iron mountain spaBefore I get into all the wonderful things that we did in Glenwood Springs and how we found ourselves relaxed and balanced, I want to take a moment to talk about what we didn’t have time to do.  After two days in Breckenridge, we wanted to do one last hike before we took off.  We had a recommendation from a local to try Quandary Peak, notice a pattern?  If you want to know the best things to see and do ask the locals!

The clerk at Northface told us that the mountain goats would be out early in the morning and that trout were spawning and there was a chance to see them jumping in the stream.  Unfortunately the next day, the weather was overcast and forecasted to continue to rain for the rest of the morning.  It was time for us to depart on the love train, we cut our losses and decided to get on the road.

Glenwood SpringsWe left our modern condo rental in Breckenridge and drove an hour and a half to Glenwood, CO to continue our romantic road trip.  As we approached Glenwood Springs, we drove through Glenwood Canyon.  A different landscape, vibrant red-orange mountains adorn with lush green trees flanked on either side of the highway.

Along the base of the mountain,  you can see whitewater rafters on the rushing waters of the Colorado River.  I snapped pictures on the drive-in, my heart was racing with excitement, for what this lag of the trip had in store for us.  Our actual anniversary was the next day.

The Loft

This time we rented a loft in downtown Glenwood, located upstairs from the owner’s boutique called Elizabeth Dean which had some trendy clothes that I didn’t get to fully browse.

Vrbo Property ID:  716342

VRBO Glenwood Springs

This loft was more impressive than the first in my opinion.  Browsing rentals, I must have breezed through the description when I was booking this one, because I had no idea before we arrived that it had such a rich history.   Here is a description from the rental listing:

“2-bedroom unit built in the late 1800s is located upstairs in what was once the Palace Hotel. It has been completely renovated with some of the old things still intact. Look at the doors; they are the original ones from the 1890s with the room numbers still on them. Doc Holiday is rumored to have stayed here.”

We didn’t have any complaints or anything we didn’t like about the unit we stayed at.  For me the ocean is my #1 choice for most of our romantic vacations, and resorts are chosen for the simplicity of their all-inclusive amenities on gorgeous beaches.  You don’t have to worry about carrying cash, dining and entertainment plans/reviews or transportation around town.

This was a change for us.  Although we chose to take a road trip with multiple stops, each location we stayed at was very walkable once we got there.  With the exception of driving to the hiking spots, we could park the rental and stroll the city’s center.  PBS recognized Glenwood Springs, as one of the most walkable towns according to Wikipedia.

There was construction being done on the Grand Avenue Bridge which goes over the river and connects the dining and shopping area with the other side of town that has hot springs, spas, caves, and other amusement park attractions.  The construction distracted from the overall appearance of the main strip and the flow of traffic, the pedestrian portion of the construction was complete at the time so we could walk over it.

The Review

Here are the highlights of the property we stayed at:


  • It’s in the heart of Glenwood and everything is in walking distance
  • The bed was super comfy in the master suite, I got the best sleep of the entire trip.
  • The rooftop balcony has a gorgeous view of the mountains.
  • Two-tiered bathroom with two separate sinks and mirrors. We have a double vanity at home but this was neat because it’s split between two levels.  I took the upper-level vanity which was separated by a couple of steps and we weren’t in each other’s way.
  • Fully stocked kitchen if you choose to cook. I took a full break from this duty the entire trip.
  • Character, warmth, and comfort

The Spa

On the first day we got in and had lunch, unpacked our bags, and walked over the bridge to the Splendor Mountain Spa where we got our couple’s massage.

See the featured picture of James on the walk over to our relaxing treatment.  The spa is family-owned, favored by locals, and housed in a brick cottage.  If you are looking for a fancy setup, this is not a hotel spa experience.  Upon arrival we found a therapist sipping tea in the living room on the couch.  Another employee was in a small kitchen behind the desk, brewing more herbal tea.  After a brief wait and no medical intake form, we were escorted down the stairs into a cozy dark room with two massage tables.

The massages were phenomenal, I had a male therapist and James had a female therapist.  We both tend to carry the tension in our necks and shoulders and we both prefer deep tissue therapeutic massage. As the previous owner of a spa, our standards for massage are high.  The spa is a great choice for quality and effective treatments over a manicured spa appearance and fluffy hotel amenities.  The massages left us so relaxed that we decided to take the entire day to heal and chill!

We grabbed a bottle of wine on our walk back and ordered in Italian food.  Enjoyed and watched the sunset from the rooftop patio and enjoyed the effects of our newly relaxed muscles.  It had been a couple of trying weeks for us.

July is full of so many celebrations in our household.  We have the 4th of July (my personal favorite holiday), Giana’s birthday and our anniversary.  I completed a writing class that encouraged me to submit a piece for publication the prior week.   I was launching this blog.  To top off , we had decided to open our home to a family member who was going through a tough time and needed love, guidance and a place to live.

So many social events, family gatherings, packing and food preparation had added pressure and we hadn’t had time to be alone, to talk, or relax with each other.  We were relishing the chance to slow down, refresh and reconnect.

Vacation rentals aren’t always equipped with BlueTooth speakers, so pack a portable speaker for rentals.  It sets the tone for vacation and evokes all the senses, music is a key component for mood.  I prefer not to spend time on vacation watching TV.  Echo Dot is a great travel companion because it is so small and portable, not always comparable with setting up on public Wi-Fi in hotels but it works well for private rental properties.  The loft had a couple of games and so we listened to music and played Sorry Revenge.  Being that we are both competitive, we are always looking for a way to one-up the other.  The game was so much fun that I ordered it when we got home to add to our game night collection.

We capped off the night slow dancing in the kitchen, it felt like a scene from a movie.  Beyonce’s “drunk in love” captivates the way you feel when your are wrapped up in the moment and coupled those feelings with libations.  This was one of the most romantic getaways that we have had and to my surprise no beach was necessary.

Sound too good to be true?  My final post for the road trip through CO is our last day in Glenwood, our official 12-year anniversary, and who would have thought it would be the most memorable day?  It was pretty perfect but stay tuned for the inevitable catch when Laufty plans go astray…