Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Guest Blogger: Devil's Thumb Ranch, Room Sketch

PR pro, writer, and good friend Kirsten Texler paints a picture of a room at Devil's Thumb Ranch, a year-round ranch resort destination located 65 miles west of Denver, CO offering upscale accommodations, summer and winter activities, fine dining, and spa treatments. 

The first thing I noticed as I stepped into my room at Devil’s Thumb Ranch was the fireplace.  Specifically, the items on the moss-rock mantle: a thermos and lunch box like the one my grandfather had taken to work each day.  I immediately felt at home.  In fact the entire room showcased artifacts that didn’t seem kitschy or artificially “dude ranch-y”—most items were the kind of things I could imagine one of the locals saying, “Yes, indeed that is one of the original wooden wheels of the covered wagon my grandfolks came across in,” referring to the d├ęcor that toped my fireplace.

I’m a stickler for good lighting—the kind that subtly illuminates the room, although a person doesn’t immediately notice the source.  Perfect lighting requires an expert touch and excellent balance, especially in the bathroom, and my accommodations were flawless in that arena.  I could see clearly enough to make sure I was presentable at dinner, with none of the fluorescent glare I’ve encountered in other lodging bathrooms that have made me want to skip dinner.  The light levels were adjustable, but at either end of the spectrum were never too bright or to dark.  The entry way to the room was well enough lit that it seemed to be its own little room, instead of the usual dead-space immediately inside of a hotel room.

Looking past the immediate comfort of the room I was delighted to see a ton of natural light from large windows framed by rugged timber, and a glass paned door that opened onto a huge deck perfect for spotting wildlife in the vast meadow or stargazing in the clear night air.  After all, there is no light pollution (or any other kind of pollution) at this altitude and location.
I’ve yearned to replicate the weightless feeling I experienced from a bed in Austria when I visited an alpine lodge with my family as a child.  I remembered it felt like a mix between a cradle and a cloud.  I’ve enjoyed very comfortable sleeping accommodations during travels since, but none have ever recreated that European experience I had as a kid--until the king bed at DTR.  It could have been an adult version of that same Austrian bed I’ve always searched for; that sense of fluff combined with support so subtle you can’t tell which is which, you just melt into it. 

I don’t consider myself a “stay in bed person,” but it was literally a dilemma; float in the massive comforter on the bed, put my legs up by my fireplace and warm my toes, soak in the tub or be spoiled rotten in the ranch house restaurant on property.

Despite how comfortable the room was, I almost couldn’t stay out of the bathroom, by far my favorite ever encountered while traveling!  The bathroom featured an enormous enamel/copper bathtub that allowed my entire body to submerge without even my toes sticking up out of the piping hot water--and I’m a very tall person!  I’ve never been cleaner, due to more than one extended soak in the bath.  A hint, bring your own bath salts to get the full spa experience. Adjacent to the tub was a gorgeous shower space big enough for two, with three sides comprised of golf ball sized river-rock--the fourth side made of glass.  No cowboy ever had it better!
One thing I didn’t do: I didn’t freak out over the non-existence of cell phone coverage or in-room TV, two things that those who know me could never imagine possible.  In fact, with the consistent wireless internet in my room (hey, I gotta have some connection to help me brag about this place online) I had exactly the right blend of solitude and serenity with the conviviality of the others in Heck’s Tavern (so named because it is shaped in a hexagon) with perfect background music like Rikki Lee Jones, Lyle Lovett and other atmosphere appropriate tunes.

For more information on Devil’s Thumb Ranch, including dining and spa options as well as the plethora of outdoor activities (the real reason most people visit), visit www.devilsthumbranch.com or call 1-800-933-4339.  They can even help you plan your wedding in the most perfect Colorado setting imaginable.

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