Ever since I learned that the inspiration for Stephen Kings The Shining was an actual hotel that I could stay in, I've wanted to go there. So when I moved from Chicago to Sedona, I made sure this was one of my stops.
I booked my room online and even though the $239 a night room price seemed steep for a less than 24 hour stay, I justified it as one of those "once in a lifetime bucket list" kind of things.
I drove up the winding and curving mountains and arrived in Estes Park, CO. It was so beautiful I almost changed my plans for Sedona living to a year in the mountains. Then I remembered the massive snowfalls they get every year. And the cold. Never mind.
I rounded last curve and there it was, the real deal, and it was spectacular.
I checked in, got to my room (which was huge with a full kitchen and washer/dryer, so the $239 price tag seemed reasonable now). Dumped my luggage and wandered the halls, envisioning Stephen King doing the same so many years ago and finding his inspiration for The Shining. I walked by room 217 (the room in which Mr. King stayed) and the infamous haunted room 237 from the movie. This room was all set up for a ghostly convention??
It's a historical site.
Now off to explore some nearby trails, after being cooped up in the car for 2 days, it was time to stretch my legs and take a hike. Found a trail nearby called Lumpy Ridge Trail, views were amazing. I was not used to the high altitude (7,882' start), so I almost threw up and passed out, but it was worth it.
Back at the hotel they had The Shining on a continuous loop, so I drifted off to sleep with Jack Nicholson terrorizing his family.
My stay at The Stanley was everything I could have hoped for and more. I'd love to go back for a long weekend sometime. The only downside is that the hotel is very old (built in 1909), so there was no hot water for my morning shower and the tub drain was kinda clogged, so I ended up standing in about 4 inches of cold water for my cold shower. And I was only there for one night, a Thursday, so there were no ghost tours available on a weekday, which I would have really enjoyed doing. Other than those minor things, the staff was great and the grounds were beautiful. Can't wait to go back, just not in January :)