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“Best for romance/couples”
Review of Stanley Hotel

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Stanley Hotel
Ranked #13 of 29 Hotels in Estes Park
texas
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Best for romance/couples”
Reviewed August 2, 2011

I just walked in the door from spending the weekend at the Stanley. I had traveled through Estes Park on the way to Denver some few years ago and had made a mental note that someday I wanted to stay at the huge mansion-like hotel overlooking the town below. Plus, of course, I knew of the hotel's history and role in the Shining and thought it would be fun to one day stay there.
It was mine and my husband's 20th anniversary this past weekend. We paid $150 for our room. I booked it directly through the hotel's web site, and then called to confirm the reservation a day or so later. This seemed to be the way to get the best rate.
Anyway, being from Texas, it never occured to us that any hotel would not have air conditioning. We were in room 411, which is on top floor, and we left our small window open to get a breeze. We noticed as we walked down the halls that most people had left their room doors ajar, so we did the same until we literally went to sleep for the night.
The plug in the bathroom was odd in as that it would not heat up a straight iron or blow dryer past the lowest setting, and although there is a jacuzzi bathtub, the water never got past the point of lukewarm--- and the room was stifling hot. I mention these things because those were all 'technical' issues of things that were wrong with the room.

However, I want to add that we had a wonderful time, and found the staff (contrary to a few other reviews I just got through reading) to be very accommodating. The staff was extremely helpful in my opinion, and while there was a review on here about a horror experience in trying to check out late, we didn't need a late check-out so I cannot vouch for whether or not the staff would have been helpful or not.

Let's get to the point. If you stay here, know in advance that you are paying for the experience of staying at the Stanley. You should NOT go anticipating the latest in modern conveniences. You should expect an old hotel with charm that has a gorgeous view from the front veranda. (Side note: there were drunk 20-something year olds talking very loudly on the veranda all evening long, and it ruined the experience for everyone else. Within a half hour, every other couple who had previously been enjoying the deck had abandoned the porch and these rude guests continued on while ordering multiple rounds of drinks from the bar until one of the females stumbled and could not get up. We could here them all night from our open window, and their languauge was foul and literally laced with all of the words on George Carlin's list, and several people had young children who could hear.)

Anyway, while this may seem like a bad review, I actually am attempting to point out that in SPITE of the hot room, the cold water, the not-up-to-modern-standards plug, the drunken guests on the veranda and the small rooms, we got exactly the experience we were looking for and feel that the experience of staying there vastly outweighed these inconveniences.

When we want modern standards and the utmost in luxury, this would not be our choice. If you want old-world charm, and luxury from a bygone era, you would not find a better choice than this. And no-- we didn't complain to the front desk about these problems because (as I said) we considered them part of the quirkiness of an old hotel. We could have done without the drunk wedding guests who took over the veranda all night, and we should have complained. But that aside, it was lovely and I would stay there again.

Again, I repeat-- do NOT expect the ultra modern luxury of a 5-star hotel. However, you can count on a gorgeous jaw-dropping view of the Rockies, an attentive staff, and a gracious charm akin to spending a weekend at your rich grandmother's house at the turn of the century. If this is what you are looking for, you'll love it. Probably a better fit for the over-50 and more affluent traveler who appreciates the history and will overlook the quirks than it may be for young familes with small children who may be searching for the best value.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TXTRAVELWRITER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CalleaSherrill, Manager at Stanley Hotel, responded to this review, August 7, 2011
We are glad to hear that you embraced the character of our historic property. Thanks for the kind words! Hope to see you again in the future.
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English first
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2011

We chose Stanley Hotel in Estes Park for a romantic and luxurious get-away to the Rocky's. Well, it didn't turn out to be so cosy and luxurious after all. While the hotel looks great from outside and the view from its terrace is lovley, the rooms are rather dissapointing. For $200 / night you get a tiny, outdated room in an adjacent building facing a courtyard w/stains in the bathroom. Don't even bother to ask for a late check-out - I had to leave my boyfriend in alone in the ER to come and check out, because 'as sorry as we are, there is nothing we can do' (not even until Noon)! Also, the staff doesn't seem to be eager to provide you w/information about the town and surroundings: first, we were directed to a grocery store close to the park entrance which had nothing but chips and toast; second, we were directed to a closed emergency room. All in all, this staff is certainly neither friendly nor helpful and a courtyard view isn't $200 worth. Go to the hotel to have a beer on the porch and enjoy the view, but this is definitley not the place to stay in Estes Park.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank AennKaezz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CalleaSherrill, Manager at Stanley Hotel, responded to this review, August 7, 2011
We are sorry to hear of your experience. This does not represent the type of service we hope to provide, particularly in the event of an emergency situation. We would like the opportunity to speak with you further and would like to offer our sincerest apology. Please feel free to contact the hotel and ask for the general manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2011

We stayed in the manor house. The queen room is too small and the amenities are very poor.
No air conditioning. Soundproofing is non-existing.
However the hotel location/view and common areas are breathtaking.

Room Tip: 220 usd manor queen room not worth it
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TheSaint17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CalleaSherrill, Manager at Stanley Hotel, responded to this review, August 7, 2011
We are sorry to hear you were not happy with the size of your room. We hope that the breathtaking views helped to make up for that and hope to see you on a visit in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yukon, Oklahoma
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 31, 2011

The Stanley Hotel is really a neat place to stay. The old hotel and the views are wonderful. The ghost tour was interesting and fun even for a skeptic like me. My only complaint is the lack of air conditioning in a room that costs over $300 per night! Being on the third floor our room never really got hot but was a bit too warm to fall asleep comfortably. I would definately avoid the fourth floor in the summer! The Cascades restaurant has great food but it's a bit pricey. We had a great time but I don't know if I would stay there again.. at least not in the hottest part of summer.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ChrisOU812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CalleaSherrill, Manager at Stanley Hotel, responded to this review, August 7, 2011
Glad to hear you enjoyed your visit and your tour. We are having an exceptionally hot summer and would welcome the opportunity to serve you again at a somewhat cooler time of the year. Thanks for staying with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2011

We had the pleasure of attending a wedding at the Stanley, and thoroughly enjoyed the historic buildings and wonderful service. The views from the hotel are stunning. The food services for the wedding were excellent. I would definitely recommend this hotel for family get togethers, honeymooners or just a romantic getaway.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ursadilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CalleaSherrill, Manager at Stanley Hotel, responded to this review, August 7, 2011
We take pride in our beautiful surroundings and our one-of-a-kind weddings! Thanks for staying with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2011

We stayed here unexpectedly on our trip through Colorado... Our road trip stopped here and we went in to see how much it would cost. It was too rich for our blood so we decided to pop online with the blackberry and managed to get a rate almost half the price through expedia. Quite funny as we waited in the hotel parking lot for the confirmation to be emailed to us so we could go back in with our reservation confirmation #. Anyway, once that was all sorted we got given a lovely room. We spent the night wandering the hotel grounds and checking out the different areas. I cannot comment on the ghost tour, but I can tell u i woke up in the middle of the night completely freaked out that our closet door had opened. There is no way this place isnt haunted... all part of the fun though! It was more of an experience than a hotel stay . I would definitely go back for longer than just a night as I definitely left wanting more!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank vdcplease
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CalleaSherrill, Manager at Stanley Hotel, responded to this review, August 7, 2011
We're happy to hear you enjoyed your experience here at our hotel. We hope to see you again soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 29, 2011

This was our first stay at the Stanley, and we were very excited. It was to be my birthday and anniversary present to stay here, but my husband was a fan of The Shining and he was excited too. The staff was very professional and friendly upon our arrival. They even went so far as to inform us we had been assigned a room on a floor that was considered to be haunted and wanted to be sure that was OK with us-very impressive-never had that happen before! Of course, we were just fine with a haunted floor!

We are history lovers and nature lovers, so this was a wonderful choice for us. If you have never stayed in a historic hotel with 100+ years on it, you should be aware that there are some trade-offs. You may not have air conditioning, telephones, TVs, or other amenities one usually expects in even a "basic hotel." What you do get is ambiance, a sense of connection to the past, and usually an amazing view of Nature. If this is not for you, historic hotels are not the way to go and definitely do not stay in any National Park hotel in Yellowstone. However, the Stanley did have several amenities not usually found in older historic hotels. Although there was not air conditioning, a large room fan was provided in the closet in addition to the ceiling fan, and we found the combination acceptable (my husband was still a little bit warm for his comfort, but the air movement from the fans helped). The bathroom was an unexpected surprise! A wonderful, roomy bathroom with jacuzzi jet tub and lovely toiletries was a treat! There was also a very nice flat screen TV, which in addition to regular TV, included 2 inhouse channels--one playing a special about the history of Mr FO Stanley, and the other a continuous playing of The Shining (naturally). Yes, the room was on the small side, but we still had plenty of room for our luggage and to still move around. I enjoyed the slanted ceiling, (but my husband was not quite so happy with it as the lower side was on his side of the bed).

The lobby and dining areas are just lovely and feel as though you stepped back in time, with the keyholes behind the reception desk to the beautiful fireplace with seating around it.The original Otis elevator, still working--and that, my friends, is another amenity you rarely find in historic hotels!Try taking your luggage to the top floor at the El Tovar--its a workout!So we really appreciated the elevator, being on the third floor!The grounds and gardens are lovely--we did see a wedding one morning, which was sweet, and it's a beautiful place to exchange vows.

I did read elsewhere that parking was a challenge, and I will have to agree with that; although we never were actually without a spot, we sometimes had to circle a couple of times to find someone leaving. There are dayguests who come and go, so a spot does eventually open up, but it would be nice if there was a little more parking or perhaps an offsite parking area for dayguests.

We dined at the restaurant our first night, enjoying the fact it was featured in Dumb and Dumber and comparing other views of the hotel from the movie. The food was tasty, but it was a little expensive for our budget to go more than once. The dining room does have nice patio views, and the bar is a sight to see! We very much enjoyed the pastry and coffee shop in the basement--I highly recommend their treats!

If you enjoy National Parks, The Stanley is just a short drive to the gate of Rocky Mountain National Park. We spent one afternoon driving around and saw several wildlife sightings, including elk and some very photogenic marmots. There was still lots of snow in the higher elevations which made for interesting clothing adjustments--bring layers!

We also booked the ghost tour--way in advance, as this was also part of my birthday present. It is here that one employee really stood out. I would really like to commend Kev, our ghost tour guide, on an outstanding job! We are experts at ghost tours, as we take them whenever we go someplace new, and how can you not take one at the Stanley? We have been on all manner of ghost tours-- from midnight explorations, using K2s and thermometers, to simple walking tours with ghost stories. The best sort of tour is given in a history-rich area by a guide who not only knows the ghost stories but can intelligently discuss the history of the area and the people involved.Kev was amazing. Not only did we get the ghost stories, but we learned amazing history. Mr FO Stanley was an amazing, benevolent genius. If you know the background stories of Walt Disney and Milton Hershey, FO Stanley falls into this category as well, a visionary who was way ahead of his time and yet a humble, gentle person. If you like stories of speculation and intrigue, ask about Lord Dunraven.Kev could answer questions about the history of the building, the Stanleys, and the general area as well. I was most impressed when I asked about Mrs Stanley, he could even tell me how tall she was.It was not your average ghost tour, and he was not the average tour guide. We were impressed with his knowledge, presentation, speaking ability, and outgoing friendliness, as well as his passion for history. If you take the tour, be sure to ask to be in Kevs group!! And note: if you have intuitive gifts or psychic awareness, there's plenty here to keep you busy, but no one is malevolent here--just continuing to stay on at The Stanley--and I don't blame them!

We were very pleased with our first stay at the Stanley and we hope to return very soon--hopefully this time we can stay in one of the more famous "Active Rooms" next time....which ones are those? Ask Kev!!

Thank you for an excellent experience. We truly enjoyed ourselves and had such a nice time!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LittleMermaidAriel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CalleaSherrill, Manager at Stanley Hotel, responded to this review, August 7, 2011
We are glad to hear you enjoyed the history and the ambience. Kevin is one our best tour guides, so thanks for the feedback on his tour! Hope to see you again in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Stanley Hotel

Property: Stanley Hotel
Address: 333 Wonderview Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517-9665
Location: United States > Colorado > Estes Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 29 Hotels in Estes Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Stanley Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 130
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

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