By Charlene & Richard Mixa
A Classic Award Winning International Resort
Seeking a resort where European elegance meets Western hospitality? For more than nine decades, The Broadmoor has combined this perfect blend of style and service excellence. As the gateway to the Colorado Rocky Mountains on the outskirts of Colorado Springs this 3,000-acre acre elite Resort with its lush grounds and magnificent buildings continues to be the “Grande Dame of the Rockies.” Consistently at the forefront of world-class facilities, amenities and service, the Broadmoor is the longest-running winner of both the AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star awards. Under the shadow of the Cheyenne Mountain the Broadmoor offers championship golf, an award-winning day spa, tennis courts and camps, elegant swimming pools, extensive children’s programs, specialty retail shops and is even a pet friendly resort. Guest’s expectations are met and exceeded with state-of-the-art comfort and convenience all in the elegance and luxurious charm of this classic international destination resort.
A circular driveway around a graceful fountain and brilliant flowering shrubs welcome us as we arrive at The Broadmoor. Checking in at the Main Complex, formerly the original hotel, we experience the grandeur and opulence of the resort. Hospitality and impeccable service are definitely Number One, as the valet, bellman and reception staff have us quickly, yet graciously, settled into our Southlake one bedroom suite. Decorated in a French Country style the large living area has plenty of seating with a couch, chair and ottoman and extra chairs around the coffee table. Added features are the HDTV, gas fireplace, desk and bar area. Stunning views of the Lake and Cheyenne Mountain are seen from the separate dining area with a round table and chairs, just great for afternoon cocktails. Plush linens and colorful décor create warmth in the spacious bedroom with its king two poster bed as well as an HDTV, large dresser, and comfy chair. Off the bedroom is a study with a full-size desk and office chair. Luxury continues in the bathroom with its claw foot bath tub, glassed in marble shower, and double-sink vanity. Plenty of space with all the comforts and amenities we need.
Now to get acclimated to all this fabulous and expansive resort offers. As we stroll to the north end of the lake, we see several families peddling along in paddleboats. The lavish 11,000-square-foot outdoor infinity pool has a children’s wading pool and two large outdoor whirlpools. At the Broadmoor Main complex we gain insight into the resort’s history through murals, photographs and original letters of the founder, Spencer Penrose. A shopping area has numerous retail shops including specialty shops just for children and pets. Stopping by the well stocked Pro Shop in BROADMOOR South, we get a glimpse of the recently introduced Broadmoor Cottages. Situated on the eighteenth green of the East Course the cottages range from single room suites to an eight bedroom cottage all with expansive verandas and sweeping vistas of the Cheyenne Mountains.
With eighteen restaurants, cafes and lounges, dining choices are plentiful and it would take us several days to experience each of them. Tonight our reservations are for Charles Court just across the lake from our suite. A AAA Four-Diamond restaurant Charles Court has a contemporary country-manor décor and offers dining on its expansive flagstone patio. Seated adjacent to open French doors, our table overlooks the patio plus has a spectacular view of Cheyenne Lake. With a seasonally driven menu that specializes in the celebration of American food and wine, Charles Court still captures the spirit of Colorado ingredients. Selecting the entrée of the Chef’s specialty, a Red Snapper with peas and carrots (which is pea risotto and carrot foam) my dish is savory and hearty. Richard raves over his Striped Sea Bass with shrimp that is a delectable blend of rich flavors. Our waitress shares that Chef Greg Barnhill previously worked in south Florida and sources his fish from his Florida contacts which are flown in daily. After leisurely dinner we relax and review our upcoming activities.
After dinner we continue to acclimate ourselves roaming along Broadmoor West with its Wall of Fame and then stop by The Hotel Bar. Comfy overstuffed chairs create an inviting atmosphere as we sip our wine and beer. Soon we are in an indepth conversation with another couple about golfing the Broadmoor courses.
Breakfast at the beautiful Lake Terrace Dining Room starts our morning. The extensive breakfast buffet features a broad variety of a hot and cold breakfast items, plenty of home made breads, muffins and pastries as well as an omelet station. The fresh fruits of blue berries, raspberries and strawberries are plump, juicy and fresh. The service and attention to detail is excellent.
With 56 holes of golf and having recently hosted the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open the courses are in pristine championship condition. Today we are prepped to take on the Broadmoor’s West Course that melds traditional yet exciting designs of Donald Ross and Robert Trent Jones. Despite a busy schedule we play as a twosome on this demanding course with its many doglegs and steeply angled greens. Immediately we are aware of the thick rough along the fairways and around the green that snags balls making them hard to find and difficult to execute a clean swing. Golfing at the higher elevation of 6,800 feet brings extra challenges of altitude and adjusting to the impact of the mountains on all putts. Greens are big, sloping and undulating making it easy to roll a putt past the hole or to leave a putt embarrassingly short. An absolutely excellent course in both condition and challenge with heavily tree-lined and rolling fairways and huge sand bunkers strategically placed both around the greens and along the fairways. As the course ascends to higher elevations we take time to enjoy the fantastic views of the Cheyenne Mountains, Colorado Springs and the Resort. Demanding, fun, dramatic and exciting it is a great round of golf on the well manicured West Course.
Now to indulge ourselves in the blissful services of the Broadmoor’s Colorado Spa. A Forbes/Mobil Travel Guide Five Star Spa, Salon and Fitness facility the Colorado Spa features luxurious, exotic and essential experiences for the body, mind and spirit. Following our separate tours of the locker areas and changing into our luxurious robes we meet in the Mountain View room with extraordinary vistas of the Cheyenne Mountains and the Broadmoor golf courses. Sipping our cucumber water, we wait to be called us for our treatments. Richard is called first and is pampered with the Signature Massage which is a wonderful combination of a Swedish and Deep Tissue technique. Beginning with an inhalation to calm and ground his body he is then treated to a full body and scalp massage. Ahh, totally relaxed Richard’s treatment concludes with his feet encompassed in warm towels and a soothing foot massage.
Dora, my therapist, walks me through each step of an Australian Mud Therapy. Both refreshing and rejuvenating the Australian Mud Therapy begins with aromatherapy and I choose a blend of lavender and peppermint. Initially, Dora applies the special Australian mud to my arms, legs, and back wrapping each area to allow the mud to pull toxins from my body. Using scented oils she performs an accupressure facial and scalp massage. Expertly removing the mud, Dora then begins a Balinese Body Palming that gives a sense of well being. A finishing touch is a warm Echinacea cream to help retain moisture in my body. Wow! Truly refreshed and rejuvenated, I continue my blissful afternoon in the steam room and aromatherapy room.
Peaceful and serene from our Spa treatments, we return to our suite just as an afternoon monsoon begins. Actually, the rain is a nice reprieve as we chill out before dinner at the Penrose Room, Colorado’s only Five Star and Five Diamond restaurant. As the rain continues we ponder how to get to the restaurant as our building only has an outside entrance. Never fear the attentive Broadmoor staff has a solution. The bellman gives options of a shuttle or umbrellas but shares that a lower level corridor beneath the building connects to Broadmoor South and the Penrose Room.
The Penrose Room’s stylish décor and cuisine befit its Five-Diamond rating. It has a prix fixe menu with choices of three, four or seven courses and also features wine pairings. Carefully reviewing the menu we elect the three course dinner which includes choices of an appetizer/salad, entrée and dessert. I have the Appetizer Sampler which included tuna tartare, lobster ravioli, a delicious sweet foie gras, and white asparagus soup. It is excellent and a good way to taste the varied appetizers. Richard’s Caesar Salad is expertly prepared tables-side. My Halibut with fingerling potatoes and mustard greens is exquisite and savory while Richard’s Snapper with couscous is superb. Each is elegantly presented and, of course, served simultaneously. Sweets for tonight are the rich strawberry chocolate ball with vanilla yogurt and a special rhubarb dessert. Both are delectable and tantalizing. Service is first class as well as most attentive. Live music gives that extra touch of romance to our evening of an epicurean fine dining experience.
What’s all the buzz? Celebrating 50 years at the Broadmoor, The Golden Bee is a true 19th-century Irish Pub – loud, noisy and fun. The energy, warmth, friendliness and excitement hits us as we enter. Get Stung and Sing-a-long! The waitress “stings” us tossing a bumble bee sticker, when we aren’t looking, that “sticks” to us. Guests save their bees for years! Its fun singing along to many good ol’ familiar songs as the ragtime piano player tickles the keys to a repertoire of sing-a-long songs. A must do and fun finish for our evening.
An 8 o’clock tee time and we are up early to golf the renowned East Course. Originally designed by Donald Ross it is now a combination of designs by both Donald Ross and Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Home to many major tournaments, it’s hosted the 1959 U.S. Amateur, which was Jack Nicklaus’ first major win, the 2008 U.S. Senior Open and most recently, The 2011 U. S. Women’s Open Championship won by So Yeon Ryu in an amazing playoff. Plus, the East Course is one of only 12 North American and Caribbean golf courses to receive a five-star rating by Golf Digest.
We learn the East Course brings its own nuances where fairways may be wide but large trees quickly alter shots and approaches. Distances are confusing as many holes have deceptive uphill or downhill fairways. At higher elevations balls fly further but the gently sloping fairways quickly take away any advantage. Huge and demanding greens! Reading the greens continues to be a challenge. Thinking we learned from our round of golf on the West Course, we find the East Course requires even more touch and care in reading each putt. Where’s the mountain? Putts break away from the mountain! Putts that look downhill actually roll uphill. In pristine condition it is an exciting day of golf on this fabulous course with panoramic views of the mountains and countryside. The East Course offers a superb upscale golf experience on a tough course that challenges the Pros but does not punish the average golfer. Golfers of all levels will have a fulfilling round.
Refreshed after showers in the Golf Club’s Locker Room, we are famished and ready for lunch. The Golf Club Dining Room is a casual, outdoor dining area with window walls opening onto an expanded awning-covered patio. With views of the golf courses, the Cheyenne Mountains and a cool afternoon breeze we enjoy our leisurely lunch. Excellent service, scrumptious sandwiches and more awesome views are a magnificent finale to our visit to the Broadmoor.
The Broadmoor is a vibrant world class destination with a string of five star awards. An elite resort elegantly set at the foot of the Cheyenne Mountains. Our visit is fantastic! The service is unparalleled as the personable staff is always ready with a warm welcoming smile, a friendly greeting, and a simple solution to any concern. A resort that lives up to and consistently exceeds the expectations of its multiple of awards. The golf courses are demanding and in terrific championship condition. Serenity and bliss are readily found at the Colorado spa with its gracious staff. Dining options are endless with each restaurant offering its own unique personality, cuisine and setting. With an array of activities we only touched on the primary ones during our visit. The Broadmoor is a premier destination resort for a family vacation, a romantic getaway or an extra special place to stay or visit while in the Colorado Springs or Denver areas.
If you go: The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80906; (719) 623-5112; www.Broadmoor.com