Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A converted motel that stands out for its hot tubs and gorgeous mountain views
The four outdoor hot tubs with natural thermal waters are the main attraction at the Box Canyon Lodge, which is an older property nestled in the Rockies. The redwood hot tubs are located on multi-level decks that offer stunning views of the towering mountain peaks that seem almost close enough to touch.
The lodge itself is not nearly as spectacular as its natural surroundings, as it is a converted motel with small rooms that have exterior entrances. All rooms have microwaves and mini-fridges, which are a definite plus, but some still offer only tube TVs. Aside from the lovely pine wood accent walls, the rooms feel more as though they belong in a generic chain hotel than a rustic mountain lodge. They are all clean, though, as the property is well-maintained throughout.
The current owners are proud of the Box Canyon Lodge, and it shows -- beautifully landscaped grounds, attentive staff, and nice perks (such as free Wi-Fi and loaner DVDs) are a few of the highlights. The lobby is furnished in the traditional, Colorado mountain lodge style, with a large stone fireplace and lots of exposed pine wood details that make for a comfortable, warm, and welcoming vibe.
The Box Canyon has its charm, but it is a modest property that lacks the posh touches found at upscale mountain lodges. Those visitors in search of luxe amenities and sumptuous surroundings should look towards Telluride.
In downtown Ouray, surrounded by the San Juan mountain range
Box Canyon Lodge is located in downtown Ouray, with the charming shops and galleries along Main Street just a five-minute walk away. The three-level Ouray Brewery -- which offers a rooftop patio, craft brews, and typical pub fare -- is also within walking distance.
Nestled in the Rockies in Southwestern Colorado, Ouray is a historic mining town with a multitude of draws, including its breathtaking views of the San Juan mountain range. Visitors also flock to the town for seasonal activities, such as world-class ice climbing in the winter, leaf-hunting in the fall, and hiking and rock climbing in the summer. The town's Ouray Hot Springs Pool is a year-round hit, with its sulfur-free, natural thermal waters.
Ouray isn’t easy to get to--the closest major city is Denver, more than 300 miles away. Travelers usually fly into the Montrose or Telluride Airports, and both are about an hour drive from town. Airports usually offer shuttles (for a cost), and visitors can check with their airport of choice for more information. Guests looking for a more economical stay for skiing in Telluride can choose the Box Canyon Lodge -- however, the drive is more than an hour each way to and from the slopes.
Clean, plain rooms seem more suited for a generic chain hotel than a rustic mountain lodge
Since the Box Canyon Lodge was originally built as a motel, the rooms are on the small side and have exterior entrances. The charming pine wood accent walls and quirky saloon-style doors that separate the bathrooms from the bedrooms add a bit of flair. However, the rooms look fairly generic for the most part, with plain, somewhat dated furnishings and wall-to-wall carpeting that create a chain hotel vibe. All rooms have coffeemakers, microwaves, mini-fridges, and air-conditioning units. Premium TV channels and DVD players are a nice touch, and loaner movies are available at no extra charge. Some rooms still offer only tube TVs, though.
In addition to 33 Standard rooms, the Box Canyon Lodge offers six suites. The Honeymoon suite has amenities that make for a romantic ambience, such as a large soaking tub and a private balcony with an amazing view. The Large suites are more family-oriented, as they have living rooms that are furnished with queen-size futons and kitchens that are equipped with full-size refrigerators and stovetops. Small suites are also a solid option for families, but lack kitchens. The Apartment suite offers the most space and is the only unit with an oven in the kitchen.
Great freebies and four hot tubs with natural thermal waters
One of the best things about the Box Canyon Lodge is the fact that they don’t tack on any extra fees. Parking, Wi-Fi access, premium channels, and loaner movies are all available at no extra cost. The lodge also offers a free cold breakfast every morning with packaged pastries, yogurt, coffee, and fresh fruit.
Although the freebies add up to a solid value, the big draw is the outdoor hot tubs with natural thermal waters that are open only to hotel guests. The water is funneled into four tubs from nearby hot springs, with Box Canyon Lodge being one of the few properties in Ouray with rights to this natural thermal water. The tubs offer varying temperatures, but are on the small side. They feature unbeatable views of the San Juan mountains.
The Box Canyon Lodge is a 39-room property with a cheery yellow facade surrounded by stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. Pine wood accent walls add a touch of charm to the guest rooms, but exterior entrances give them a motel-like feel. The four outdoor hot tubs with natural thermal waters are a big draw, and the free Wi-Fi and free cold breakfast add to the value. However, visitors who wish to ski in Telluride should be aware that it is about a one-hour drive away.
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