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“Respite by the River”
Review of Ponderosa Lodge

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Ponderosa Lodge
Reviewed June 16, 2013

My wife and I visited while we were in Estes Park for a wedding party. We had visited with our Kids and my parents about 20 years ago and had great memories. The great experience was verified! Our host, Josh, could not have been more accommodating. We had a beautiful room with a balcony right on the Fall River. Many of the resorts are in the Fall River Canyon and can't help being near the road. The Fall River runs between the Lodge and the road, so the road noise is drowned out by the sound of the cascading river - a beautiful sound of nature. The rooms are well appointed and a nice size, with a sitting area, refrigerator and microwave. We had a wood burning fireplace, which added to he ambiance. Everything has been renovated since we last visited. Estes Park downtown, restaurants and Rocky Mountain National Park are all within 5 minutes. It won't be 20 years again!

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room with a regular bed - some have Murphy beds. they are all on the river.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Robert C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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98 - 104 of 142 reviews

Reviewed October 21, 2012

I loved staying at the Ponderosa. Josh was a great host and gave us tips on where to eat & visit. The room was very clean and had 2 windows overlooking the water. The room was good sized. The bed was comfortable, heat worked well. Bathroom towels were nice and thick - Laura Ashley brand if I recall correctly.
Next time I am in Estes Park, will most certainly stay at the Ponderosa. I had a great experience. I'm not sure where all the negative reviews are coming from, I have no complaints at all.

Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Amber H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2012

This "lodge" is a mix between an OLD roadside Motel 6 and the Bates Motel. It is close enough to the highway to hear and see all the traffic. The room was super tiny, with the worst mattress I had ever slept on. The sheets were old and of poor quality, which did at least match the quality of the room. The room was very warm and stuffy but we were not allowed to open the screen at night, due to the invasion of wildlife...no AC either. The owner is a strange little man, who brags of his "advanced degrees," which is great but all he really needs to run a lodge in Estes is a cheerful personality...which is apparently not taught in College. Now, none of this would be so bad if we hadn't spent $120+ per night to stay there. Check out time is 10:00am which seemed early when I made the reservation over the phone, but we were packed and ready to go by 8:00am....since we hardly slept a wink on the worn out mattress. Paying anything over $50 per night is overpaying...There are lots of choices in Estes..think long and hard before staying at the Ponderosa Lodge.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank maountaingirl914
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2012

First of all I was checked into a room other then the one I paid for, when I was checked into the room the room was filthy full of trash, dirty toilets, dirty linens. The kitchen wasn't fully stocked with coffee, cream, sugar and necessities, etc. The evening was very unpleasant I have children sleeping on the floor and there was mice running all over the place. I was promised a discount for being put into the wrong room and the commitment was never fulfilled. As far as the front desk, owner and staff goes they were very rude because the owner and representative Josh never fulfilled their promise on the discount, Josh was very rude and discourteous and just kept saying the person that I made the reservation with should've never did what she did instead of just taking the initiative to correct mistake and fixing it and apologizing for their actions a company and as a whole. I strongly recommend that no one stays with PONDEROSA LODGE They are very distasteful and don't care how much money and time a person puts into researching different motels, lodges etc and come to a decision that includes them in your stay my stay.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Anna T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ponderosal, Owner at Ponderosa Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2013

Though this review was written a year ago, I thought it was time to respond. In the 22 years I have owned the lodge, I have overbooked a unit three times. Unfortunately, this was one of them. When the conflict was identified, the group was offerred their money back, or the choice of another unit. The unit which they selected was a cabin, larger than the one they had booked, and recently remodelled. The remodel had been completed just a week or two before, and thus was "nearly new". The statements about the condition of the cabin are inaccurate. Further, they received a gift certificate, though mailed a day or two later.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

If you like the smell of cigarettes instead of the mountain air, then this is the place for you! The front desk chick endorses smokers since she herself smokes and has asthma. So, if you're sensitive to the smell of cigarettes, suck it up, and close your balcony door since they won't do a thing about it. It's OK to smoke on the balcony as long as it's not in the room. What about smoke traveling from the balcony to the room?? Doesn't make any sense. Also, make sure you don't talk in the room because apparently the walls are paper thin that you'll be notified of a noise complaint from your next door neighbor. It's also extremely hot and stuffy when the balcony door is closed since there's no air ventilation or AC in the room. I've been to estes park 3 times, and this is the worst place to stay.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Eva Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2012

We arrived in Estes Park on Sat. March 17 without reservations and pulled into Ponderosa Lodge on an impulse. What a lucky find! We were shown two equally lovely rooms ...both well appointed, nicely decorated, and featuring fireplaces, kitchenettes and sliding doors to a deck facing the river (and leading to the riverside whirlpool) for under $100 per night. While there were only two of us, a family could have comfortably used the room since it included a hide-a-bed in the living room area. You can hear some highway traffic, but being there in off-season when it was too cool to leave the sliding door open, this was not a problem.

We felt fortunate to have stumbled upon such a well-maintained property and would happily stay at Ponderosa Lodge again.

Room Tip: We saw two rooms and would have been happy with either.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Iowa_is_my_home
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2012

We have stayed in many places in Estes Park and finally found the place we will be going back to!! It is a rustic lodge-style situated halfway between Estes Park and the entrance of Rocky Mountain Park (2 miles each way) on Fall River. We stayed in Room 8, which was chosedn for the Queen bed and wood-burning fireplace on the 2nd floor. The room was super clean, and the entire interior of the building was renovated in the last 5 years! It was a GREAT stay with warm hospitality. Every room opens up to the Fall River with its own balcony. Maryann, the manager, is a gem and very welcoming! We will be back several times throughout the year!!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank The-World-Trek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ponderosa Lodge

Address: 1820 Fall River Rd, Estes Park, CO 80517-9106
Location: United States > Colorado > Estes Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #46 of 78 Specialty Lodging in Estes Park
Price Range: $92 - $160 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Ponderosa Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 14
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Also Known As:
Ponderosa Hotel Estes Park

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