Gateway Canyons Resort, A Noble House Resort
What We Love
- Small enough that you can truly feel like you’re away from it all
- Family-friendly amenities like a game room and kids’ activities
- Mix of traditional — hiking, horseback riding — and more unusual activities like horse painting and wagon driving
- Green infrastructure like geothermal heating and cooling
What To Know
- A 10 percent hotel resort fee per night will be collected at Jetsetter checkout
- The closest big town, Grand Junction, is a little over an hour away
- Nightlife may consist of a glass of wine by the fireplace
- The resort sometimes hosts large conference groups at its event center
- During the winter months, only one restaurant is open
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Set in the breathtakingly beautiful Unaweep Canyon in far-western Colorado, Gateway Canyons, A Noble House Resort adds a touch of quirk — the chance to see dinosaur footprints, visit a world-class vintage-car museum — to the traditional roster of outdoorsy activities. Built in 2005 by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, whose own ranch is nearby, the resort is more Sedona-esque than Rocky Mountain, with adobe buildings and a backdrop of red-rock cliffs, particularly striking against a cobalt sky.
Bed and Bath
Kiva rooms in the 38-unit, two-story Kiva Lodge are generously sized and furnished in a Southwestern-style mix of rustic wood, leather, and Native American-inspired fabrics. They have granite wet bars, mini-fridges, HD televisions, and either a king bed or two queens. Deluxe and Premium rooms also have kiva-style gas fireplaces and, if on ground level, private patios with an outdoor hot tub.
Staying at the resort is a real getaway (the nearest “town,” Gateway, has about 60 residents) but there’s an appealing mix of outdoor and indoor recreation and entertainment for adults and kids, such as hiking, scenic flight tours and horseback riding. The resort keeps horses at its own stables, a beautiful facility 14 miles to the north where you can take a riding lesson or learn to drive a horse-drawn wagon, and on the main grounds, where many winter trail rides begin. Relax later with a massage or facial at the spa. Also onsite? Firepits, two pools, two hot tubs, a poolside cafe and bar and three restaurants offering a mix of Colorado and southwestern cuisine.
In the Area
Even if you’re not a car buff, don’t miss the auto museum with 45 American classics, exhibit spaces themed by decade and an introductory video narrated by Walter Cronkite. It’s like a slice of the Smithsonian in the Colorado high desert. Hop an eight-passenger Cessna Caravan from the resort’s landing strip for an awe-inspiring air tour of the western Colorado/eastern Utah landscape, which could include flying over Canyonlands National Park or even visiting Vail or Aspen. In the winter, take a four-passenger helicopter to Telluride ski area, 40 minutes away. The heli drops you off on the mountain, and from there you’ll ski down to the lifts. Grand Junction, about an hour’s drive away, is a hub of Colorado’s wine country, with nearly 20 wineries and vineyards offering tastings and tours.
How to Get There
I had the pleasure of eating in three different food outlets at Gateway this weekend. I had prime rib at paradox on Friday evening. I love prime rib and eat it when ever I find it on a menu. This was the best prime rib I think I have ever eaten. Cut it with a fork tender. I ate at the pool side bar at lunch the next day and once again I was not disappointed. I had fish tacos. They were fried crispy with a lot of flavor. That night we ate at the Entarera . I ordered the Chefs Mix which was three courses. The main entre was pork tenderloin with sweet potatoe mash. The whole meals was awesome. Those meals will stay in my memory for a very long time. Thank you gateway.
Based on the reviews and accolades we expected a 5 star luxury resort. Gateway Canyons is not that. The best way to describe Gateway canyons is as a Ritz Carlton property but with Courtyard Marriott service. The one restaurant that was open daily had no bartender. They charged $16 per cocktail but no one at the facility knew how to make them. I watched as the "bartender" made a drink while studying the recipe for the first time. At the pools, there was no wait service. One pool had no service at all. If you wanted a drink by the pool, you either had to bring your own or walk to the restaurant and order a drink. At the other pool (which was not heated), there was a cantina, but only one person on staff, and so that person could not walk around the pool asking if you needed service. Back to the one restaurant open daily. It had a very limited menu, consisting of 4-5 sandwiches and 3 entrees, no specials. After a couple nights, that menu got very stale. I could go on and on but the main point is simple. The staff, particularly management was just amateur. It was like putting an amateur driver in an Indy Car. The Indy Car is capable of driving 200 mph, but with an amateur at the wheel, it could only safely hit 100. But when you're paying for 200mph, 100mph is a huge disappointment. Don't waste your money!
The natural beauty of this resort is unmistakable. It literally can take your breath away. But particularly for the price of this resort it was incredibly disappointing. The food was bad (and not enough!) and the service was even worse. We had lunch one day and it took 90 minutes to get our food and then our drinks came after we had finished eating. Another meal it took close to 2 hours for everyone at our table to get their food. Even the things that worked well were a tad off. For instance, I had a lovely massage but then had to search high and lo to find someone to check out with when the treatment was over. The only thing that worked really well was our horseback riding excursion (we were first time riders!). The ranch manger, Ross, was phenomenal -- super nice and interesting and we had a fantastic ride with him.
This is an out of the way place. The road will be resurfaced in the next year. So go slow, enjoy the landscape. If you arrive late at night, you will experience, elk, deer, raccoons, bear, etc. You are out in the wilderness of Colorado.
I-70 is the best way to get there. We were coming from Denver, CO., so we are driving West. Stay on I-70 until you see the signs to Clifton. Don't go into Grand Junction. Get Gas in Clifton.
Exit 37 toward Clifton/US-6. Left turn onto 32 Road/Colorado 141. Follow the CO 141 signs, this is not a straight road, there will be another left turn to stay on CO 141. Right turn onto Highway 141 Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Byway. There is a sign that says Gateway. Make sure you make the turn or you will find , you have gone too far. You have 43.55 miles without a gas station. The resort is .1 miles past the small town of Gateway. Once you get there, you will find a Mini-Mart with 2 gas pumps.
You are surrounded by 5 Canyons. John Brown, Unaweep, Paradox, Delores River, & Mesa. Visit the car museum, which is free if you stay at the resort. Cars are in mint condition & people who have driven them are Howard Hughes, Clark Gable, & Spanish King Alfonso XIII. The founder of the property, was John Hendricks, in 1995, who owned the Discovery Channel. Later Nobel House got involved & did 20 Million in renovations in 2011. There are several pool options. We had a fire pit near our room, which became a place for family to visit. The Paradox Grill has a wood burning fire pit & can provide supplies to make "s'mores." Was a popular activity.
We did the Dinosaur Tracks activity, which happens Saturday morning. Need good hiking boots. You can arrange for a 15 minute airplane ride or helicopter, to see an overview of the area. The Helicopter is about $510.00 & can take 5 people for the one price. There is a working ranch if you want to ride horses. Area to skeet shoot. Lots of hiking & bike trails. The spa is a building separate from the lodging. There are 5 restaurants on the property. We stayed with the Paradox Grill, because it was close to our rooms & worked well for children, since the game room is on the second level.
If you are a photographer, you will love it. If you are a city slicker, you probably will have your horizons expanded on what mother nature has done. Save your money, there isn't any bargains. The property is so large we didn't feel crowded by other visitors. The staff went beyond the call of duty. They will guide you at night, so you don't get lost. The golf carts are available to deliver you to destinations, if walking becomes an issue. We were treated very well.
This place is a city in itself. Getting here from Grand Junction take 1 hour, and the last 20 miles of the road is in poor condition. The drive is beautiful. Checkin is fast, and you can ask for help with luggage. At this price similar to Ritz and Four Seasons, you would think there is a bellman to greet you and take your luggage. There is a 10.5% tax and a 18% resort fee, so you are paying almost 30% in addition to your room rate. Staff is very courteous, and Craig from concierge is very helpful with activities.
Rooms are beautifully decorated and very comfortable. I have added several property maps to assist with room selection. The property uses well water, and it is slippery hard water. The grass can be somewhat mushy from excessive daily watering. There is a large variety of plants and trees on the grounds, and some are not native. Trees are large and beautiful.
First floor rooms have a patio area, and most second floor rooms have balconies. The room scent spray used is the same as La Quinta's and quite strong. The bushes and trees sometimes block that awesome view of mountains. Casitas are the most expensive and more private and secluded on the northwest side of the resort. The second floor units do not have elevators, and luggage can be a struggle by staff and guest. A lot of rooms have fire pits or bowls. Some guests are wasteful and leave their fire pits on 24 hours a day.
Spring and fall have milder temperatures. Summer can be quite hot. Even in spring, staff said occupancy was around 1/3 when we visited.
There are 3 pools, and the 2 near the middle are nicer and have a great view. It is rarely busy, and you may have it all to yourselves. The pool bar was never open.
There are 2 restaurants (1 formal, 1 casual) onsite along with food truck, coffee shop, and pool bar. Find out which ones are open at the front desk. We did not see many people dining out, so not sure where people eat. Paradox (the casual one) serves sandwiches, etc and lets you take drinks upstairs to the game room.
The General Store is owned by resort and does not stock any perishable items. Bring your own snacks. Gas is very pricey there as can be expected for being so far out of the way.
There are paved paths throughout the resort, and you don't see many people out and about. There are hiking and biking trails steps from the resort, and a trail map is provided by the front desk. Trails are not necessarily made with mountain bikes in mind with sand traps and river rocks on the trails. Lumsden Loop has nice views. There is also a small plane landing strip nearby the trail. There is a frisbee golf area that has not been mowed in a while.
You can book activities, and it is never boring here. It's very relaxing with ponds, windyng paths, and birds. There is a flock of geese that provides a wakeup call around dawn, and the frogs at the ponds make weird wonky sounds.
Caretakers of the property live nearby in provided housing, probably because this is so remote. The town of Gateway is tiny and not much to see.