“ Bed & Breakfast and retreat centre in Cortez, Colorado, USA. „
Kelly Place bed & Breakfast
We booked this place just outside Cortez quite some time before we left England as we knew we were planning a visit to Mesa Verde National Park and wanted to stay a night before we went into the park and then another on the day of the visit. We looked at several places but this appealed as it was self catering and set in really lovely grounds. We booked on line and paid a deposit of $230 with the remaining amount to pay when we got there and we had a confirmation email back so we were all set.
WHY CHOOSE KELLY PLACE?
Kelly Place is twenty miles from the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park and forty six miles from the Four Corner's Monument both places on our list to visit in this area. This property is right in the heart of the Four Corners area and is a huge forty acres of this red desert rock.
The property has its own fully restored kiva as well as remains left by Anasazi tribes who inhabited the area thousands of years ago. The property is the host to the McElmo Canyon research Institute and they do offer outdoor educational programmes in Native American art and culture. They also offer hiking, archaeologist guided tours, biking and pottery classes. You can grab a map for a self guided tour of the many prehistoric sites on the property including the kiva. Horse trekking can also be enjoyed on the neighbouring horse ranch.
Prior to arriving in the confirmation email we had been given these instructions :
"Check-in time is from 4-8:00 PM. Check-out time is 11:00 AM. If you
arrive late, follow the signs to the lodge and go in. On the dining
room table would be a paper with your name and directions to your
lodging, plus other pertinent information.
Our full, country-style breakfast is included. However, we do not have
a restaurant on site. If you are arriving at dinnertime, you may wish
to stop on your way and get some food. Cortez is the nearest place with
restaurants and grocery stores, about 12 miles from here."
We arrived at about 2pm a little early and there was no one around so we got out of the car and went to try and check in. There was a not on the door to say that no-one would be in the office between the hours of midday and 4 pm so it looked like we had a long wait. We found some seats in the garden and made friends with the resident cats. Luckily the owner did come over just before 3pm and checked us in. It was all very efficient, we were given a list of what was where and s much information that I glazed over.
I wouldn't say the welcome was effusive considering the website advertises that :
"Your hosts, Marc Yaxley and Jerene Waite, wish to share this oasis and provide an enjoyable and educational experience for all their guests."
I know we were told check in at 4pm but to actually not have the office manned for all that time is a bit poor I think. We could have been wanting to go on a hike on the property and wanting some information. I do think someone should be around, and also the drive is a long way from the main highway and not easy to find so we had left a bit of time to make sure we could find the place, settle in and relax in preparation for our day in Mesa Verde the next day.
We were taken over to our bungalow and shown where things were before being left to unpack. We were told we could bring the car around to park beside the bungalow which made unpacking easier.
WHAT ACCOMODATION IS THERE?
There are seven lodge rooms and four cabins offering accommodation. As well as the physical rooms there are also RV hook-ups and campsites. We stayed in what is called the "Two bedroom modular suite". This turned out to be a sort of bungalow with patio which was attached to a similar bungalow (semi detached) which appeared to be the dwelling of the owners but I may have been wrong.
Our "suite" was a short walk across the garden from the main lodge where breakfast was offered. This meant we were pretty private. Our lovely balcony had a really good sized table and chairs and we enjoyed eating out there looking at the view of the surrounding area. Sunset over the red rock area was particularly lovely from here.
As you enter the front door you walk straight into the lounge/diner./kitchen and this was quite a good size. The sofa and chairs were very comfortable, not that modern looking but okay and this area was carpeted. There was a large flat screen TV on the wall which didn't get a lot of use hwen we were there but did work okay. The dining table and chairs were solid rustic looking pine and the kitchen area had a cooker, fridge and all the crockery and cutlery you would need to self cater. There were not a huge number of pans but enough for what we needed. The kitchen and dining area was tiled and looked clean and fresh. There were cloths and dishwashing detergent provided which was handy as we didn't have any.
The two bedrooms and bathroom were to the left of the lounge through an arch way half way down the building. The bathroom was between the two rooms as this was smaller than either bedroom. Both rooms had double beds and were an okay size. Neither room was huge but one did have a wardrobe and the other didn't as far as I can remember. Both had bedside tables but not a lot else beside the double bed.
The bathroom had a shower over the bath, toilet and basin and was a pretty decent size. There was a hairdryer and very basic soap and shampoo was provided.
I would say that the accommodation was basic, comfortable and homely rather than luxurious. We actually paid quite a lot for this place at $230 per night for the 'suite' so I think they are charging quite a bit for what you get. Considering we were usually paying about $90 to $100 per night per room in the hotels with four of us sharing a room and that included breakfast for four. If you stayed only one night here they add on another £20 per room.
This was included in the price and at that price I think dinner should have been included as well! They do have a dinner but you have to pre order and it costs quite a lot extra so we cooked our own in the 'suite'. Back to breakfast; this was a semi buffet affair but with all the guests around the one big table in the lodge. This was okay if you came as one big group but sometimes you don't want to be sociable with other guests at breakfast time. Anyway we did listen to other people's conversations as some of them obviously did want to entertain others but apart from minimal conversation to be polite we didn't really join in.
The buffet part was laid out along a table with fruit salad, fruit juice, toast (which you made yourself using a 4 slice toaster) and homemade muesli as well as other cereals and freshly made muffins. They also did a cooked breakfast fresh for you with bacon, eggs , fried bread etc which the other members of my family all enjoyed but I am not keen on cooked fried breakfasts and I hate eggs so I gave that a miss.
It was an okay breakfast, perfectly good but nothing to get too excited about. It did the job of filling the tum before a day out but wasn't memorable like some of those we had in South Africa at the B&Bs we stayed in there.
THE GROUNDS AND THE SLEEPING UTE MOUNTAIN
We didn't really have a lot of opportunity to explore the grounds but the gardens near the lodge had the most amazingly scented tree which filled the air with a lemony scent which was very nice. We did enjoy sitting reading and relaxing on the balcony and looking at the view of the "Sleeping Ute" mountain. This mountain could be seen from various places as we drove around this Four Corners area. There was an interesting legend which tells the story of the mountain.
The Great Warrior God came to help fight against evil ones who were causing trouble but during the battle the warrior God was hurt and he lay down to rest. He fell into a deep sleep and today he is still sleeping. His head points towards the north and his arms are folded across his chest. His keens and even his toes are clear to see.
When fog or clouds settle on him people believe he is changing his blanket; a light green blanket tells that spring is on its way. Yellow and red are autumn colours while white is for winter. The Ute people believe that one day he will rise again from his sleep and help his people fight against their enemies.
Apart from the place we were served breakfast this was also a meeting area for groups. There was a sitting room with a library of reference books about the Ute people, the history of the area and so on that you could read in the room but couldn't take back to your room to enjoy.
There were lots of things for sale all around this room and the breakfast room and these included T-shirts, tops and jackets and a large number of artefacts and copies of tribal artefacts, handmade authentic jewellery from local artists. The things were not cheap and we were not tempted to but anything.
The owners sold beer and wine from a fridge in this lodge and there were strict rules about the sale of the drinks. "Kelly Place is a state licensed beer and wine retailer. Because of state law you may only consume purchased beverages which we retail to you within the main lodge and courtyard area. The state requires us to monitor alcoholic beverages in these areas. You may have your own beverages in your room or campground area. We do not supply glasses for consumption outside of the main lodge and courtyard. We reserve the right not to serve guests at our discretion."
We were a bit disappointed as the website had made this sound really welcoming and an interesting place to stay. It was okay and served its purpose being close enough to Mesa Verde National Park for our day's exploring of the park and it was also convenient for when we moved on to visit the Four Corners Monument. I would not really feel comfortable spending days there as I really didn't get the 'welcome' that I thought we might from the website.
I think maybe groups of people use this for educational courses and for learning about the history of the area. It definitely had that sort of hostel type feel to the place. But I did think that a little more effort could be made to make people feel welcome rather than have a list of rules and instructions spouted at them on arrival.
WOULD I RECCOMEND?
I think this was expensive for what we got and probably there are cheaper hotels in Cortez but we were struggling to find somewhere on the internet and this looked the best so I don't know. There was nothing really wrong with it per se but it just didn't have the "Wow factor" that we had thought we might get from the website.
It is a long winding and not always signed drive off the highway to the property. It is a good twelve miles from Cortez so you need to think about the shopping needs before you pass Cortez as it is a long way back to get the milk!
It was comfortable, had lovely grounds to explore, great views and the breakfast was okay too. You could do worse but at the price I think we paid a lot for what we got and we were a bit disappointed.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.