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Paradise Found (Buena Vista, Colorado)

Author: pikespeeker
Date of Trip: May 2007

We both enjoy Buena Vista – Colorado, but were disappointed in the places we had frequented in the past. Last autumn, our next adventure was to summit Mt. Yale. We found Colleen’s and William’s website, for Las Manos, and were interested in their mission as hosts and creation in their home. Figuring this would be an interesting place to use as base camp, we booked our room for the weekend.

When we arrived, were awed by the surrounding high desert, thick with pinon, and views of the Collegiate Peaks. Instead of being hidden amongst the pines, Las Manos commands terrific vistas of Mt. Princeton and Mt. Yale to the west and the Buffalo Peaks to the east.

Walking to the front door, we were greeted at the front door by William with a warm hello. From there, we were given the tour of our room – the Sunset Room. We were led to the downstairs sitting room and bathroom. Looking at the deep tub surrounded in slate, we knew this would be perfect for recovering from our hike the next morning.

William led us upstairs to the bedroom. Dropping our bags, we were shown the balcony. We quickly wanted to abandon the tour to enjoy the approaching sunset. However, there was more to see and learn from our hosts, and more importantly, them from us – breakfast and massages needed to be finalized.

We were led downstairs to the kitchen and dining room to discuss our plans for the next day. Colleen and William asked about our needs for our hike. They would have breakfast for us when we were ready at 5:00am, as we wanted an alpine start for our hike. Although we could have anything we wanted, we settled on a quick bowl of oatmeal and fresh fruit.

They also wanted to know when we would like our massages following our hike. Both Colleen and William would be ready for us after dinner the next evening.

Our adventure began the next day without a hitch. Great oatmeal, coffee, and fresh fruit – all the necessary fuel for a long day. Following a grueling day on the trail, we were ready for dinner, a hot bath and a massage.

Bathed and fed, we relaxed in the kiva (living room) awaiting our massage. I wish I could remember the entirety of the 90 minute massage, but I drifted off in the capable hands of William. I was gently awoken and quietly told to take my time to get off the table and into bed. It is not easy to move when you become a wet noodle of muscle and tendons. Through the haze, we were asked what time we would like our breakfast ready.

The next day, there was a tinkling of cooking utensils and the aroma of coffee (mmm, french roast) and something from the oven. Tired but far from sore, we roused ourselves to the kitchen. Greeted with a smile and a cup of coffee from Colleen, she mentioned our breakfast would be ready shortly. Breakfast this morning would be more substantial than yesterday. This morning it would be – Huevos Benedicto.

Only one thing to say, “MMMMMM.”

We were both disappointed that the time to depart was upon us. As we drove home, we continued to talk about our stay and what we felt about our new find, as well our new found friends. The entire conversation was how we felt about where we stayed. We decided before arriving home to make another return trip.

The next day we cancelled plans for a stay in Pagosa Springs and made arrangements for another stay at Las Manos. We have stayed at Las Manos ten times, which includes the 2nd Annual Grand Opening.

We have found a home away from home. Each stay at Las Manos gets better and better. William and Colleen take their guests seriously and solicit their feedback. They pay attention to detail in every way; and always strive to improve their dream at Las Manos.

We will be back, again and again.

And we have been. Our love of the area, as well as our friendships made with William and Colleen, we decided there was no other place for us to be married than right there at Las Manos. We created an opportunity to share with our families and close friends our new found paradise.

The magic of our wedding stay still lives in our memories and is as special to us as it is of our very first stay.

Scott and Michelle

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