Our family recently took a Road Trip to Colorado. And one of the trip highlights was a tour of the world famous Stanley Hotel. Perhaps known best as the hotel that inspired Stephen King’s book The Shinning, The Stanley has so much more to offer than just it’s affiliation to movies it’s been featured in. We took a tour of The Stanley Hotel as a family, and had an absolute blast!
And 90 minutes later – we had learned a ton of history about the Estes Park area, The Stanley brothers, and why The Stanley Hotel always seems to be associated with ghosts!
The Stanley Tour – This is the official tour we chose to take. It’s appropriate for ages 5+. We paid $23 dollars for tickets for each adult, and $17 dollars for a child ticket. There are ticket discounts available for seniors, AA, and members of the military.
The tour lasted 90 minutes, and even our 7 year old was riveted. Our tour guide Ben, made sure to make the history come alive. And we loved learning about all the famous historical guests that used to walk the halls of The Stanley Hotel!
(My husband used a little iPhone mirror fun to recreate a scene from The Shinning – hehe.)
The Stanley Hotel also offers some ghost tours as well, that focus more on the hotels association with several ghost hunter shows, as well as the movie “The Shinning.” Those tours however, are not recommended to families touring with kids under the age of 10.
Things to Know about The Stanley Hotel Tours:
- Children under the age of 5 are not permitted. This includes infants being carried.
- Tour dates will be made available for purchase on the first of the preceding month. Certain tours may not be available on certain dates because of upcoming events scheduled to take place at the hotel.
- Advance purchase is strongly recommended. Tickets are sold on a space-available basis. (We bought our tickets on the spot fyi)
- Day visitors and hotel guests are welcome.
- Pets are not permitted.
- Alcoholic beverages are not permitted. Intoxicated guests may be asked to leave without refund.
- Audio and video recordings are not permitted. Photography is allowed.
- Tours do not feature guest rooms. (Although, you do get photos outside a couple of the most famous rooms like #217)
- Visitors who purchase discounted tickets online will be asked to show proof of military service and/or AAA membership upon arrival. Spouses and children of military ID holders and AAA members are eligible for discounted tickets.
- Total walking distance can be up to one mile and may feature stairs. All tours are wheelchair accessible.
- Weather permitting, tours may feature outdoor sites. Please prepare accordingly.
- Parking is free for all guests with tour reservations. Please bring confirmation email or booking reference number to provide the gate attendant. Thank you. (Or let them know you will be purchasing as soon as you get inside the building)
- Bookings cannot be transferred, cancelled or refunded less than 24 hours before the appointed tour time. All changes are subject to availability.
- Make sure you have room on your camera to shoot in “Burst” mode. They will recommend that in case you find anything strange in your photos 😉
If you are in the Estes Park area of Colorado, then a trip to The Stanley Hotel is a must! And while I know the ghost tours are the most popular, I really do recommend the more historically minded tour that we took. I came away with a much deeper appreciation for the entrepreneurial spirit of The Stanley Brothers as well as the pioneer spirit of all those that settled Colorado before it was the popular spot is is now!
For more information: http://www.stanleyhotel.com/