When you walk into The Inn of Glen Haven, it’s like stepping back in time. The 100-year-old building is filled with Victorian era antiques and the cozy rooms have layered bedding. The fine dining restaurant serves made-from-scratch fare on white linens with silverware.
Chris and Emma Richmond bought the historic building in November of 2021. They moved into the bed and breakfast in May of this year from Wichita, Kan., and opened for business on June 2.
Chris and Emma Richmond bought the historic Inn of Glen Haven in November of 2021. (Wendy Rigby/Estes Park Trail-Gazette)
“What’s not to like about living here,” Emma Richmond asked. “You wake up and there are the mountains and the fresh breeze. We’re kind of outdoorsy people. We’ve got dogs and we like to walk. We always marvel at the sky at night and the sunrise coming over the mountains in the morning.”
The Richmonds have never been in the B&B business before. Their youngest child graduated high school and they decided to make a change.
“Everything we’re doing now was just a leap of faith,” Emma Richmond explained. “We had both been at our desk jobs for 29, 30 years and we decided we wanted to do something different. I think our whole married life we had always thought we would eventually get to Colorado. We started looking and found this opportunity. It was for sale.”
The couple bought The Inn of Glen Haven from Tom and Sheila Sellters who had owned it for three decades.
“People have described the experience of staying here as going to visit their grandmother,” Emma Thompson noted. “That’s a little bit true. With all of the antiques and the layered bedding, it’s cozy and homey.”
Each room is unique. For example, Sherlock Holmes is decorated with a violin and Holmes’ trademark hat and coat. This suite features a charming claw foot tub. (Wendy Rigby/Estes Park Trail-Gazette)
Chris Richmond said the squeaky old floors are part of the ambiance.
The restaurant and bar are also romantic settings.
“That’s why a lot of people spend their honeymoons here,” stated Chris Richmond. “They come back for anniversary dinners. It’s a great place to come on a date night. You don’t get people coming here for dinner and then rushing off to go somewhere else. They’ll linger over dinner and spend two or three hours eating and talking. Being with your friends, having good conversations…that’s what this place is about.”
The Inn of Glen Haven has a storied history, starting as a mercantile to serve the saw mill down the road. The owners built on to the original structure and added services. It has been a restaurant, a brothel and a lodge. The Richmonds said it became a B&B about 50 years ago.
Then came the 2013 flood.
“The water came up about three feet on the first floor,” Chris Richmond explained. “They had to gut everything. It was pretty devastating to this building. But it stayed. It survived. They rebuilt it. The previous owners did a fantastic job getting it back together. It took a lot of hard work. It took them almost four years before they reopened.”
The restaurant offers fine dining fare like steaks, duck, escargot, trout and salmon along with made-from-scratch sauces, soups and desserts. (Wendy Rigby/Estes Park Trail-Gazette)
Part of the charm of the six-room bed and breakfast is the named suites. Following on the English theme, the rooms are named Sherlock Holmes, Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, Lilie Langtry, Lord Dunraven and Prince Albert.
Each room is unique. For example, Sherlock Holmes is decorated with a violin and Holmes’ trademark hat and coat. This suite features a charming claw foot tub.
The rooms range in price from $185 to $235 per night which includes breakfast.
The previous owner was from England and was an antique dealer.
“She did a fantastic job of putting everything together,” Emma Richmond said. “We’ve put some of our own things in now, too. Early on we stayed in every room or our kids stayed in every room. We found out what worked and what didn’t work and we rearranged some things. The previous owners are retired and live in Drake and we see them often. They helped us the first month of operation coming in and showing us how to do everything the way they did it.”
The Richmonds had anticipated that most of the clientele would be retirees, but they noted their guests have been an eclectic mix of people.
“We’ve also had young couples,” Emma Richmond pointed out. “We’ve had singles. We’ve had people who were here and married here or honeymooned here 30 or 50 years ago.”
Chris Richmond said his favorite part about running The Inn at Glen Haven is meeting people from all walks of life.
“We didn’t realize so many people had history with this place,” he added. “We are constantly ‘on.’ If you are doing breakfast in the mornings and dinner at night and cleaning rooms in between, that can be challenging.”
Anyone can come and dine at the restaurant which is where the Richmonds’ five employees work. They employ a chef, a sous chef, two wait staff and a dishwasher.
The restaurant will be closed during the month of November, but will reopen on Fridays and Saturdays in December with a special holiday menu.
During the tourist season, the restaurant is open Wednesdays through Sundays and offers fine dining fare like steaks, duck, escargot, trout and salmon along with made-from-scratch sauces, soups and desserts.
“We like living in the small community of Glen Haven,” Chris Richmond stressed. “I love that. It’s not as busy. It’s quieter. We’ve enjoyed that.”
The Inn of Glen Haven does have a few ghost stories associated with it. The lobby has a book that features a ghost story from the end.
“We’ve had several guests who have said that they had experiences with spirits here,” Emma Richmond said.
“And a lot who say they haven’t,” Chris Richmond chimed in.
The Richmonds consider their first season running the Inn of Glen Haven as “getting their feet wet” and figuring out what they’re doing.
They also own some land across the road and are exploring other options in the coming years like a music venue or a farmers’ market.
To make a reservation for dinner or to find out more about the accommodations at The Inn of Glen Haven, log on to their website at theinnofglenhaven.com.