courtyard. In the afternoon, tea and fresh-baked cookies are set out, too. Cruiser bikes are available free of charge for guests to explore delightful Durango.
Taharaa Mountain Lodge
3110 S. St. Vrain (Hwy. 7)
Estes Park, CO 80517
This sprawling, luxury lodge is decorated in a Rocky Mountain motif with beautiful Western art throughout. Rugs, pottery, paintings and basketry from the region adorn the public spaces and nine rooms and nine suites. The Taharaa serves gourmet breakfast in the dining room or on the adjacent deck, and afternoon refreshments are set out in the Great Room next to a huge, crackling fire. The outdoor spa set in a spacious gazebo provides relaxation with a fantastic mountain view. The lodge normally requires three-night stays in high season and two nights in low season but will accommodate one-night requests if available.
The Thomas House
307 E. First St.
Salida, CO 81201
Built in 1888 to accommodate Denver and Rio Grande Railroad workers, The Thomas House is now a bed-and-breakfast within walking distance of Salida’s downtown shops and restaurants, and near the Arkansas River and on the lee side of the mighty Sawatch Range. There are two rooms with a shared sitting room and three suites in the historic main house and a cottage accommodating up to four. All are furnished differently from the floral Mt. Shavano to the yellow, green and blue hued quilts of the Mt. Ouray Suite. The Thomas House serves a full cooked breakfast every morning, and wireless Internet as well as an outdoor hot tub is available for guests’ enjoyment.
- Mile High Cheapskates Claire Walter & Laura Daily keep Denver/Boulder residents informed about the latest deals, discounts and freebies at MileHighOnTheCheap.com