Hot springs have long been known to have therapeutic value thanks to the complex mineral compounds they contain, but relaxation – like real estate – is all about location. These hot springs stand out not because their waters are perfectly heated or perfectly clear, but because the experience of getting to and being around the pools is soothing. The hot water is just a bonus.
Dunton Hot Springs (Dolores, CO)
The 19th-century gold and silver miners who built – and later abandoned – this 800-acre cabin community nestled at just under 9,000 feet in the San Juan Mountains had it good: 103-degree mineral springs, trout fishing, classic Rocky Mountain views. And nothing's changed: German hotelier Christoph Henkel restored this ghost town in the '90s, retrofitting the 12 hand-hewn cabins with old rifles and buckskin bedspreads and turning the old saloon into a place where guests – never more than 44 – enjoy free-range local lamb and wine around a communal dining table.
More information: Rent a cabin or luxury tent with meals included [from $350 a person]; or rent the entire town [$19,000; duntonhotsprings.com].