Professional Reviews, Guest Reviews & Guest Comments Concerning Blue Skies Inn, Manitou Springs Bed and Breakfast by Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs
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Guest Reviews & Travel Industry Reviews of
Blue Skies Inn in Manitou Springs, Colorado



Blue Skies Inn B&B is a charming bed and breakfast in Manitou Springs, a small mountain town nestled in the foothills of Pikes Peak in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. We are located just west of Colorado Springs and are near to Denver, Canon City and Pueblo.

Blue Skies has been in business for about fifteen years under the original owners. One of the best early suggestions we got was to put a notebook in each suite to allow the guests to leave us a message. Well, not only do folks write in the books, some do so in iambic pentameter! Some draw us pictures! It’s great! We’ve featured a sampling of these original and clever notes on our “Comments” page for years, along with some professional reviews we’ve received.

We've noticed of late that the lodging business is being dominated by “customer” reviews on travel websites that post reviews from anyone with an email address. These sites do this to sell advertising, and they make little or no effort to determine whether the reviewer was an actual guest, the business owner, someone else with an ax to grind, or even an empolyee of one of the on-line businesses who will write glowing, fake reviews for a fee. With these “reviews” splashed all over Google and Bing, we thought we’d make a new website to give the lodging customer a chance to read real reviews from real people who really stayed at Blue Skies Inn.

Besides, these things are fun! All of our guests read the room notebooks, even if they don’t leave us a note. Seems like a shame to let all this creativity languish in the top dresser drawer of each suite.


The guest reviews and comments on this page came to us via notes in the Room Notebooks, email and notes in the breakfast baskets. To our past guests: if I missed your note, I'm sorry. I went through ten sets of room notebooks, at least two volumes per suite, in order to make this page. If I missed something great, email me. I'll look it up. -- Mike

Travel Industry Reviews:

Our wedding packages were featured on
USA Today Travel on November 14, 2010. We are one of just three destination wedding sites in their article.

One of our favorite professional reviews is from the Denver monthly lifestyle and dining periodical 303 Magazine -303 is the Denver area code. The short (but sweet) article was accompanied by three pages of pictures.

We are also especially pleased with the review we received from Kim Lipker's The Unofficial Guide to Bed & Breakfasts and Country Inns in the Rockies, one of the "Unofficial Guides..." series you may have seen for sale at all major book stores.


The Denver Post published Doris Kennedy's "Inn for the Night" column weekly in its Travel section. Her review is below.

As an association member, Blue Skies is subject to periodic inspections from the Inn Inspectors of the Bed & Breakfast Inns of Colorado (BBIC), and we include two of their reviews below.


Beautiful location
Lavish suites
Unique room themes
Energizing for body and soul

Scrumptious food
Kind innkeepers
Innovative
Exceptional service
Sally and Mike

Intriguing
Not like any other B&B
Next time, we will stay here again

Garry, Kathy & Erin Skinner, Galva, KS

Mike & Sally,

This was our first trip back since our wedding here two years ago, and we are grateful all over again that we chose to get married here, since that means Blue Skies Inn is a place we
must return to! What a heavenly retreat you have created here for us. We loved Ferdinand’s Garden! My mother and I especially enjoyed the painted thistles, as we are very proud of our Scottish heritage.
We finally got to try out the hot tub on this visit – I guess third time’s charmed. It was so relaxing. All the improvements to the gardens are beautiful. Can’t wait to see what you’ve done by the next time we make it out. Thanks so much for another perfect stay!

Gwethalyn & Travis, Lawrence & Manketo, KS

Just southward of Denver, along I-25
Beneath Pikes Peak mountain, by the arch of Blue Sky
We arrived at our suite, and there we did sigh,
Our retreat is so wonderful!” as we stood there wide-eyed.

The touches were perfect, the atmosphere glowed -
Our fast-paced existence immediately slowed,
And nestled in comfort, a peace seemed to flow.
Relaxed and romantic, we found our love grow.

Did I mention the breakfast that arrived at the door?
Did I mention the muffins, egg quiche, fruit and more?
Did I mention jacuzzi, our fire-light chat?
My compliments to you - we’ll soon be right back.

Bill & Susan, Denver, CO


Dear Sally & Mike,
We stayed here at your beautiful bed & breakfast on our honeymoon before he ships out to Iraq. What a wonderful place to get away from the troubles of the outside world and be able to concentrate on each other. In this beautiful
[Starlight] room, we were able to bask in the love and peace that has gotten so hard to find elsewhere. finding this place has made a dream become a memory. Thank you SO much!

Brad & Karma, St. Paul, MN

Dear Mike & Sally,
This room [Deep Blue] is so amazing, I have never seen a hotel room this fancy with the cool beds, my own bed, the sink with the fishes, and the shower, how the curtains are, and the little fireplace, and also the little chairs that are shaped like seashells, also some of these pillows are shaped like fishes or have them on the pillows. This hotel is the flipping best room I have even been to! And the drawers are like a treasure chest!!!! Oh my God, this room is so cool!!!

Jasmine, 10 yrs old


This Christmas my family decided to come to Colorado. This is the first time I've ever seen snow, and to be able to stay here has been absolutely incredible. This is a first stay (for me) at a B&B, and it is a really amazing thing! I loved the Dot Matrix suite, and my parents' suite (Starlight) was also just as amazing. I love the friendliness, the breakfasts, the decor... what's not to love? Thanks for making my last Christmas at home so memorable!

Danielle

Thank you, Mike and Sally, for making my family feel so wecome in your beautiful Blue Skies Inn. Our daughter, Danielle, will be graduating from high school this coming May, and we wanted her to have an extra special Christmas before leaving to college. She said yesterday that this was her best Christmas ever. The days were busy shopping and seeing this area's amazing sights. And then to return to our rooms and relax for the evening made our trip perfect.
For the past four days, this has been our home away from home - we all enjoyed the yummy breakfasts and the many special touches in both of our rooms. Christmas in Colorado was perfect.

The Smiths, Naples, FL

We stayed in the Starlight room last night for our first Valentine's celebration as a married couple. We just wanted you to know how much we loved it here. The room was most tastefully and creatively decorated and the breakfast was superb. We had the most romantic and relaxing night. We appreciate the hospitality we felt as soon as we got here. We will definitely be back again!

Claire and Justin, Denver, CO

Sally and Mike,
My partner and I recently arrived home after staying at your Inn last night. Just wanted to say thank you for your services and hospitality. It was a wonderful and perfect experience for us. Everything you stated in your web site seemed too good to be true, but proved to be. Sally, you're an absolutely great artist. It's obvious what care and devotion you have taken to these beautiful rooms and we hope people appreciate and see that.
Mike, thank you for the tour, you both make people feel like they are welcome in your own home. It's obvious how much you enjoy what you do and care about each and every couple/family. Thank you for making this the best experience we've had at any b&b and we will absolutely make plans for our next anniversary. Right now we're just trying to think of more friends to tell and excuses to return sooner! Thank you both,

Jamie and Kelly

A weekend of tranquility,
We found at Blue Skies Inn,
Among the changing Fall leaves
And Autumn's cooling wind.
The eggs and muffins heavenly,
Our parting such sweet sorrow.
(If only we could find a way
To stay until tomorrow.)
If I offend my dear, sweet Lord,
I must humbly beg His pardon,
But surely Eden, in all its splendor
Has nothing on Ferdinand's Garden.

Gregg & Patty Stouffer

My boyfriend and I have had the most stressful time recently. We decided to get away for a night and remember what life is really supposed to be about. Blue Skies, you have made this an absolutely blissful time away. Everything was beautiful. It's good to know that beauty and magic like this really exists & not just in the romance movies.
For this beautiful, stress-free, cloud-9 of a place, and blissful experience, we say "Thanx!"

Sara & Armando, Pueblo, CO

We had a wonderful time during our stay at the Blue Skies Inn. As you know, I had just returned from a Navy deployment, involving Operation Enduring Freedom. The quiet and peacefulness of the location, the beauty of our room and your outstanding breakfasts ensured a wonderful reunion for us. We enjoyed being in Manitou Springs, where we could take advantage of that scenic little town. The in-room whirlpool bath was also a surprising plus for us. Highlighting this all was your desire to do whatever it took to ensure that we would cherish our time at the Blue Skies Inn. Now that we are back home, which is not that far from the Inn, we can honestly say that not only did we thoroughly enjoy our stay, but we also made two new friends. Thank you very much for all that you did to ensure that our stay would be a great one!

Richy & Joanie

Thanks for Sally & whoever supports her to make our first anniversary very romantic and unforgettable!

Ahmad & Alfi, Denver, CO

This is a very classy place. You've done such a nice job designing and decorating. Everything is well done and beautiful. The Rock Art room even blends with the clay in the hill behind it. The room is warm and homey. And oh my gosh, the breakfast was fantastic. You thought of everything -- nothing was missing. We truly appreciate all the time and love you put into this place.

Tom and Diane Waller

We are certain we could travel far and wide and not discover a more adorable or pristine place than Blue Skies Inn. This Starlight suite is truly enchanting ~ we admired your artistic talent in moonstruck detail throughout our stay. And breakfast in the Secret Garden was out of this galaxy!
May you live long & prosper.

Hank, Janeen, Dylan & Hanna, Lakewood, CO

Undoubtedly the very best.
Never seen anything like it.
Individual beyond compare.
Quaint - it ain't, but quite a dream maker.
Unusual - thank heaven!
Everyone should experience it -

[Dot Matrix is a] haven of imagination, talent, humor and beauty is way beyond classy. You have given a wonderful new meaning to B&B's in every possible way. All of which is to say - Thanks ever so to a team that seems doomed to perfection and success, Sally and Mike.

Camille and Wilton Hammond, Fort Worth, TX

The room is beautiful! The breakfast was wonderful! We enjoyed every moment of our stay. This will provide many fond memories as I head to the deserts of Kuwait. I look forward to my return to Colorado and another stay at Blue Skies!

Grant and Roxanne

We were coming back to Colorado to welcome home our daughter from Iraq. We received much more than we ever expected.
Your “Welcome Home Soldier” package (chocolate-covered strawberries & a bouquet of flowers) not only touched her heart, but ours as well.
We’ve had somewhat of a reunion as well. We joined up with my sister and niece from Alaska to welcome home our soldier.
Your rooms are breathtaking! The breakfasts are utterly delicious, and your website is awesome!

Sue & David Handel,
New York


What fun we had at Blue Skies!! It was a wonderful refuge from our hike to the top of Pikes Peak. Thank you Lord for hot tubs!!!
What a beautiful art project Blue Skies is. My children said this was the best place weve stayed, and theyve been all over the country. Thank you for this beautiful place and all that the two of you have made it to be.

Scott, Elizabeth, Roxanne & Jake

We thought we wanted the Deep Blue suite, but Midnight Woods has an elvish charm. It must be so much fun to create these spaces – everywhere I glance I see another bit of perfect attention to detail. Zach liked being awakened by birdsong. Breakfast was luscious and timely, hot tub delightful! We’ll be back.

Elizabeth & Zach

Were so glad you were able to accommodate our family reunion. All of us, from New York to California to Washington were so glad to be in your comfortable, cheerful and welcoming B&B. The kids loved the themed rooms, and we all loved the breakfasts, hot tub and your pleasant, intelligent manner. We will recommend your place to any and all!

Liz, Sophia & Lucy, Nyack, NY


Our wedding packages were featured on USA Today Travel on November 14, 2010. We are one of just three destination wedding sites in their article:
Click here to see the USA Today Travel article "Destination Weddings in the Continental US"

Colorado

The Blue Skies Inn of Manitou, Colorado, is a quiet bed and breakfast tucked away in the foothills of Pike's Peak. The gardens, waterfall and forest surrounding the inn provide lovely settings for exchanging vows, no matter what the season. The staff at Blue Skies Inn believes that a wedding should be a beautiful, joyous occasion without financial worries. Three wedding packages are available, and each includes a wedding officiant, fresh flowers, a wedding cake and photography, making this wedding destination more cost efficient than traditional sites. Packages range from a simple ceremony with no guests to a full wedding with up to 100 guests. Blue Skies Inn 402 Manitou Ave. Manitou Springs, CO 80829 800-398-7949


My daughter Kathy and I had such a wonderful two nights in your beautiful place.
We came here for the Pikes Peak Marathon race. Ron, the Race Director, brought us here for the race and to celebrate 50 years of women running Pikes Peak marathons. I am the first woman to ever run the Pikes Peak marathon, or any marathon in the United States, and my daughter was the youngest runner, having run with me on Pikes Peak at age nine.
We are so honored to be here. It is the most special weekend of our lives.
Thank you for helping to make it wonderful in your beautiful place.
PS Breakfast was great!

Arlene & Kathy

Thank you for a wonderful stay at your beautiful B&B in the Indian Rock Art II suite. Even though we saw some of the area’s great attractions, our girls (3 & 5 years old) said numerous times, “Let’s go back to the hotel.” Our youngest added, “Let’s buy this house.” We appreciated all of the special touches ~ the great breakfast, the comfortable beds, the clean and nicely decorated rooms, the wall lamps on dimmers that made perfect night lights. We will be back, and we will spread the word about this fabulous place!

Diane, Dave, Claire & Kimberly, Littleton, CO

Sally & Mike (“Master Innkeepers”)
I still have our bar of soap from staying here 10 years ago with our friends from England. I kept it so that we could remember this wonderful place, with the hope that we could return someday. And here we are, back again!
With so many things changing in the world today, Blue Skies just keeps getting better! What a wonderful legacy to leave into the future.! You guys rock!

Debi Kermeen

We wanted a special place to lodge family and friends to celebrate our daughter’s graduation from the US Air Force Academy in nearby Colorado Springs. We booked almost every room at Blue Skies Inn ~ sight unseen ~ for four or five days. Your website accurately presented the charm and beauty of your rooms and grounds. All in our party ~ from TN, GA, MO & WA ~ have enjoyed their stay. Thank you for all the wonderful breakfasts, and many special touches, including the very special “Whitney ‘08" banner. Thank you also for being so accommodating of our crazy graduation week schedule. Kindest regards,

Dan & Lane Camp, West Tennessee


The April 2005 edition of Denver's 303 Magazine did a three page spread on Blue Skies Inn in it's print and on-line editions. The text of the review follows:

[pages 18-21]

Everday cultures, lifestyles, and luxuries:

CITY GETAWAY: BLUE SKIES INN

by Megan Garrison

As a native Coloradoan I forget just how lucky we are to have beautiful blue skies most of the year. A visit to Manitou Springs's Blue Skies Inn was a quick reminder. With spring approaching, to get away to toward the mountains, to somewhere suitable for a wedding, family reunion, or just a weekend escape.

DECOR & ORIGINALITY

Sally Thurston, the innkeeper, has a true gift for design. Her themed suites Deep Blue, Morning Glory, Starlight, Dot Matrix, and Sunset combine innovation with traditional elegance, and there is a suite for almost anyone. Lovers or honeymooners will want to investigate Morning Glory and Sunset, romantic suites with fireplaces, king beds with floral vines overhead, and whirlpool tubs. If the getaway is a family affair, most rooms have an extra trundle or daybed as well. A whimsical canopy for each bed accentuates the theme.

AMENITIES & SERVICE


After eight years as innkeepers, the Thurstons know that it takes attention to detail everywhere from the comforts in the rooms to the unique services to create the perfect stay.

Blue Skies Inn offers an array of original amenities. At the top of the list would be their breakfast. At 8:30 a.m. there will be a soft knock on your door; when you open it you will find a large picnic basket filled with coffee, juice, fresh fruit, a hot egg dish, and freshly baked muffins to enjoy in the privacy of your room. Or if the weather is warm and you are feeling social, you may opt to enjoy breakfast in the Secret Garden behind the Inn. Opt for as much or as little privacy as you like.

MORE...

  • A beautiful gazebo and hot tub outside (open 24 hours).
  • In your room you will find an informative book with information on the features and history of the Inn, local restaurant menus, elopement packages at Blue Skies Inn, and area attractions. There are a lot of beautiful spots to visit in and around Manitou Springs, like Pikes Peak, Cave of the Winds, & Garden of the Gods.
  • The book also lists titles of over 750 videos & DVDs you can have brought to your room.
  • Keep in mind if you are setting up a romantic retreat or special surprise, Blue Skies has extra perks you can order to have in your room: flower bouquets, a massage, Birthday balloons, decor and a cake, bath basket, candles, and chocolate dipped strawberries.

A MUST STAY?

A lot of people dream of owning their very own bed and breakfast, but very few turn out to be as good at it as the Blue Skies Inn; the hospitality is just what it should be.

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A peaceful refuge for the soul in a secluded area. Wildlife, yes. Refreshment for mind, soul & body.
Who has a breakfast delivered to your door, AND in a picnic basket? Delicious! My stay was all that I expected, and more.
Strolling through the Autumn gardens, I discovered another path, waterfalls, and more path, & waterfalls...

Sandra, Pueblo, CO

Jeff surprised me with this B&B. I was in awe when I walked into the Deep Blue suite! Our room was so beautiful.
We loved the room, the people, the surroundings, the breakfasts...what can I say? This is one of the most beautiful, warm places we’ve ever stayed.
P.S. Sally, you are an incredible artist! I love art!

Jeff & Jeanette, Morris, IL

WOW! This is amazingly beautiful! These were my words when we walked into our beautiful Morning Glory suite. Cheryl and I loved the room, with its beautiful bed and marvelous canopy. My favorite part of the room is the beautiful garland and wonderful jetted tub. The bath is perfect after a long, fun day of hiking and exploring the wonderful mountain scenery. Manitou Springs is a great place to get away from it all, and Blue Skies Inn is definitely the only place to stay! Thank you for your wonderful hospitality, and for welcoming us as a couple.

Kareen & Cheryl, Aurora, CO

This was our first B&B experience. I wager it will remain our most memorable. This will be the standard by which all B&B's are to be measured in our minds. Thank you for setting the bar so high. You are hospitable, generous, & your caring about your guests' visit shows in everything you do. We happened upon you by chance this weekend. We are planning to come back. Thank you very much.

Danny & Brenda, Lakewood, CO

Finally, a bed & breakfast that welcomes kids. Food, rooms, amenities were fantastic... We were looking for a Colorado experience -- unique, beautiful and kid-friendly. Blue Skies Inn was perfect. The kids loved the movie selections, and the Secret Garden. We slept better here wilth soft sheets and quiet rooms. This was a perfect 2 night stay before heading back to Michigan. Thank you for your hospitality, and congratulations on being experts in what you do.

Karin, Dane, Cam (8) and Ryan (6), Grand Rapids, Michigan

Thank you so much for making our honeymoon so wonderful. The rooms were absolutely beautiful. It made us feel comfortable that you knew our names from the moment we arrived. We appreciate everything you did for us each day. Breakfast was great and the recommendations on restaurants were perfect. Your inn was beautiful and peaceful. We will share our experience with others. Hope to see you again in the future. Thanks again for everything.

Matt and Kim Loveless

WOW and WOW! This was the most amazing stay - I've never experienced anything like it. Sally your courage to dream and perseverence to make it happen truly inspire me. I hope you have time to fully enjoy such an accomplishment. Thanks,

Condice, San Diego, CA

We can't tell you how much we enjoyed our 2 nights in Dot Matrix and look forward to our last night in Indian Rock Art II. Your bed and breakfast is to die for!!! If we're ever in this area again you can be sure we'll be staying with you. Everything is first class and I can't say enough about the "basket breakfasts" - superb!!! We'll recommend you to our friends.

Anne and Walter, Ocala, FL

Ahhh! The ambiance, the romance... the cleanliness! Our room is always so well-kept, we feel as though we are the first to enter this spicy retreat.
Thanks for all your efforts in making this such an allergy-free environment. Our hearts & spirits are renewed!

Barbara & Richard, Rio Rancho, NM

We loved the room & lovely breakfasts in the garden was such a special way to start our days. My nine year old son said, "They should call this Breakfast of the Gods!" We all agree.

The Shekuts, Perrysburg, OH






We are very honored to be one of only four Colorado B&Bs that received five stars in Kim Lipker's guide.

In addition, Blue Skies Inn is reviewed twice in the text, first on page twenty where Ms. Lipker lists things she likes about various Rocky Mountain Inns, and in the "official" Unofficial review, which follows.
[page 20]
A Few of My Favorite Things about Rockies Bed-and-Breakfasts and Country Inns...Colorado...

My # 1 favorite place: Blue Skies Inn (Manitou Springs)


[pages 134-135]
BLUE SKIES INN BED & BREAKFAST

OVERALL
QUALITY
VALUE

Imagine a bed-and-breakfast in an ocean aquarium, or an art museum, or in the middle of a history museum. Wouldn't it be neat to sleep among the fish or next to an ancient Native American sandstone wall? Travelers can now realize all of their creative fantasies at the Blue Skies Inn. Sally envisioned, constructed, and put all of her imagination into one of Colorado's absolute finest bed-and-breakfasts. Each suite is a trip into another land, with pottery-tile montages, custom tile work, creative painting, and jeweled accents throughout. Absolutely no detail was overlooked in this bed-and- breakfast venture. Breakfast is even a luxurious treat; it's usually served by Mike as he hunts guests down with an individual basket brimming with goodies. Sally has plans to add a spa and common areas in the former Buffalo Bill Wax Museum on the property, so look for that endeavor in the future. It is sure to be quite amazing.

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Sally & Mike,
What a special place you have created! Our visit to Blue Skies Inn is an "
All Around Winner."


Best Room
Best Attention to Detail!
Best Grounds!
Best Breakfast!
Best Hosts!
Best B&B in town!

We will certainly tell our friends!

Tom, Atlanta, GA, & Bryan, Birmingham, Alabama

What a great romantic experience. This was our first real night away since becoming parents four and a half years ago. We thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance, the breakfast being delivered hot to our room, and the time away to focus on each other.
A nice break from the typical B&B - much more privacy and a large room and the delivery of breakfast! A retreat!

Dawn & Scott, Colorado Springs, CO

Wow, what a way to end our week in Colorado! We feel so lucky to have found you... Thank you for helping our teenagers realize that not all B&Bs are stuffy and sterile. The breakfast was fantastic, our best one all week. Loved the colorful sheets and bedding too!

The Foss Family, Columbia, MO

Ma'am,
I just wanted to send a short note thanking you for a wonderful stay at your establishment recently. What a beautiful place and the perfect end to our vacation! Now that we are back in Alabama and people ask my wife and I about our trip they are surprised when we speak of the Blue Skies B&B first and skiing last. The food was great. The room was fantastic, and Mike was a wonderful tour guide.

Chris & Wendy Smith

We truly enjoyed our suite and the bed and breakfast hospitality of Blue Skies. It was much more than what we expected. It was roomy and cozy and comfortable and the girls loved it. That awesome bathroom is just...!! And we loved having the fresh baskets of breakfast delivered to the room every morning. (How does she do that?) Anyway we are so sad to leave but are leaving with some great memories. Thank you for everything!!

The Marks Family

Yes, THAT Kristofferson. We hosted the "Silver City" movie cast back in '04

Today was my birthday! 39 years old, best birthday I've ever had. I felt like a queen tonight! This suite was the perfect place for my celebration. It's wonderful to be surrounded by such creativity and imagination! This place was the topping on my cake. I loved it!!

Patti and Roger Penninger

We came to celebrate or 24th anniversary, and this is by far the best B&B we have stayed at. Having been an art student in my past, I certainly can appreciate the decor that Sally went with in the varying themes for each suite. WOW! You can tell that someone with a lot of creativity put so much effort into this B&B, including the grounds surrounding it. Also, we really enjoyed breakfast brought to us in a picnic basket ~ great homemade food. Thanks for a wonderful stay!

Sherel & Rick, Wheatridge, CO

~Artfully Appointed
~Exquisitely Tasteful
~Wonderfully Accommodating
PERFECT!
Our children gave us a 30th anniversary present, a Valentine’s Day weekend hideaway.
Ferdinand’s Garden at Blue Skies Inn was a perfect answer. We were alone together, escaping from the routines of daily interests and challenges.
Thank you so much for creating this quiet retreat and refuge.

Bill & Betsy, Colorado Springs, CO

Thank you for creating such a beautiful getaway. I felt stress melt away when I entered the Sunset suite. All the personal touches made me believe this room was decorated with love & creativity. I can’t wait to come back.
The outdoor setting is also amazingly lovely. Walking around and finding all the secret hideaways was fun. Y’all have put so much effort into every aspect of this B&B.
My only complaint: I think I gained 5 lbs from eating the muffins.! They are wonderful!

Chuck & Sharice


"Inn for the Night" is a column regularly run in the "Travel" section of the Sunday Denver Post that reviews inns and B&Bs throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana. In the March 7, 1999, edition, Blue Skies Inn was reviewed.

Inn For The Night

By Doris Kennedy
Special to the Denver Post
March 7, 1999

Manitou's Blue Skies a colorful retreat

Guests who have an appreciation for original art, exquisite useof color, and superb bed and breakfast accommodations are going to love the luxurious Blue Skies Bed & Breakfast, Manitou Springs.

Innkeeper, artist and craftswoman Sally Thurston has created a unique 12-room inn on the former estate of Dr. William Bell, the founder of Manitou Springs. The three recently constructed Gothic revival-style structures contain four guest rooms each. The inn's architecture was inspired by the circa-1873 carriage house that stands on the property.

The room called Indian Rock Art, with a queen-size bed, apricot carpeting and huge bathroom with oversize shower, features delightful Native American pictograph symbols, hand-painted on sandstone-colored walls. This room meets ADA requirements.

Named in honor of the estate's former gardener, Ferdinand's Garden has lavender walls accented by hand-painted bouquets of Scottish thistle, pink bleeding hearts and rose lilies. Plush plum carpeting, an oval tub-for-two and a gas-log fireplace add warmth and romance to the room.

Of all the guest rooms, Sunset may be the most romantic. Highlighted by fleecy white clouds, the wall colors here softly flow from ceiling to floor, blending pale pink with lilac and creamy yellow. White chiffon, entwined with rose-hued silk flowers, canopies the wrought-iron, four-poster bed. A gas-log fireplace stands in one corner, an oval whirlpool tub-for-two and a separate shower are featured in the bathroom, and a sitting alcove invites quiet conversations.

Thurston, a licensed building contractor, designed her inn, supervised and assisted in its construction, hand-painted and laid all the tiles in the oversized bathrooms, applied the original art to the walls, and acted as interior decorator. Her creative efforts have produced one of Colorado's finest inns.

This B&B, besides being a favorite among honeymooners and those seeking a restful getaway, works well for families with children. The walls and floors are sound-insulated, each unit has its own private or semi-private entry, and most rooms have a daybed or sofa sleeper that will accommodate youngsters.

Each morning, picnic-basket breakfasts of individual egg and cheese casseroles, homemade carrot or blueberry muffins, fresh fruit, juice, milk or coffee are delivered to the guestrooms.

The Inn For The Night column spotlights bed-and-breakfast and historic lodgings in the Rocky Mountain region. Each one described has been visited by the columnist and is mentioned on merit. Comments may be sent to Inn For The Night, Travel Section, The Denver Post, 1560 Broadway, Denver 80202.

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Thank you for the most relaxing and enjoyable two days. Twenty-five years ago today we were married, and we never had a honeymoon. You made this a honeymoon to remember.

Mitzie & Craig, Manhattan, KS

We were in much need of a "mini" vacation & found the perfect B&B to have it in!
Loved the blue & the clouds & mood lighting!
Watching the sun rise on the mountain while lying in bed -- Wow!And eating breakfast in bed, having homemade CHOCOLATE muffins -- does it get any better for a true "chocoholic"?! I don't think so!
We'll be back! Thanks for a wonderful stay -- GREAT JOB!

Nanc & Scott Spencer

Sally and Mike - This was our first stay at a B&B, and it was so fun. We love [Deep Blue]. the hospitality and especially the breakfast. I better learn how to make quiche for my husband now, because I don't think plain eggs will cut it any more. I can only imagine the time & effort and love that went into the decorating of these rooms. You go girl!

The Seiferts

Our first stay in a bed & breakfast together -- quite a wonderful experience! A beautiful room ~ we shut the door and forgot about reality until it was time to check out! What a fabulous place to spend a weekend away!

Kelli & Eric, Loveland, CO

Thank you for a most enjoyable stay at your inn. We live locally but felt hundreds of miles away from home. What a wonderful escape for our 6th anniversary! Everything was perfect! Thanks again!

Kate and Pat Atkin

Just wanted to say again how much we enjoyed your delightful B&B. Ferdinand's Garden was such a peaceful home away from home for three restful nights. Such talent that you have displayed in all your rooms can only be an inducement to restfulness. The breakfasts were such a joy to enjoy under the blue skies of Colorado. We wish you many guests to enjoy your talents in decorating and cooking and making your guests comfortable. Hopefully we will be down your way again.

Warren and Ella Dartez

Ric and I would like to express our sincerest thanks for your outstanding hospitality and assistance during our stay at your inn. (The innkeeper drove across town to collect the slip for the bridal gown.) Your kindness, patience and delicious food made for a very memorable occasion. We look forward to returning to HAPPY TRAILS and BLUE SKIES.

Dot Hoeflich

Thank you so much for all of your hospitality. We stayed in Starlight suite the night of a meteor shower and it just made the evening perfect. I wish you the best of luck running this place and to all who stay here -- make the most out of this unique and beautiful B&B.

Misty Klimas


(<Sigh>Sometimes it just doesn't work out. Sorry, Bob.)

Sally & Mike
I don’t know that we’ll be coming back. My wife has taken so many photos of your beautiful gardens and the paintings on the wall of the Indian Rock Art II suite, all the while saying,” Maybe we could do this to our garden,” and “We could change our spare bathroom and put two shower heads in it.”
As such, I think we’ll be spending most weekends putting in railroad ties, building waterfalls and planting things. My only chance is to say, “Let’s go back to the Blue Skies Inn, so you can get some more ideas.”
Thanks for a wonderful stay.

Bob & Cindy


BBIC is the statewide organization for Colorado B&Bs. Inn inspections are conducted every third year.

Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado
(BBIC)

Inn Inspector Laura Clark
June 12, 2001


Image BBIC logoWhat comes to mind every time I visit Blue Skies Inn is that I am extremely impressed with the skills of Sally Thurston, owner and builder of this reputable bed & breakfast in Manitou Springs. I was lucky to spend the night in Ferdinand's Garden Suite, the focal point and highlight being the beautiful hand-painted flower bouquet tiles (Sally's artistry, of course) showcased in the spacious bathroom. Sally's past life was that of an artist producing wonderful tiles and pedestal sinks in Delaware. Her talents are shown throughout Blue Skies Inn, as each and every bathroom is an individual marvel.

But the strength of Blue Skies does not lie alone in the baths. Each guest suite has a queen or king bed, most with an additional trundle bed in an adjacent sitting area with table and chairs. Perhaps your room will have a soaking or jetted tub. Lights on dimmer switches make the bathing experience even more romantic. All rooms come with TV/VCR combos and the list of movies available rival any selection I've ever seen at a B&B. A most delightful addition to the inn since my last visit is "The Secret Garden" -- a hidden retreat behind the middle building of the inn's compound.

A full breakfast is cleverly served in a wicker basket to your room or to any of the various outdoor seating areas. Sally and Mike have a system worked out for delivery at your chosen time that is poetry in motion. It was fun to see the action as pampered guests relaxed and savored the homemade treats. Privacy, pampering and personalized attention make it easy to choose Blue Skies Inn for the night.

Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado
(BBIC)

Inn Inspectors Karla & Rex Hefferan
Items not in compliance: None noted
August 30, 2010

Image BBIC logoNotes: Blue Skies B&B is a beautiful property where guest comfort and hospitality are top priorities. The guest rooms are all very roomy and beautifully decorated. Many of the walls are custom decorated with artful hand painted murals by the innkeeper. The bathrooms are luxurious and strikingly beautiful with hand made custom tiles. The gardens and accommodations for private weddings and parties are tucked away under a canopy of trees. Sally's breakfasts are unique in that they are beautifully prepared and delivered to the room. Every room has a large sitting area with table and amenities. Blue Skies is a large ten room inn that has managed to capture all of the charm and personal attention one would expect of a smaller property and yet offers the privacy guests have come to expect from larger Inns. Blue Skies is a tribute to BBIC standards.


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Thank you for hosting us on our stay in Manitou Springs. Blue Skies is a one-of-a-kind Bed and Breakfast, beautiful, peaceful and quiet & one of the best night's sleep we have had while on a trip. The work and painting are amazing, and so are the hosts!

Karla & Rex, BBIC State Inspectors 2010

The walls bedecked with boughs of folly,
Every fixture tells a warming story,
We rise from bed to glorious breakfast,
As day unfolds in Morning Glory.

Gregg & Patty, Highlands Ranch, CO

Genius is in the details, and genius abounds at Blue Skies! We were swimming in delight at the sheer perfection of the Deep Blue suite. From the pearls in the netting over the comfy bed, to the perfectly places sequins on the mermaids, every element has been lovingly and skillfully thought out. With the tasty breakfasts, gorgeous grounds and helpful touring advice, this is the ideal place to replenish, refresh and drown out the real world!

Sandy & Carl, Whitefish Bay, WI

Sally and Mike, your artistic gifts are in abundance from your gardens and decor to those delicious breakfasts. Thank you for being so welcoming to children at your B&B. My nine year old son experienced more "magic" here because of what you have created than he did in a DisneyWorld suite.

The Matlock Family, Delafield, Wisconsin


We really enjoyed our stay to celebrate our 8th anniversary! We live in the Springs and relished the chance of a night away from the kids! The room is beautiful, especially the huge bathroom. The bed was so comfy. The breakfast was perfect. Best of all was the hot tub.. you may never leave it!

Michelle and Rob Rolley

Thank you -- everything was wonderful. We left Blue Skies feeling rested, relaxed and reassured that art and business can collide without compromise! Thanks again.

Julie and Brad

(Not to worry, Julie & Brad. Sally recently got an "A" on her
business final exam. A little validation, at last!
)

You have proved that Art and Business can successfully be combined by appealing to a well-defined "niche" market. You obviously have developed a strong mission with a well thought out strategy and great implementation based upon extraordinary attention to detail. If this isn't a great "business plan," I don't know what is!
Hope we can come back every year. This is livin'!

Gano S. Evans, Ph. D.
Professor Emeritus of Business Strategy and Policy
University of North Carolina



We walked into your establishment and everything fell away, it was like walking into Peace!
And the service! Ya'll thought of everything!! From the bubblebath to the chocolates to the delicious breakfast to the room to the loving kindness. Thank you so much for making this the perfect weekend! See you next year.

Paul and Lee Laney

Thank you for a wonderful visit! We enjoyed our retreat to your mountain "oasis." We'll be sure to spread the word about Blue Skies, and hopefully, someday we'll be back for our honeymoon.

Danielle and Christine

This weekend has been just what my husband and I needed -- and it has been the best experience to introduce our son to the mountains. We love your beautiful town and appreciate all of your hospitality. The rooms look awesome! We hope to be back again -- real soon. Blue Skies ahead!

Tania, Mike and Mogen Haggerty

We celebrated our 46th Anniversary with you. We were elated with the beautiful setting of Blue Skies Inn – very relaxing and serene. The Sunset suite was wonderful, very neat and clean. The breakfast is the very best of any place we have ever stayed. All in all, it was much more than we expected. Thank you, and God bless.

Will & Dru, Oklahoma City, OK

Weve been driving from Phoenix to Kansas City, and this was a great stop along the way. The Deep Blue suite and the furnishings are amazing. And the breakfast was better than we ever imagined!
Its great to stay in such an incredible place, and to meet people who take so much pride in what they do. You really make sure all the little details are covered, and thats what makes the difference. Thank you!!!

Kristin & Henley, Phoenix, AZ

We thoroughly enjoyed our time here. Tim says it is the best B&B we’ve been to. He likes having a private breakfast in our room or in the lovely gardens.
I love the decor in the Dot Matrix suite. It is so different from the Victorian style of most B&Bs. It was so comfortable, and we both slept well. It was the perfect getaway from our routine with the kids at home. Thank you.

Tim & Laura, Littleton, CO

Best minimalist review!

Sally and Mike,
Our stay at Blue Sky on September 9 was one of the highlights of our trip to the western US. We have told many of our friends if they are EVER in Colorado Springs that they should stay at your Inn. You have a WONDERFUL concept for the Inn and our stay was a lifetime memory.

Bill (and Loretta) Murray

Hello, you fascinating, artistic, creative, wacky people you! I finally visited your web site. Boy, do I miss the beauty of your surroundings, the peaceful atmosphere, great service, and remarkable artwork and decorations.
We were the 25th anniversary celebrants who were there the 27th and 28th of August. We really enjoyed our stay and are telling everyone about you and your place. Hope it generates more business for you. We hope to return for the Pike's Peak marathon. We'll only do half--the way up and hope they will gently carry us down again. Thanks a lot for a fantastic time. We are glad we were in your lovely state and appreciated your care of us.

Jack and Sandra Achilles

Dear Sally & Mike
Elizabeth describes the Sunset suite as her fairyland. Every aspect of the suite was so well done, it puts all the other places we stayed on our trip to shame. We really enjoyed the gardens. Having breakfast brought to the suite was a real treat. Our friends who visited us here were amazed and impressed. Thanks for being here.

Elizabeth & Will, Dripping Springs, TX

Thank you for a wonderful stay. My 12 year old absolutely loved the Deep Blue suite; it is beautifully decorated. We had fun staying in, watching movies all night & morning.
The breakfast was delicious, as were the “room snacks” we gobbled up last night during our movie.
This morning we saw a deer walk right by our window. This was the perfect way to spend Thanksgiving. Thanks for a lovely stay.

Laura & Julie

The beautiful Colorado scenery and your warm hospitality have made this a wonderfully relaxing stay. We loved hiking in the Garden of the Gods and seeing all te beautiful wildflowers, then coming back to the Ferdinand’s Garden suite and enjoying your beautiful paintings. I love soaking in the tub and enjoying the flowers. After three whole days of seeing the sights, we slept well and leave feeling refreshed.
Thank you so much for the delicious breakfasts served to our suite in a picnic basket. We liked the privacy, and we felt very pampered. We appreciate the hard work you do to make it possible for the rest of us to relax.

Kathy & Jim, Topeka, KS

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From the Starlight suite. We don't know if this is a good review or not. We just like the drawing.





 

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402 Manitou Avenue
Manitou Springs, CO 80829


(800) 398-7949
(719) 685-3899

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