The Stanley's web site paints a lovely picture of a magnificent resort nestled in the foothills of the RMNP. Word to the wise: it's all marketing magic. Stay away from this ancient, cramped, noisy tourist trap.
The Stanley is historic in every sense of the word. Built in the early 1900s to rip tourists off, it's still doing it today. Our room was cramped beyond reason and un-air conditioned. Back in the 90s, they may have taken a glancing pass at redecorating, but it only proved to stuff 20 pounds of, um, stuff, in a 10 pound sack. We were constantly knocking into things, the bathroom door banged into the tv, and everything creaked and groaned. Bottom line, this was one of the worst nights of sleep I've ever had while traveling, and that's saying a lot.
On the service level, the hotel was understaffed by a mile. Absolutely no one was there to greet us when we pulled in. Instead, we had to park, find our way to the lobby (which is miles away from the supposed registration entrance), and ask for help. The concierge desk was staffed by a high schooler who seemed like he was going to faint at any moment. Probably because it was immediately obvious he knew less about the area than we did. The help desk in our building (separate from the main hotel) was unstaffed the entire stay. Plates, dishes, and glasses littered the lobbies, porches, and hallways the next morning. The security gate was unstaffed and wide open every time we went through. On our few interactions with actual staff, they were either uninformed, un-empowered, or simply didn't care. When checking out, the lady at the desk--who, to her credit, didn't even blink at my request to check out a day early--spent the entire time simultaneously checking me out and picking up the phone to help others.
The hotel seemed to exist to siphon money out of the pockets of the many, many tourists groups streaming through the lobbies and across the grounds. The end result was that we, as paying hotel guests, felt like second-class citizens on the grounds. It got so absurd at one point, we were photo-bombing the tourists' pictures simply by staying seated on the front porch of our building and raising our glasses. Although there were several signs instructing tourists that our building was for guests only, there was a stead stream of people walking through the door wondering, "What's in here? Oh, this is pretty!" After taking a few pictures, they would leave just as loudly. I even saw one couple knock the sign over as they came through. If I had to guess, the tourist-to-paying-guest-ratio was probably 100-to-1. At least it felt that way. It was absurd.
Bottom line: save yourself from an expensive, uncomfortable, sleepless stay at this overpriced, over-hyped tourist trap.
- 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