Three hotels, you will recognize at the famous ‘Shining’ movie

Thriller movies basically looks pretty realistic. Often the plot develops in provincial bars, motels, vicious entertainment facilities, or underground gambling halls. The most important feature of these films is not only the acting, but also the entourage itself. Mysterious rooms, reminiscent of ominous labyrinths, creaking floors of endless corridors, dim flickering light, the crackling of electric lamps … It is difficult to come up with a more suitable and picturesque background than the interior of hotels.

It is not for nothing that hotels became the favorite set of outstanding masters of the blood-chilling genre. Today, along with the names of legendary directors, these hotels have also become legends. We are going to describe three hotels, which were used during the ‘Shining’ movie shooting at Colorado, Oregon and California. By the way, do not forget to find out, how old do you have to be to rent a car in Colorado, before using the car rental services.

The hotel, as the protagonist of the ‘Shining’ film

The film was made by director Stanley Kubrick in 1980, based on the novel by Stephen King. The main character, Jack Torrens, the writer, who is played by Jack Nicholson, is hired as a caretaker in the secluded, vacant ‘Overlook’ hotel to fully immerse in his work on the new novel. Jack is left cold about the tragic story of the previous security guard’s death, who became mad during the work at the hotel. His madness led to terrible accident-this person killed his wife and two daughters, and committed a suicide.

The writer, on the contrary, is inspired by the elegant atmosphere of the old hotel. Together with his wife and son, he moves to a hotel for the duration of the slack season, which lasts about five months. During this period, the hotel is cut off from the rest of the world by snow debris.

Hotels used in the “Shining” movie:

1. As a prototype of the appearance of the “Overlook” hotel, an existing hotel “Timberline Lodge”, which is located in Oregon, on the southern side of Mount Hood volcano, at an altitude of about 1800 meters, was used. The hotel building was built in 1937 and is a national historical monument. This hotel is well known to fans of Stephen King, as it is the place, where the winter vacation of the Jack Nicholson character turned into a nightmare.

2. Talking about the interior, the luxurious California ‘Ahwahnee’ hotel in Yosemite National Park served as the inspiration of it. Over the years, “Ahwahnee” welcomed many eminent guests, including Queen Elizabeth II, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy. After the release of Kubrick’s movie, many people began to come there to see with their own eyes the hotel from the film and its magnificent halls. As for the internal scenes, most of them were filmed in specially built studio decorations, which are still some of the largest in the history of cinema.

Among these decorations, the lobby and the Great Reception Hall of the “Ahwahnee” were copied almost thoroughly, as were the red elevator doors in a massive black frame that appear in the famous scene where blood flows from the doors. These shots were filmed incredibly long – for about a year before the director finally liked that take, where, in his opinion, there was no doubt that there was real blood on the screen.

3. In the list of hotels, used at the “Shining” movie, there is also a third destination – the “Stanley Hotel”. This place originally inspired Stephen King to create a novel. This hotel is made in the neoclassical style. It was built in the town of Estes Park (Colorado) in 1909. From the windows of the building, there is a fantastic panoramic view of the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Stanley Hotel - Estes Park, Colorado

The hotel, which was included in the National Register of Historic Monuments of the USA in 1977, retains many of its historical elements, in particular, the spacious veranda around the main entrance, the favorite billiard room of its first owner and the grand staircase in the lobby.

On the pages of “Shining”, came to life the McGregor Ballroom, with a high stage and French windows, which offer stunning mountain scenery. According to the hotel’s administration, ghosts actually live here. However, they do not cause harm. Here you can meet the ghosts of the first owner of the hotel and his wife, and the piano standing in the hall often plays by itself. The fourth floor is considered the most “ominous” – most evil spirits live here. Many guests often complain about children’s cries that make it difficult to sleep, despite the fact that there are no guests with children in the hotel. Even Stephen King himself claimed that he saw a ghost of a little boy in the walls of the “Stanley Hotel”.


There is not a single scene made at the Stanley Hotel in the film, because, at that time, there was not enough snow in Estes Park to show that the hotel was cut off from the outside world. Despite the fact that the hotel was not actually shown at the movie, the ‘Shining’ is continuously televised on the 42nd channel of the Stanley Hotel’s internal television.

Today it is already hard to believe, but the scariest films that take place in the hotels, were shot in the past century. Such films perfectly preserve the atmosphere of mystery and tense waiting. However, tourists gladly stroll through the corridors of these buildings and stay overnight in their walls.