This remote getaway in the San Juan range of the Colorado Rockies is what a 19th-century mining town might have looked like had its inhabitants hit gold. Christoph Henkel, a German founding partner of California real estate development group Canyon Equity, spent much of the '90s systematically combing the country looking for a "place to hang my hat," he says.
Still, a Colorado ghost town that had been overtaken by squatters seems an unlikely choice. "It was as if a nuclear bomb had hit the place," Henkel says. "A mummified elk was in
one of the buildings." Henkel and his wife, Katrin, bought the place and began painstakingly restoring it. To repair the edifices with wood and fixtures in the original style, the
Henkels spent years knocking on doors persuading farmers to sell unused buildings.
Today the 12-cabin luxury resort is ideal for horseback riders, cross-country and heli-skiers, climbers, and those who just love a good hot-springs spa. Guests dine family-style
in rooms decorated with wagon wheels, sharing baskets of homemade bread and bottles of Opus One.
"You come in in the evening at six or seven, and you'll find yourself at the bar with a true cowboy sitting alongside an investment banker," Henkel says. "It's a place that
connects people--it's never boring."
12 rooms, from $300 to $500 a night