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“Awesome House with Views to Match”
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Very good
46 reviews
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Overview
Holiday Rental House -
4 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms, Sleeps 10
Estes Park, Colorado

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 46 reviews
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Reviews from our community

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Leslie A
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Our honest review of Sponsel, two stars for value and views”
Reviewed 6 January 2018 for a stay in January 2018
2
people found this review helpful

We just returned from 5 nights at Sponsel, and we could not wait for our check out day. We made the most of our time while there, as our children had been looking forward to this family vacation for months. We booked 6 months in advance, when ample properties at Windcliff were available, as well as throughout Estes Park. We chose this one based on the advertised ‘quiet and secluded nature of Windcliff Estates’, the ‘sloping wall of glass that is its façade’, and the interior hot tub. We hoped that we could relax for our time there, and not leave the cabin, and packed accordingly. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with a port-o-potty and construction site, less than 50’ away on the lot next door. Not only did this hinder our enjoyment of a quiet and secluded vacation, even once the construction is finished, privacy will no longer be a thing for Sponsel. The new neighbors are situated right outside of the wall of windows, peering into the main living area and lower level hot tub/game room. If you still have an opportunity to get out of your reservation and book elsewhere, RUN!

The positives –
-The views are amazing from this elevation, looking away from the new construction neighbors
-The kitchen is massive, and well stocked, making it possible to enjoy meals on-site
-The sauna heats up well, and appears clean – it was a necessary element to detox from the stress of listening to construction noise
-It is a decent value for the square footage that you get, and the views; I just find it important for people to really understand what they are booking, versus having a disclosure in the rental agreement (#18) that gets them out of truthfully representing the condition of the place.

The overwhelming negatives –
-Upon arrival, we contacted the after-hours office phone number to inquire whether there were any other properties available, as we did not want to deal with construction noise, and would have preferred to unpack minimally for the night; to say that customer service is lacking is a gross understatement. The woman that we spoke with was flippant, disregarding our concern, as no prior renters had felt reason to complain (yet the construction is in very early, framing stages, with plenty of power saws and music blasting from a radio to keep the workers entertained). We asked her why they did not feel it helpful or necessary to disclose the construction next door, and she was adamant that it’s not their project, and not an issue. I let her know that I would be disclosing it. A better way to handle this would have been to inform renters prior to arrival of the potential noise, and disruption of their enjoyment of the home, and give them an opportunity to delay the trip until the construction is completed, or another property is available. Or at a minimum, discount the stay in an effort to compensate for the disruption. We were forced to leave the home during the daytime hours, spending more money on this vacation than we intended to, to be able to escape the noise. To say that it has nothing to do with Windcliff property management is also curious, when there is a section on their website offering lots in the addition for sale. I cannot help but wonder if the original owners of Sponsel ever anticipated having such close neighbors, when designing the massive wall of windows. Upon departure, we asked them to contact us regarding the noise and interruption to our vacation, and did not hear anything.
Therefore, no management response on this review will be suffice, that window of opportunity is lost. They knew of our issue from the day of our arrival, and made no effort to check in throughout our stay, to follow up.

-The wall of windows – it is in need of major repair. The views are skewed by bubbling and peeling tint, and water stains from the indoor hot tub. See photos attached. Another thing about the wall of windows, is that it makes temperature in the home extremely difficult to regulate. We were there in January, and during the day when the sun is shining on them, it heats up the living room so hot that windows must be opened to allow the breeze in (chocolate melted on the table!). With temps in the 30’s and 40’s outside, it cools off very quickly, making it suddenly too cold. Not to mention that windows open meant allowing the construction noise in even more. I can’t imagine what this room feels like in the heat of the Summer, when rental rates are at their peak.

-The cleanliness of the home – overall, for the size of the home, and a booking calendar showing that guests checked out on the same day that we arrived, things were decently clean. There was crusted food left on the dining table in the main living area, in between the plate/plexi glass and wood surface – one downside of having this set up, the need to clean ‘in between’. There are some places that seem to miss the mark and never get touched, like the wall of mirrors in the master bedroom (see photo attached). In addition, my children found several packages of partially eaten food under the beds in the room they stayed in. This was on our last evening there, and after dealing with an overabundance of flies in the house all week, despite not seeing any possible point of entry, it makes me wonder if this is where they were breeding. Pack a fly swatter! Lastly, the flooring is dated and stained; rugs in bathrooms are not easily washable like most in hotels, carpets in living areas with multiple stains – bring flip flops! The condition of some of the furnishings just leaves one to wonder, why things are left in the state that they are, and is there more below the surface? For example, the lamps on the side table in the main living area. The chairs at the desk area in the kitchen, and the one in the dressing room, are also dated and have various markings on the seats. These seem like easy updates to make, to not cheapen the overall feel of the home.

-The security of the home – above the kitchen sink, there is a window that is broken, and taped over with clear tape (photo attached). There is no screen on this window. I am not sure how long the window has been like that, but given the previous attitude of the office when we’ve spoken with them, it’s not far-fetched to guess that it’s been a while ‘but no one else has complained’.

-The hot tub is so heavily chlorinated that it burned my eyes the second the cover was opened. It foams immediately upon turning on the jets, which also makes one think it’s either dirty with prior user’s lotions or soaps, or due to heavy chemicals. We hoped to spend a lot of time relaxing in the hot tub during our stay, and it was one of the main reasons for choosing this property over others in Windcliff.

-The need for 4wd – we had been monitoring the weather forecast prior to our departure, and saw no signs of snow, and plenty of sun to melt previously fallen snow. We are aware that conditions can change quickly at such elevations, having lived in Denver for several years. I spoke with Rich, the owner, less than a week before our departure, wanting to know if the roads were mostly paved versus dirt/gravel. We had purchased chains for our front wheel drive vehicle as a precaution, however Rich reiterated the need for 4wd (and also failed to mention the construction project next door). Rest assured, the roads are in very good condition, even up to the height of this particular home which is towards the top of the property. Some of the driveways appear particularly steep, however Sponsel could have been accessed with a front wheel drive vehicle, avoiding the additional $1k plus expense of a rental. We also saw plenty of non-4wd vehicles within the property, during our stay.

All in all, we would never recommend this home to anyone. Photos are worth a thousand words, and we hope that some of the ones that we have provided paint a more honest representation of the property, at a minimum, avoiding the feeling of being surprised upon arrival that we experienced. Given the number of choices in the area, and the lack of management response during our stay and afterwards, we also would never book thru Windcliff Estates again.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ogslpash
Gerringong, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Awesome House with Views to Match”
Reviewed 14 March 2017 for a stay in March 2017

This house is about the highest on the mountain and the views are something to behold with the mountains' moods changing almost continuously. With a view from nearly every window, the house itself immerses you in the Rocky Mountain experience.
Now to the house. There is ample room for several couples or a big family get together although we stayed just as a couple. The design is radical but functional. The large windows certainly trap the heat - great in Winter and Spring but I can imagine it would be fairly toasty in Summer...but there are plenty of doors that can be opened to let the breeze in. Kitchen is great as are all the amenities of the house. Bedrooms are comfy and there are plenty of bathrooms to keep the members of the biggest family happy.
Windcliff had everything ready for our arrival.
Be warned, there is little if any cell phone reception but the house internet if fine and the landline is available.
Great location from which to base your exploration of the National Park and surrounding area. Our only complaint, 5 days just wasn't enough time to experience the area.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
14 Mar 2017
Thank you so much for sharing this incredibly detailed review! You nailed the Windcliff experience! And yes, our glass-filled homes can warm-up in the summer months, and that's why the Sponsel home is actually air-conditioned as well! Come stay with us (longer) again soon!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bagnato1
Olney, Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
523 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“Stunning One-of-a-Kind Mountain Retreat”
Reviewed 23 May 2016 for a stay in May 2016

Sponsel is a mountain home with a very high "wow" factor. No matter how many pictures you see of it, they don't come close to matching the reality of the views from every part of this amazing home. It's whatever you want it to be. If you have multiple families, there are plenty of rooms and spacious common areas. If you're just one couple, as we were, you feel as if you have your own personal lodge. It snowed the three days we spent here in May. So we didn't venture onto trails as much as we had planned. No matter. Between the sauna, hot tub, jacuzzi, pool table, gorgeous fireplaces and well-stocked kitchen, we had a wonderful stay. And the cost, while not inexpensive, is certainly more-than-reasonable considering all this home provides. Very clean. Welcoming staff. Worth the trip.

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Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 February 2016 for a stay in February 2016

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Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway A romantic getaway
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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed 17 September 2015 for a stay in August 2015
1
person found this review helpful

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
BGunnink
1 review
“Amazing stay”
Reviewed 22 January 2015 for a stay in January 2015

Amazing house. We have stayed here three times and are starting to make it a tradition. It's fantastic to get a large group together and have plenty of room for everyone. The windcliff staff are great as well, extremely friendly and helpful.

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Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2014 for a stay in September 2014

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Young singles Friends getaway
A romantic getaway Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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