I needed a short getaway. One of my co-workers visited Estes Park and The Stanley Hotel but didn't stay the night and I thought it was genius to experience The Stanley Hotel during this time of season. You know Fall (which is my favorite season) AND Halloween right around the corner. The first thing I did was go onto The Stanley Hotel site and made sure that the days that all three of us (Me, Hubby, and Daughter) were available that The Stanley had hotel availability AND also Tour availability. So I booked a ghost tour on a Tuesday evening, a night at the Stanley, and a historic tour the next day. It did not disappoint.
Prior to checking in at the Stanley Hotel we made our way to Estes and stopped at the Rocky Mountain National Park to look at the beautiful trees and foliage turning orange, brown, and yellow. We left late but lucky since it was a Tuesday there was hardly any traffic. It took us 2 hours from Parker CO and we got there around 4pm. They take reservations for the Park as well so make sure you log on and make entrance reservations prior to your adventure. At the park we were limited with time so we took the advice of the park ranger and made our way to
Moraine Campground. There were many side roads to stop at and take pictures as well as pathways and hiking paths to explore.
A tip when making your way to The Stanley Hotel is to make dinner reservations. The two restaurants on site require reservations otherwise you will be waiting for about 45 min to one hour to get in. The first day we were there we had to eat at the Taco Restaurant close by called Peppers Fresh and Fast Mexican Grill. The name completely describes it. Fresh and Fast it is and really good too. I have a cheese Quesadilla with black beans and rice and you get to choose from 3 different salsas as a side. I recommend eating here for an inexpensive and fast food choice.
The Stanley Hotel Ghost Tour was lead by Carl and he was a perfect tour guide. You can tell he loved all the ghost/spirit stories and it was interesting to learn why there were spirits at The Stanley. We entered different rooms that had a history of sightings including the underground area where the staff used to get from one area to the hotel to another. From the main hotel, the concert hall, the lodge, and the underground tunnels he made sure to add elements of creepiness. One example is a room that was haunted by a "Lucy" and he gave each one of us a dumdum lollipop and had us put it in our hand. He turned the lights off and summoned Lucy to come and take it or knock it down in our hand. It was fun, scary, and exciting all at the same time. I loved that he ended all of his catch phrases with "sleep tight". We literally repeated that throughout our trip.
The Stanley Hotel Historic Tour is completely different than the ghost tour. You go through the same areas almost but this time around you are exposed to the History of F.O. Stanley, his Wife Flora, his brother F.E. Stanley and how they came about to create The Stanley Hotel. Basically it is an amazing history of The Stanley's in the 1800's. The tour shows the architectural design of the hotel as well as how it changed throughout the years. The tour continues with how Stephen King came about to write about the Shining using the Hotel as a way to break his writers block. Interesting things to note are the famous people that has visit the Stanley through the years.
Don't skip -
*The bar in the main Hotel area. Great Whiskey and you will see the article that Jim Carey saw in Dumb and Dumber hanging on the wall. After all this was the location of the movie.
*The gift shop with Redrum and The Shining gifts as well as Stanley Swag.
*Brunch and Co for Breakfast/ Brunch (this is the only restaurant on the premises that does not require reservations) which is in the lobby of The Lodge (next to the Main Hotel)
*The maze out front
*The coffee shop. We tried the redrum latte with Cherry, Vanilla, and Butter Rum.
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It helps that I work for a Major Airline but travel all started with my Dad being in the Army and moving around since I was in Elementary School.