Discover the allure of the historic Stanley Hotel and find out if it’s accessible to all.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, anyone can go to the Stanley Hotel.

In this article, we will explore the fascinating history of the Stanley Hotel, its famous connection to Stephen King’s ‘The Shining,’ the amenities and activities available to visitors, and whether reservations are required.

Whether you’re a fan of horror, architecture, or simply seeking a unique getaway, the Stanley Hotel offers an enchanting experience for all.

Read on to learn more about this iconic destination in the heart of Estes Park, Colorado.

History of the Stanley Hotel

Founding and Early Years

The Stanley Hotel, located in Estes Park, Colorado, has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to its founding in 1909. Famed inventor and entrepreneur, Freelan Oscar Stanley, was the visionary behind this iconic establishment. After being diagnosed with tuberculosis and advised by his doctors to seek fresh mountain air, Stanley and his wife, Flora, decided to make Estes Park their home.

Construction of the hotel began in 1907 and was completed in 1909. The Stanley Hotel was designed as a grand destination for affluent travelers seeking relaxation and adventure in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The hotel boasted luxurious amenities such as electric lights, telephones, en suite bathrooms, and even a hydraulic elevator, making it one of the most modern and opulent hotels of its time.

Over the years, the Stanley Hotel has undergone several renovations and expansions, but it has managed to preserve its historic charm and elegance. Today, it stands as a testament to the grandeur and vision of its founder, welcoming guests from around the world.

Famous Guests and Connections

The Stanley Hotel’s fame extends beyond its stunning architecture and scenic location. It has played host to numerous famous guests throughout its history, further adding to its allure and mystique. Notably, author Stephen King stayed at the hotel in 1974, which served as the inspiration for his bestselling novel, “The Shining.” The hotel’s eerie ambiance and sprawling corridors provided the perfect setting for King’s chilling tale of a haunted hotel.

Another notable connection to popular culture is the Stanley Hotel’s association with the hit television series “Ghost Hunters.” The paranormal investigation team visited the hotel multiple times, capturing eerie experiences and unexplained phenomena on camera. These investigations have only fueled the hotel’s reputation as a hotspot for supernatural activity.

Today, the Stanley Hotel continues to be a popular destination for paranormal enthusiasts, history buffs, and those seeking a luxurious mountain getaway. Whether you’re visiting for its historical significance, its connection to pop culture, or simply to enjoy the stunning views and amenities, the Stanley Hotel offers a unique and unforgettable experience.

The Stanley Hotel and ‘The Shining’

The Stanley Hotel, located in Estes Park, Colorado, is a historic landmark that has gained worldwide fame for its association with the iconic horror novel and film, ‘The Shining’. The hotel’s grandeur, captivating architecture, and haunting beauty have intrigued visitors for decades.

Inspiration for Stephen King

The Stanley Hotel served as the inspiration for Stephen King’s best-selling novel, ‘The Shining’. In 1974, King and his wife checked into the hotel during its offseason, only to find themselves among a handful of other guests. The eerie emptiness of the hotel, combined with its labyrinthine corridors, sparked King’s imagination and provided the perfect setting for his chilling tale.

King’s stay at the Stanley Hotel left such a lasting impression that he decided to use it as the primary location for his novel. The hotel’s eerie vibes, rich history, and alleged paranormal activity all played a role in shaping the story of the haunted Overlook Hotel.

Film Adaptations

‘The Shining’ was adapted into a highly acclaimed film in 1980, directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson. While the movie was not filmed at the Stanley Hotel itself, it remains closely associated with the hotel due to King’s inspiration.

However, in 1997, a television miniseries adaptation of ‘The Shining’ was filmed on location at the Stanley Hotel. This allowed viewers to experience the hotel’s eerie atmosphere firsthand, further cementing its connection to the story.

Today, the Stanley Hotel offers guided tours that delve into the history and inspiration behind ‘The Shining’. Visitors can explore the infamous Room 217, which served as the inspiration for the novel’s Room 237. Whether you’re a fan of the book, the films, or simply fascinated by paranormal tales, the Stanley Hotel is a must-visit destination.

For more information about the Stanley Hotel and its connection to ‘The Shining’, you can visit their official website:

Amenities and Activities

When visiting the Stanley Hotel, guests can expect a wide range of amenities and activities to enhance their stay. From comfortable accommodations to delicious dining options and exciting tours and events, the hotel offers something for everyone.


The Stanley Hotel boasts a variety of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious suite or a cozy room with a mountain view, you’ll find it here. The rooms are tastefully decorated and equipped with modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. And of course, each room comes with the famous hospitality that the hotel is known for.

Dining Options

When it comes to dining, the Stanley Hotel offers a range of options to satisfy every palate. From fine dining experiences to casual eateries, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy a mouthwatering steak at the hotel’s signature restaurant, or indulge in a delicious cocktail at the cozy bar. And for those looking for a quick bite, there are also grab-and-go options available.

Tours and Events

One of the highlights of a visit to the Stanley Hotel is the opportunity to explore its rich history and paranormal reputation through tours and events. Take a guided tour of the hotel’s haunted areas and learn about the famous spirits that are said to reside there. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, participate in one of the hotel’s ghost-hunting events and see if you can capture any supernatural activity. These tours and events provide a unique and thrilling experience for guests.

For more information on amenities, accommodations, dining options, and tours and events at the Stanley Hotel, you can visit their official website

Visiting the Stanley Hotel


The Stanley Hotel, located in Estes Park, Colorado, is open to the public and welcomes visitors from all over the world. Whether you’re a fan of the paranormal or simply interested in exploring a historic landmark, the Stanley Hotel offers a unique and memorable experience. The hotel is easily accessible by car and is located just a short drive from Denver.

It’s important to note that the Stanley Hotel is a historic building, and as such, there may be some limitations on accessibility for individuals with mobility challenges. However, the hotel strives to accommodate all guests and offers accessible rooms and facilities. If you have any specific needs or concerns, it’s recommended to contact the hotel directly to ensure a comfortable stay.

Reservations and Booking

If you’re interested in staying at the Stanley Hotel, it’s advisable to make reservations in advance, especially during peak tourist season. The hotel offers a variety of room options, ranging from standard guest rooms to luxurious suites. You can book your stay directly through the hotel’s official website or by contacting their reservations team.

The Stanley Hotel also offers a range of packages and special offers, including ghost tours and paranormal experiences for those looking to delve into the hotel’s haunted history. It’s worth noting that these experiences may have limited availability and may require additional booking or fees.

For those who are not staying overnight but still wish to experience the Stanley Hotel, the hotel offers daily tours of the property. These tours provide visitors with the opportunity to learn about the history and hauntings of the hotel, as well as explore its iconic architecture and stunning surroundings.

To ensure you have the best experience possible, it’s always a good idea to check the Stanley Hotel’s official website for the most up-to-date information on reservations, availability, and any special events or promotions that may be happening during your visit.


The Stanley Hotel invites all curious souls to experience its storied past and captivating atmosphere.

Whether you’re interested in its rich history, its connection to ‘The Shining,’ or simply seeking a memorable vacation, the Stanley Hotel offers something for everyone.

So pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable journey to the heart of the Rocky Mountains, where the Stanley Hotel awaits.

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