[The Mermaid Cottage Retreat in Del Norte, Colo. Photo: mermaidcottage.org] Explore the “Grand River of the North” and embark on an exciting outdoors escapade here in Del Norte, CO! The small town straddling the San Luis Valley and San Juan Mountains provides numerous top hotels and vacation rentals to eager travelers.
This small town boasts a rich culture and awe-inspiring outdoors. Whether you’re planning a trip for the summer (fishing, hiking, road biking) or exploring the ski area during winter, Del Norte’s charm will delight you all year long. Because of its location on the edge of the San Luis Valley, it provides easy access to all its quirky attractions, as well as a simple drive west to reach the steep San Juan Mountains.
Probably Del Norte’s Best Hotel Accommodations
When traveling to Del Norte, it’s important to note that attractions are smaller. It’s not a bigger mountain town like Durango or Salida. But, that’s precisely its charm. You can expect fewer shopping districts in town. However, you won’t miss out on adventure because there are places like The Windsor Hotel that connects travelers to the town’s history.
Although South Fork is about fifteen minutes to the west at the start of Wolf Creek Pass, Del Norte still makes a great base for adventuring to Wolf Creek Ski Area. The powder-rich resort is only 34 miles from downtown Del Norte. Another gem in that direction is the Silver Thread Byway, a stunning drive that winds from South Fork to Lake City to Creede to Gunnison.
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Here are our choices for the top hotels in Del Norte, CO, in no particular order:
The Windsor Hotel – Historic Accommodation
Built back in 1874, The Windsor is considered a historic structure located at the heart of Del Norte. Known initially was “The Whitsitt House” the construction for the building started just a few years after the town was founded (1871). During the early years Del Norte was a booming mining and ranching center, and The Windsor hosted the principal and social gatherings in town.
However, during the 1970s, tourism in the town declined, and so did the hotel’s business. The structure also needed a lot of repairs, and if it weren’t for benefactors Doctor Raymond & Mrs. Barbara Culp, the hotel’s history would’ve vanished.
The hotel was saved, and they dedicated the hotel lounge, Bistro BARbara to honor Mrs. Culp. Now, The Windsor Hotel is a “turn-of-the-century,” architectural piece that embodies the “Grand Dames” facade of the old century, and welcomes the comfort functionalities of the new 21st century.
Though the hotel is located in the middle of Del Norte, the hotel only has 20 newly restored guest rooms. This speaks volumes when it comes to the quality of service and the attention to detail you can expect when you book here. They have different room configurations like the Single Queen, Single King, Double Queen, and the Windsor Suite.
The spacious guest suites have a traditional Victorian interior design, and they are filled with amenities you would need for your trip. They have down comforters, micro-plush blankets, premium pillows, period-style furniture, natural marble countertops, tiles, elegant lighting, HDTV, WiFi, and LAN connection, as well as a complimentary coffee and tea.
If you would need a bigger room, book the Windsor Suite. It’s perfect as a wedding or family suite because of the privacy it provides and the top-of-the-line amenities in the room. The Windsor Suite has a small patio balcony overlooking the Courtyard, a wet bar, living area, open studio, dining area, jacuzzi tub, and other in-room amenities that they have for the guest rooms.
Aside from the fantastic suite and guest rooms, the hotel also has two gourmet restaurants, including the Bistro BARBara. The bistro opens from 4:30 p.m. onwards, perfect for dining, socializing and drinking. They serve unique handcrafted cocktails (created by Barman Kevin Haas) and other Colorado-specialty distilled spirits.
The Dining Room is where they offer an all-day menu. They create unique selections daily and provide locally grown Haefeli’s Honey, Gosar Organic Sausages, and Off Family Ranch All Natural Beef.
If you want to get a Colorado-themed menu, check out their 1874 Food Truck Menu that includes Chicken Wings, Po’ Boys, BBQ Baby Back Ribs, and a delicious Kid’s Menu. Book The Windsor Hotel at least a month before your vacation. This property is usually sold out during peak season.
- 625 Grand Ave, Del Norte, CO 81132 | 719-657-9031
- Check prices, availability or book The Windsor Hotel
The Mermaid Cottage – Authentic Tiny House Living
If you’re looking for a peaceful and private retreat, check out The Mermaid Cottage. This unique Del Norte bed and breakfast has become popular over the years because of its funky psychedelic theme and old country vibes. Sitting in the middle of nowhere (along the mountainside, a couple of miles away from the center of Eagle Mountain), this bed and breakfast will give you a very unique experience.
The accommodation can be considered a tiny house because of its size. Though small, it has complete amenities suitable for traveling backpackers and honeymooners. They have a queen-sized bed with comfortable bedding, a 2-person dining table, a kitchenette area (small but packed with everything you will need for basic cooking), two adult swings, and shower.
The Mermaid Cottage also empowers sustainability. In fact, the house is made out of cord-wood and water bottles. Throughout the space, you’ll see shower bottle walls with different colors. It allows the area to have this unique lighting during the day and an exciting design accent at night.
Though tiny, what makes The Mermaid Cottage an ideal travel destination is the breathtaking views you’ll get during sunrise and sunset. There’s nothing quite like it. You’ll also be able to see the house fully transform during the seasons. During winter, guests enjoy the snow-covered plains and mountain views. On the other hand, summer and autumn feature lush green lands.
You can also sit on the front porch, read a book, relax, and see wild animals passing by. Antelopes are a common sight in the valley. For other activities, you can go trailing, hiking, or learning about agriculture from the owners who have two grow domes within the property. For a genuinely weird trip, stay at The Mermaid Cottage.
- 3201 Boulders Edge Rd, Del Norte, CO 81132 | 719-588-1892
- Check prices, availability or book The Mermaid Cottage
Divide Riders Hostel – Comfortable Lifestyle
Divide Riders Hostel is another unique Del Norte B&B hosted by the same owners of The Mermaid Cottage. If you want to feel that unique Mermaid Cottage experience, but you’re traveling with family or a large group, book at the Divide Riders Hostel instead.
Located on the Continental Divide trail, this rustic and recently renovated accommodation features a turn-of-the-century design. The hostel features charming and unique old-country pieces of furniture, art, and antiques. They have a large common area, which is a mixed space for the dining and the lounge.
The hostel can accommodate up to eight people. They have three bunk beds and single beds. Since the property has separate beds, guests can book a more affordable bed rental option.
The common areas and amenities are available to single guests as well as large groups. They have a coffee maker, basic kitchen, dishes and silverware, microwave, refrigerator, stove, fire extinguisher, smoke detector, and wireless Internet connection.
- 14475 US-160, Del Norte, CO 81132 | 719-873-7133
- Check prices, availability or book Divide Riders Hostel
The Belmont Del Norte – Modern Country Lifestyle
If you’re looking for a combination of that outdoors lifestyle and view, as well as the amenities of a traditional hotel, then the Belmont Del Norte is the right choice for you. This property covers 48 acres of private land, which allows guests to have a more peaceful exploration of the outdoors during their stay.
The property offers beautiful valley views, the biking and trail opportunities within the property, and the astonishing night views if you plan to have a bonfire during your stay. At the same time, it’s just an hour’s drive away from other popular attractions like the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the South Fork, Wolf Creek Ski Resort, and other museums and shops around town.
The house is uniquely designed to embody country-lifestyle living. They have comfortable and contemporary types of furniture as well as decorative displays. The home has a lot of spaces for relaxation and bonding. This is perfect for a small family getaway or reunion since the property can accommodate up to 12 people.
The house is also complete with home amenities you would need for your stay (especially their fully-equipped kitchen). They have six bedrooms with variations from twin beds, bunk beds, queen beds, and king beds. The rooms may have a private or shared bathroom.
- 389 Branding Iron Trail, Del Norte, CO 81132
- Check prices, availability or book The Belmont Del Norte
Thanks for checking out the aforementioned top hotels in Del Norte! Be sure to get into the backcountry and explore all the amazing natural landmarks in the region.