Hotel Colorado

More From Colorado

The spirit of the first owner is still front and center, even correcting decor mistakes.

A murder victim relives her fate in the afterlife.

Active, enthusiastic spectral employees volunteer.

Spectral guests still enjoy what they loved here.

The spirits of WW2 Soldiers enjoy the perks and get their jollies by teasing.




WOW! This place knocked our socks off! What a beautiful Italian Renaissance hotel, made from sandstone and yellow brick, complete with two bell towers.

The Hotel Colorado shines like it did when Walter Devereux was in charge. Walking into the simple yet classy lobby, complete with columns, was truly like stepping back into time. Early 20th century restored armchairs, floor lamps, desks, arts-and-crafts style woodwork, a huge fireplace, and large ceiling-to-floor Victorian windows with flowing draperies greet the visitor. And there it is, at the far end of the large lobby, a picture of Walter Devereux occupying the place of honor, hanging on the wall, over the huge fireplace.

The patio area off the large lobby is truly beautiful and peaceful, stocked with plants, a lovely fountain, and tables to sit at for a snack or meal, a drink, or just to relax.

The Hotel Colorado has stayed in such great shape because of the dedication of its owners, and their determination to keep up with the changing desires of its guests. That and its fabulous location, close to ski and recreation areas, and the hot springs. The basement area is fully developed and is home to a spa, a chiropractor’s office, an outdoor excursion office, retail businesses, and a storage area.

Their literature proclaims that Hotel Colorado “features 80 classic rooms, from $83.00 (military and government workers) and up, 20 family rooms and 30 luxury suites, ranging from $369.00 to $675.00.

Each bell tower has its own executive suites, for the higher paying guest at $369.00 a night as of August 6, 2015. The Molly Brown Suite is truly lovely. “If you desire complete privacy with breath-taking views and all the comforts of home, this is the suite for you. Enjoy your own living room, dining room, private bedroom with one queen bed and bath. There is a wet bar, refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker. Relax in the whirlpool bathtub. Enjoy two balconies with panoramic views of Glenwood Springs.”

The Devereux Suite, another beautiful space, has three bed rooms, three baths, a huge living room, a dining room (with antique table seating for 8), a wet bar, a refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker. It is aimed at family reunions or large families, and the cost is $419.00 a night.



Walter Devereux was a mover and a shaker, an entrepreneur who knew how to work positively with people. His specialties were how to create wealth through market managing, and how to run businesses. A graduate of both Columbia and Princeton, he received his Masters in Engineering. In 1883, he got his start managing the Aspen Smelting Company, where he invented many new ways to streamline the silver smelting process.

He also used his knowledge and skills to develop the coal fields of Jerome Park, and started the first hydroelectric power plant. He then formed The Glenwood Light and Water Company, providing services to the town of Glenwood Springs, where he had moved with his wife and three sons.

At one point in his education Walter had thought about becoming a doctor. When he noticed that the Glenwood Hot Springs were helping the coal miners with their ailments, he constructed a health spa and made the first hot springs public swimming pool that maintained an 85 degree temperature all year round. In 1888, it was christened the Natatorium and opened for business.

People flocked to it, creating in the process a need for more accommodations. This gave Mr. Devereux the idea to build the 5-star resort hotel of his dreams; a getaway for the rich, adjacent to the public pool.

The inspiration for this glorious hotel was Italy’s Renaissance Castle Villa de Medici, which Walter must have seen in his early European travels. Though it was right by the hot springs, it was situated in a spot that enjoyed cool mountain breezes from the Rockies. Besides using the finest materials and craftsmen, Walter put a fountain in the outside garden that shot water 180 feet in the air, courtesy of the near-by hot springs. The Hotel also had its own private spa in the basement.

Hotel Colorado opened in 1893, offering a full service stay, with 190 lovely, luxurious guest rooms. The rate for a top-end suite was a whopping $3 a night, with other rooms offered at $1 to $2. The two bell towers each had luxury suites, which only the richest of the rich stayed in, including such people as the “unsinkable Molly Brown.”

Presidents loved to stay here, as well as many other rich and famous people. The shadier wealthy also fell in love with the Hotel Colorado. During the ’20s and ’30s, gangsters like Al Capone, Diamond Back Jack Alterie, the Verain Brothers and others came here to lay low. When lawmen raided the Hotel Colorado, Capone escaped by taking the hydraulic lift down to the basement. The lift was normally used to take supplies up to the main floor.

From 1943-1946, the hotel was leased to the military as a hospital for wounded soldiers. Many large hotels were used for this purpose during World War II.

In 1977, The Hotel Colorado was added to The National Registrar of Historical Places. The National Trust’s Historic Hotels of America added it to its list in April, 2007.

Unlike many other luxury hotels, the Hotel Colorado has never fallen into disrepair. It has always been owned by business savvy people who found a way to stay up with the restoration, renovation and upkeep challenges. Walter Devereux must be well-pleased! Other people from the past with a connection to this great old Dame of the Rockies are also very happy.



People who build their dream buildings, whether it is their home or business, sometimes like to visit or stay when they pass over into the spirit world, either to keep an eye on things or to become involved with the living, if necessary. They may be worried about how living owners will take care of their dreams. If they had to give up their treasures due to money issues, illness or legal problems, they will probably want to spend time with them when they are in spirit form.

The Entity of Walter Devereux, the original owner and founder, still keeps a close eye on his hotel, enjoying it as always. When a stroke in his fifties paralyzed his left arm and prevented him from running the Hotel Colorado, he had to retire.

Patrons of businesses who have had great memories and good times like to keep visiting or spending their afterlives there after passing from this world.

Apparently, former guests in spirit form not only enjoy their old memories. They also like the new amenities that the 21st century has to offer.

Children who have lost their lives often stay in the afterlife, visiting or residing in places where they felt comfortable and liked.

People involved in love triangles or adultery in life, risk paying a deadly price in the spirit world. A chambermaid was murdered in a jealous rage by one of her two lovers, who had found out about her other romantic relationship.

Places with morgues on their premises often have spirits there, especially if the place had appeal to them. During WWII, the Hotel Colorado became a military hospital. When some of the wounded died of their injuries, their bodies were taken to the hotel’s basement, which had become a make-shift morgue.

Some military men who died when the Hotel Colorado was a military hospital have made the basement their home. They have also been known to enjoy the rooms on the third, fourth and fifth floors, perhaps getting their chuckles at the expense of CPPI female investigators and other guests.

Loyal employees who have enjoyed their jobs sometimes choose to carry on with them in the afterlife, not letting the fact that they are dead stop them. Evidence of such employees have been noticed by the living, especially in the dining room and the kitchen.



The Entity of Walter Devereux

His picture hangs in a prominent place in the lobby.

Walter makes his presence known with his signature aroma: cigar smoke. He has appeared on occasion, accompanied by the aroma of cigar smoke, probably to startled staff members.

His smoke has been noticed in the lobby, though there is no smoking allowed for the living guests inside. His unseen presence can be felt by sensitives. Being the founder and first owner does have its privileges.

Walter still visits his old office, which was probably located in the basement, because his cigar smoke has been noticed there. Doors to rooms that were locked have been found mysteriously unlocked.

Walter has other favorite rooms as well, as his cigar smoke has been noticed when he is present in them.

Devereux may be in spirit form, but he will let the living know about decor mistakes.

In 1982, during a renovation period, the wallpaper in room 551 needed to be replaced. The new wallpaper was rolled on, which took a day to do. The door was locked securely so no one could enter. The next day, workers found that the wallpaper had been carefully taken off the walls, and was sitting neatly rolled up on the floor. Nothing was ruined or wasted. After several more attempts, workers continued to find the new paper rolled up on the floor. Thinking that a spirit person with some clout in the decor department was trying to give them a message, several new wallpaper samples were left on the bed overnight.

Sure enough, only one roll of sample paper was left on the bed, while the others were found neatly on the floor. Going with the flow, workers put the chosen paper on the walls, and it was still there the next morning. This time, Walter didn’t have to make a physical appearance. The living were smart enough to figure it out.

I think this spirit is Walter Devereux, for two reasons:

The critique of the wallpaper indicates the presence of a spirit with authority, who thinks he has the final say, because he was a past owner. If the spirit were just a guest, he or she probably wouldn’t have done what this spirit did.

This spirit is apparently very patient with the living. He hasn’t forgotten how to work with people. Over his lifetime, Walter developed patience with people as he worked, organizing projects and instigating new business with mining owners and utilities.

Th Entities of Past Guests

Former spirit guests and perhaps former military patients, who also qualified as guests, have apparently flocked to the third, fourth and fifth floor, as the activity there is the heaviest. Rooms 321, and 551 are two of the hot spots.

The elevator has been known to go up and down by itself. It has been checked out by technicians, and nothing is malfunctioning.

Modern lights are also fun to play with, and these fascinated spirit guests will turn them on and off in the middle of the night, disturbing living guests.

Both staff and guests have experienced apparitions in the halls and rooms. Objects are moved around, and strange sounds are heard.

Spectral guests from the past also really enjoy the TVs, changing channels when living guests are trying to watch them or trying to sleep.

The entity of a young girl, her see-through apparition wearing a Victorian dress, has been reported all over the hotel playing with a ball.

Some of the most luxurious suites, such as numbers 651 and 652, are enjoyed by former guests in spirit form. Both of the bell tower suites are visited by rich, but polite spirit guests. The bell tower suite, named after Molly Brown, is the most active one.

One male apparition especially likes Room 551 and has been seen there and in the hallway outside. People have experienced the usual list of benign paranormal experiences in this room.

Former employees who think they are still on the Hotel Colorado payroll!

Former employees in spirit form who worked in the kitchen and dining area:

The sounds of phantom dishes being moved and stacked, and the odd behavior of actual pots and pans in the kitchen, suggest that someone unseen is still on kitchen staff at the Hotel Colorado.


Former employees in spirit form provide room service:

Present day guests get phantom knocks on their doors, and notice unknown aromas of spectral food from spectral bellhops trying to provide room service.

A female entity dressed in Victorian attire

She has been seen in the dining room, accompanied by the scent of perfume. People know she is there, even when she isn’t visible, because of her aroma.

She also likes to watch men sleeping in her favorite hotel rooms and suites. They awaken to see her and smell her perfume.

The Entity of the Murdered Maid

It is no happy haunting.

The spirit of the young woman still relives her murder, and her screams have been heard in her old room, on the floor where she died and throughout the hotel. Because of all the paranormal activity in her room, it has been made a storage room, not open to the public.


There have been so many experiences with Hotel Colorado’s spirit people that a book was written in 1995 by Kathy Fleming, called Apparition Manor:True Ghost Stories of the Hotel Colorado. New Castle, CO: Twin Aspen. Unfortunately, it is out of print as of 2015, but you can buy it on Amazon for $42!

CCPI Paranormal Investigations did an investigation at the Hotel Colorado in 2006, and caught hard evidence of the spirits. They had personal experiences as well, with a playful, mischievous spirit, that I think was probably a young male entity who died from his war wounds. Dead soldiers have a tendency to be playful, and like to tease the living. Check out their report on their website.



A big YES INDEED! Lots of spirits are still enjoying their favorite hotel, the Hotel Colorado. Tons of personal experiences have been reported, from staff and guests. Groups like CCPI have found out for themselves as well, capturing convincing evidence and having personal experiences.

The mischievous spirits that happily play with the lights and TV sets may well be soldiers who died of their wounds, who can now enjoy this beautiful hotel as they are not in pain anymore, while getting their chuckles at the same time.

Other spirits are former guests enjoying their memories and the beauty all around them, even staying in their old favorite rooms.

Walter Devereux in spirit form is still enjoying his hotel, and on occasion helps the living with decor decisions. Spirit people who worked in the kitchen and food service are still hard at work.

In the case of the murdered chambermaid, perhaps some intervention by a medium could help her let go of her terrifying death and move on to the other side, where she will find peace.



526 Pine Street
Glenwood Springs, Colorado 81601
(800) 544-3998


The Hotel Colorado is located sixty miles from Denver, in the resort town of Glenwood Springs, a small town in a small valley where the Colorado River and the Roaring Fork River meet. It is surrounded by steep red sandstone cliffs that catch the cool mountain breezes from the nearby Rockies.



  • The Ghost Hunter’s Field Guide
    by Rich Newman
    Llewelyn Publishers
  • History page on
  • Hotel Colorado page on
  • Hotel Colorado page on
  • Hotel Colorado page on Wikipedia

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Colorado