Capturing the spirit of Old West, where they still have cattle drives and wear chaps, The Inn at Whiskey Belle Ranch is a place where luxury meets ranch life. Located 90 miles northwest of Denver, this five-star bed and breakfast lies within the Laramie Foothills, known as one of the last great Front Range landscapes, offering travelers a true western experience not far from the city.
Resting at 6,200 feet in elevation, in the shadows of Colorado’s Mummy Range between Red Feather Lakes, Fort Collins, the Whiskey Belle homestead captures the spirit of wide-open American West that seems to be slowly diminishing, especially along Colorado’s Front Range.
The farmhouse, which now serves as the B&B, was one of 20 built in the area in the late 1800s by cattle ranchers from England. Retired Denver-based architect Bob West and his partner, Alanna Day, bought the ranch in 2009 and spent years restoring the 1894 ranch house. Phantom Canyon Preserve surrounds the 75-acre scenic ranch, which is one of the last remaining roadless canyons along Colorado’s Front Range. Protected by the Nature Conservancy, the canyon is closed to the public — preserving the area from development.
As a working ranch, guests will find chickens, horses, and their most prized possessions, a herd of Highland Cattle. As a former owner of a working cattle ranch in Wyoming, West had an appreciation for the lifestyle and instantly fell in love with the Highland Cattle when visiting Scotland years ago.
The 26 Highland Cattle roam a section of the ranch are seen from the road, but a visit to the ranch is needed to learn about their impressive lineage. Aside from their obvious cuteness, Highland Cattle are best known for their unique personalities, being excellent grazers and producing better-for-you meat. In fact, it is one of the cleanest proteins in the world that you can buy.
“We’re the future of beef in the U.S.A.,” says West, who has worked on both sides of the fence. Today, West and Day own one of the most-prized bulls in the country, Brodgar, who comes with a good pedigree and exceptional calmness. Guests of the B&B can ask for a tour of the farm and a chance to visit with the cattle.
Lodging at the ranch isn’t your typical ranch-style accommodations. With a sophisticated blending of cowboy culture and hospitality, plus a bit of retro flair, the house is a place of nostalgic style and Western elegance.
As guests arrive, they will instantly be greeted by the owners, along with the two guard dogs that keep an eye on the sprawling ranch. The bed and breakfast features three bedrooms and three private bathrooms, sleeping up to three couples — well suited for a weekend getaway with friends and family.
In addition to the rooms, a lavish, country-style dining area and common area named the Roosevelt Room are both available to guests throughout their stay.
Day is the B&B’s chef who whips up a delicious made-from-scratch breakfast using the freshest ingredients and a whole lot of love. Breakfast is usually served in the dining area or outside on the farmhouse front porch, where evening drinks and appetizers are often enjoyed while taking in sunset views of the Mummy Range.
Staying at The Inn at Whiskey Belle Ranch
Combined with their wildly successful B&B business and the popular interest in their Highland Cattle, West and Day will be offering two-day cattle cram courses for those interested in learning more about Highland Cattle.
The idea being that guests will not only come to stay at the beautiful B&B, but they can learn a little bit about raising Highland Cattle and more about ranch life. Other cram sessions will include how to bail hay and tours during calving season to learn about the calving process. To preserve the five-star experience, the duo wants to be able to share with their guests exceptional accommodations with a unique ranch-stay experience.
Interested in a stay at The Inn at Whiskey Belle Ranch? Call West and Day at 970.482.0248 and mention this article!
The Inn at Whiskey Belle Ranch is located at 2030 Cherokee Park Rd., Livermore. To learn more about the B&B and the ranch, visit them at whiskeybelleranch.com.