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“Zero stars!!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Elkhorn Lodge and Guest Ranch

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Elkhorn Lodge and Guest Ranch
600 W Elkhorn Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517   |  
Hotel amenities
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Zero stars!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012 via mobile

Let me start by saying that I am a Colorado native and I love visiting Estes park, but I am embarrassed this place is located here. Motel 8 would've been a huge up grade. I never write reviews, but I really felt I had to warn others. They say it's rustic, but my fiancée and I would say its a dump. To start, I wasn't even greeted by the gentleman at the front desk when I came in to check in. We walk in our room and yes it's old, but the carpet had stains everywhere, the mattress was probably as old as the lodge (1847), and it had a musky smell to it and it just needs major renovations. I understand rustic and antique, but this place is beyond that. We stayed in the main lodge, so I can't say what the cabins were like, but I can't imagine it being any better. We didn't visit the stables therefore I can't comment, but I've read it's part of a different management.
The only amazing thing about it was the location. I wish the owners would just give this place some TLC, it has so much potential.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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122 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Fort Collins, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

I'll admit, after reading the reviews here I was really nervous about our trip to Estes Park this last weekend, and thankfully I was put at ease once we arrived.

We stayed in one of the cabins for two nights through a LivingSocial deal. Our keys were ready for us when we checked in, and the room was neat and clean. This cabin certainly isnt luxurious, and I wouldn't want to spend a romantic weekend getaway here, but for the price and our purpose (sleeping after hiking and exploring town) it worked just fine. I think if you are expecting the Hampton Inn you'll be disappointed- but if you expect an old small cabin, you won't be disappointed.

We walked into town each day and enjoyed a festival, restauarants, and a bar. It was nice to have that option.

If you come with realistic expectations that they really do mean rustic... I think you will enjoy.

Room Tip: We stayed in Cabin 3 and it was clean and just fine.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farmington, Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

First of all I will be very blunt. This place is a DUMP except for the stables. My wife and I stayed 4 nights on a Living Social coupon. I read the reviews before hand and 90% of it is true. Bottom line, unless you (owners) shut this place down and do a major renovation you will NEVER build a client base. There is a reality show on TV about bad hotels and they would shut you down. You (owners) have people working for you with big hearts, hopes and dreams of turning this place around and filing it up all season long, while they get room and board and work for tips ONLY. The Cabins are a disaster. I am used to tent camping and I would rate this as no better except for running water and a TV. The gal at the front desk(can't remember her name? Aubry?) was very nice and stated that the Lodge was granted thousands of dollars in Grant money this summer. I know that the Lodge and Stables have 2 different owners and that is the reason for the confusion in the reservation process but again, you(owners) need to invest or sell and let someone else invest in this historic property. Stable wranglers Mallory and Jesse, you two were great and made our trip ou horse back great. Stable owners, one comment for you on the Chuck wagon dinner. You have a turnaround spot on the ride that is at the top of the hill with awesome views, here's an idea. How about having the dinner set up up there around a campfire where you could stop, lasso up the horses, grab some food, sing around he camp fire, and then ride back down the mountain. I don't think anybody else on this side of the Rockies could match an experience like that. Good Luck, we'll be back next year to hopefully see a drastic improvement.

Room Tip: Teddy Roosevelt rooom was very nice.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

we booked a trip to Estes Park at the elkhorn lodge. we stayed in the lodge itself after a one hour horse ride. The horse ride was fun and the lodge upon first look was charming and rustic. However, rolls of paper towels and dawn dish soap in the bathrooms, dark hallways, cold chuck wagon dinners and breakfast buffets, and thin walls and doors and hard beds, and no heating. Luckily we spent most of our time in Rocky Mountain National Park, which was so beautiful it made up for the rest.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

My husband and I bought a voucher through Groupon that offered 1 night in a 1 bedroom cabin, chuckwagon dinner, breakfast and 1 hour horseback ride for 2 for a fantastic price! As we only live about 40 minutes away from the Elkhorn Lodge and Guest Ranch, we thought it would be a great little fall overnighter for us! UGH! Wish I had read the reviews here first! They say this place was build in 1874, and I do believe that not much has been done short of adding running water and a little electricity since then! This place is so very run down, junk sitting around the property. Yes, the cabin was VERY rustic, and that would be okay as to give you the feel of the old west. The very first thing was the porch railings were rotted out and very unstable. That was our first clue that this was going to be an experience! The curtains were sheer and didn't even cover the windows. The heater was a little dinky electric thing that we really were afraid to leave on all night lest we start a fire. It was really not very clean and was extremely old musty smelling. Really needs to be reconditioned! The whole place really needs to be clean and shined up. There were broken windows in the lodge, which could be very nice, but the whole place needs a lot of attention! The dining hall was another experience. At 6 o'clock p.m. we were told we could go in and seat ourselves. It took several attempts to find a table that didn't have crumbs all over...as not even cleaned up between meals I would say! The dinner was pretty good I must say, but they really do need to take some lessons on how to cook a brisket without it coming out like jerky!. It tasted okay but was so dry, and no BBQ sauce to help moisten it up! The rest of the dinner was pretty good though. The young man singing and playing the guitar was pretty good, really about the best out of the experience in there. The breakfast was pretty good, a little on the cold side tough! The ride was the best of the whole experience, and we will come back to go riding. The price is pretty good there in comparison with area stables and the horses were good, unlike some of the plugs around the area. The trail guide was a lot of fun and she really kept an eye on those that were inexperienced riders....she did a great job! All in all, I would say DO NOT STAY HERE OVERNIGHT... way too many places to eat and sleep in Estes Park than to go this way...unless you REALLY like it THAT rustic! But a fun place to take a horseback ride! Also, I have to say, that after I called to make the reservation, I was told that I had to call the stable to make a reservation. I tried so many times to do that that I lost count! Sometimes it would just ring and ring. Other times it would just ring a couple times and then disconnect! An answering machine so you could leave a message for them to call YOU back would be a fantastic asset to this operation! Finally I called the lodge on the day we were to arrive and asked them to give the stable a message to call me. They did do that. I asked to reserve rides for us for early in the morning...ooops, all booked Saturday! Then she found 2 spots at 10 am, which was fine because it had warmed up a bit by then and we had a great time!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flat Rock, Michigan, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

I've spent the last hour reading reviews of the Elkhorn. I wish I had read them before I gifted my son and daughter-in-law with a night's stay which included a cabin and 2 horseback rides. I purchased this "Getaway" deal through Groupon last April and frankly I am unsure if any reviews were available at the time. Before I mmade the purchase I called my son who lives in Denver and worked at the YMCA of Estes Park during summers when he was in college. He is very familiar with Estes Park and thought he knew where the lodge was located but had heard nothing about the place. When he made the cabin reservation he was told (as so many other reviewers stated) that he would have to make another call to the stable to reserve the rides. He was advised (by the lodge manager "Collin") to call the stable the week of his cabin reservation to reserve the horseback rides. He tried to call the stable and no one answered the phone. He called again and was hung up on. He finally reached the stable and was told: "We're booked up and have been for a month. So he called Collin once again and asked how this could be resolved. Collin told him that he would contact the stable and have someone there call him. Upon receiving no phone call from the stable, he once again contacted Collin who said: "They were supposed to call you back. I'll have them call you in the morning." Amazingly no one called him back. Upon arriving my son spoke to Collin who acted as if his hands were tied and offered no remedy. When my son asked if there would be any monetary reimbursement Collin told him to contact Groupon.

As it turns out after reading reviewers who said they found themselves "flea-bitten" after the horseback rides it was probably just as well they were "booked up."

Regarding the "rustic" charm purported to be the very essence of The Elkhorn...my son's response was: "It was a dump." He and his wife are well traveled and as I mentioned before worked at the YMCA cleaning cabins. This lodging experience was the worst he had experienced. He and his wife did go for a long hike on Saturday, ate at one of their favorite restaurants in Estes and were greatful for a bed to sleep in rather than driving back to Denver that night. He is an early riser and was in the dining room at 6am doing some work on his computer. When his wife came in (a half hour after they started serving breakfast) they were already out of French toast.

Both my son and daughter-in-law were thankful for the gift but found the accomodations lacking. I will be contacting Groupon with this review.

slowedownnow
Flat Rock, MI

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

Rustic charm is one thing, but this was not even close to rustic or charm. We purchased the Living Social deal for a 2-night stay, which, on the surface, seemed like a great deal. I had not stayed in Estes Park for years (and now I remember why) and had not been across Trail Ridge in years. The third night of our trip was staying in a TRUE rustic cabin with a ton of charm in Grand Lake (a place we stay frequently) which meant 2 days on the Estes Park side of RMNP and 2 days on the the Grand Lake side.

The cabin was not rustic--it was filthy. Why would you have carpet in a rustic cabin if you're not going to at least attempt to keep it clean? The bathroom was very scary and there was little to no hot water. As soon as we walked in the cabin I knew I would only be staying there one night, so I just dealt with all of the conditions. Within an hour of arriving, I had arranged to get the cabin in Grand Lake for 2 nights and we left first thing the next morning. I gave the second night to the vacationers in the next cabin. They had just as many problems with their cabin as we did, but they couldn't change their plans so at least they were able to invite another couple up.

Maybe my idea of rustic is different than others, but I assure you there is nothing rustic about Elkhorn Lodge. It is just old and worn down......

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Elkhorn Lodge and Guest Ranch

Address: 600 W Elkhorn Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517
Location: United States > Colorado > Estes Park
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #74 of 75 Specialty Lodging in Estes Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Elkhorn Lodge is the oldest continuous operating lodge in the Rocky Mountain region and is the most historical property in Estes park. Dating to 1874 when Reverend McCreary from Ft. Collins built a small summer cabin on what was to become the Elkhorn property, to today's struggles to save and restore this jewel of the West, the Elkhorn Lodge has been and continues to be a major part of Estes Park. With a fully functioning main lodge, cabins galore, and several spacious buildings for large parties, there's accommodations for any and all at the Elkhorn Lodge and Ranch. And Don't forget about the horseback riding! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elkhorn Lodge And Guest Ranch Hotel Estes Park

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