It’s not every day that a hotel becomes a star in a horror film. However, in Stanley Kubrick’s legendary film adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Shining,’ a particular hotel stole the show, leading many fans to ask: ‘What hotel was used in The Shining?’ The ominous Overlook Hotel, with its haunted hallways and twisted history, has captivated audiences for decades.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The hotel used for exterior shots in the 1980 movie “The Shining,” directed by Stanley Kubrick, is the Timberline Lodge in Oregon, USA. However, the hotel’s interior was inspired by the Ahwahnee Hotel (now known as the Majestic Yosemite Hotel) in Yosemite National Park and was constructed in a studio in England. The fictional hotel in the film is called the Overlook Hotel.

This article will take you on an in-depth exploration of the real-life locations and inspirations behind the Overlook Hotel. We’ll delve into the Timberline Lodge’s background, the British studio where the interiors were filmed, and the historic hotel that inspired Stephen King to pen this chilling tale.

The Exterior: Timberline Lodge, Oregon

History and Background

The exterior shots of the infamous Overlook Hotel in the classic horror film “The Shining” were actually filmed at the Timberline Lodge in Oregon. This historic lodge, located on the southern flank of Mount Hood, has a rich history and a unique architecture that made it the perfect choice for the film’s haunting setting.

The Timberline Lodge was constructed in the late 1930s as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. It was designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood, who is known for his work on other iconic national park lodges, including the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. The lodge was built to provide jobs during the Great Depression and to promote tourism in the area.

With its rustic charm and stunning mountain views, the Timberline Lodge quickly became a popular destination for visitors seeking a unique and luxurious mountain retreat. Its massive stone and timber construction, along with its distinctive tower, make it a standout architectural gem in the Pacific Northwest.

The Shining’s Influence on Timberline Lodge

Since its appearance in “The Shining,” Timberline Lodge has gained even more recognition and popularity. The film, directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on Stephen King’s novel, has become a cult classic and has left a lasting impact on the lodge itself.

Visitors to the Timberline Lodge can now take a guided tour that specifically highlights the filming locations and provides fascinating insights into the making of the movie. The lodge has embraced its connection to “The Shining” and even hosts special events and screenings related to the film.

While the horror and suspense of “The Shining” may be fictional, the real-life beauty and charm of the Timberline Lodge are very much real. Whether you’re a fan of the movie or simply appreciate stunning architecture and natural landscapes, a visit to this iconic lodge is sure to be a memorable experience.

For more information about the Timberline Lodge and its connection to “The Shining,” you can visit their official website:

The Interior: Elstree Studios, England

Creating the Overlook Hotel Interiors

While the exterior shots of the infamous Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” were filmed at the Timberline Lodge in Oregon, the interior scenes were actually shot at Elstree Studios in England. The production team meticulously recreated the eerie and claustrophobic atmosphere of the hotel, bringing Stephen King’s vision to life.

Elstree Studios provided the perfect setting for capturing the haunting interiors of the Overlook Hotel. With its spacious sound stages and state-of-the-art facilities, the studio offered the necessary resources to recreate the iconic scenes from the novel. From the grand lobby and the infamous Room 237 to the maze-like corridors, every detail was meticulously designed to immerse viewers in the unsettling world of the film.

Filming Challenges at Elstree Studios

Shooting the interior scenes of “The Shining” at Elstree Studios came with its own set of challenges. The size and complexity of the set required careful planning and coordination. The crew had to work within tight spaces while maneuvering intricate camera movements to capture the eerie atmosphere of the hotel.

The production team also faced technical hurdles while filming at Elstree Studios. The elaborate set design required advanced lighting techniques to create the right mood and ambiance. Additionally, the crew had to manage the logistics of multiple actors and crew members working in close quarters, ensuring smooth coordination for each scene.

Despite these challenges, the team at Elstree Studios successfully brought the haunting interiors of the Overlook Hotel to life on the big screen. The attention to detail and the collaborative efforts of the cast and crew contributed to the film’s enduring legacy.

For more information on Elstree Studios and its history in film production, you can visit their official website here.

The Inspiration: The Stanley Hotel, Colorado

If you’re a fan of Stephen King’s famous horror novel and subsequent film adaptation, The Shining, you might be curious to know which hotel served as the inspiration for the eerie Overlook Hotel. Look no further than the historic Stanley Hotel, located in Estes Park, Colorado.

Stephen King’s Fateful Stay

Inspiration struck Stephen King during his stay at the Stanley Hotel in the 1970s. King and his wife Tabitha checked in for a night, but due to the hotel’s impending closure for the winter season, they found themselves as the only guests. This isolation, coupled with the hotel’s haunting atmosphere, sparked King’s imagination and provided the backdrop for his iconic novel.

Did you know? The Stanley Hotel also played host to numerous other paranormal experiences reported by guests and staff over the years. From unexplained footsteps to ghostly apparitions, the hotel’s reputation for the supernatural only adds to its mystique.

The Stanley Hotel Today

Today, the Stanley Hotel continues to thrive as a popular tourist destination and a haven for those seeking a taste of the supernatural. The hotel offers guided tours that delve into its haunted history, allowing visitors to explore the very halls that inspired Stephen King’s chilling tale.

Fun fact: If you’re feeling brave, you can even spend the night in one of the hotel’s notoriously haunted rooms. Just be prepared for the possibility of encountering some otherworldly company!

For more information on the Stanley Hotel and its connection to The Shining, you can visit their official website at

The Shining’s Cultural Impact on These Locations

Tourism and The Shining

Since its release in 1980, Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, The Shining, has become a cultural phenomenon. The movie’s iconic setting, the Overlook Hotel, has captivated audiences and inspired many to explore the real-life locations associated with the film. One such location is the Timberline Lodge in Oregon, which served as the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in the movie. The lodge has seen a significant increase in tourism, with fans of The Shining flocking to experience the eerie atmosphere and relive the suspenseful moments portrayed in the film. Visitors can stay at the lodge, take guided tours, and even attend special events dedicated to The Shining.

Another location that has seen a surge in tourism due to The Shining is the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. While the hotel did not serve as the actual filming location, it is said to have been the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel. The Stanley Hotel embraces its connection to The Shining and offers guided tours that take visitors to the places that inspired King’s story. The hotel also hosts an annual horror film festival and other Shining-themed events, attracting fans from all over the world.

The cultural impact of The Shining has also extended to other locations featured in the film. For example, the hedge maze depicted in the movie has become an iconic symbol associated with The Shining. The hedge maze scene was filmed at the Timberline Lodge, but it has since inspired other hotels and resorts to create their own versions of the maze. These mazes have become popular attractions, adding a touch of eerie excitement to the guest experience.

The Shining-Themed Events and Experiences

The popularity of The Shining has led to the creation of various themed events and experiences for fans to enjoy. One notable example is the “Shining Ball,” an annual event held at the Stanley Hotel. This extravagant costume ball allows attendees to immerse themselves in the world of The Shining, with elaborate decorations, live music, and themed cocktails. It’s a unique opportunity for fans to celebrate their love for the film and connect with others who share the same passion.

Additionally, some hotels and resorts have embraced The Shining’s legacy by offering special packages and experiences for guests. These packages often include themed accommodations, such as a room designed to resemble the infamous Room 237 from the film. Guests can also enjoy Shining-inspired activities, such as ghost tours, film screenings, and even interactive murder mystery games.

The cultural impact of The Shining on these locations is undeniable. Through tourism, events, and experiences, fans of the film have found new ways to connect with the story and immerse themselves in its haunting atmosphere. Whether it’s exploring the real-life locations, attending Shining-themed events, or staying in a room reminiscent of the film, the legacy of The Shining continues to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression.


In conclusion, the menacing allure of the Overlook Hotel in ‘The Shining’ is a product of a combination of diverse locations and inspirations. While the Timberline Lodge provided the film’s haunting exterior, Elstree Studios in England breathed life into its eerie interior. All the while, the influence of The Stanley Hotel in Colorado, where Stephen King originally conceived the story, looms in the background.

The cinematic journey of ‘The Shining’ has left an indelible mark on these locations, attracting fans and curious tourists from around the world. Whether you’re planning a spooky pilgrimage or simply appreciate the intricate layers of film-making, the story behind the Overlook Hotel serves as a fascinating testament to the power of location in storytelling. Remember, as you wander the halls of these places, you might just hear the echo of ‘redrum.’

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