Laid-Back Inn with Comfortable Rooms Decorated by Local Artists
Southern Colorado–based interior designer and photographer DeEtta Lessar claims "the simplicity of nature” is one of her primary influences. She particularly appreciates Mother Nature’s color palette and its unrivaled ability “to create a warm and inviting space." Lessar is 1 of 18 local artists chosen by La Veta Inn to redecorate each of its guest rooms. Thanks to this project, each chamber has its own distinct vibe as well as one-of-a-kind artsy accents including sculptures, photographs, and paintings that capture the majesty of the surrounding Sangre de Cristo Mountains. One thing all the rooms have in common, however, is a commitment to comfort, evidenced by feather mattresses, Canadian down comforters, and Israeli cotton sheets.
A laid-back atmosphere pervades the inn and extends to Alys Restaurant, the onsite eatery. When executive chef Alys Romer isn't laughing with guests in the dining room, she can be found in the kitchen, crafting all-American comfort fare as well as innovative creations such as gruyere ravioli topped with balsamic-glazed sweet onions. Three-course meals include an entree, the soup of the day, and a delectable dessert such as the chocolate-whiskey pudding and blueberry-crisp pie. The restaurant hosts live music and dancing on select days; at other times, diners can simply let fly with some alpine yodeling if things get too quiet.
La Veta, Colorado: Artist Colony Tucked Away in Cuchara Valley
According to the traditions of the Tarahumare Indians, the rugged Spanish Peaks are the cradle of all life on earth. The volcanic mountains overlook the small town of La Veta and provide inspiration for its many painters, sculptors, and jewelry makers. Friendly restaurants and cozy cafés in the town center rub elbows with a number of galleries displaying fine art, crafts, and Georgia O’Keeffe’s watercolors of sad clowns. In the surrounding natural landscape, backpackers, photographers, and cyclists explore miles of trails, primeval forests, and secluded alpine lakes. A short drive brings thrill seekers to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, where sandboarders and kids on sleds shred some of the tallest dunes in North America.