The Stanley Hotel Estes Park Co. – Review

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. Rocky Mountain National 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 next to a lake (duh). There are a few small shops and restaurants, it’s a cozy quaint town fairly close to the park.

The property

Estes Park is a cool little mountain town, and if you are headed there, it is worth your while to stay at the iconic Stanley Hotel. This is where The Shining was filmed, and it has that old Victorian hotel vibe. You can book rooms in the old hotel, or in one of the outbuildings which are more modern. I have stayed in both areas of the hotel and found them great for different reasons. In the hotel, the classic rooms have a four-poster bed and a clawed bathtub. The beds were comfortable, and the rooms were spacious and easy to navigate. In the room we stayed in, there was more than enough room for a mobility impaired guest to bring a wheelchair next to the bed comfortably.

The outbuilding rooms are not part of the Stanley Hotel main building. Guests need to check in in the main building and then walk to or drive to the building your room is located in. Sidewalks are very well kept, and free of overhanging bushes and obstacles. The room we stayed in was a two-bedroom unit with a kitchen and loft. There were two sleeping areas, both with private bathrooms. The first bedroom was located on the ground floor, and the second room was located in the loft upstairs. Furniture was well placed and logically laid out. The gas fireplace and private hot tub was a welcome addition.

Navigating the property is going to be tough if you are staying in one of the outbuildings. The staff was not great at offering landmarks for navigation but were more than willing to escort me to my room – great touch. The check in desk is located to the left as you enter through the main entrance. There are tables and other obstacles on the way to the desk so travel carefully. Elevators were located near the check-in desk and were easily navigated to. Be aware that if you choose a room in one of the modern buildings, access is outdoors. This is really only a concern if you are visiting the property during snowy months. The staff do a great job of keeping the sidewalks clear of ice and snow.

Stanley Hotel Lobby, in this image we see a Victorian decorated lobby with ornate red carpet and a large table in the center of the room. The sidewalk area outside of the Stanley Hotel. Puffy clouds in a blue sky and an image of the wide sidewalk in front of the main building.

Service Animal accommodations

My guide Dog Fauna accompanied me on both nights at the Stanley Hotel, there were easily accessible relieving areas for the main building and for the room in the outbuilding. Garbage cans for refuse were few and far apart. My guide Fauna had no issues leading me everywhere I needed to go on the property. The staff did not interact with my guide at all, they were respectful and let her do her job.


There are a couple of options for food at the Stanley Hotel. The main restaurant in the Stanley Hotel had great food and drinks, but be aware that the menu is not available in braille or large print, so make sure you have accommodations with you. There is also a more casual coffee shop that offered ice cream and other goodies. 

Hotel Tour

Because the Stanley Hotel is well known for its role in many Hollywood movies, they offer a tour of the hotel. Both times we stayed, the tour was sold out so I cannot report on the accessibility of the tour. I plan t return and take the tour and will update this listing once I can squeeze into a spot on the tour. I would suggest booking well in advance if you are planning to include the tour as part of your stay. They say the hotel is haunted, but I neither saw nor heard any strange activity while I was there. 

Final thoughts

The Stanley Hotel is a historic hotel and with that comes some shortcomings, but the staff and their ability to give clear directions (and offering to take me to my room) make this hotel’s classic rooms a joy to stay in. The outbuildings are a bit more challenging but were much more modern. It is not often you have a choice of room styles when booking in a place like this. 

Have you stayed at The Stanley Hotel? what was your experience? Drop me a message here and let me know if you had any accessibility issues or concerns.  

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