12/25/10 Rocky Mountain Park Inn (Holiday Inn) Estes Park, CO


     After a sunny and warm Christmas day of touring the historic Stanley Hotel (inspiration for the movie The Shining and later on The Shining Mini-Series) in Estes Park, CO we adjourned to our hotel of actual residence, The Rocky Mountain Park Inn. This particular hotel was a  franchised Holiday Inn most likely built in the 70’s as the popcorn ceilings provided an uncanny time stamp for that era in construction. Upon check-in at the front desk I requested a late check-out to see how they would respond. The front desk attendant advised me that we could have a late check out of 2:00 p.m. (as opposed to their normal check-out time of 11:00) if we signed up for their “free” Priority Club Rewards program. Being ever leery of singing up for anything in order to receive additional benefits or compensation, I said I would think about it and proceeded to my room.
     Walking down the hallway to our room, which of course was all the way down on the other side, I thought I was instantly teleported into a live taping of an HGTV renovation show. There was tape on the hallway moulding to protect them from the freshly painted walls. Dust and paint chips aligned the floor as we made our way to the room. At the very least I thought they could have run a vacuum to get rid of the dust and paint chips on the floor other than the obligatory “excuse our mess” signs posted strategically in the entryways. To top things off the keys just handed to us minutes before were not working on the hotel room door. Needless to say, I was left with some rather squimish first impressions of the hotel.

The room itself maintained similarities to the Holiday Inn we stayed at in Grand Junction, CO during Labor Day weekend. The shower/bath tub was of proper size with caddies for soap and shampoo along with a mobile shower head placed at just the right height. The bed and room furniture were comfortable although we had to request two additional “firm” pillows of which only one truly matched that description. The television was a bit antiquated and along with the previously mentioned popcorn ceilings, the recessed light fixture in the bathroom was loose. In terms of hotel amenities the hotel had a cozy bar that only operated till 9:00 p.m. The fitness areas had outdated equipment that included a pair of treadmills and a nautilus. The indoor pool was spacious but due to lighting was extremely dark, all be it open  to 11:00 p.m. Finally the staff was very attentive and friendly despite working on Christmas.

     Hotwire rated the Rocky Mountain Park Inn in Estes Park, CO as a 3 star establishment. Although the potential may be there in terms of service and offering of amenities, due to the rundown feel of the hotel as a whole  I cannot agree with this assessment. It is above a two in terms of providing a variety of amenities but falls short of a three because those amenities and the hotel as a whole are in need of serious renovation. I feel comfortable placing it at 2 1/2 stars. Stay tuned as we look into the wonderful world of stars, bars, and diamond rating systems for hotels.



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