My husband and I stayed at the Stanley Hotel this past weekend while attending a wedding which was hosted on the property. The wedding and reception were wonderfully executed events, but our experience as hotel guests was quite different. We paid a nightly room rate of $249 and for that price, we had pretty high expectations that our stay would be top notch. It wasn't. For starters, when we arrived at the Stanley, we noticed a dozen or so colorful tents set out on the front lawn. What we initially thought was a poorly placed campground in front of the hotel was actually an exhibition for camping supplies. I can't imagine why they allowed this exhibit to be so prominent in front of the hotel, creating a negative first impression for arriving guests. The front desk personnel were polite and quick to get us checked in despite our early arrival time, but upon arriving in our room, we discovered that the sink stopper was stuck in the down position and the rod to raise the stopper was broken. A call to the front desk resulted in a quick visit from the maintenance staff, but it's a call that should never have been necessary in the first place. The decor in the room was not modern, but perfectly in keeping with the "historic" character the Stanley wants to project. And speaking of things that project, the walls were so thin that we could hear conversations from the adjacent rooms - which was quite a shame because my husband and I wanted to talk about one of the wedding guests behind her back but couldn't do so for fear that she would hear us from her room which was right next to ours! We had 2 meals in Cascades, the hotel restaurant, neither of which was anything to write home about. Our evening gatherings with the wedding party in the bar were very enjoyable, though and the service staff was prompt and attentive to our needs.
On the morning of the wedding, I discovered I needed a pedicure and called The Parlour to see if they had any available slots - which they did. When the time for my appointment came, I asked the front desk how to get to the spa and was given directions which were incomplete, either due to my failure to listen carefully or non-specificity on the part of the front desk staffer who told me where to go. Ultimately, I ended up lost inside the Manor House and struggled to find a staff member who could help me find my way. When I finally found a housekeeper, she told me the salon was in the main hotel building (which is where I had just come from). When I told her the front desk told me otherwise, she admitted that she was new and that she didn't know where the salon was. She asked another housekeeper who told her that the salon was behind the Manor House. So off I went only to find that there was nothing behind the Manor House except a parking lot. I returned to that same housekeeper who then made a phone call and found that I had made a turn one red awning too soon (the spa has a separate entrance on the very end of the Manor House building). So I walked into the spa/salon, passing 2 women who were sitting next to the front door smoking cigarettes. The salon receptionist greeted me and asked me to take a seat. Then the 2 smoking women came in to the salon and one of them introduced herself to me as my pedicurist. And she smelled like cigarettes. There was nothing professional or spa-like about this experience. The salon is crammed into a small area which has several hair chairs, wash stations, and pedicure chairs. The staffers were all very casually dressed and unprofessionally yelling across the salon to each other while tending to their clients. And just so you know, they don't have any hair towels because they aren't getting their washer fixed until Thursday. How do I know? Because the stylist yelled to the receptionist to bring her hair towels and the receptionist responded by yelling back that they wouldn't have any til Thursday because that's when the washer would be fixed. I paid $65 for my pedicure and although the pedi looked fine, the atmosphere of the salon does not justify the astronomically high prices. I felt more like I was in a bargain basement salon in the rough part of town.
The Stanley Hotel is a beautiful building which has overextended its welcome on the coattails of any goodwill it has received as a result of it's connection to Stephen King's book "The Shining". Next time, we'll stay at the $75 hotel just down the street!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Stanley Hotel is a luxurious historic landmark hotel in a spectacular mountain-view location, offering old-world charm matched with the latest of modern amenities. Take a ghosts and history tour... Enjoy free wireless Internet access throughout the property... Indulge in our full-service spa... Experience Cascades Restaurant... Savor a Starbucks’ Coffee... Or just relax and enjoy the view from your luxurious room, suite or private villa! Come, experience The Stanley Hotel: 7,500 feet above the ordinary in beautiful Estes Park, an hour from Denver and minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park.The Stanley Hotel is a luxurious historic landmark hotel in a spectacular mountain-view location, offering old-world charm matched with the latest of modern amenities ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Stanley Estes Park
- Stanley Hotel Colorado
- Stanley Hotel Estes Park Colorado