Broadmoor Style: Colorado’s Grande Dame


Built in 1918, this grande dame of the Rockies has three golf courses with 54 holes of championship golf, and several swimming pools. And if that’s not enough to keep you busy, you can dine at one of the hotel’s 15 restaurants (see The Broadmoor’s Summit Restaurant) or catch a movie in the resort’s own theater. Dress for several of the restaurants is formal (coat and tie required), so if you plan to splurge, be sure to pack your elegant attire.

The Broadmoor architecture is Italian Renaissance with a hint of the whimsical. Rich colors of purple, yellow, green and red contribute to the resort’s elegant style. Large floral tapestries can be found throughout the hotel.

Historic though the resort may be, it has added many of today’s latest comfort features. All of the rooms in the South Tower include a touch pad that operates the drapes, lights and TV. Flat panel TVs can even be found in the restrooms, along with marble countertops and designer fixtures.

The hotel has undergone numerous renovations and additions. The most recent addition, The Shops at The Broadmoor, is a retail village styled after a small Italian piazza. The square is filled with boutique shops and a cascading waterfall.

In 2004, The Spa at The Broadmoor was expanded to 43,000 square feet (4,000m²). Designed by world-renowned spa architect TAG Galyean, the spa includes two exclusive water treatments — a Serenity Shower, with 18 shower heads customized to fit each guest’s body shape, and a Tranquility Tub (a unique flow-through tub for relaxing) — as well as fireplace-warmed lounges.

Such luxurious pampering does not come cheap. Still, the hotel’s occupancy level shows that guests believe The Broadmoor is worth it. Visitors at the 3,000-acre (12 km²) lakeside resort receive a decadent amount of care, with well-appointed rooms, attentive service and beautiful surroundings.

The Broadmoor was a gambling casino when it opened in 1890. (Tunnels running under the hotel today offer proof of the casino’s sordid past: The passages led to nearby brothels.) When the casino floundered, Philadelphia businessman Spencer Penrose bought the property with dreams of creating the most beautiful resort in the world. Importing artisans and designers from Europe, he fashioned an elegant hotel that opened in 1918. Within months, guests from all over the globe were coming to visit this grand oasis in the Rockies.

Penrose was a passionate man with a vision of what Colorado Springs could become — and the city still benefits from his work today. In addition to building his dream resort, he founded the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, developed the Pikes Peak Road and modernized the Cog Railway. He is buried on a hill near the hotel, along with his wife, business partner and, quite appropriately, his accountant.

The Broadmoor is a top luxury resort.
Built in 1918, The Broadmoor has undergone numerous renovations to keep it a top luxury resort.

The Broadmoor is situated on Cheyenne Lake, at the foot of Cheyenne Mountain. Looking at the serene alpine scenery from the hotel, one would never guess that the mountain plays a vital role in American security.

Deep beneath the rocky surface is the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, home to NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) and three other command centers. The operations in the manmade cavern coordinate a worldwide system of satellites, radars and sensors that provide early warning of any threat to North America.

While these top-secret facilities are closed to the public, you can catch a glimpse of the United States Air Force Academy, which is just a 15-minute drive from the Broadmoor. The Academy chapel has a stunning display of stained glass artistry.

And while you’re out and about, why not take advantage of the natural wonders Colorado Springs has to offer? Even in the winter, the Garden of the Gods is a beautiful place to hike or stroll through towering sandstone rock formations. There is no cost to get into the park, and well-marked paths wander throughout the area.

The most dramatic view in the Springs (as locals call the city), however, can be found at the top of Pikes Peak. It was this vista that inspired Katherine Lee Bates to pen the words toAmerica, the Beautiful in 1893. You can drive up Pikes Peak, but the historic way to ascend the mountain is via the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which was built in 1891. The train climbs from the Manitou Springs depot to the 14,110-foot (4,301 m) peak in just an hour, and the ride offers amazing views.

After exploring nature’s majesty, you can return to your room at The Broadmoor to experience some of the beauty man can create. When Penrose first envisioned the hotel that would become The Broadmoor, he dreamed of creating a place where even royals could feel at home. And he just might have made that happen.

If You Go

The Broadmoor

Colorado Springs

Pikes Peak Cog Railway