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Award-winning Architecture At Gorgeous, Secluded Mountain Retreat

Bedrooms 8
Half Baths2
Property type chateau / country house
Minimum Stay 3 - 5 nights


About the property

5+ bedroom on Specie Mesa sleeps 12+

Discover a beautiful and charismatic retreat unique in all the world. Sleep under the stars on a bed that rides out onto a private deck on rails!

Inspired by the Telluridium mines of the 1800s, our compound of houses has an elegant yet rambling flow that accentuates the stunning views of sandstone valleys and mountain ranges.

The Laybourne Mesa Retreat is a place to:

• Come together over gourmet meals in the chef's kitchen.

• Build a campfire in our beautiful sandstone fire pit.

• Enjoy the outdoors with volleyball, hiking, hammock-swinging, picnicking or frisbee golf in the summer - and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and igloo building in the winter.

• Curl up in front of a roaring fire with a good book, or watch a great movie on our flat-screen HD television.

• Reconnect with friends and family in a house that offers groups opportunities for both privacy and community.

It's simply the most beautiful base camp you could ever find for adventures in Telluride, Ridgeway, Ouray, Durango, Mesa Verde, and more! Please note that Telluride and Ridgeway are each about 45 minutes away from the house - a bit more in the winter.

Bedrooms include:

The 'train house' with 3 full-sized beds in private berths and a gang shower.

Sleeping tower with two bedrooms, each with its own private half-bath.

Formal guest room that sleeps 3 with its own full bath.

Master bedroom with full bath and a bed that rides out on rails so that you can sleep under the stars!

A large 16 X 16 miner's tent with 2 cots for summer adventures!

Other features:

volleyball court

frisbee golf course

beautiful patio with a giant polished sandstone table

hiking trails

Traulsen fridge and Viking stove

hammocks galore

sandstone firepit

giant outdoor chess/checker board

collection of rare animation cells

custom-built log banquet table that seats 20 posed on the mesa's edge

gas grill, charcoal grill and a smoker

playful and artful decor

lots of games and toys for young ones

and breathtaking views!

This home can be rented in combination with the fabulous, dog and horse-friendly (right down the road) for larger family gatherings and groups.

This home is also available for sabbatical visits and extended stays - at a highly discounted rate. Please contact us for more information.

(Please note that the property is not available for weddings or large events.)

More Details

Property Manager
Emmy Laybourne
Member since: 2013
Speaks english
Response time
Within a day
Response rate
Calendar last updated:
16 May, 2018

About Emmy Laybourne

Kit and Gerry Laybourne built their home on Specie mesa, near Placerville, CO, as a kid magnet. 'We wanted to build a vacation home that would make our teenaged kids want to hang out with us!' Gerry reports. 'That's why we designed the property to be so much fun and to have so many unique places to hang out.'

Emmy Laybourne and Sam Laybourne, Kit and Gerry's children, are now grown up with kids of their own. They are delighted to share this very special, playful, beautiful retreat with the public.

'Our hope is that this home, which has brought us so much joy over the years, will now become a gathering place for a select handful of families,' says Emmy. 'We welcome you and your loved ones to come and enjoy our home on Specie mesa.'

Emmy Laybourne purchased this chateau / country house in 1993

Why Emmy Laybourne chose Placerville

Kit and Gerry chose this area because they wanted to have a secluded lot with views of nothing but mountains. The house is situated on over 125 acres of land - plenty of breathing space!

What makes this chateau / country house unique

'My favorite spot on the property is the sitting porch,' says Emmy. 'The porch is really comfortable, but the view is stunning, so you're in this warm, cozy setting, gazing out at sandstone valley and the hazy mountains beyond it. I just love it up there.'

Guestbook comments from the manager

Our family stayed on “the Mesa” with two other families in early March. We had long dreamed of skiing at Telluride, and while the mountain certainly delivered, the house held its own as well. In fact, nearly every day, at least two skiers opted to “stay home” just to be able to fully savor the house and grounds.

We had a big group, with 11 people total. The house was really ideal. Because of its size and the fact it’s “deconstructed” across multiple smaller buildings it easily “absorbed” the entire group. Everyone had all the privacy they needed while at the same time there are a nearly infinite number of ideal conversational “nooks” as well as several incredible gathering places for everyone. To be honest, it’s really hard to review this very special place, just too many things to talk about.

So here’s some top of mind thoughts…a bed that seamlessly glides out on rails to put you in the middle of the best views imaginable, something we did every night (the stars) and every morning; an incredible kitchen that brought out the gourmet in all of the kids, including massive cookie baking undertakings; romantic conversations in front of a giant fireplace; epic snow shoeing adventures; wildlife spottings galore; super cool spots to hide out and read everywhere; kids having an endless slumber party on the railway beds; amazing views on the drive to Telluride…well, you get the picture. We can’t wait to visit again!
Mar 2013
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Accommodation and facilities for this holiday chateau / country house rental in Placerville

Property Type:
  • chateau / country house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 12
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Mountain View
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace
  • Garage
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 20 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • 2 Half Baths
  • Master bath - Double shower with a door that opens to the outdoors.
    Guest room shower - toilet , shower enclosure
    Train bath - Double shower and double sink!
    Tower One - toilet , Private WC and sink for the top tower guests.
    Tower 2 - toilet , Convenience in this well-designed bath for Tower 2.
  • The Train bathroom features a gang shower, large sink with two siogots and the lav is decorated with Gerry Laybourne's collection of rare animation cells.
  • 8 Bedrooms, Sleeps 12
  • Guest Room - 1 large double bed , 1 single bed , This charismatic room features ornate trim and private bath.
    Top Tower - 1 double bed , The highest room in the compound. Private 1/2 bath.
    Tower 2 - 1 large double bed , A cozy book-lover's bedroom with private 1/2 bath.
    Sleeping Berth #1 - 1 large double bed
    Sleeping Berth #2 - 1 large double bed
    Sleeping Berth #3 - 1 large double bed
    Master Bedroom - 1 large double bed , The master bed rolls out onto a porch on railroad tracks!
    Summer Safari Tent - Bedroom-sized tent with 2 cots (summer ONLY)
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Pool Table
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • long term rentals available
Leisure Activities:
  • horse riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • wildlife viewing
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rock climbing
  • ski
  • snowboarding
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(11 traveller reviews)

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Award-winning Architecture At Gorgeous, Secluded Mountain Retreat
average rating of 4.909091 based on 12 reviews
Longmont, CO, USA

Amazing stay.... Again

  • 5 of 5

This is our second time staying at this gorgeous home. We just had to come back after our last stay here, and this time was just as amazing. We showed up Friday afternoon and literally did not leave the property until Monday when we had to get back to real life. There is so much peace and relaxation here: hiking, hammocks, volleyball court, showering outside, eating overlooking the mountains, sleeping under the stars... The perfect escape. Thanks for an amazing retreat.

  • Review Submitted: 02/08/2017
  • Date of Stay: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

A fabulous place for cooking, communing and viewing Colorado's natural beauty. Our family gathering enjoyed frisbee golf, hiking nearby trails, day trips to Ouray and Telluride and working the three thousand piece puzzle! Sleeping outside on a memory foam mattress is as close to heaven as one can get. Loved our time on Specie Mesa! Thank you for a wonderful week!!!

  • Review Submitted: 06/07/2017
  • Date of Stay: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Amazing stay here! Our first trip to Colorado and this home helped make lasting memories:)

  • 5 of 5

Where to start???? This house helped make our stay in Colorado so memorable. We loved sitting on the porch in the morning and chatting. The kids played games/cards for hours at the kitchen table. And the views- oh, my! We definitely made memories here. The set-up of the different houses were unique and gave everyone their own space. There were tons of unique features- so special. The kitchen was made user friendly with an extra large custom refrigerator, large gas stove, and tons of supplies. There was plenty of wildlife to be seen. The older kids drove to town one day and saw a mama bear and two cubs on the road right around the corner from the house. Quite exciting:) Best of all, my son chose this trip to propose to his girlfriend and she said "yes"! Life is good.

  • Review Submitted: 25/06/2017
  • Date of Stay: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

We stayed at this stunning home on the mesa in mid-January 2017. It's cozy, quiet, and private. Views of the surrounding mountains are incredible.

The 3 connected buildings have loads of light and many unique, comfortable spaces for relaxing. The bed that rolls on rails out onto the porch is a totally singular feature, but all the sleeping areas are restful and lovely. Wonderful kitchen, and windows everywhere.

The drive into Telluride is short (about 20 minutes) and beautiful. You definitely want a 4WD vehicle in winter for the road to the mesa.

  • Review Submitted: 26/01/2017
  • Date of Stay: January 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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College Station, Texas

Family Jeep Vacation

  • 4 of 5

This property is full of unique and wonderful art. We booked this compound for our large group, which included 2 children and 7 adults. We had plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the time we spent at the house. The nature trails were super fun for the kids and we enjoyed sitting outside with plenty of room for all of us. The "kitchen house" as we called it was our main hang out and worked just fine for the family meals we cooked and enjoyed together. I loved the huge built in cooler, it gave us all the room we needed to keep things cold. We enjoyed walks down to the massive picnic table to view the mesa most evenings and the kids loved riding the bed on the rails! If you like being away from it all, this is the place, we did have to drive a bit to get to the jeep trails we had mapped out. We really enjoyed at the start of the road the picnic area at the boat launch at the San Juan River. We enjoyed the entire area of Telluride, Ouray, Silverton and the Million Dollar Highway.

  • Review Submitted: 07/09/2016
  • Date of Stay: July 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Longmont, CO, USA

You cannot beat this place

  • 5 of 5

This place is amazing. I don't even know where to start. We rented it for the Bluegrass Festival in Telluride (a 45 minute drive), but found ourselves not wanting to leave. There was so much to do on the property: frisbee golf, volleyball, hammocks galore, quiet places to read and just be, an amazing outdoor shower, a massive outdoor table with an unbeatable view, sleeping under the stars... The beds were comfortable. The kitchen had more than any other rental we've used. The kids loved the sleep-train. The rooms are set up that each feels very private and sounds don't travel (perfect for kids!). If you are going to be in the area, you've got to stay at this place. We hope to come back next summer.

  • Review Submitted: 24/06/2015
  • Date of Stay: June 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
22 Miles
Nearest Golf
24 Miles
The Peaks Resort and Spa
Nearest Restaurant
9 Miles
The Angler Inn
Nearest Ski
22 Miles
Telluride Mountain
Car: necessary


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this holiday chateau / country house in Placerville

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
2018 Film Festival
31 Aug 2018 - 4 Sep 2018
5 night minimum stay
Flat fee
Fall Foliage Special!
9 Sep 2018 - 30 Nov 2018
3 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Property Damage Protection AU$105.2
Cleaning Service AU$332.93 + Tax

We offer significant discounts for smaller groups. Please inquire and we'll hook you up!

Manager's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if cancelled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Contact Manager