Built in 1898, the stately Hotel St. Nicholas, Cripple Creek, served as lodging for the Sisters of Mercy who taught school on the lower level, cared for local orphans, and administered their nursing skills to the community.
After standing vacant for years and enduring a series of unsuccessful business attempts by several landlords, the hotel has been painstakingly restored and refurbished by innkeeper Susan Adelbush, whose goal is to provide guests with a romantic experience surrounded by the elegance of yesterday.
The brick building contains 15 guest rooms. The pleasantly appointed bed chambers, each one different in size and decor, feature king and queen-size beds, handsome wallpaper, fine linens, quality antiques, private baths and insulated walls that ensure quiet and privacy. Some have heated towel racks, most have down comforters, and all have private baths and telephones, TVs and coffee makers. One room is ADA compliant for those with special needs. A gleaming oak grand staircase leads to the second floor sauna and seasonal rooftop hot tub. The latter offers a stunning view of the town and the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range.
The inn's Boiler Room Tavern is popular with locals and guests. The name pays homage to the ornate 1896 front plate of the hotel's original boiler, polished to a warm glow and resting against the back bar. In addition to beverages, pub grub of taquitos, burritos, and chimichangas is available until 2 a.m.
A lovely garden and patio area enhance the hotel's entry. Off-street parking and transportation to Cripple Creek's casinos, restaurants and shopping is available via the town shuttle.
A Continental-plus breakfast of fresh fruit, cereal, toasted English muffins, fresh-baked pastries, banana bread, orange juice, coffee and tea is served buffet style in the bright dining room.
The Hotel St. Nicholas was chosen as the 1999 recipient of Colorado Preservations, Inc.'s "State Honor Award for Preservation Solutions", and was selected as the VIP Hotel of Choice by Cripple Creek's Colorado Grande Casino and Restaurant.
The Hotel St. Nicholas, P. 0. Box 1459, Cripple Creek 80813, 888-786-4257. Rates are $80-130 per couple. (Rates are reduced slightly after Nov. 15). Includes continental breakfast.
One of Cripple Creek's historic hotels has been lauded by a statewide historic preservation organization. The Hotel St. Nicholas received Colorado Preservation Inc.'s 1999 State Honor Award. The award is given annually to leading historic preservation projects.
The Hotel St. Nicholas, owned and operated by Susan Adelbush, is the restored 1890's St. Nicholas Hospital, one of Cripple Creek's historic preservation jewels. It required a year of renovation and $450,000 to transform the vacant, turn-of the-century hospital into the present show piece. The hotel features 15 rooms, some with balconies or sitting rooms, all with private baths, and all in the rich Victorian decor that once was so common in the 1890's gold-rush town of Cripple Creek. The main floor features the Boiler Room Tavern, named for the distinctive cast iron bar back which was the restored front plate from the hospital’s original massive coal boiler.
The original St. Nicholas Hospital at 326 E. Eaton was founded in 1894 by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy as one of the first hospitals in Cripple Creek. In 1898 the Sisters completed the St Nicholas and described the facility as "thoroughly equipped with all modern improvements, beautifully located with the best physicians in the district in attendance." The hospital served the busy gold mining district during its heyday, treating prospectors, miners, cowboys, and gold kings, and continued to operate until 1972. Today, the hotel serves modern ”prospectors” who come to view Cripple Creek’s rich history, natural beauty and partake in the limited-stakes gambling.
Colorado Preservation, Inc., founded in 1984, is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and advancing historic preservation. In 1999, the prestigious State Honor Award went to six preservation projects, including the Hotel St. Nicholas, for its use of creative solutions in a restoration.