Book Online

Luxury Cabins in Estes Park Colorado

by Norman Simpson


As I meandered through the grounds in front of RiverSong, I noticed that the grass had been allowed to seek its own level, along with the wildflowers and various flowering bushes. I noted, too, a couple of ponds and pools and a gazebo with a fireplace for cooking out. Through the trees I could see to the top of the great Continental Divide, which in August was still snowcapped. This view is even better from several of the guest rooms in RiverSong. It is reminiscent of an Albert Bierstadt painting.


Now I crossed a narrow little stone bridge into a lovely ting glade of evergreens, with two benches, and wondered to the edge of still another pool. There is a series of connecting pools where all the wonderful music of splashing water can always be heard. It reminded me of the same wonderful tinkling sounds I've heard in the fountains of Spanish paradores.

The first time I walked through the front door, I knew that this was a small, intimate inn whose owners understood what it means to provide a place for guests to come together and exchange ideas and conversation. In the middle of the living room was a large, crescent-shaped couch, which faced the fireplace at one end and a spectacular view of the great peaks of the Rockies at the other end. It was a room with many, many books of all kinds - books indicating an active literary and intellectual curiosity on the part of Sue and Gary Mansfield. As Gary says,

norman simpson

Norman Simpson "The Father
             of American Innkeeping"

"Although we are an inn that basically appeals to outdoor-minded people - they want to hike on the trails or ski or just go outside and smell the fresh air after a rain - we know that when the day is trough there are times when a good book is exactly what is needed.

Every one of the guest rooms has been furnished most uniquely. I'll just describe the honeymoon suite, which has a queen-sized bed, a working fireplace with a raised hearth, a semi-cathedral ceiling with a skylight, and a little unicorn. In fact, there are unicorns in all of the guest rooms. This suite has its own patio, looking up through the ponderosa pines. The bathroom has a sunken tub and a double redwood shower with a skylight. A few steps away is a carriage house with some very attractive additional rooms.

Sue told me that almost all of the antiques in the inn have been handed down through her family: the carved bed and dresser in one room belonged to her father's parents, and the quilts were made by her maternal grandmother. The antique silver and dishes have come from both sides of the family. As she says, "It's nice to be able to share these things with other people who really appreciate them."

The talk turned to breakfast. Apple pan dowdy, blueberry and rhubarb cobblers, baked cinnamon apples, along with such favorites as cinnamon rolls, bran muffins, and homemade raspberry jam or Emily Hunter's lemon curd are some of the offerings.

Very special candlelit dinners are served on advance request. Guests have the choice of a beef or chicken entrée, and the rest of the meal is set by the chef. This is a pleasant solution for those guests who do not want to drive "downtown" to Estes Park for the evening meal.

"Oh, I wish you could come here at Christmas!" Sue exclaimed. "It is truly a magical time, with the deer and the elk returning and the serenity and beauty of our little inn on the banks of the big Thompson River. I do wish you could join us." I've never had a better invitation.