Hotel Watch: The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs

by kevin_chaffee

By Kevin Chaffee

One of the nation’s largest and most well known resorts, The Broadmoor boasts a glorious past, an incomparable setting, impeccable service and a broad range of activities and dining options for the entire family.

 

LOCATION

The Broadmoor occupies more than 5,000 acres nestled on the shore of Cheyenne Lake at the foot of the southern edge of the Rocky Mountains. It is a short drive to downtown Colorado Springs, Pike’s Peak, The Garden of the Gods Park and the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Encapsulating grandeur at its finest, The Broadmoor Hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

STYLE

This Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond resort, which opened in 1918, is an iconic property that embodies classic European style ranging from the Italian Renaissance elements of its palatial pink stucco main building and Tuscan tower to the beautiful stone terraces and tree-lined pathways within the compound of buildings surrounding a serene man-made lake. Marble floors, frescoed ceilings, plush carpeting and curtains and major Western American artworks (Albert Bierstadt, Frederick Remington, Thomas Moran) from the collection of billionaire owner Philip Anschutz and a gallery with hundreds of famous guest photographs (movie stars, literary lions and just about every president since Calvin Coolidge) lend an air of luxury and exclusivity that easily equals—and sometimes even surpasses—the Greenbrier, The Homestead, Nemacolin and other legendary American resorts.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Spread across seven buildings, the 784 rooms, suites, cottages, brownstones and Estate House are generously sized with most decorated in English country style decor with plush beds, armchairs, carpeting and fabrics. Many have gas fireplaces as well as patios and balconies enjoying expansive views of the mountains and lake. High quality bedding, robes and towels are de rigueur along with double basins, soaking tubs and showers and separate toilets in most of the bathrooms. Large closets (with an iron/ironing board), a minibar, safe, coffee maker and big screen television are standard features.

One of the luxurious suites that offers a view of the Cheyenne Lake alongside a full patio.

FACILITIES

The Broadmoor boasts many attractions appealing to a wide range of guests, including two 18-hole golf courses with practice areas for chipping, swinging and putting. The Broadmoor Tennis Club, one of the country’s top 20 tennis resort facilities, is a legendary destination for players of all levels that offers personal and group lessons with seasoned pros, match arrangements and complimentary round robins. Two of the five hard courts are covered by illuminated and heated bubbles in winter. Three pickleball courts are also available for play. There are large indoor and outdoor pools, the latter of the “infinity” variety with two heated lap lanes overlooking the lake and mountains, an expansive deck with luxe private cabanas and a full service café. Nearby are a children’s wading pool and two whirlpools.

The outdoor pool overlooking the main hotel.

ACTIVITIES

Apart from golf, tennis and swimming, there are an unparalleled number of things to do both on and off property. Horseback riding and hikes along scenic mountain trails are popular during much of the year along with rock climbing treks with instructors, archery, tomahawk throwing (!), a pellet gun range, bowling, billiards, video games, a movie theater and overnight fly fishing camp excursions in private cabins. Children have their own dedicated concierge and Bee Bunch Camp for excursions and sports activities. There are two zip lining courses over waterfalls and an extraordinary—and highly recommended—opportunity to learn about the ancient craft of falconry from one of the country’s master falconers and his stunning birds of prey. No able bodied guest should leave The Broadmoor without experiencing Seven Falls, one of Colorado’s most captivating natural wonders. The spectacular series of waterfalls, walking distance from the resort at the summit of a 224-step incline, cascades down a box canyon between the towering Pillars of Hercules and offers magnificent vistas as far as the eye can see. (The Broadmoor bought it some years ago by the way.)

Falconry is a popular choice for wildlife enthusiasts as one of the many activities available to guests.

Featuring six bowling lanes, a full-service restaurant, billiards, foosball and a shuffle board, ‘Play’ at The Broadmoor offers a distinctly retro Americana atmosphere to please the young at heart.

 The Broadmoor Golf Club is consistently ranked among the best in the world and has hosted numerous national tournaments including the U.S. Women’s Open and PGA Cup Matches.

SPA & SERVICES

The enormous full service spa, winner of a Forbes 5 Star award, offers numerous services (some were curtailed during the pandemic) in more than 40 treatment rooms as well as a large fitness center with saunas, stem and oxygen treatment rooms, a myriad variety of exercise and weight machines, personal trainers, exercise classes and hair and nail salons. The 25 retail establishments, many rather high end as one might expect, are located throughout the property and include golf and tennis pro shops and others selling clothing, shoes, pet items, cosmetics, artwork, jewelry, antiques and miscellaneous gifts.

 

FOOD

Several of The Broadmoor’s restaurants remain closed due to COVID-19, including the high end, multi-starred Penrose Room, acclaimed for contemporary European cuisine. Two others, Natural Epicurean (organic, vegan, vegetarian) and Summit (modern regional American food) are scheduled to reopen in late Spring 2021. Note that a 20 percent service charge is added to each bill.

Guests will definitely want to take breakfast in the main lodge’s Lake Terrace Dining Room (walk in only; no reservations) where the enormous menu boasts just about anything one might want: multiple hot cereals, fruit selections, egg dishes and tasty griddle items that include a superlative brioche French toast with a mixed berry compote, vanilla sauce and maple syrup. The week-end buffet is currently on hiatus but is scheduled to return this fall. A ban on cell phone use is a most welcome touch for those who prefer to eat their breakfast in peace. ($15-$30)

The Grille, on the ground floor of the Golf and Spa Building adjacent to the main lodge, offers a country club setting that will surely be familiar to many of the well heeled guests. Looking out over the 18th green, this elegant-yet-casual oasis offers widely spaced tables and comfortable chairs that coax diners to indulge in impressive regional specialties—Colorado rack of lamb, chicken and Rocky Mountain red trout almandine—listed on the lengthy menu alongside other tempting meat and fish specialties such as grilled Verlasso salmon and a classic Châteaubriand served table side. The old fashioned peach cobbler proves an excellent dessert choice. (Lunch $25-$35; Dinner entrees $35-$55)

The Golden Bee, the resort’s informal, family style dining spot, focuses on gastropub favorites from Merrie Olde England served in a jolly rough-and tumble atmosphere with nightly ragtime piano music and a vast selection of British beers and ales to help fuel any impromptu sing-alongs. While the fish and chips and bangers and mash have certainly “withstood the test of time,” there are plenty of burger selections, a classic Reuben pulled pork and chicken pot pie for any inveterate Yanks in the room (which, incidentally, was transported to The Broadmoor from England piece by piece). Even if you don’t order one of the colossal pretzel twists smothered in pepper jack fondue you might get to taste one anyway since the waiters often drop off a freebie if they take a shine to the people at your table. (Dinner entrées $19-$28)

Ristorante Del Lago offers fine Italian dining with numerous antipasti choices from the old country to tempt the palate, including salads, cheeses, pasta specialties from many regions (puttanesca, carbonara, vongole, pappardelle) and secondi piatti that include six pizza choices, pork chop Milanese, swordfish à la Genovese and other chicken, steak and fish entrees. (Pastas $14-20, Pizzas $14-$20, Dinner entrées $22-$45)

Ristorante Del Lago

La Taverne, the legendary steakhouse near the front entrance of the main lodge, boasts rich woods, ambient lighting and comfortable seating that ensure a relaxing setting to savor prime hand-cut steaks and chops as well as sustainable fish and seafood selections such as oysters from the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts. Many guests come just for the acclaimed Eagle’s Nest Ranch Waygu Beef (at a hefty market price). A large and carefully selected list of wines by the glass is an added enticement. (Lunch $13-$22, Dinner entrées $19-$72)

La Taverne

BOTTOM LINE

Standard rooms: From $365
Daily Resort Fee: $39
Daily Pet Fee: $100

 

DETAILS

The Broadmoor
1 Lake Avenue
P.O. Box 1439
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906
1-855-634-7711

www.broadmoor.com

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