Once upon a time, a hotel comes along that truly surprises and amazes me. The Surf Chateau, A Boutique Hotel on the River surpassed all my hotel expectations and then some. Located in the small Colorado mountain town of Buena Vista, off the Highway 285 corridor, the Surf Chateau is truly a hidden Colorado gem of a hotel. Starting scenic mountain drive to the hotel, wind down at this beautifully designed, architecturally delight steps from the Arkansas River.
Arrival and Self-Check-In
My 2 ½ hour drive from Denver to Buena Vista in late May was spectacular, and Highway 285 is one of my favorite stretches Colorado roads with small towns spread out along the way.
I’ve passed through Buena Vista multiple times, but I’ve never stayed. The Surf Chateau is located in the newest part of town. Although my Ford Escape’s navigation system put me close to the hotel, since it’s so new, it had us driving in circles until we asked a local how to get there. (We were literally a stone’s throw away.).
The Surf Chateau is a stone and wood architecturally pleasure. Walk in under the handmade stone archway at the entrance of the hotel with the rooms on either side of the sidewalk.
I had received my reservation confirmation via email, but apparently I overlooked an important aspect: self-check-in. We wandered around trying to find the lobby until another hotel guest mentioned the self-check-in. We called the front desk (apparently around the corner on “main” street), and the receptionist was very helpful and even walked over to make sure we could get in.
The self-check-in system allows guests to go directly to their room with a unique code, sent via email prior to their arrival. Punch the code into the electronic door and voila you’re in. No need to carry a hotel key or card, and the code is unique to the guest and easy to remember.
Open the door and wow! Our Riverfront King/Twin Suite was located beyond the courtyard to another handmade stone archway which descended to the walking path and the Arkansas River.
In European style, the luxurious suite features a 19th century steel canopy king bed, claw foot tub and tiled shower. The sitting area faced the large double French doors with a twin bed (which converts into a king!) tucked away in the corner. Features also include small Fridge, Coffee maker, and complimentary Wi-Fi. A small desk provided some work space, but I opted for the sitting area’s coffee table and the view!
Open the French doors and step out on the private patio (which we did immediately) and your view is the river and whitewater park. We spent most of our time on the balcony watching the kayakers navigate the Arkansas River rapids.
Amenities within Walking Distance
Located in the acclaimed walkable neighborhood called South Main, the Surf Chateau guests are mere minutes from dining, shopping and adventure. We recommend the Eddyline Brewery — great brew, wine and food, located two blocks from the hotel. Once you park your car, no driving is necessary, and you’ll fall in love with the relaxed small town of Buena Vista, Colorado.
Disclaimer: Surf Chateau provided accommodations for review; opinions expressed are my own.
Photos courtesy of Diana Rowe