Planning a trip to Rocky Mountains National Park in Colorado and do not know where to stay? One of the area’s most beautiful and exclusive hotels is the Stanley Hotel Estes Park. It is just a few miles from the gateway to the national park. The Stanley Hotel has an extraordinary history and is an architectural gem that blends beautifully into the mountain landscape. In addition, the movie “Shining” was filmed here. The Stanley Hotel is perfect for an anniversary, a wedding, or a romantic weekend for two. Book a stay at the Stanley Hotel Estes Park if you want to surprise your loved one with a magical place. Check out our photos and tips from this place.This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.
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The Stanley Hotel Estes Park – Introduction
Some of our readers know that we love the thriller movie Shining. So we decided to visit hotels where scenes starring Jack Nicolson were filmed. In a separate article, we described Timberline Lodge, Oregon, where scenes for the movie were also shooted. We spent a fabulous winter weekend there in the Mount Hood area. This post is about the beautiful Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, just outside Rocky Mountains National Park, which we visited during our 14 days Colorado road trip.
The Stanley Hotel Estes Park History
It is an iconic Colorado landmark famous for its charm and history. The Stanley Hotel is a 140-room colonial-style hotel in Estes Park, about five miles from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. It was built by Freelan Oscar Stanley, the famous Stanley Steamer, and opened on July 4, 1909, as a resort for the eastern upper classes and a health resort for pulmonary tuberculosis sufferers. The hotel and surrounding buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the hotel houses a restaurant, spa, and bed and breakfast with panoramic views of Lake Estes, the Rocky Mountains, and Long’s Peak. It is a famous place, trendy, so if you want to stay there for the night, you should book your accommodation several months in advance.
The Stanley Hotel as the inspiration for Stephen King
For us, one of the main reasons to visit this hotel was that the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park inspired the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s 1977 best-selling novel The Shining and its 1980 film adaptation. Stanley Kubrick directed the horror movie. It also was the filming location for the 1997 miniseries TV. We are big fans of Stephen King’s works. We love his novels, so you can understand that the Stanley Hotel was one of the must-sees during our Colorado road trip. Also, we are big fans of Jack Nicolson, and his role in the movie Shining will stay with us for a long time.
Stephen King spent a night at the Stanley Hotel in 1974. According to King, he and his wife were the only guests there as the staff prepared to close for the winter. As he strolled through the nearly empty hallways, it occurred to King that this might be an ideal setting for a ghost story. Stephen King stayed in room 217, the presidential suite with one of the best views of Rocky Mountain National Park.
The Stanley Hotel Estes Park Features
The Stanley Hotel is an extraordinary place. It also offers four different types of accommodation, all of which are excellent. You can choose between
- The Stanley – main hotel – with classic historic rooms.
- The Lodge at The Stanley for a boutique hotel.
- Aspire at The Stanley offers apartment-style residences for longer stays.
- The Residences at The Stanley are sprawling condominiums on magnificent grounds overlooking Rocky Mountain National Park.
Is it worth staying at Stanley Hotel Estes Park?
It depends on your budget and needs, as it is not a cheap hotel. But it’s worth the price. It is the perfect place to have a romantic celebration: Wedding anniversaries, first date anniversaries, and kissing anniversaries. Or if you want to give a gift to your loved ones and take them to a magical place. Or you need a comfortable, elegant, and exclusive rest. Despite the prices, the place is trendy, so you should book it in advance.
If you do not choose to stay at the Stanley Hotel Estes Park, it’s still worth a visit. The reception, dining room, restaurant, and garden are open to tourists. It’s worth spending a moment here. It’s also worth sitting down for wine or lunch in the hotel restaurant. The hotel’s interior is delightful, so you won’t regret your visit. The hotel also organizes guided tours of its property so you can thoroughly explore it.
If you are looking for something on a budget in Estas Park, you will find exceptional offers at affordable prices. Check the map below. But as the season is short in the Rocky Mountains, book it ahead.
The Stanley Hotel Estes Park Tours
One of our many tours allows you to explore the Stanley Hotel’s colorful history. Read the information about each tour carefully on the official hotel website so you can choose the tour that best suits your needs. You can choose from The Stanley Hotel Historical Day Tour or The Stanley Hotel Spirited Night Tour. Please, note that children under the age of eight are not permitted for both the Day and Night Tours. This includes infants being carried or being pushed in strollers.
The Stanley Hotel Historic Day Tour
Reservations are required for this tour. You can book a ticket through the official website. The price is $24 per person (but $21 for hotel guests). Children between the ages of 8-17 pay $17 per person. During this tour, you will be immersed in the rich history of The Stanley Hotel. On this 60-minute tour, you’ll meet the history of Mr. F.O. Stanley, his wife Flora, Stephen King, and other notable visitors since 1909.
The Stanley Hotel Spirited Shinning Night Tour
This is a thrilling trip. Visiting the Stanley Hotel begins after dark. So you can go back in time and feel the atmosphere of Shining. You will get to know the dark corners of the hotel. It’s a unique opportunity to experience the hotel’s spirited stories with a knowledgeable storyteller in the atmosphere of the Rocky Mountain night. The price is $30 per person. Book it on the official hotel website.
How to Get To Stanley Hotel Estes Park?
Take US-36 E and US-36 E/Denver Boulder Turnpike to get to the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park from Denver. It’s only 64 miles and the easiest and fastest way. You can see the hotel from afar, so you won’t miss it.
- Colorado Road Trip Itinerary
- Things To Do In Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
- Driving Up Pikes Peak Highway in Colorado
- Things To Do In Great Sand Dunes National Park
- Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park
- Visiting Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs
- Rattlesnake Arches Hiking Guide
- Colorado National Monument Visitor Guide