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Ghosts, Glamour, and Grand Views: A Fun and Spooky Stay at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park!

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Experience the enchanting blend of history, luxury, and supernatural intrigue at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. From elegant accommodations to ghost tours inspired by “The Shining,” this iconic destination promises an unforgettable adventure.

Nestled in the picturesque town of Estes Park, Colorado, the Stanley Hotel stands as an iconic symbol of grandeur and a testament to early 20th-century opulence. This historic hotel has been captivating guests for over a century with its timeless charm, luxurious accommodations, and a touch of the supernatural. In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the rich history of the Stanley Hotel, explore its unique features, and provide insights into the guest experience.

The atmosphere: The Stanley Hotel’s atmosphere is a captivating mix of historic elegance and eerie intrigue, enveloping guests in a unique and enchanting experience.

Location: 333 E Wonderview Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517 – View on Google Maps

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A Rich Historical Legacy

The Stanley Hotel was the brainchild of Freelan Oscar Stanley, an inventor and entrepreneur best known for co-founding the Stanley Motor Carriage Company, which produced the famous Stanley Steamer automobile. After contracting tuberculosis, Stanley moved to the clear, dry air of Estes Park in 1903, seeking a place to recuperate. Enchanted by the area’s natural beauty, he envisioned creating a grand hotel to cater to the wealthy and provide them with a luxurious mountain retreat.

Construction of the hotel began in 1907, and the Stanley Hotel officially opened its doors on July 4, 1909. Designed in the Georgian Revival style, the hotel boasted state-of-the-art amenities for its time, including electricity, telephones, and en-suite bathrooms. The Stanley Hotel quickly became a popular destination for the elite, attracting guests from across the country.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.

Architectural Elegance and Modern Amenities

The Stanley Hotel’s architectural elegance is evident from the moment you set eyes on its stately facade. The grand entrance, framed by white columns, welcomes visitors into a lobby adorned with intricate woodwork, crystal chandeliers, and vintage furnishings that harken back to its early days. Despite its historic charm, the hotel has seamlessly integrated modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay for contemporary travelers.

The hotel offers a range of accommodations, from classic rooms that exude historic charm to luxurious suites with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. Each room is tastefully decorated, blending antique furnishings with modern comforts such as flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and plush bedding. For those seeking a unique experience, the hotel also offers the Aspire Residences, which feature upscale apartments with full kitchens and private balconies.

Dining and Culinary Delights

The Stanley Hotel boasts several dining options that cater to diverse palates. The Cascades Restaurant, the hotel’s main dining establishment, offers a sophisticated menu featuring locally sourced ingredients and seasonal flavors. Guests can indulge in a variety of dishes, from succulent steaks to fresh seafood, all expertly prepared by the hotel’s culinary team.

For a more casual dining experience, guests can visit the Whiskey Bar & Lounge, which boasts an extensive collection of over 1,200 whiskeys. Here, visitors can enjoy handcrafted cocktails, small plates, and a relaxed atmosphere. The hotel’s coffee shop, Steamer Café, provides a cozy spot to enjoy a morning coffee or light snack while taking in views of the surrounding mountains.

Paranormal Activity and Pop Culture

The Stanley Hotel is perhaps best known for its connection to the supernatural. It gained widespread fame after inspiring Stephen King’s 1977 horror novel, “The Shining.” King and his wife stayed at the hotel in 1974, and the eerie, empty corridors and the hotel’s remote location sparked the idea for his now-iconic story. Although the 1980 film adaptation directed by Stanley Kubrick was not filmed at the hotel, the Stanley still embraces its ghostly reputation, offering ghost tours and paranormal investigations for curious guests.

Numerous reports of paranormal activity have been documented over the years, with guests and staff recounting strange occurrences such as phantom piano music, flickering lights, and apparitions. The hotel’s Room 217, where King stayed, is particularly infamous for its ghostly encounters and is a popular choice for thrill-seeking visitors.

Activities and Experiences

Beyond its ghostly allure, the Stanley Hotel offers a wide range of activities and experiences to cater to all interests. The hotel’s proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park makes it an ideal base for outdoor enthusiasts. Guests can embark on guided hikes, wildlife tours, and scenic drives, immersing themselves in the stunning natural beauty of the area.

The hotel also hosts various events throughout the year, including concerts, film festivals, and wellness retreats. The Stanley Live concert series features performances by renowned artists in an intimate setting, providing guests with a unique entertainment experience. For those interested in the arts, the hotel’s on-site gallery showcases works by local and regional artists.

Weddings and Special Events

The Stanley Hotel is a popular venue for weddings and special events, offering a romantic and picturesque backdrop for any occasion. The hotel’s historic charm, combined with its stunning mountain views, makes it an ideal setting for both intimate gatherings and grand celebrations. The dedicated events team works closely with couples to ensure every detail is perfect, from the ceremony to the reception.

Guest Experience and Reviews

Guests consistently praise the Stanley Hotel for its unique blend of history, luxury, and mystique. The attentive staff, elegant accommodations, and diverse range of activities ensure a memorable stay for all visitors. While some guests come for the paranormal experiences, others are drawn by the hotel’s rich history and scenic location.

Reviews often highlight the exceptional service provided by the hotel’s staff, who go above and beyond to create a welcoming and comfortable environment. Many guests appreciate the opportunity to explore the hotel’s storied past through guided tours and exhibits, while others revel in the natural beauty and outdoor adventures that Estes Park has to offer.


The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, is more than just a place to stay; it is a destination steeped in history, elegance, and intrigue. From its grand opening in 1909 to its status as a cultural and paranormal icon, the Stanley Hotel continues to captivate and enchant guests from around the world. Whether you are seeking a luxurious mountain retreat, a glimpse into the past, or a brush with the supernatural, the Stanley Hotel promises an unforgettable experience.

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