One evening while driving with my dog through Manitou Springs & searching for a place that was reasonable in price and that would take my dog without an outrageous fee ...I came across Park Row Lodge by accident. I was actually guided to another hotel by someone and when I took a side street off of Manitou Avenue I noticed the backside of Park Row Lodge & did an IMMEDIATE U-turn. I thought that is EXACTLY what I'm looking for! It had a log cabin curb appeal and just across the lodge's parking lot is a wonderful little creek (Fountain Creek) that bubbles softly and gently. There was grass, furniture and lawn decor to boot. I thought this would be perfect for me and Belfast (my dog). I would have a window view of the creek and when I needed to let her outside to use the bathroom or just roam around (on a leash, as there is a leash law here) ...this was the spot. Additionally, the park is right there across the creek and has a nice walking path. So you can take yourself and/or your dog for a nice walk along a wide, even pathway that follows along the creek leading to a cute little park, if you walk in the direction of the mountains. OH ...and the view of the mountains is so lovely! I ALWAYS take my cell phone for those "just in case" PIC moments and let me just say there were MANY, as I've posted most of them on my FaceBook page for my family and friends to see -I'll try to post some here. There's also a cute little playground, large enclosed tennis court and a skate park ...should you be coming with family or wee little ones. It's a perfect little spot and plenty of amenities nearby (many within walking distance).
Did I mention the WILDLIFE ...it's amazing to see a family of deer (literally) just outside your window. Just TODAY ... I counted 9 (that's NINE) deer in the middle of the day grazing in the ballpark that's just across the creek and you can see through the trees in the winter months. I took several PICS of them, as there was also an amazing sunset (you get MANY of these) with the outline of a nearly full moon in the background. Too bad I don't have them uploaded yet or I would share them with you, as the cell phone PICS came out spectacular ...never a dull moment here in Manitou Springs! Often, you will see several deer walking down the path in the middle of the day or night, and they do come on the property regularly. You will also see a variety of birds (seasonal) as well as ducks who LOVE to come down the creek for a warm sun bathing or feeding, if you have bread (fun for the wee ones). Yes, there are bears that will venture down (seasonal), but they are nocturnal and usually only come at night. In my two-years of visiting here I've NEVER seen a bear ...only LOTS of deer, ducks and birds! However, I have seen bear tracks and would LOVE to capture one on my cell phone!
So anyway ...;I pulled into the office, which was surprisingly still open, as it was late evening in the late spring. I introduced myself and Belfast and was pleasantly surprised by this very hospitable Polish woman. I asked to see the room prior to making a decision and once I saw it ...not the Ritz, but clean, comfortable, quiet and just what I needed. Plus, I loved the cabin look and feel of the king-sized bedroom with microwave & mini-fridge that I booked for a week (at first), as I ended up staying longer. NOTE: back-side units have the log cabin look/feel - front-side units are larger with more amenities & face the street, but have nice mountain views and a balcony overlooking the back-side of Fountain Creek. So a win-win either way, as you will get your scenic views! Though I lived in the NE part of Colorado Springs (about 20-25 minutes away) ...it was still a "home" away from home, as I came here to relax and get away from "everyday life".
That was 2 years ago and I've been a guest (now friend) since then. I'm actually trying to relocate to Manitou Springs and am currently staying at the lodge until I find a permanent residence here. I've been here for 3 months as of the date posted, if that tells you anything.
I admit that this is an older lodge in need of minor repairs both inside and out. However, as many have mentioned ...for the price, the serenity and a comfortable affordable place ...you tend to overlook the little inconveniences of not staying at a ritzier place.
Bozena and her husband are from Poland and she is the one who interacts with her guests. You will usually get a wave or a hi from her husband, as he doesn't really speak English. However, Bozena speaks English well enough and she is the one who does EVERYTHING ... literally. She usually does the following every day; prepares a pot of coffee (if there are coffee drinkers here - just ask in advance), puts out tea bags and breakfast items (donuts are seasonal, but yummy - rest of the times it's usually very casual with granola bars), cleans the rooms after check-out, does ALL the laundry of the bedding/towels, if you ask she will clean your room daily or when you need it, she is constantly cleaning up the creek and grounds of debris (so please be conscious to pickup after yourself), she runs the office from morning until night (7 days a week) and still has time to take a daily walk with her dog, Felix, keep her home clean, decorate (seasonal), fix dinner for her and hubby and be a wife/mother ...whew I'm exhausted just typing it all, so you can imagine what all this adorable lady who's full of life and spunk must feel!
The ONLY thing Bozena asks (I also ask) is that if you smoke ... smoke OUTSIDE, use an ASHTRAY and DO NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES take advantage of them and smoke inside!!! You have no idea how much this costs them, as they have to take EVERYTHING out to clean it (even if you smoked only ONCE inside ...the damage is done, as smoke is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to get out of wood furniture, carpeting and bedding). They have to do all of the work themselves to try to get the smell of the smoke out, as these are ALL supposed to be non-smoking units. When someone like me comes along that doesn't smoke and is also allergic to smoke ...we can tell immediately if the room has been smoked in. I find it so appalling that people can be so disrespectful to anyone, but particularly to such a hardworking couple. So please ...if you smoke responsibly, then come check out their lodge. However, if you disregard the sign on the door that says "NO SMOKING", then please do us all a favor and find another place. This will save them time, money and future complaints of a smoke smell in a non-smoking room.
Sorry ... I'm really anal about this for my own self, but also for my friend, Bozena.
Well, there's not much else to say ... I think I said it all. Come check it out for yourself ...what ever you decide I pray you are blessed in your decision. Happy lodging at Park Row Lodge in beautiful Manitou Springs!! :-)
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