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Manitou Springs: No kids allowed?

Categories: Things to Do

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Last week, my wife and I decided it was time for a last-minute weekend getaway, and we decided on Manitou Springs. We'd never been there, and its cave-and-castle kitschiness sounded like Niagara Falls mixed with oddball Colorado charm. As it would turn out, the town's lodgings would be happy to take us -- as long as we left our three-year-old at home.

Firing up Tripadvisor.com, we checked out our lodging options. Since we felt like splurging a bit, we decided against the Best Western or Comfort Inn; instead, the luxurious Cliff House at Pikes Peak looked attractive. It had towers! Like a kitschy castle! Whoopee! Unfortunately, according to the Cliff House's website, the only way they would allow us to stay with our son was if we splurged on one of their deluxe suites, even though their smaller accommodations clearly had enough room for a kid who can still fit inside a kitchen cabinet (trust me; he's tried many a time). Even if there were any of those deluxe suites available -- which there weren't -- the cost would have roughly equaled a flight to say, Hawaii. So the Cliff House was out.

Next, we checked out Manitou Springs' thriving bed and breakfasts. For a little mountain town, the place is crawling with such operations -- doilies a-plenty, stuffed French toast coming out of everybody's ears. But, as we soon found out, the Cliff House's anti-kid policy was not unique; nearly every single B&B in town refused to admit guests under the age of twelve. One place made an exception, but only if the kiddos didn't need their own sleeping arrangements. What are they supposed to do, bed down in the closet?

Then there was Blue Skies Inn, a colorful, quirky little place that allowed young ones -- but only if they signed a "Kid Contract" that was straight out of a Charles Dickens novel. Since, the contract begins, it's "a special privilege to be a child guest at a B&B," (actually, it's not; it's just part of being in a family that likes to go on vacations), minors have to agree to a list of persnickety rules, including wearing footwear at all times, tiptoeing up and down the stairs, washing their hands after eating and -- my favorite -- going to the bathroom before using the hot tub.

While most of the rules weren't necessarily outrageous, they're also common sense for any kid that's been out in public. Ever. Sorry, Blue Skies Inn, we aren't looking for lodging that's going to parent for us, just one that's going to serve us stuffed waffles.

Now, we know some bed and breakfasts don't like hosting kids, either because of size constraints or their plethora of fragile antiques or what have you. But a whole town that, aside from low-end lodgings, doesn't take kindly to minors? What's going on here? Did some sort of Children of the Corn catastrophe transpire in Manitou Springs, with legions of pint-sized hellions tearing apart doilies by the hundreds and spewing breakfast-time orange scone crumbs from their satanic little mouths?

So what did we end up doing? Did we head off to Manitou Springs after leaving our three-year-old home alone, with nothing but a water bottle and a bag of stale Doritos for sustenance? Or did we end up hiding out all night in the fake tourist-trap cliff dwellings?

Actually, we ended doing neither. At the last minute, our son got sick with the flu and we spent the weekend cooped up in the house, playing Candy Land and watching PBS Kids.

We showed you, Manitou Springs. We showed you.

More from our Things to Do archive: "Stanley House: Estes Park home of Stanley Hotel namesake yours for $2.4 million (PHOTOS)"


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22 comments
Shari
Shari

We go to Manitou regularly, usually without our children but we have taken them a time or 2. We only ever stay in the Pikes Peak Inn. Lovely staff and right on the edge of the main drag.

Rbnightlinger
Rbnightlinger

The kid contract is spot on.  If you take offense to reasonable, everyday courtesy then of course you'd take offense to agreeing to make your kid behave.  B&Bs are private homes and, as such, have every right in the world to dictate behavior while one uses their facilities.  People who think making kids wash their hands, behave quietly and relieve themselves before entering a pool are the very reason these inns don't want your kids around.

Txtoydogs
Txtoydogs

This is great! I knew I liked Manitou. I would move there if they would ban kids altogether. It would be nirvana. And I have a LOT of disposable income. Many peoplewould pay far more for any business who will guarantee a child-free experience. I consider anyone under 18 a child.

Sandy
Sandy

We have family friendly lodging in Cascade, the next exit up the mountain from Manitou Springs,at the foot of PikesPeak. www.cascadeescapes.com We have a cabin, a cottage and a B & B all for families.

Zombies for dinner
Zombies for dinner

I think it is a huge relief that we have access to locations that do not allow children. There is an assumption out there that children should be allowed everywhere and what it comes down to is this: not all of us agree with this notion. Some of us actually *gasp* choose not to have children and enjoy having a good time without screaming children or lackadaisical parents sitting idly by while we (strangers) have to do the parenting. Two thumbs up, Manitou.

zonker
zonker

This is outstanding, I've added all these B&B's to my list of places to stay in the future!

Blueskiesinnbb
Blueskiesinnbb

Actually, at Blue Skies Inn, we *welcome* children as one of the few B&B's that do because our inn's construction is super sound-insulated and has suites that are very spacious with extra beds. We also like children - had a few ourselves. If, according to the writer, Blue Skies is the only B&B in Manitou Springs that welcomes children, it is, indeed, a special privilege to be a child guest at a B&B. Many parents have complimented us on writing a policy that is easy for a child to understand - it asks for Company Behavior that makes every guest at our inn happy. Parents can blame the innkeeper for a request to "wear shoes outdoors" - consider, perhaps, that she doesn't want your children's feet to be injured. Many inns don't accept children as guests because parents sometimes consider a trip away from home to be a vacation from parenting. If you ask your children to wash their hands after a meal at home, doesn't it teach lovely manners to ask that they wash sticky little fingers while in someone else's home as well? Running up and down stairs is dangerous for a child in a new surroundings, so we'll save parents a trip to the ER by asking for "tiptoe" behavior. Our policy is considered hilariously amusing by every child who has ever chatted with the innkeeper at Blue Skies as she pantomimed tip-toeing. And Dad, you'd be amazed at how many times we have overheard a child who was freshly plunked in the hot tub ask for potty privileges only to hear a parent say, "go in the pool." Our Kid Contract assures our other guests that we are devoted to providing a great time for *all* of our guests. Yes, dear writer, we agree that our rules are common sense for any _parent_ who takes his child out in public, so why are you so offended? Your son would have had a great time in the ocean-themed Deep Blue suite or the Starlight suite.

Diva
Diva

As a child-free couple who really despises the lack of parenting that seems to happen in public these days, we'll be throwing money at Manitou Springs at our first opportunity.

BlackForestBB
BlackForestBB

Just 35 minutes from Manitou Springs is the AAA-3 Diamond Black Forest Bed & Breakfast Lodge & Cabins which will gladly take your children as honored guests. I opened it in 1990, had a daughter in '92 and son in '94 who were born and raised in this B&B.www.BlackForestBB.com

Brandy
Brandy

huh well most kids this days are hellions due to societal ills.. i have 2 kids and work with kids. but also think ok if I go to a BB there is no way kids or want to have there unless its filming a Nanny series and shes there to train the parents. if there are no kids policies cropping up everywhere Id ask why find the cause and fix that.. sad we there are suck parents out there .. the few of us who actually know how to parent and have well behaved kids get punished

Aaron Leforce
Aaron Leforce

if parents would act more like parents, and keep their kids from being destructive pieces of s##t businesses would not have to be a "parent".

@manitougirl i would much rather smell and see a parent with pot at a park than a cigarette (which is ever more present this spring than i remember)

Kidfree
Kidfree

Well said, Groupon! Natalists seem to think they rule the world.

Groupon Shopping
Groupon Shopping

Finally there are some people standing up for childless adults! We do not like having to endure screaming fits from little monsters who are only that way because of inept parents. Now if we could only get them out of bars...what a disgrace most parents are today.

ManitouGirl
ManitouGirl

I live in Manitou Springs and have two children under age 5. I moved to Manitou before I had kids, and it seems perhaps it's a town more suitable for young adults. My biggest complaint is I can't visit either of the local parks without teenagers AND PARENTS smoking pot near the playground. I wanted to stay in Manitou because the schools are supposed to be so wonderful, but I just can't get past these parents smoking pot while their kids play on the slide. I have nothing against pot overall, but disagree that it's o.k. to be wasted with your kids.

womanwithnokids
womanwithnokids

I agreee txtoydogs...I would pay more to be sure I would not be around any noisy, messy kids... we do not have kids and certainly do not wish to endure the headaches and hassles of other peoples choices in life. They wantd em not me, I would love to have somewhere to go with my husband where there are no kids. Now understand that I am not a child hatter, We just made the choice that we do not wish to have any because we love our quiet time together and I hope more places start allowing us that. As for you that have children, please dont look down on this as you all have millions of places to go, while us with no childen would  like a few options too.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Thanks for posting, Zombies for dinner. We're going to make your take an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Thanks for the post, Blue Skies Inn. Much appreciated.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Diva, your reaction to this post is one we've been hearing a lot. Thanks for weighing in.

zombies for dinner
zombies for dinner

But you don't get punished....there are countless places for you and your children to stay. There are far fewer places for the rest of us to stay *without* children; let us have that.

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