Located in an uncrowded, beautiful corner of Colorado, Chipeta Solar Springs Resort gives you a chance to visit an authentic mountain town. The only accommodations in Ridgway, you’ll find an onsite spa, yoga classes, and two solar heated thermal pools available for guests. Read all about what we experienced during our family stay in one of their two bedroom condos. And enjoy the tips on dining in the area, and what to be sure and bring along.
Chipeta Solar Springs Resort in Ridgway, Colorado
Chipeta Solar Springs Resort in Ridgway is a relaxing place to stay and enjoy Western Colorado beauty. Two outdoor solar-heated thermal pools are open year round, and make it a family-friendly resort with a special addition. If you’ve got extra time for a spa treatment, facial, or yoga class, they have an impressive spa and studio right on site. With only 25 lodging units, be sure to book early if you plan to visit during the peak times of summer, fall colors, or ski season. The resort offers a range of standard or deluxe rooms, or one and two bedroom condos. The nicer units feature a fireplace and personcal hot tub on the deck.
And have I mentioned the views? This is a gorgeous and relatively uncrowded corner of Colorado. Bring the camera; you’ll be surrounded by some breathtaking Rocky Mountain skylines.
What Works for Families
- Two bedroom condo sleeps up to six, including a queen, two twin beds and a roll out couch. This set-up would work well for extended families, or families with more than two children.
- Full kitchen in the condo provides for easy, affordable breakfasts or even cooking meals.
- The two thermal pools with varying temperatures give children a chance to not just soak in the hotter pool… but also to swim, play, or cool down.
- Free yoga class in the morning, and kids ages eight and up (in pajamas!) are welcome to join.
- Our two bedroom condo contained four robes, which was awesome for coming and going to the outdoor pools in winter.
What Doesn’t Work for Families
- Other romantic guests – Because it’s so well suited as a romantic getaway, we spotted primarily couples. Not a huge issue, but there were a couple of encounters in the hot thermal pool where – even though we made sure our kids were quiet and behaved – it appeared to be mildly annoying to the other guests to have children around.
- On site restaurant is not open during the week, during slower times.
Room cost: $$ ($=$100)
We visited in December 2015, and the base price for a standard room was $; the two bedroom condo was $$$. Included is Wi-Fi, full access to thermal pools and workout room, complementary drink station in the lobby, and free yoga class in the morning. I have seen some great Groupon deals available for this property during their off season.
The Details ~ Thermal Pools, Spa, and Yoga Class
I’ll start with the spa, because it was so lovely. Kima runs the Chipeta Solar Springs spa, and gave me a nice tour of the facilities. It’s gorgeous, serene, and well equipped. She explained that at one point they offered 30 different treatments, but have fine tuned that list to now feature exclusively their most popular facial, massage, and beauty experiences. I loved the cozy couch and fireplace nook for robe-clad patrons awaiting treatment. As a starting price point reference, a 50 minute massage runs $80; couples massage is $160. Kima mentioned that at times her daughter can be arranged to babysit onsite so that mom and dad can enjoy some spa time. Again, this is a charming small mountain town…. and that's a a pretty cool offer!
At 8:30 a.m. each day, yoga classes are held in the studio and are free to guests. Classes are led by Kima, and she encourages kids ages 8 and up to come join in the fun. Bonus – Kima assured me that pajamas were acceptable yoga attire.
The two solar heated thermal salt water pools were the highlight for me and my family. They are heated by solar power, and kept clean using salt – so no chemicals. Note that unlike some of the natural hot springs found in the area, there is no mineral content in these waters. That was a little disappointing, as I find the mineral hot springs therapeutic, but this was still a very soothing and relaxing experience.
The larger of the pools is kept at 85 degrees. Although that was too chilly for my taste on a snowy day, my kids still tried it and had a blast. (Kids and pools… so predictable.) My five year old could not touch bottom in this four foot deep pool. So if you’ve got a Little along, you may wish to bring a flotation device. A helpful older sibling who will hang on to the younger one works well, too.
The hotter of the pools is kept at 104 degrees, and is where I spent my time. Lots and lots of time. Although it doesn’t feature any Jacuzzi jets, it was incredibly relaxing. It’s spacious and includes a raised vantage point of the Cimarron Mountains to the east, and San Juan Mountains to the south. The unobstructed views are stunning.
My best tips are to bring your water bottle and flip flops. It can be a chilly walk to get there if you visit in the winter months. And you’ll last much longer if you stay hydrated. We visited the pools many, many times during our two night stay and loved every minute of it.
The Hotel ~ Location, Location, Location
Ridgway is a very small, very charming Colorado mountain town. Well known neighbors Ouray and Telluride are more commonly thought of as destination locations. But my family is partial to authentic, non-ski town Ridgway. So I love that Chipeta Solar Springs Resort, the only lodging option in Ridgway, is located here to offer accommodations to those wishing to enjoy this area.
Chipeta Solar Springs was built in the 1990’s, with humble beginnings as a small bed and breakfast. The resort was constructed in adobe Southwest style, combined with classic lodge interiors. The main lobby is attached to a lovely, cactus filled atrium and two separate seating areas where guests are welcome to hang out and enjoy the wood burning fireplace. We found the Chipeta staff all welcoming and helpful.
Our two bedroom condo was plenty spacious for my family of four. The bathroom was a little dated, but featured a large jetted tub and steam shower that my husband tested out and reported in good working condition.
We loved having our own hot tub on the deck. This unit was more traditional, with chlorine treated water and soothing back and foot jets. It's officially for two people, but three people who like each other works, too.
The bedrooms were fairly large, and each contained an armoire with two bathrobes (so a total of four robes), plenty of extra pillows and blankets, and a plug in fan that we used and appreciated. The fireplace kept us warm and worked wonders to help dry out our snow clothes and swimsuits for the next day.
The lobby area consists of several cozy rooms, and they stock a beverage and limited snacks station (cookies and apples) at most hours of the day. My kids enjoyed making hot cocoa after our snowshoeing adventure. Although we had a coffee maker in our room with some Maxwell House packets available… the coffee in the lobby was better, so we sought our java out here.
Every time we were in the pool area, there were plenty of towels on hand in baskets. There’s also an outdoor lounge with fire pit – such a great space for enjoying the scenery and relaxing. A traditional teepee has been repurposed as the designated smoker’s lounge.
Four Corner Café is the on site Chipeta Solar Springs Resort restaurant, but sadly it was closed during our Sunday and Monday night stay in December. I was told that hours vary, so call ahead if you are planning a visit. I was told that during the slower seasons, the restaurant is only open Wednesday through Saturday.
Not to fret on the dining scene, though. We discovered that Ridgway has a surprising culinary scene, with a number of excellent local restaurants. Some resident friends tipped me in the right direction, and we discovered some international and highly tasty dining options during our stay. Check out my Ridgway dining recommendations, and have fun exploring!