One event shaped the modern reputation of this fabled hotel: Horror writer Stephen King checking in to room 217 in 1974. The experience served as the inspiration for “The Shining,” and this, in tandem with ghost stories galore, makes a stay an absolute must for horror (and King) fans. Nighttime ghost tours tours ($20 to $25) are hugely popular with guests and non-guests alike. While Stanley Kubrick did not film his 1980 adaptation here, you can just imagine Jack Nicholson bellying up to the ethereal-looking Whiskey Bar, a relatively new addition with the largest selection of whiskeys in Colorado. Standard rooms can be quite small (people were smaller when the hotel was built) but they feature very comfy beds and stylish furnishings; king rooms and suites are significantly larger (as are the one- to three-bedroom condos located on hotel grounds), and you will pay a serious premium for the privilege of sleeping in 217 or another allegedly haunted room. Next door is the recently renovated Lodge at the Stanley, a smaller replica of the hotel built in 1911 and now offering a luxurious, B&B-like atmosphere. The hotel was opened by F.O. Stanley, the Stanley Steamer tycoon, in 1909.
- Frommer's Staff