I drove to Ridgway just to visit this hot springs. I would go as far as to call myself a hot springs connoisseur. I have been to many of them, in many different states, in many different countries. I'm going to go as far as to say that this place is the best hot springs I've been to so far! In fact, this place made me seriously consider moving from my beautiful area in Montana to this area just to make this hot springs a place I can visit regularly!
Whoever is responsible for making this place what it is needs a pat on the back! I picked up on the thoughtfulness that went into many of the details of this place. The lighting at night is what really makes this place enchanting! The lighting is rather sparse, but well placed and allows a person to find their way around on the walking paths (that are made of flat rocks, not concrete which is a nice touch). The ambient area lighting was provided by directing a light up towards a tree which then reflects back on the area to provide just enough light to prevent people from bumping into each other, but not too much to detract from the star gazing!
All of the pools were made to be as natural as possible. The main big pool was lined with flat rocks all the way around and the bottom was smooth pea gravel. The lobster pot was also built using the flat rocks that provided for a very natural looking hot tub. I really can't say enough good things for the ambiance that this place provided!
I love saunas in particular! I gained my appreciation for them in Germany where everyone sits in the sauna in the nude. It's not a sexual thing at all. It's really a common sense kind of thing...who wants to be sitting around in a pair of swimming trunks or bathing suit that is soaking and dripping with sweat! That's gross! Also, any scents that are bought into the sauna are magnified by the heat, humidity, and confined space. So, if someone has washed their bathing suit in bleach, bathed in a chlorine treated pool recently, or used a strong smelling detergent on their clothes this scent will be magnified in the sauna and can even be unpleasant. And on a final note on enjoying the hot springs in the buff: You really should try it! It is a bit awkward at first your first time, but then after a while it becomes very comfortable. There is something very freeing, very natural feeling about enjoying this place in the nude. It is a unique experience and I would recommend it for anyone! Don't be shy!
This was a great sauna! It had the look and feel of an authentic, well used sauna. There was water plumbed into the sauna itself which makes filling the bucket ya use to splash water on the rocks much easier. The benches provided plenty of room to lay back and relax on and there was plenty of room for up to about 10 people (it starts feeling a bit crowded after around 7 or 8). It gets plenty hot, but not unbearably. Also, I noticed that many of the folks that were staying here wore their bathrobe (provided with the rental of a room) into the sauna, but then seemed unsure of what to do with it when the took it off in the sauna. What I did and would recommend is to take off your bathrobe and hang it on one of the hooks outside, and then bring a bath towel in with you to sit on. That way you don't have this huge awkward robe to deal with in the sauna.
One suggestion I would make is to bring sandals, flip flops, or something of that nature. Maybe I've just got tender feet, but I do find it to be more comfortable to walk around wearing sandals. A bathrobe is also nice for when the weather is cold, but not necessary. I kind of like that brisk, cold feeling while walking between the hot ponds.
I will also note that the rooms at the hot springs are very nice, very tastefully decorated, and just very comfortable overall! The sheets used in their beds seemed to be of very high quality. I'm not sure what they were, but I'd like to have a set for my own bed! They were very comfortable!
- Also Known As:
- Orvis Hot Springs Hotel Ridgway