Louise Speaks: Day 14 goes on: I know you can’t tell how much I loved Estes Park, but there is still more to tell. After coming back into town from the Rocky Mountain National Park, we stopped at the Visitors Center. We generally stop at all the Visitors Center because they have a wide selection of post cards and usually some hidden secrets about the town we’re in. Estes Park was no different.
While looking at the post cards we saw this church that looked like a castle. The pictures were very interesting. Turns out it was just a few miles from the Visitors Center, so we got in the car and away we went on another unscheduled adventure. The post card said it was Malo Chapel, but the actual name of the church is St. Catherine of Siena Chapel. It is located at the Saint Malo Retreat Center in Allenspark, Colorado, just outside of EstesPark. The Chapel is known as “The Chapel on the Rock” because it is built on top of a huge boulder. It is also known as “The Stone Chapel”. The Chapel can be rented for Catholic Weddings.
The founder of Camp St. Malo, Monsignor Joseph Bosetti, had for years entertained an idea that one day he would build a chapel on this site. In 1916 he and two friends observed a falling meteor during the night and in his search for the remnants the next morning, he came across a large rock. The beauty of the land inspired the priest and he remembered Jesus’ words to Peter: “Upon this rock, I will build my Church.” The chapel was designed by noted Denver architect Jacques Benedict. The contractors were the Coulihan Brothers and Charlie Miller of the nearby town of Allenspark, who had native stone hauled in by mule carts from the surrounding area to use as building material. The chapel was dedicated by Archbishop Urban Vehr in 1936 to the honor of Saint Catherine of Siena. In 1993, Pope John Paul II visited the chapel during his trip to Denver for the World Youth Day and bestowed his personal blessing on the chapel. The Pope later hiked in the surrounding woods and spent some time at the Saint Malo Retreat Center. Over the years, thousand of visitors have stopped at the chapel to enjoy its simplicity and beauty as it is framed against majestic Mt.Meeker. In 1999, BoulderCounty designated the chapel as a historic site. The Saint Malo Retreat Center was destroyed by fire in November 2011, but the chapel was not damaged. The Chapel on the Rock is truly a Colorado landmark and worth the out-of-the-way drive to see. We could not go inside, but the outside and surrounding landscape was breath-taking.
We had a nearby Bed and Breakfast to see before dinner, so from the Malo Chapel we headed to the Romantic Riversong Inn www.romanticriversong.com what a charming place. The Romantic RiverSong, Inn, an Estes Park, Colorado bed and breakfast, offers everything you could wish for…from a last-minute getaway decision to a longer vacation or holiday lodging.
Here you can find adventure and romance, privacy and seclusion, terrific food and warm hospitality. You’ll discover this mountain Craftsman-style inn just outside of the small mountain village of EstesPark. This very popular bed and breakfast inn awaits your discovery at the end of a winding country road on 27-wooded acres. Designated as a private wildlife habitat with its tumbling mountain stream, ponds ringed with lapis blue irises, hiking trails, and tree swings, Romantic RiverSong is as much a refuge for guests as the deer and elk, chipmunks and coyotes, bobcats and the rare Abert Squirrels, and a variety of birds…even wild turkeys. The melting snow fields of the Continental Divide provide the crystal clear tumbling waters for the mountain stream, and that becomes the background for couples who are seeking a small intimate wedding or a relaxing couple’s massage by streamside. At night, you are lulled to sleep by the melody of the River’s Song. This is where you want to be!
Guests may wander the forested trails of this private wildlife preserve, pausing occasionally to catch their breath at one of seven stone benches along the RiverSong Trail. Here you are treated to views of the rugged, snow-capped peaks of RockyMountainNational Park and the cascading mountain stream below.
The inn has a mix of lodging from lodge guest rooms to outside fireplace cottages, all designed by Sue. The rooms have flair and elegance, yet they are private and comfortable. Cozy bed comforters and a crackling fire keep out the night chill. There are only 10 guest rooms and they all are named after wildflowers like Indian Paintbrush, a room with a bed suspended by logging chains that gently rocks you to sleep by a crackling fire. Mountain Rose has a rooftop shower with spectacular views of the snow-capped peaks of RockyMountainNational Park. Meadow Bright is very much a Colorado suite with rock and log walls and a waterfall shower. Wood Nymph has a deck 20 feet off the forest floor and a river birch canopy bed by the fireplace. It feels like sleeping in a tree house! The Forget Me Not room has a large Palladian window to see the glaciers of RockyMountainNational Park over the tops of your toes. All rooms have fireplaces, and many have jetted tubs for two. Beside the beds are journals authored by past guests. You’ll laugh and cry as you read them, and you’ll write down your own thoughts.
RiverSong is a place where memories are born and relationships are nurtured. Food and hospitality are what make up the Romantic RiverSong Inn. You may be greeted in the afternoon at check-in by one of their cheerful staff carrying a plate full of warm cookies. The staff is picked for their natural abilities to please as well as excellent cooking skills, attention to detail, and creative imaginations. At Romantic RiverSong, they excel. Morning breakfast entrees have names like John Wayne casserole with Happy Trail muffins, Mountain Man French toast and Irish Potato Pancakes, and RiverSong Eggs Benedict. These are but a few of 30 different breakfast possibilities. In the evening after a great day hiking, guests may opt for a fireside candlelight dinner prepared by the chef of over 22 years. White lace linen, bone china, silver service, soft jazz in the background, and a crackling fire provide the setting for a delicious five-course dinner. Guests linger at check-out time…no one wants to leave, and neither did we. Guests have made new friends, and couples have found each other again; memories that will last a lifetime are what you take with you. Italians call it “momentitos de vita”; it’s the little moments of life that give us the pleasure of what we collectively call happiness. This secluded luxury inn will bring you here, but it’s the hospitality that will bring you back again…and again…and again.
We spent way too much time here, but it was so charming and the inn keeper could not stop telling us about all the wonderful things the Inn had to offer. Definitely a place to come back to and definitely worthy of making Patricia’s book “1000 Places To See Before I Die”
The Malo Chapel was quite a sight to see, and the Riversong Bed and Breakfast, I just can’t say enough about it. Once again, Estes Park and all it has to offer gets a rating of an A+. Some things were in Patricia’s book, but most treasures we found on our own. I could have spent a week in Estes Park.