Review: A Visit to Mountain Village at Lake Estes

Posted by
Emily Pennington
March 17, 2024
Updated April 05, 2024

inside estes park cabin
Photo: Emily Pennington

High ceilings flanked with rustic wooden beams, cloud-like bedding and lakeside walking paths are just a few of the delights I encountered at Mountain Village at Lake Estes in Estes Park, Colorado.

From the moment I first opened our cabin door, I felt as though I had wandered into an armoire linked to Narnia. Only, this wasn’t a fairytale, it was real life — and I was visiting one of my favorite Colorado cabins.

As someone who’s been to all 63 national parks in the United States, I can be hard to impress when it comes to lodging options near “America’s best idea.” But every once in a while, a hotel or cabin rental will come along that truly wows me. This was one of those moments. Not only was my lakeside two-bedroom cabin roomy and stylishly decorated, it was also a stone’s throw from Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), one of the most visited in the country. Best of all? It cost a fraction of similar spaces on Airbnb.

Over the course of a long weekend, my boyfriend and I cozied up next to the gas fireplace, played acoustic guitars, went snowshoeing in the park, dined on some seriously stellar local grub and kicked back in a bubbling hot tub. It was pretty darn perfect — and here’s what you need to know so you can visit, too.


Lodging Options

Estes Park cabin living room
Estes Park cabin living room – Photo: Emily Pennington

Mountain Village at Lake Estes boasts a range of two-bedroom luxury cabin rentals near Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, suitable for up to six guests. Many of these standalone cabins are pet friendly, and all of them are within walking distance to the stunning four-mile mountain view walking path that circumnavigates Lake Estes.

Some cabins are right on the lake (and yes, they cost extra but showcase impressive vistas), and all of them offer open floor plans with kitchens perfect for lazy breakfasts, a large common area where my partner and I cuddled up to watch Bob’s Burgers, soft bedding, bubbly hot tubs, mountain views, and sky-high ceilings. Starting rates for these luxe beauties is a reasonable $325-545 nightly (not bad for a two-bedroom), depending on the unit selected, which I consider a steal for the huge size and amenities offered. Personally, I’m the kind of traveler who would rather save money on eating out at breakfast time and have a unit with a kitchen.


The Cabin: What You Get

Estes Park cabin
The cabin’s bedroom – Photo: Emily Pennington

Not only are these luxury cabins gorgeously designed, from top to bottom, but they are also chock full of thoughtful amenities. I stayed in Cabin 16 and was pleasantly surprised to find a fully stocked kitchen with stainless steel appliances and flatware (think glassware, plates, silverware, spices, locally roasted coffee, and olive oil). In addition, multiple flat-screen smart TVs made for easy evening downtime in front of the gas fireplace. A large deck with a hot tub, seating area, and outdoor fireplace was awesome for sunset hangs with my partner and a glass of wine too.

Though the website claims that each cabin only has two bathrooms, ours had an extra half bath near the living room. This made it great for families or couples sharing the common spaces. Delectably scented bath products were in each of the large walk-in showers (I’m a bit of a scent snob), and we both kept joking that we could have lounged in bed all day — the sheets were so comfortable I have half a mind to ask the manager what brand they use.

As if that wasn’t enough, the upstairs offered a lofted game room/living room area (in addition to its spacious bedroom), ideal for families with older kids who might want to play or watch TV alone. A second balcony hung from the second bedroom, perfect for secluded coffee sipping if you’re visiting with groups of friends. And, yes, my boyfriend and I were so extra that we slept in both of the bedrooms and are happy to report that both sets of mattresses and sheets are heavenly.

If you’re not in the mood to drive to dinner, you’re in luck. An onsite restaurant called The Dunraven serves up awesome Italian food and is a quick walk from these cabins.


Exploring nearby Estes Park?

Estes Park sign
Estes Park welcome sign – Photo: Emilth Pennington

Even though it doesn’t boast a pricey ski resort like other Colorado mountain towns, Estes Park has lots to do in winter – which is also considered its off-season, so you’ll skip the crowds. We visited in mid-December and were blown away with how much fun we had renting snowshoes for just $6 per person at Estes Park Mountain Shop. We trekked to Mills Lake for the day — no permits or lottery system required. This well-appointed outdoor shop also rented microspikes and ice skates, for the daring.

In summertime and early fall, make sure you nab a timed entry permit if you plan on visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. hen, head to Moraine Park to spot a herd of elk or hike to Mills or Emerald Lake. In town, don’t miss the Mustang Mountain Coaster, Cascade Creek mini-golf, and re-up on caffeine at Kind Coffee. The short trail around Bear Lake in RMNP is kid-friendly and offers great autumn leaf-peeping, too.

As for dining, mouth-watering American fare is easy to find in any season. The best meal I’ve ever had in Estes Park was at locally-owned Bird & Jim, which serves up fine dining-style cuisine in an intimate yet casual setting. Don’t miss the elk striploin, portobello fries, and house-made bread pudding. For a hearty breakfast or brunch, head over to Notchtop Bakery & Café, where a smattering of benedicts, omelets, and French toasts are sure to fuel you up for a day of adventure. Craving something more exotic? Estes Thai offers some pretty epic noodle dishes and wontons.


Find Your Next Colorado Adventure

Sign up for the Weekend Wanderer to join thousands of readers getting epic travel ideas every week.

Seen in: Cabins, Colorado, Lodging, Where to Stay in Colorado

Find your next adventure

Sign up for Weekend Wanderer and join thousands of readers getting epic travel ideas weekly.

Related Posts