Thursday, June 16, 2016

Anniversary Bucket List Item: The Stanley Hotel

It's happening this weekend: another of my bucket list items is getting checked off!

When Mr. ShellHawk asked what I wanted to do this year for our anniversary trip, I asked if he would be into going to Colorado, and the famous Stanley Hotel. After all, it's our (lucky) thirteenth, so what could be better than checking into one of the most haunted hotels in the United States?

He gave me the go-ahead!

Seriously, this was me when he said yes! I totally geeked out.

The Stanley Hotel, for those of you who may not know, is the hotel which gave Stephen King the inspiration for, "The Shining."
In late September of 1974, Tabby and I spent a night at a grand old hotel in Estes Park, the Stanley. We were the only guests as it turned out; the following day they were going to close the place down for the winter. Wandering through its corridors, I thought that it seemed the perfect—maybe the archetypical—setting for a ghost story. That night I dreamed of my three-year-old son running through the corridors, looking back over his shoulder, eyes wide, screaming. He was being chased by a fire-hose. I woke up with a tremendous jerk, sweating all over, within an inch of falling out of bed. I got up, lit a cigarette, sat in the chair looking out the window at the Rockies, and by the time the cigarette was done, I had the bones of the book firmly set in my mind.
This isn't the hotel used in the Stanley Kubrick version of the movie, just to keep things clear. That was the Timberline Lodge, and they filmed the exteriors there. This is the hotel to which Stephen King returned, to film the miniseries, "Stephen KIng's The Shining."

I have wanted to stay there for a really long time, so I am just about coming unglued as the time gets closer! We have the ghost tour Saturday night, and the historic tour booked for Sunday morning. I have informed Mr. ShellHawk that on at least one night, I will be staying up late to wander the halls. Since Sunday is our anniversary, I signed us up for some romantic champagne and truffles in our room, which has a mountain view.

Of course, I plan to have a martini or two at The Whiskey Bar (aka The Colorado Lounge, to King fans) while I'm there. ("One large martian, if you please," [s]he said, "They've landed somewhere in the world, Lloyd...") 
From the hotel website:
The whiskey bar also features prohibition style cocktails created by the Stanley Hotel’s “Libation Engineers” such as the Sazerac, the Corpse Reviver, and the Old Man Mountain Fashion as well as new creations such as Bacon Bloody Marys, Pink Flora, and the Pomegranate Mimosa.
It all sounds so yummy! 

There's some talk about a horror museum being built on-site.
The $24 million, 43,000-square-foot facility would house multiple indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, all with views of the Rocky Mountain National Park, including a 500-seat auditorium; a 30,000-square-foot interactive museum and discovery center, featuring rotating exhibits such as "The Walking Dead"; a 3,000-square-foot sound stage; classrooms and workshop spaces; and cutting-edge post-production and editing suites, according to project backers.
That sounds like it's worth a second visit in a few years, doesn't it?

As to the rumored hauntings, well, I don't know. If I see a ghost or two, I can sincerely say I hope I don't embarrass myself! I did watch this documentary on the hotel last week, which delved a bit into the history and the hauntings. While it's a bit heavy on the cheese (I live in wine country, so I have plenty to drink with that cheese! :D), it was a fun watch.

You can see inside the hotel if you click here. I'll be posting pictures when I get back, too!


  1. Wow! Get lots of photos to share with us, what an awesome trip!

  2. Was there last summer, you will not be disappointed. make sure to check out the basement- lots of cool stuff down there. (by the way, I had to go with a "Bourban on the rocks Lloyd" while I was there. Hope you have a great time!


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