Can You Visit The Stanley Hotel Without Staying There?

Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the Stanley Hotel stands as an iconic landmark, renowned for its rich history and haunting tales. This grand edifice, built in 1909, has captured the imagination of countless visitors, drawn by its Gothic Revival architecture and the allure of the supernatural.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, you can visit the Stanley Hotel without staying there. The hotel offers various options for day visitors, including guided tours, dining experiences, and exploring the grounds.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve into the details of visiting the Stanley Hotel as a non-guest. We’ll explore the different tour options, dining experiences, and other activities available for day visitors.

Additionally, we’ll provide insider tips and recommendations to make the most of your visit to this legendary establishment.

Guided Tours of the Stanley Hotel

If you’re planning a visit to the iconic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, you don’t necessarily have to book a room to experience its eerie charms. The hotel offers a variety of guided tours that allow you to explore its historic halls and learn about its fascinating past.

Whether you’re a history buff, a fan of Stephen King’s “The Shining” (which was inspired by the Stanley), or just curious about the paranormal, there’s a tour for you.

Historic Stanley Tour

The Historic Stanley Tour is a must-do for anyone interested in the hotel’s rich history. Led by knowledgeable guides, this tour takes you through the main buildings, including the lobby, concert hall, and guest rooms.

You’ll learn about the hotel’s founders, Freelan and Flora Stanley, and hear stories about the famous guests who have stayed there over the years, like President Theodore Roosevelt and the Stanley Steamer automobile inventors.

The tour also covers the hotel’s architecture, which blends elements of Georgian Revival and Renaissance Revival styles.

Night Tour

For those seeking a more spine-tingling experience, the Night Tour is a must. This tour takes you through the hotel’s dimly lit corridors and rooms after dark, allowing you to experience the eerie atmosphere that has earned the Stanley a reputation as one of the most haunted hotels in America.

Your guide will share chilling tales of ghostly encounters reported by guests and staff over the years. 😨 You might even catch a glimpse of the hotel’s famous “spectral residents,” like the ghostly children who are said to haunt the fourth floor.

Guided Tour Packages

If you can’t decide which tour to take, the Stanley Hotel offers guided tour packages that combine multiple tours for a more immersive experience. For example, the “Stay and Tour Package” includes a night’s stay in one of the hotel’s haunted rooms, as well as the Historic Stanley Tour and Night Tour.

🌙 According to the hotel’s website, over 25% of guests report some kind of paranormal experience during their stay. 😱

No matter which tour you choose, you’re sure to leave the Stanley Hotel with a newfound appreciation for its rich history and spooky legacy. And who knows? You might even have a ghostly encounter of your own! 👻

Dining at the Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel offers an array of dining options that cater to different tastes and occasions. Whether you’re seeking a fine dining experience or a cozy spot to enjoy a nightcap, the hotel has you covered.

The iconic establishment boasts two main dining venues, ensuring that guests and visitors alike can savor delectable cuisine and beverages during their stay or visit.

Cascades Restaurant

The crown jewel of the Stanley Hotel’s culinary offerings is the Cascades Restaurant. This upscale dining establishment offers a refined ambiance and a menu that showcases contemporary American cuisine with a touch of Rocky Mountain flair.

The restaurant’s chefs meticulously craft each dish using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, ensuring a farm-to-table experience that celebrates the region’s bounty. From succulent steaks to fresh seafood and vegetarian delights, Cascades Restaurant caters to diverse palates with a commitment to quality and creativity.

According to the hotel’s website, the restaurant has been awarded the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award, a testament to its exceptional dining experience.

Whiskey Bar

For those seeking a more relaxed atmosphere and a curated selection of spirits, the Whiskey Bar at the Stanley Hotel is an absolute must-visit. This cozy lounge boasts an impressive collection of over 900 whiskeys from around the world, making it a haven for connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.

The bar’s knowledgeable staff is always on hand to guide you through the extensive menu and recommend the perfect dram to suit your taste. In addition to the whiskey offerings, the bar also serves a variety of craft cocktails, beers, and light bites, ensuring that there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

According to online reviews, the Whiskey Bar is a popular spot for both hotel guests and locals, with many praising the warm ambiance and the exceptional service.

Reservations and Dress Code

While the Stanley Hotel welcomes visitors to its dining establishments, it’s advisable to make reservations, especially during peak seasons or for larger groups. This ensures a seamless dining experience and avoids any disappointment due to limited availability.

😊 The hotel’s website provides an easy-to-use online reservation system for both Cascades Restaurant and the Whiskey Bar.

As for the dress code, the Stanley Hotel maintains a smart casual dress code for its dining venues. While formal attire is not required, guests are encouraged to dress in a manner that respects the hotel’s elegant atmosphere.

According to the hotel’s guidelines, appropriate attire includes collared shirts, slacks, and dresses for ladies. The dress code ensures a comfortable yet refined dining experience for all.

Whether you’re a hotel guest or a local seeking a memorable culinary experience, the Stanley Hotel’s dining options are sure to delight. From the upscale Cascades Restaurant to the cozy Whiskey Bar, you can indulge in exceptional cuisine, beverages, and ambiance without necessarily staying at the hotel.

Why not treat yourself to a gastronomic adventure at this iconic Colorado landmark? 👏

Exploring the Grounds and Surroundings

Stanley Hotel Grounds

The Stanley Hotel is more than just a place to stay – it’s a destination in itself! Even if you’re not an overnight guest, you can explore the hotel’s stunning grounds and immerse yourself in its rich history.

Take a leisurely stroll through the beautifully manicured gardens, where you’ll find a variety of colorful blooms and lush foliage. Don’t miss the iconic hedge maze, a fun and challenging labyrinth that will test your navigation skills (and patience!). 😉

For a truly memorable experience, consider booking a guided tour of the hotel. These tours, led by knowledgeable guides, will take you through the historic corridors and rooms, sharing fascinating stories and anecdotes about the hotel’s past.

You’ll learn about the famous guests who have graced its halls, including Stephen King, whose stay at the Stanley Hotel inspired his iconic novel “The Shining.” 👻

Nearby Attractions and Activities

The Stanley Hotel’s prime location in Estes Park, Colorado, offers a wealth of outdoor adventures and attractions to explore. Just a short drive away, you’ll find the breathtaking Rocky Mountain National Park, where you can hike through stunning landscapes, spot wildlife, and take in panoramic views that will leave you in awe.

According to park statistics, over 3 million visitors explored Rocky Mountain National Park in 2021, making it one of the most popular national parks in the country. 🏞️

If you’re in the mood for some outdoor adventures closer to the hotel, consider exploring the charming town of Estes Park. You can go shopping at the quaint boutiques, sample delicious local cuisine, or even take a scenic drive along the famous Trail Ridge Road, which offers stunning vistas of the Rocky Mountains.

Don’t forget to bring your camera – the photo opportunities here are simply amazing! 📸

Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply seeking a unique and memorable experience, the Stanley Hotel and its surroundings offer something for everyone. So why not plan a visit and explore this iconic destination for yourself? You won’t be disappointed! 🎉

Tips for Visiting the Stanley Hotel

Best Times to Visit

The Stanley Hotel is a popular destination year-round, but the best times to visit can vary depending on your preferences. If you want to experience the hotel’s spooky atmosphere and ghost tours, consider visiting during the fall months, especially around Halloween 👻🎃.

The changing colors of the Rocky Mountains provide a beautiful backdrop, and the cooler temperatures add to the eerie ambiance. For those who prefer warmer weather, the summer months from June to August are ideal, with plenty of outdoor activities and events happening in the nearby town of Estes Park.

Whenever you decide to visit, be sure to check the hotel’s website at for any special events or discounts.

Parking and Transportation

The Stanley Hotel offers ample parking for guests and visitors alike. There is a large parking lot adjacent to the main building, and additional overflow parking is available during peak seasons. If you’re exploring Estes Park and the surrounding area, consider using the free shuttle service provided by the town.

The shuttles run regularly and can save you the hassle of finding parking in the busy downtown area. For those arriving by air, the closest major airport is Denver International Airport, approximately a 1.5-hour drive from the hotel.

Several rental car companies operate at the airport, or you can arrange for a private shuttle or taxi service directly to the Stanley Hotel.

Photography Guidelines

The Stanley Hotel is a true architectural gem, and many visitors want to capture its beauty through photographs. While photography is generally allowed throughout the hotel’s public areas, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

Flash photography is not permitted inside the main building, as it can be disruptive to other guests and potentially damage the historic decor. Additionally, tripods and other bulky equipment are discouraged for safety reasons.

If you plan to take professional-quality photos or shoot video, it’s recommended to obtain permission from the hotel staff in advance. For the best photo opportunities, consider visiting during the hotel’s iconic “Night Tour” or booking a private photography session.

And don’t forget to share your stunning shots on social media with the hashtag #StanleyHotel!

  • According to the Stanley Hotel’s website, over 60% of visitors come for the hotel’s paranormal history and ghost tours. 😱
  • The hotel’s parking lot can accommodate up to 500 vehicles during peak seasons. 🚗
  • In 2022, the Stanley Hotel welcomed over 300,000 visitors from around the world. 🌍


The Stanley Hotel is a true gem, offering a unique blend of history, architecture, and intrigue. Whether you’re a history buff, a ghost enthusiast, or simply seeking a memorable experience, visiting the Stanley Hotel as a day visitor is an opportunity not to be missed.

By exploring the guided tours, indulging in the culinary delights, and immersing yourself in the hotel’s surroundings, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for this iconic landmark. With the right preparation and insider tips, your visit to the Stanley Hotel will be an unforgettable adventure, leaving you with lasting memories and a desire to unravel the mysteries that lie within its walls.

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