“The classiest hotel I have ever stayed in” is one of the reviews that caught our attention at first. So you can imagine the curiosity with which we turn up the driveway of the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, just to discover that it is not the right entrance to get to the room we booked. We drive around to find what turns out to be another wing on the other site of the huge lake. Just to illustrate how big this 5-star and full-service resort with its 784 rooms is.
And yes, besides big it is also very classy. A walk through its oak-paneled hallways is akin to visiting a world-class museum. We have never seen so many artworks around anywhere in a hotel. No wonder the Broadmoor is a member of Historic Hotels of America of the National Trust of Historic Preservation. It's filled with the works of the finest Western artists in history. There are traditional paintings, works on paper, sculpture accents, contemporary and wildlife art pieces. All of this might also be a reason for the high rates of staying here. So, if you don’t have the money, you could also just stroll around the lake, find out about the peaceful setting here and enjoy the art inside.
The main resort complex is situated at the base of Cheyenne Mountain in Emerald Valley. Opened in June 1918 by Spencer and Julie Penrose, it was called the “Grand Dame of the Rockies”. The resort had one of the first full-service spas in the country and a supervised activities club for children. Penrose's goal was to build ‘the finest hotel in the United States’ and so they did, followed by many expansions, closures and renovations. A detail is the fact that the hotel always presents its name and logo as all uppercase with the 'A' being smaller and raised higher than the other letters. One legend-story around that is that Penrose had a friendly rivalry with the Antlers Hotel, another famous hotel and for that reason, Penrose required the 'A' in Broadmoor to always be smaller than the other letters.
Its visitors have included head of state, celebrities, professional sports stars and businessmen. While wandering through you will discover an enormous number of pictures of these famous visitors. An image of the Lanting Family would fit here very nice :-). Historically, national and world skating, hockey and golf championships were held here. Between 2003 and 2008, the resort was expanded to include a group of retail stores, 160 luxury townhomes and condominiums, rooftop tennis courts, underground parking and expansion of the third golf course. There’s really a lot of history here, but behind that pink-stucco façade awaits unadulterated, let-your-hair-down fun. A fact we definitely can confirm as after our arrival we soon discover that guests are usually dressed in shorts and sneakers. Only in the evening they use to change for going out in one of the many restaurants and bars.
We are staying in a huge room with two double beds and enough space for our girls to do a dancing performance for us. The girls also love the tv in our bathroom mirror, a bit difficult to watch but always nice to entertain yourself during teeth brushing. You can also choose for a suite, a cottage, the Estate House or if you need even more luxury: the Brownstone houses.
While there are numerous restaurants on-site, all require reservations well ahead. We enjoy our diner at La Taverne, one of the most legendary steakhouses in Colorado. The Front Room showcases live music Friday through Sunday evenings, while Le Jardin brings the outdoors in and allows us to dine among surroundings pretending to be in a lovely French garden. Next day we stroll to the Golden Bee where we are having a great dinner and jolly enjoyable time in this 19th century British Pub. The pub was transferred to The Broadmoor panel by panel, directly from the UK. We particularly love this restaurant, all though it seems like a lot of families are having a wonderful time at the busier Play: six-lane bowling alleys (with bumpers) completed with gourmet food or sushi if you like and loud but very uplifting music. Deserts here are a real family treat and it also hosts a play area with shuffle board, table football, Xbox, PlayStation and Wii.
Do consider that several items are included in an extra "service fee" per day which are standard at most hotels like Wi-Fi and the fitness room. In this fee a shuttle is included to the Seven Falls, the only waterfall in Colorado to have earned a spot on National Geographic’s list of International Waterfalls, which is owned by the Broadmoor. The fee does not cover the entrance itself though.
The Broadmoor also offers Family Passport Programs from November till early April. Think about complimentary activities/classes, such as an omelet-cooking demonstration, exercise, dance, photograph and golf to fill your passport. During our stay we see a family going for some paint balling in one of the gardens.
The region Colorado Springs has more to offer. What about biking, walking or running on the trails to the Seven Falls or into Cheyenne Canyon. Or horseback riding, fishing, geocaching, tennis lessons (or camps) and zip lining over the Seven Falls. There’s also a shuttle service to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, one of the most beautiful zoos in America with its amazing mountain setting. Also, Broadmoor Outfitters can organize all kind of trips for everyone to enjoy and you might check our other review in Colorado Springs. We have our own rental car that we use to get to the stunning large sandstone rock formations: the nearby Garden of the Gods. It is said that one of the surveyors was impressed and found it a fit place for the gods to assemble. In 1879 a portion of it was purchased by Perkins; upon his death his family gave the land to the City of Colorado Springs with the provision that it would be a free public park forever.
Back to the Broadmoor. If you fancy its style: it has its own ranch at Emerald Valley with ten beautifully restored and luxuriously appointed cabins and lots of outdoor activities. You can stay at the highest group escape Cloud Camp in the Pike National Forest or the Fly Fishing Camp at the Taryall River. Also, the Broadmoor has a combined ownership with Sea Island Resorts.
# The food is phenomenal as well as the staff in restaurants. Really child friendly and treating you with a warm welcome.
# Oops, we forgot to mention the lovely infinity pool next to the lake with fantastic water slides for the kids to enjoy…. And the indoor Spa pool…. And a heated lap pool. For grownups you can add the Golf area, the amazing Spa, the fitness center, the Tennis club as well as the shopping area in one of the wings.
# So many things to do and choose from: you could spend your holidays here for the rest of your life without getting bored!