THE LIGHTS ARE ON, THE FIRE IS LAID, and the chalkboard beside the door reads, WELCOME... HAPPY SOAKING. There might be more to life at this rustic Rocky Mountain hideaway than lounging in a secluded hot spring, but I doubt you'll stray too far to find it. Wedged into a narrow cleft between Mount Princeton and Mount Antero14,000-foot peaks in central Colorado's Collegiate RangeAntero's two log cabins have a mismatched charm and unfussy familiarity that will send you into a lovely state of laziness.
ROOM & BOARD: In the century-old Cottonwood cabin, a cast-iron stovethe kind Grandma used for cooking gritssits in the middle of the kitchen, home-sewn quilts drape from log walls, the floorboards creak, and left-behind paperbacks line the shelves. According to a framed note beside the bathroom sink, the water takes a really long time to get there. No worriesthat's what the springs are for. The three-bedroom Hortense cabin, circa 1920s, has a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, bunk beds, and a roomy ranch kitchen. Hire a chef or fix your own meals with groceries purchased at City Market, 15 miles north in Buena Vista.
OUT THE BACK DOOR: Don't skimp on the soaking; the property's 110-degree spring-fed pools are why you're here. If motivated, get a workout snowshoeing or ski-touring the miles of backcountry on the easily accessed Colorado Trail, or alpine-ski 800 acres of lift-serviced terrain at nearby Monarch ski area.
DETAILS: Cottonwood sleeps four and costs $175$195; Hortense sleeps six and costs $200$240; 719-539-8204, www.anterohotsprings.com