Real & Rustic

31 Mar 2018
5 min read
A round-up of the finest luxury ranches in the US (not strictly in the west!), from the uber-chic to the quaintly traditional…
Dunton Hot Springs |Colorado

What are the vital elements when it comes to deciding upon the ultimate luxury ranch getaway? A remote setting? All-inclusive 5 star accommodation? A top notch spa and fine dining to rival the rest? Or, perhaps, natural hot springs and being immersed in a kind of breath-taking wilderness you’ve never experienced before?

At Dunton Hot Springs, a small and exclusive resort nestled deep in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies, all the above qualify as ‘vital’, as they’re here and ready for the taking whenever you decide to stop by.

The highlight of your stay at Dunton will be slipping into your new, mod-con free lifestyle — no internet or telephones required (although both are, of course, available!). Guests visiting in summer can enjoy private guided hiking through exquisite alpine basins, blanketed in wildflowers, amidst high summits and crystal clear streams; private fly fishing in West Fork of the Dolores River; hiking in the Mesa Verde National Park; mountain walking in Via Ferrata — a thrilling technical route fixed with cables, stemples and ladders along the east end of the Telluride canyon, offering spectacular views of Bridal Veil Falls and Telluride Valley, as well as mountain biking, horse back riding, mountaineering and private rock climbing. In the winter there is ice climbing, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, heli-skiing and dog sledding. Vineyard tours & tastings, spa services, yoga and photography and fine art lessons are also available, all year round.

12 unique private log cabins, sleeping 2-10 guests, and one luxury tent make up the accommodation at Dunton with in-cabin amenities such as gas or wood stoves or fireplaces, CD/alarm-clock, private patio/porch and bathrobes for every guests to use throughout the duration of their stay. Dunton’s Well House lodge even maintains its own private in-door hot spring, for those looking for added ranch-lifestyle luxury.

Dinner is an exceptionally wonderful time to experience true ranch culture, with dishes made from local and regional ingredients (some from Dunton’s very own farm and vineyard) served at a long antique table in the center of the Saloon; a tradition carried over from the big cattle outlaws that Dunton still chooses to maintain.


The Lodge & Spa at Bush Creek Ranch | Wyoming

The Lodge & Spa at Bush Creek Ranch promises breath-taking vistas gourmet dining, endless adventure and the refinements of a modern boutique hotel, set in the grand landscape of a centuries-old Western ranch.

Located near Saratoga, Wyoming, this historic cattle ranch turned Lodge and Spa spans 15,000 acres of Rocky Mountain terrain, between the towering peaks of the Sierra Madre and Snowy Mountain ranges.

With accommodations specifically designed for a truly high-end experience, guests can select from a variety of lodging options, including 13 Trailhead Lodge rooms, 10 two- and three-bedroom Log Cabin Residences and 12 cabin suites. The ultra-private Magee Homestead offers a private lodge and secluded collection of seven historically restored cabins, three miles from the main accommodations at Trailhead Lodge. All lodge options come furnished with premium bedding, luxury amenities and that all-important refined Western personality. Think dark woods, warm textiles and four-poster beds, with all the added extras, like 400-thread-count linens, Egyptian cotton towels and Bush Creek Ranch Collection toiletries.

Ranch facilities include a full-service spa; salon services; a fitness centre, sauna and steam rooms; over 35 unique activities, such as private water fly fishing, archery courses, guided ranger tours, private big game hunts and clay pigeon shooting, as well as all the top-name gear to use while enjoying them.

Dining at The Lodge and Spa at Bush Creek is an exceptional affair, too. Casual outdoor barbecues at the Chuckwagon are held regularly, where guests can gorge on fantastic local produce while listening to live bluegrass music. Summit a distant ridge by horseback for a mountaintop picnic or relax over a sundowner cocktails on the Falcon Peak Overlook deck. Each day the executive chefs at The Lodge & Spa at Bush Creek prepare a menu inspired by the Rocky Mountain, crafted with fresh, locally grown, farm-table ingredients. The wine collection will be equally memorable, with the ranch hosting a wine cellar that features an array of select vintages for the perfect pairing…


Calistoga Ranch |Napa Valley

When it comes to wine country elegance, hospitality group Auberge Resorts has a longstanding tradition of offering up the very finest in accommodation. The collection’s Calistoga Ranch, tucked into a private canyon outside the historic town of Calistoga in Napa Valley, is certainly no exception to the rule, with its lakeside location and impeccable facilities. Those to note include a private Lakehouse Restaurant, a wine cave, bocce ball courts, a pool overlooking the resort’s private vineyard and The Bathhouse Spa, where guests can indulge in rejuvenating treatments and take advantage of the region’s healing mineral waters.

Ranch activities are more chic than traditional at Calistoga, with horseback riding through the region’s venerable wine country, guided biking and hiking trails, wildlife viewing and a speciality ‘Locavore Cooking Exploration’ which takes guests on a journey through the bountiful local food landscape. Wine lovers are also amply catered for with tours offering a glimpse into some of Napa Valley’s most venerable wineries, as well as the property’s very own on-site vineyard, where guests can participate in the process of winemaking.

Winding down in your own private, luxury lodge, won’t be taxing work, either; especially as you’ll be doing it in all-out style. Castiloga encompasses 48 guest lodges and 23 owner lodges, which fit one of four categories: Deluxe Lodges, One Bedroom Lodges, Meadow Lodges and the Estate Lodge. With unique features in each, guests can tailor their stay to their every need. The most luxurious of all, the spacious 3,000sq ft two-bedroom Estate Lodge, is set in a forest edge location for the ultimate in privacy. Amenities include a private outdoor hot tub, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, an outdoor living room with space for dining and an optional butler service, chauffeured Mercedes and nightly bottle of sought-after cult wine. Private chefs are also available for in-room dining.


Echo Valley Ranch & Spa |British Columbia

Making the most of nature is what Echo Valley is all about. Surrounded by acres of pristine mountains, lush valleys, pine forests and desert canyons, Echo Valley is an oasis that offers the perfect balance between its activity-filled ranch and serene luxury spa.

The ranch – located in the Cariboo region of British Columbia – not only boasts magnificent vistas, but also an array of activities that will leave you in awe of the area’s beauty.

Whether you’re an avid horseback rider, hiker, fisherman or bird watcher, Echo Valley really is nature’s playground. With 160 acres of land at your fingertips, you can step out of your luxury accommodation and become part of British Columbia’s cowboy country. Beginner or advanced, the staff are expert wranglers with second-to-none knowledge of which of the ranch’s 30 horses would be best to take you through the area’s pine forests, meadows, mountains or canyon. Or perhaps hiking is how you’d prefer to explore the scenery. With all sorts of magnificent landscapes to explore, you could take yourself on a self-guided tour through the area’s trails and you may even be accompanied by one of the ranch’s lovely Border Collies.

Echo Valley’s luxury spas are the perfect accompaniment to the ranch’s exhilarating activities. Remaining loyal to the ranch’s homage to nature, the spas look over serene views and give you an opportunity to enjoy a combination of classic European and authentic Thai therapies. Designed by the architect to the Thai royal family, the Baan Thai and Sabai Sabai suite are opulent havens to enjoy the treatments. Choose from the diverse list of relaxing massages and therapies or packages to soothe your soul and body as only a luxury ranch like Echo Valley can.

Giving onto the Echo Valley’s astounding vistas, the variety of luxury rooms and cabins are scattered throughout the ranch. From standard rooms in the Dove Lodge where there is a games room, outdoor hot tub and in-house chef, to the Royal Suite with a private roof-top terrace, king-sized bed and exclusive access to the Thai spa. The beauty of Echo Valley’s accommodation that there’s a perfect room for every wish and perfect luxury with every room!