Elk Village rental at Gramby resort by RMG – Review
Hotel: Elk Village rental at Gramby resort by RMG
Location: Gramby Colorado, near Rocky Mountain National Park
Are you planning a visit to Colorado? Most travelers who plan to visit Colorado include a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park on their itinerary. I always suggest getting a room close to the park so you can get in there early for a full day of exploring and adventure. The closest The park has two main entrances with lodging nearby, Estes Park and the Grand Lake/Gramby area. Estes Park is a small town with lots of places to shop and a range of food options. The Grand Lake/Gramby area is much smaller and located neat to a lake (duh). There are a few small shops and restaurants, it’s a cozy quaint town fairly close to the park.
We decided to spend a few nights in the Gramby/Grand Lake area and found that there weren’t a lot of options. Most of the links online led to a couple resorts/condos just outside of Gramby. The resort we stayed at was The Elk Village rental at Gramby resort by RMG. We booked it through Airbnb (link at end of this article), and I have to say it felt a bit strange, because the address of the resort was not given until you booked the room, so it took a leap of faith. The Elk Village Resort is located a little over half an hour from Rocky Mountain National Park, so it is a lot more convenient than driving from “down the mountain”. Entering the park will be on the famous Trail Ride Road side.
We asked for early check in and arrived midday. The room was ready when we arrived. While at the resort, we took a look at a few of the rooms and found them similar to the one we stayed in. Our room was a two-bedroom unit with a queen bed, pullout sofa and private hot tub. The room was well maintained and clean, but I found it a bit dangerous at first because of the stairs leading down to the living room area. Overall, the room felt crowded because of the furniture locations, especially in the bedroom. The entire resort was not accessible for mobility impaired guests, other than the braille on the room numbers as required by ADA. I had my guide dog Fauna with me, and the first issue we encountered was the open metal stairs that you commonly see at ski resorts. We visited The Elk Village Resort during summer, so the stairs which are fine during winter were sharp and uncomfortable for my guide to traverse. It should be noted that Fauna is particularly good at walking on grates and usually has no issues with open stairs at all. These stairs, because they are made to provide traction for skiers were just not great for a service dog. If there was a way to avoid the stairs, this would not have been an issue, but these open stairs are located everywhere throughout the resort.
One of the rooms in our suite had been converted to house a private hot tub. The room was tight to maneuver in and guests with wheelchairs would have a difficult time negotiating their way to the two small stairs that provide entry to the hot tub. Controls for the hot tub were similar to those you would find on a residential style hot tub, and of course no braille was present.
Most areas of the resort are unpaved gravel roads, with limited areas having sidewalks. The resort has a nice pool, but access to the pool area is by gravel road so make sure you are prepared, especially if you are a wheelchair user. The entrance to the pool (and all the rest of the signs on the resort) is not marked with braille, so let your nose be your guide and of course the sound of playing children. There were a couple tables with sun shades to sit under, and this can be a great place to relax after a long day exploring the Rocky Mountain National Park. Do be aware that there is no accessible pool entry, just stairs and a ladder on the side of the pool
Service Dog Amenities
If you are a service dog user, one of the first things you need to get sorted is where you will relive your dog. The check in person did not give any specifications about where to relieve, other than to ensure you clean up after your dog (of course). We were on the third floor of the resort, so we checked out the area with a gas BBQ below our room. The grass was overgrown to about knee height, and the bugs were pretty insane, so we didn’t return to that spot. Garbage cans for waste bags were few and far between around the resort. We checked a few other locations, and ended up walking down the gravel road and going near the office where there was a small dumpster. The bugs were significantly better here, but there was little in the way of grass and the weeds were overgrown. Overall not a lot of amenities for service dog users, and handlers should ensure that their dog is comfortable going on concrete.
Generally, I like to offer directions to amenities in these reviews, but in the case of The Elk Village Resort, the pool was located just past the office check in area (with only outdoor access) otherwise, there is not a lot to see. The office where you check in was very small, and the entire time we were staying at the resort none of the staff interacted with me or my guide dog. There is always a fine balance between staff asking if you need assistance finding something and being overbearing. This was completely the other way. Even when I was obviously looking for something nobody on the staff ever asked if they could help.
Other than the open stairs being an issue for my guide dog, the Elk Village Resort was a nice place to stay. It is a no-frills destination, feeling like a large motel. There were plenty of textures and landmarks to find your way around the resort, so I would recommend this as an option for visually impaired travelers, but mobility impaired guests are going to have a tough time here.
Here is the AirBnB link for this property.