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.
- 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