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The Rocky Mountain Chalet

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Hostelz.com's Review
The Rocky Mountain Inn & Hostel is actually in the town of Fraser, a few miles north of Winter Park. The area is only accessible by Amtrak or private car. Drivers should know that the roads to the area are treacherous, narrow, twisting, icy for most of the year, foggy, and not for the weak-hearted. Of the two roads to the valley, only one (Rt. 40, from the south) is open year-round, and this road goes up to over eleven thousand feet in elevation, so it can be dangerous in any weather in any season. Don't let this scare you off, though -- the roads are very well maintained, and the drive alone is gorgeous enough to make it worth the challenge.

The hostel building and its facilities are in excellent condition -- even better than the refined HI hostels in London. The entire hostel feels like an upscale condo. There is new hardwood and leather furniture, and very clean wall-to-wall carpeting throughout. The beds (complete with all the bedding you could want) are remarkably comfortable. There are two fully equipped kitchens (one for lunch and dinner, one for breakfast), both of which are completely outfitted with pots and pans, woks, colanders, spices, and everything else you might want in a kitchen. The private bathrooms and showers gleam, and even have complimentary hair dryers and cushy bathmats.

The main common space has a complete entertainment center with a VCR, DVD player, and video games. There is an extensive DVD collection available for guests to use for no charge. There's a free computer in the lobby, and free wireless for the laptop-toting crowd. The very inexpensive continental breakfast (everything from frozen waffles and whipped butter to fresh croissants to multitudinous hot and cold cereals) is better than any other U.S. hostel we've ever seen, and there is a grocery story directly across the street for anyone wanting further food. This hostel truly has every comfort and convenience -- if you're wondering if they have something, they probably do.

The area boasts gorgeous scenery (three-hundred and sixty degrees of mountain views from the hostel). Almost every outdoor sport (hiking, skiing and snowboarding, rafting, rock climbing) is accessible within a short drive. The biggest drawback is that the hostel has no life, even in the busy winter season. It gives off the feeling of visiting a boring, rich relative's house. The luxury of the facilities and the hostel's atmosphere make many younger or out-of-the-mainstream hostelers feel quite out of place. The guests are (and by report usually are) almost entirely sporty, middle-aged, white men. Women should be aware that they will definitely be the center of much attention here -- whether or not they want it. The area is also not gay-friendly, though the hostel is simply gay-indifferent. Many of the guests live at the hostel for months at a time, and have no interest in socializing with more transient guests. Everyone is asleep by 9 p.m.

Despite the beauty of the area and facilities, it is one of the most boring hostels we have ever visited. If you are looking for somewhere very upscale and restful, though, or just a place to get a cheap, quiet bed, this might be a good place for you -- sometimes boring is good.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
October 2006

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
How is The Rocky Mountain Chalet rated on other websites?
Not listed on Hostelworld.
Not listed on Hostels.com.
Not listed on HostelBookers.
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5   Comfy and clean Definitely coming back ...  , age 55, USA ()
5   Great affordable lodging at Winter Park The lodge was very clean and well run. The kitchen was well equipped to cook your favorite meal in the presence of other guests. I had a great time and will be back again.  , age 53, Canada ()
4   Cozy, clean, quiet, convenient Good value, I would definitely return.  , USA ()
2   Avoid if you want to sleep I was very disappointed because after all day of outdoors activities we were coming back to dirty room. it would be great if someone take out at least our trash. very noisy too. staff was friendly though.  ()
5   AWESOME HOSTEL the hostel was VERY clean. The rooms are large and not cramped at all. the kitchen is HUGE and has everything you need (except food). the showers at the rocky mountain chalet hostel are all individual and the water stays hot forever! The rocky mountain chalet was a great experience.  , USA ()
2   Not so great We were greatly disappointed in this place. The check in was a mess. The parking when we got there in the evening was so bad! The only thing that was half way descent was the breakfast. Otherwise bring your own food or eat at the mexican place next door!!!! We stayed downstairs it was noisy the room was ok. It did not have the feel of a B&B or a hotel.  , USA ()
5   Better than the pictures This hostel was really nice. It was right in the middle of Fraser, Co. I stayed in the women's dorm and cooked in the kitchen. The kitchen is very clean, possibly due to the fact that they have two dishwashers. I felt very comfortable there. They have free DVD rentals, so there are several movies to watch. There is a Safeway across the street if you need food. Also, there are a lot of activities nearby. The view out of the windows is beautiful.  , Atlanta, GA, USA ()
5  This was the best Hostel I have ever had the privilege to stay in. If I could give it ten stars I would! I'm in my early forties and was worried I wouldn't "fit" in. I was so wrong and the staff sp kind. My train was nine hours late due to flash flooding and they were kind, considerate, and sympathetic to my situation. I (and others who I will spread the word to) will be returning sooner than later. It was so clean, the kitchen so large, and the other residents so nice, I almost didn't want to go explore the surrounding mountainside. You can't go wrong here at all. If you are questioning staying here -- what are you questioning?  ()

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