One of the most famous settings for one of the most famous movies (Stanley Kubricks Shining), the Stanley is all but shocking.
Just 10 kilometres from Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado it rides the wave of its movie fame, offering professionally guided tours tailored for all kinds of visitors (five-hour Ghost Hunt, Night Tour, ...).

But it also offers peculiar details of history - the Pinon Room, for example, designed as a gentlemen's smoking room. No woman was allowed in the Pinon Room for 35 years! Immediately adjacent to the Pinon Room is the similarly decorated Billiard Room. Four billiard tables once filled the room. Here ladies were allowed to watch a billiard game if they sat along the wall on a raised built-in cushioned bench and did not talk.
But don't worry, dear ladies; there was a drawing room where ladies were allowed to sit down and write postcards. Or even read.

Gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park, by Stanley, the coinventor of Stanley Steamer Automobile F. O. Stanley and his wife, Flora, arrived in Denver in 1903. F.O. (Freelan Oscar) had been sent by his doctor to Colorado to seek the fresh mountain air. However, after a month in the Denver area, F O. was no better. He was suffering with tuberculosis and had been advised not to make any plans beyond six months. The doctor then made arrangements for F. O. and Flora to travel to Estes Park and stay in a friend’s cabin for the summer. They fell in love with the area - the mountains, wildlife, flowers - and F. O. flourished! He gained 28 pounds and his coughing was relieved. Thus began the roots of F. O. Stanley’s connection to the Estes Valley. Having spent one summer season in a cabin, Flora decided she wanted a home - one like she had in Maine. Stanley built their home about one-half mile west of where he would begin construction for his luxury hotel. The home is still they today, occupied by a judge and his family. Construction on The Stanley Hotel began in 1906. F. O., along with his architect T. Robert Weiger, supervised the work. Wood and rock were obtained from the nearby mountains - reportedly the majority came from the Hidden Valley area - a beautiful part of the soon-to-be-designated Rocky Mountain National Park.

The style of architecture chosen by Stanley was neoclassical Georgian, resembling the resort architecture of the eastern seaboard and taking its name from the ruling monarchs in England. F. O. and Flora’s home was in Newton, Massachusetts. Consequently, F. O. was influenced by the revival of the Georgian style at the end of the nineteenth century. Columns and pilasters are from the "Orders of Architecture" - Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Doorways and selected windows are crowned with broken scrolled pediments. Palladian windows are another of the Georgian motifs that can be readily enjoyed at the hotel. These windows have three openings - a central window which is arched and wider than the two flanking windows. Additional Georgian motifs abound throughout the hotel such as classical cornices and moldings. When the hotel was opened in June of 1909, it was all electric including the kitchen! To achieve this luxury, F. O. had built a hydroelectric plant up in the mountains to provide the needed power for the hotel. He also saw to it that the village of Estes Park received electricity. In order for the hotel to have running water and indoor privies, he created a water pipe system from the mountains which furnished the necessary water. Of course, Stanley provided running water to the village of Estes Park. When The Stanley opened there were telephones in each guest room, allowing guests to call down to the desk for service. Once again, Stanley provided the village of Estes Park with the same luxury. One amenity The Stanley did not have - because it was a summer only resort hotel at that time - was heat. That arrived finally in 1979. Until then, the only heat was from fireplaces in rooms on the first floor.

The Stanley is much the same as it was when it opened in 1909. The lobby is spacious and has two large fireplaces at either end. A beautiful large central staircase graces the center of the room. A Palladian window brightens the first landing and subsequent double staircases on either side. The room which most obviously reflects the Georgian Revival design is the Music Room. Here the pseudo-Palladian windows and detailed pilasters, moldings, and cornices capture the eye. The room is completely white with white flowing swag draperies framing the windows - allowing the beauty of the mountains to enter the room. At one end of the room there is an alcove where Flora Stanley’s Steinway Concert Grand Piano proudly rests - still used by the many musicians who give concerts and recitals during the off season. This room was, in the mornings, the ladies room where the women gathered to visit and write postcards and letters to friends and family. In the afternoons it became the center of musical entertainment.

The Pinon Room stands in contrast to the Music Room. Here the decor is masculine. The woods are dark, framing faux leather wallpaper. The large keystone fireplace is made of local rock. A built in bar faces the fireplace across the room. F O. did not smoke or drink but he understood that many of his guests would, so he designated the Pinon Room as the men’s room specifically for this purpose. No woman was allowed in the Pinon Room for 35 years! Immediately adjacent to the Pinon Room is the similarly decorated Billiard Room. Four billiard tables once filled the room. Here ladies were allowed to watch a billiard game if they sat along the wall on a raised built-in cushioned bench and did not talk. They had to enter from the outside veranda, however. The original cue ball and cue stick racks are on the far wall.

At the opposite end of the lobby, the MacGregor Room beckons for dining and dancing. A broad selection of cuisine is available today as it was when the hotel opened 90-plus years ago. The popular Sunday Brunch offers visitors everything from a specially prepared omelet of choice and several breakfast meats to crab legs, cheeses, salads, fruit, at least three hot main dishes, and a small world of homemade pies and specialty pastries. Guest rooms - both in the main Hotel and in the Manor House - have been completely renovated and offer a variety of views and facilities. Attempts have been made to have at least one piece of the original hotel furniture in each room - wonderful antiques to enjoy and use. The heated outdoor swimming pool stands ready for a refreshing dip, or if one prefers, the tennis and volleyball courts await players. There is a play area equipped for our younger guests too. Then, of course, there is a milieu of activities within the town of Estes Park or nearby Rocky Mountain National Park. The Stanley Hotel is but one of four buildings on the property. The Manor House, a smaller version of the larger Stanley Hotel, stands a short walk away. It began lodging winter guests in 1930. Like the Hotel, it reflects the Georgian style of architecture. The Manor House opened in 1910 for additional guests, particularly bachelors who F. O. felt would be best served in a separate building. It has its own kitchen and dining area. Like The Stanley Hotel, it has been completely renovated, adding additional rooms to the top floor.

Next to the Manor House stands Stanley Hall, formerly known as the Casino. It was built in 1915 and hosted many theatrical events such as plays and musicals. At one time, there were two bowling alleys in the lower level. There was no gambling. The word "casino" in those days meant a place of entertainment. Today, the town of Estes Park and several interested local groups are fund raising to complete a total renovation of this beautiful hall. It, too, is dressed in the Georgian Revival style of architecture. The last building within the domain of The Stanley Hotel property is the Carriage House. It was built in 1909 to house the Stanley Steamers and a few horse drawn carriages. There are future plans for the complete renovation of the Carriage House, turning it into a larger building for the nonprofit Stanley Museum. From here, guests will be able to take historical lecture tours of The Stanley Hotel Complex and visit an enlarged museum exhibit area. The Stanley Hotel attracts thousands of visitors every year. Most are tourists from around the world, but some are local Coloradoans who feel a special attachment to the Hotel. They visit time after time, bringing out of town guests with them to share the beauty and history of this special place that is unique in Colorado.

The Stanley Hotel does, however, have its share of "famous" guests too. The Unsinkable Molly Brown spent time at The Stanley Hotel as did John Philip Sousa and Theodore Roosevelt. More recently, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, Gary Burghoff (Radar on M.A.S.H.), former astronaut Scott Carpenter, and a variety of Hollywood personalities have been guests at The Stanley. The final quarter of the movie "Dumb and Dumber" was filmed here.

Then, of course, there is the very special connection to Stephen King and his book, "The Shining." Mr. King wrote about half of his novel in room 217! He most recently returned to make the ABC mini-series, "The Shining," which he chose to do so the viewing public could enjoy the story as he had originally written it. The Stanley Hotel and its staff stand ready to greet its visitors, offering an elegant and gracious experience at a location now designated as a National Historic District unto itself - a rare honor.

132 Rooms

The Dunraven Grille Mac Gregor Ballroom

Extraordinary hiking and skitrails, Golfing fishing, horseback riding, seasonal pool, tennis, volleyball, shuffleboard, bicycle, and carriages ride Music Room, The Pinon and Billiard Rooms, Library , Hotel Museum

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Our Select Member Hotel

Country: USA
City: Estes Park
Opening date: 1909

Note from the Host

General Manager

Xavier Wolf Esq.


333 Wonderview Avenue
Colorado 80517 USA, Estes Park

Tel: +1 970 586 3371
Fax: +1 970 586 3673

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