This is the type of place you need to research and understand before you choose it, so that your expectations match the reality. It is not for everyone. It reminds me of my childhood summers spent at a wonderful camp in Estes Park. The historic lodge itself is beautiful. Amazing views of the lakes, fabulous porch swings, giant fireplace inside with more swings and rockers, games to play, and great people watching.
The cabins are rustic. Again, like a summer camp, but with electricity, heat, tv, mini fridge, coffee maker, ceiling fan and attached bathroom. It is very clean, and the beds are very comfortable. Slight cons: no place to hang clothes (but who needs to hang hiking type clothes?) and the shower is very tiny. Most "cabins" are really duplexes, and they are not in any way soundproof. You can hear your neighbors talking and the doors are very sticky and need to be almost slammed to open and close. Luckily, most people go to bed early because of mountain air and exercise!
This was a last minute decision as we were literally fleeing the floods of Estes Park. On our way out, we called the lodge for availability. Manager Jeff was amazingly accommodating. We had family who had left Estes Park the day before and were staying here. As we were booking, Jeff said "oh, your brother just walked by." He seemed to know just about everyone who was staying there. Speaking of Jeff, he seems to work about 20 hours per day, is extremely professional and positive, handles every detail (need luggage help? Check. Towels for the pool? Check. Check the driving time to the airport during the epic floods? Check. Print out boarding passes? Check. He even came out on the porch to take a group picture of us without us even asking.
We ate a lunch, a dinner and a breakfast at the lodge. Always the service was friendly and professional. Lunch and dinner were really good, at the top of food offered in the Grand Lake area, but breakfast could use a little help. The coffee was not very good, some of the offerings were not that good (scrambled eggs), they were out of bacon and never replenished while we were there, and there was only one waffle maker with long lines to self serve. My suggestion: either change to all continental with just fruit, baked goods and coffee and juice and charge less or incorporate it into the room rate, or really ramp up the breakfast (staffed omelet making station, eggs to order, pancakes, French toast, etc) and charge more.
There is a wonderful heated pool, and a nice large hot tub, both very clean and well maintained. Also loved perusing (and buying!) gifts from the lodge shop.
This was a wonderful break from our stressful escape from Estes, and Jeff and staff, plus the restful, rustic and fun atmosphere, insure that we will come back again. I think next we will ask for a cabin that is not a duplex model for more privacy and quiet. The prices are so reasonable (we paid $130 per night) I am sure to upgrade would still make this a relative bargain.
Jeff, the owners are lucky to have you! Thanks, again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A classic Colorado Summer Mountain Lodge offering a variety of rustic cabins. Grand Lake Lodge is surrounded on three sides by Rocky Mountain National Park, perched on a hill side overlooking Grand Lake Village, Grand Lake, and Shadow Mountain Reservoir. Full service restaurant. The Grand Lake Lodge is open late May to early October yearly. ... more less
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