For all my friends, neighbors and family who have been aghast that I've lived in Colorado for 14 years and never once ventured into the Rocky Mountains ~ take a deep breath and exhale. I've cleared that hurdle with a drive to Estes Park (I know ~ not that far, but it still counts!) My destination was the Stanley Hotel ~ a world class, luxurious hotel made famous by the Steven King movie "The Shining." I had a few flashbacks to certain scenes while I was there ~ although I did not go past the infamous Room 217.
The exterior of the hotel is a pristine white, capped off by a brick red roof ~ I think I read "Georgian" style architecture:
Here's a slightly different angle which shows more accurately how large it is:
For those of you who like a little history, the hotel was built as a summer resort catering to the rich and famous by Freelan O. Steamer (of Stanley Steamer fame). It was first opened in 1909. There are unparalleled views of the Rocky Mountains from the front veranda which I, unfortunately, did not take one photo of. The hotel entrance is at the rear, which is where we parked and entered, hoping to have lunch outside on the patio:
However, as you can see, it was not being used that day. The weather was blustery, overcast and coolish (in the 60's) so we proceeded indoors where we wanted to tour anyway. Anyone who loves historical homes would certainly appreciate the craftsmanship inside. The woodwork was spectacular and everything gleaming. Below, the piano (that is said to be haunted by Freelan's wife ~ I guess she still plays it from time to time):
We went thru the (empty) Billards room ~ entrance behind the piano, the music room (which also apparently is the location for ghostly parties) and this room which I've already forgotten the name of:
After lunch, we hit the veranda:
where I missed taking the mountain shot but got the already winterized pool:
So now, I say to all of you who have prodded, pushed and harassed me, it WAS worth seeing but will I go back often? Only if someone drops a beach and an ocean up there.
What can I say? I'm not a "mountain girl," but the Stanley Hotel is truly INCREDIBLE.