We've been going to Pagosa for years and I've always loved it. Until our trip in February.
We spent a weekend Sept 2012 (reviewed it positively then) and then again Feb 2013 (although that trip we stayed offsite due to the size of the group and the HIGH cost of rooms. We rented an entire house for less per night than ONE room rate would have been. We bought weekly springs passes and cost was still below what we would have spent for our group size).
Sept 2012 was extremely crowded but basically a good trip. Feb 2013 was miserable. As Pagosa has marketed more and more toward the family demographic, the pleasure of Pagosa has deteriorated exponentially. There was absolutely NO quiet, peaceful, relaxing soaking to be found. Children ran everywhere, jumping in pools, splashing, and generally not respectful of the relaxation of others. There were even children doing HANDSTANDS in the Columbine Pool.
I realize this was a holiday weekend and families were taking advantage of the days off school. I also realize that the children inherently are not the issue, but their behavior falls to the parents. The new over 18 section of pools is a great idea, but it is NOT well enforced as there were children there as well. A side note, the over 18 section was, at least the last two times I’ve been there in the last year, the party/drinkers section of the resort – also not very quiet and certainly not calm. At times it is like a frat party, complete with guest supplied music and dancing. There was even a couple in the Summer Breeze pool eating fried chicken and downing numerous beers. They also set up their iPod and external speakers to blast music to complete their picnic.
I remember being at Pagosa when there were only a few wooden hot tubs on the deck behind the Overlook, Sunset Social Club and Tranquility pools. That was it. I was told, as a parent of small children, that Pagosa was not really meant for kids. I assured the staff then that I would carefully control my children. I was informed that if the kids were a disruption to ANYONE, we would be removed from the pools.
It is certainly different now.
Spent Memorial Day weekend at Ojo Caliente, New Mexico -- it was peaceful, quiet, and calm. There is ONE pool there that children under 14 can swim in. All the others are 14 and older unless a child is with an adult in the rented PRIVATE soaking pools. What a difference. Ojo staff regularly wander the grounds with “Whisper Zone” signs and remove patrons that are not adhering to hot spring etiquette. This is what hot springs are meant to be – a time to unwind, relax, soak, find peace. That is no longer a possibility at Pagosa anymore.
I don’t think it would be possible or logical for Pagosa to “outlaw” children. I do think that there needs to be either more areas that are off limits to kids or that the Pagosa staff needs to better police the pools. If kids are wanting to splash and do handstands, they should be moved to the large swimming pool. I don’t understand why, when an alternative exists for water play, people are allowed to play in the soaking pools. I also think the “party atmosphere” of the 18+ area needs to be addressed.
Pagosa's website touts relaxation, quiet and strict rules involving no water play.
What a different experience you get now.
Perhaps the most disappointing was the total lack of customer service. I discussed the chaotic experience with one of the pool office staff. He listened, but had no response. I emailed the management when we returned home. NO RESPONSE at all, not even to acknowledge receipt of the email.
At this point, our next hot springs trip will be to Ojo, Orvis (Ouray), Cottonwood Hot Springs (Buena Vista), Hot Sulphur Springs, all of which also limit children’s access to and behavior in the soaking pools. My point being, there are a lot of alternatives. Pagosa used to my our top choice. We were even willing to pay the higher rates at Pagosa for the advantage of so many more soaking options. Not anymore. I can’t see paying the substantially higher rates for the substantially lower experience. It’s sad to see a favorite place where we have gone for years be crossed off our list.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A family-friendly hot springs resort in the heart of Pagosa Springs Colorado. Offering 23 individual soaking pools of varying temperatures terraced along the banks of the beautiful San Juan River. 100% naturally therapeutic mineral water. All our pools are fed by the Guinness record holder for the World's Deepest Geothermal Hot Spring. Included are a swimming pool, wading pool, waterfall and jetted tubs. The Springs has various room types for our overnight guests, options range from budget to luxury lodging. Photos of each room type from Classic and Deluxe, to our Mountain and Signature Suites are available on our website. Rooms are a great value as they include many additional perks such as 24-hour access to the hot springs, Platinum passes for 2 days (arrival and departure day until 6,) complimentary access to our 5 Relaxation Terrace (18+) soaking tubs, upgraded towels, and plush robes. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Springs Hotel Pagosa Springs
- Springs Hotel Pagosa
- Springs Pagosa