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“Needs lots of TLC”

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Elkhorn Lodge and Guest Ranch
Brighton, CO
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Needs lots of TLC”
Reviewed 16 October 2013

We spent last weekend in Cabin H at the the Historic Elkhorn Lodge. We purchased a Denver Post Daily Deal (which won't happen again) for two nights in one of the cabins or lodge room with a ghost tour for four. I made reservations for October 11-13 about six weeks ahead for the Alpine 2 cabin. There were two queen-size beds in two rooms with one bathroom and a full kitchen which the website made look very charming. Then the floods hit in the middle of September and I checked the website and it stated that the lodge was open but the O'Dell stables had been closed indefinitely. At that point I was very glad that I had not purchased the the Denver Post Daily Deal for the horse rides.

So I decided to confirm our reservations on the preceding Monday prior to our arrival. Well we were not in Alpine 2 any longer because that cabin had been rented on a long-term basis to a displaced flood victim but they would reserve the Schoolhouse cabin which was bigger with 3 bedrooms so I said that would be fine. Then Wednesday I received an email saying they could offer us two lodge rooms or Cabin H which had two bedrooms-one with a queen bed and the other with two twin beds. They also stated that if our friends wanted to stay in Cabin E which had a queen-size bed and twin bed in one room with no kitchen they could for an additional $40.00 cleaning fee. We all decided on Cabin H, The ghost tour had not been held for awhile because the lady who conducted it lived in Longmont and was not able to get to the Lodge due to the flooding of the roadways but we could go on a ghost "hunt" for $30 per person. Are you kidding me? At this point I was starting to get a little nervous about what we had gotten ourselves into but tried to reason the area had been through a lot with the flood.

Then we arrived late Friday afternoon and were given a $3.00 coupon for cheesy bread sticks at Cheesy Lee's Pizza Restaurant to compensate for the cancelled ghost tour. We were all hungry and decided to eat dinner which I must say was very good and reasonably priced. Then we proceeded to Cabin H which was frigid. There was an electric floor heater which never put out much heat. So after my husband went back to the lodge they stated that they it as common that if two electric heaters were running it blew a fuse but we could move to the lodge. Since we had food with us we decided to stay. We went to town to warm up and returned to the lodge for a frigid nights sleep. In the morning my husband turned on the four stove burners and oven to warm up the cabin and it did the trick. We left to go to the Sidewalk Sale and ate lunch. After a stop at the cabin we went and spent the afternoon in Rocky Mountain National Park which had been reopened since the government shutdown. We returned to the cabin after dinner and turned on the stove again and spent a toasty night in the kitchen and finally went to sleep in much warmer beds. We left Sunday morning to return to the world of central heating.

The last time we traveled to Estes Park we stayed at the Stanley Hotel because we enjoy visiting the historic properties of Colorado. But compared to the Stanley, The Historic Elkhorn Lodge is the poor stepchild. It is the first hotel built in Estes Park in 1874. Although we tried to appreciate that fact, the condition that the lodge was in was from pure neglect not from the flood which had affected the property the month before. A little TLC would go a long way. The pictures do it much more justice than reality does. It might appeal to some who wants to "live" history i.e. before central heating. I noticed that the thermostat in the lodge showed 74 degrees which I found very interesting. The dining room where Cheesy Lee's is is very charming with beautiful wood and built-ins that appeared to be preserved very well. The cabins have a mish-mash of furniture which looks all second hand. It does appear that cleaning was not a top priority either. In our coffee maker I found old moldy coffee grounds. We decided to use the one serving coffee maker. In the bathroom we did not have light even after replacing the bulb with a working one from the front porch because the fixture was not even attached to the ceiling. The bathroom offered very little privacy because the doors have been painted so many times and they did not shut for any privacy. None of us were brave enough to take a shower. The beds were fairly comfortable although the bedding was inadequate. OK, enough.

To any who still want to consider staying at the Historic Elkhorn Lodge because maybe you still need to use your Denver Post Daily deal before its expiration just be prepared. You might want to bring an electric space heater that works, some extra bedding, warm clothes, paper plates and eating utensils that were scarce. Finally, we might return to Cheesy Lee's Pizza but we never will stay at the Historic Elkhorn Lodge again. Next time I will make sure to read the Trip Advisor(the Historic Elkhorn Lodge displays a decal on the front door) review because it certainly would have saved us some grief.

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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank 2915
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 September 2013

A Denver Daily Deal brought us to Elkhorn lodge, and we got just what we paid for. Bed was comfy and clean, everything else old and worn. About what you would expect for a 140 year old mini-cabin. EXTREMELY quiet! No heat, but the weather wasn't bad yet. I slept very well, amazingly.

We moved elsewhere the second night; our visit was during the massive flooding, and Elkhorn Avenue was closed the day we left for drier environs. Got out in time, stayed a few more days just because of the weather and mess from the flooding. When we left Saturday the traffic was light, and the sun was out.

Elkhorn Lodge is rustic, almost primitive. The folks running it are doing the job, but it still needs lots of work. More like camping, at least in the mini-cabin. Not sure if we would stay here again, but the experience was worth the price!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank dw6825
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Estes Park hotels

Woking
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2013

Well this place could be so good, we were driving thru Estes on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park and were looking for somewhere to stay, this place looked like the last place in town before the town finished and the countryside started, turns out we were wrong if you go past this place towards the park there are at least a dozen more motels and places to stay.
We should have started to worry when told the price was $89 for an entire wooden cabin for the night.
The first cabin had no hot water, then the boiler sprung a leak when the guy was trying to fix it so we were moved to a new cabin next door.
I worry about hygiene with this place, whilst not visibly dirty, the rooms do not feel clean at all, all the furniture and beds are very old.
The bathroom was very old and the shower barely worked.
There were no curtains as apparently they keep getting stolen we were told ! So reception gave us net curtains to hang ourselves, this still didn't really provide for any privacy so we had to hand bedsheets over the windows when dark.
We were not confident the door lock worked properly so we barricaded ourselves in by moving a wardrobe in front of the door just in case !!
This place could be so good if they spent a chunk of money on upgrading the cabins to something later than the 1950s/1960s they are still in.
But its cheap !

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mike H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FLORIDA
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2013

In early September 2013 my wife and I celebrated our 30th anniversary in Colorado. We brought our two 30ish daughters and son-in-laws with us to help in the celebration.
On Wednesday September 4, 2013 our three couples all went on a ride at O’dells and experienced a very nice ride. Each and every person there was so polite and well mannered. The horses seemed well groomed and taken care of. Our ride lasted about one hour and was done very well, with considerable caution. However, considering some of the terrain, rocks and mud from an earlier heavy rain…it was likely the best ride I could have experienced. We had ridden with a group of about 15 mid to older persons so even if on the limited flat terrain they said to “run or go about on your own” I feel that it would have created chaos and a potentially dangerous situation.
Good horses, nice scenery and WONDERFUL (and new) staff made for a very pleasant evening!
Thank you O’dells for helping us celebrate our anniversary!
Bart & Nancy Mazzara, Cape Coral Florida.

Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank BARTNANCY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newport Beach, California
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2013

I really did like this hotel. Staying in a place built in 1874 certainly has its charm, as I prefer staying in a unique establishment over your standard chain. The lobby had its charm, and so did the staircase as well as the driveway where I saw an elk feeding.

Elkhorn certainly has a lot of potential, but the owner really needs to step it up and invest in maintenance and staff. I spent two nights there. When arriving to my room, I noted that both the cold and hot water faucets in the bathroom were leaking. Leaking bad. Meaning should have been taken care of long ago. Of course, I raised that issue.

Showering was definitely not pleasant. It took 5 minutes of running the water for any hot water to show up, and my shower went from freezing cold to scalding hot several times afterwards. They definitely need to work on the hot water regulation system.

Beyond these issues, my room was not even made up when I showed up at 6pm. No new towels, bed wasn't made, etc... That is just unacceptable.

What really boggled my mind was that my room came with a coffee machine that I couldn't even use. The coffee machine had a THREE-prong plug, but the few sockets in the room were all TWO prong. Why would they invest in coffee machines that cannot even be used? Made absolutely no sense to me.

Bottom line: the owner needs to invest some money in this establishment. It has potential, but you need to spend money in order to make money. At a minimum, the rooms need to be made on a daily basis! Would I stay here again? Not unless I learned that they took care of these basic details.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mjalti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
Reviewed 11 September 2013

Three of us stayed (Cabin F 3/4) on a Denver Daily Deal Sept. 6 & 7 primarily for the Long's Peak Scottish-Irish Festival. Great location at the top end of the main business district. We could easily walk to the start of the parade on Saturday. I'm glad I read the reviews because we took extra blankets (not needed) and we were not expecting the Ritz (or even a Motel 6 for that matter). I hope the new owner puts some time and effort into fixing the place up because it is truly unique with tons of potential. In the meantime a little attention to detail would go a long way: replacing lightbulbs; dusting the cobwebs off the light fixtures; rudimentary maid service like fresh towels; repairing the toilet seat so it doesn't slide off; a tv remote that works; not having to unplug the tv to plug in the one-cup coffee maker (which was fine for a morning cup of tea); moving the little fridge (nice) in order to shut the dividing door; another trash can (there was only one); replacing furniture pulls; possibly installing a hand spray in the clawfoot tub instead of a shower with curtain because getting in and out was deadly! A little disappointing not to get our ghost tour, but we were offered a restaurant coupon instead. On the plus side the receptionist was charming and helpful, the beds were comfortable and clean and the herd of elk that paid a visit Saturday into Sunday was a real treat. I would stay again but maybe check out the rooms in the lodge.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ann W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
League City, Texas
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 7 September 2013

We stayed here for one night and that was plenty! While it was nice to have 3 bedrooms to share with family, the rooms were dirty and overall felt like it was simply not kept up. Some historic resorts are old but charming. This one was old and absolutely not charming! The floors needed to be vacuumed, the shower curtain was torn, the beds were uncomfortable, the doors didn't close properly, window screens had holes in them, I could go on and on. They appear to put absolutely no effort into maintaining this property but with some effort on the part of the owner, this property could be easily transformed into a place to be proud of. As it is today, it is not.

Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Melodie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Elkhorn Lodge and Guest Ranch

Property: Elkhorn Lodge and Guest Ranch
Address: 600 W Elkhorn Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517-9139
Region: United States > Colorado > Estes Park
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #73 of 78 Speciality Lodging in Estes Park
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Elkhorn Lodge is the oldest continuous operating lodge in the Rocky Mountain region and is the most historical property in Estes park. Dating to 1874 when Reverend McCreary from Ft. Collins built a small summer cabin on what was to become the Elkhorn property, to today's struggles to save and restore this jewel of the West, the Elkhorn Lodge has been and continues to be a major part of Estes Park. With a fully functioning main lodge, cabins galore, and several spacious buildings for large parties, there's accommodations for any and all at the Elkhorn Lodge and Ranch. And Don't forget about the horseback riding! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Elkhorn Lodge And Guest Ranch Hotel Estes Park
Elkhorn Lodge And Guest Ranch Estes Park, CO

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