Cottonwood Hot Springs, located in Buena Vista, Colo., feels like a haven within a haven. The surrounding natural beauty of the Collegiate Peaks Range captures the hearts of even the most jaded of travelers coming from Aspen, an hour west, or Colorado Springs, two hours east. The mountain range boasts its famed fourteeners, mountain peaks reaching higher than 14,000 feet above the sea, which make it a prime location for endless activities and discoveries.

You may feel rushed to pack in as many activities as possible in Colorado, but this is an activity that must be given its due time. As a break from the excitement of skiing, or simply as a break from the everyday grind, the Cottonwood Spa and Inn offers natural hot springs pools, private Jacuzzi tubs, and extensive spa services for its guests, ranging from a simple massage to micro-dermabrasion. It offers spa packages, combining the guests choice of any of its many services.

These springs are some of the purest geothermal, gravity-fed, mineral spas in Colorado. The hot springs were used by the Ute Indians as healing grounds and a spiritual retreat, and the waters themselves are said to have healing powers. The minerals found in the water have not been enhanced or in any way affected by artificial chemicals.

Cottonwood can be a day trip, and is open from 9 a.m. to midnight everyday, year-round. Guests not spending the night may enjoy the springs for a fee. Spa services do cost extra, but the natural springs, ranging from 94 degrees to 110 degrees F, are free of charge with a room stay. This facility accommodates all types of guests at any age. However, it is an adult-oriented site, focused on healing and relaxation. They offer private, adult-only spas, soaking pools, cold plunge areas, a sauna, and a mural pool.

The inn offers lodge rooms, creek-side cabins, and dorm facilities for larger groups and families. There are no phones or televisions in the rooms (that’s on purpose, says the website), but there is a TV in the main lodge, and five restaurants within ten minutes of the inn. Clothing and craft stores are available for those who have the spending bug, and continental breakfast is offered on site. Contact: 719-395-6434.

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