In 1903, Stanley the co-inventor of the Stanley Steamer Automobile and his wife, Flora, came to Estes Park hoping for a cure for his TB. As his health improved he decided to invest in the beautiful valley. He built a truly gorgeous hotel.
Using land he bought from the Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl he started construction of the Stanley Hotel in 1907. It opened on 4 July 1909 and was luxurious having electricity, running water and telephone connections. The only thing missing was heating, as the hotel was only designed for summer use. As the hotel is now open year round, I imagine the lack of heating has been well and truly fixed.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, many famous people including Emperors, Presidents and numerous famous actors have stayed at the hotel.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to ride in this old horse-drawn sleigh?
Stephen King used the hotel as his inspiration when he wrote ‘The Shining’, lots of ‘Shining’ related things, books, t-shirts, DVD’s etc., are available in the hotel gift shop.
Tours of the hotel are available, but as we didn’t want to commit to an actual day, we just took a chance and arrived. We were able to look around the outside and the ground floor public area.
It’s a beautiful building and quite honestly with its lovely wide verandahs, gorgeous views and wicker furniture it reminded me more of the hotel in ‘Dirty Dancing’ than the one in ‘The Shining’.
I could quite happily have spent an afternoon enjoying that fabulous view.
Apart from nipping into Safeway for some groceries, we never did get chance to look around the town of Estes Park itself, ah well, maybe next time.
Have fun, we are!