After a lovely trip to New Mexico — as written here: Road Trip to Santa Fe! — K- and I headed most of the way home for a much anticipated two night stay at the beautiful Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, CO. For those of you that don’t know Colorado geography, Colorado Springs (or “The Springs” as we locals call it) is 90 minutes due south from Denver International Airport, and less than 60min from the southern tip of Denver proper.
A lot of Coloradans are pretty clueless about The Springs, actually, and I have talked to many people in both Denver and the Boulder area who have never visited. They’re missing out. Not only is the Broadmoor the most beautiful resort property in the entire state, the city itself also boasts the excellent Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the US Olympic Training Facility, the breathtaking Garden of the Gods park and the inspiring Air Force Academy.
All of which proved irrelevant because once we arrived at our room at The Broadmoor, we never left the property for the next two days. Well, I had to pop into an urgent care facility for some medication — kudos to Integrity Urgent Care for an excellent, professional experience — but other than that, everything we wanted to do was at our doorstep, whether paddle boats, swimming, fly fishing, eating, bowling, eating, or eating. And there was room service too. More eating. 🙂
Here’s K- relishing the sheer luxury of our room:
Once we finished unpacking, which mostly consisted of her stuffies taking over the bed again, we headed down to the delightful English pub-style Golden Bee for dinner. It’s a remarkably mellow, homey place that really is evocative of the neighborhood pubs back in the Old Country (I was born in London, in case you didn’t read my bio!). For dinner we both had fish and chips and I splurged on a shandy, a classic English abomination, half beer, half Sprite, with a twist of lemon. Really delicious, and we both really enjoyed both the food and the atmosphere. My only regret was that I think my Dad would have really enjoyed joining us for the meal…
Back at the room we conspired to splurge and ordered a brownie sundae from room service. Boy was it good, and relaxing on the bed, watching an old movie via Netflix from my iPhone to the big LG television? I could get used to that! That night we also enjoyed an epic lightning storm and deluge from the warmth and safety of our room. Quite impressive.
The next morning we grabbed a quick bite at the new Natural Epicurean, a very Boulder-like casual breakfast and lunch joint in the West Tower at The Broadmoor. I had a tasty mini-quiche while K- had a donut and chai. Hey, at least it wasn’t cold pizza!
We headed over to Base Camp for something fun and different: A fly fishing experience with 15-year Broadmoor veteran Randy B. He proved to be incredibly low-key and when we learned that we’d get to zip through the expansive golf course on a golf cart, K- was delighted. Our destination, a rustic fishing house and dock on the edge of a stocked fishing pond in the further edges of the golf course itself.
Our two-hour lesson (well, two hours of hanging around, practicing fly casting and occasionally catching and releasing a fish) included K- and I both catching multiple fish and having lots of fun. She’s an experienced fisher too, thanks to the time she spends each summer at the Lake of the Ozarks. Here’s proof of one of her catches:
Our final tally was five caught, three that wriggled off as we pulled up the line, and dozens of the big ones that got away. As do all of the best fish when you’re fishing, right?
I really enjoyed the fly fishing experience, even if it was off a dock into a stocked lake rather than up in the mountains, thigh-deep in freezing river water. I could get used to this fishing thing, I could. Very zen.
We made it back without any fishhooks in our fingers and decided to jump on a paddleboat and explore the grand lake in the middle of The Broadmoor property. We don’t even look too sweaty:
Turns out that paddleboats aren’t so much fun when there’s a big, um, weight differential between the two people in the boat. But we slogged along and had fun, though it was a bit dicey getting out of the awkwardly balanced boat when we got back to the dock, I’ll say!
We headed back to the room for a bit of downtime, then went for a swim in the swanky indoor pool at the Spa, which was quite pleasant and a nice respite from the heat of the afternoon sun. Back to the room again for a wardrobe change and we headed over to Play at The Broadmoor for some bowling in their six-lane alley:
Very nice, peaceful, and lots of sports on TV for those who need their sports bar fix. We bowled two games, and I have to say that the last five frames on my first game were all strikes, five in a row. Then the second game reality returned and I barely broke 100. So it goes.
While we were finishing up our game, my buddy Steve’s dad Ron showed up to join us for dinner: He’s local to Colorado Springs and is always excellent company. We wrapped up bowling — and I admit to being a bit taken aback by the cost, so price it out before you roll your first ball — and were ready for some dinner.
Kiana thought Italian sounded good so we stuck our head in the Ristorante del Lago, just to learn that they were closed for meals and only offering snacks. Back to Play, which worked out fine, we started with a table full of appetizers — edamame and parmesan and white truffle popcorn — along with some age-appropriate beverages:
Dinner for K- was mini-sliders with cheese, and Ron and I split a terrific flatbread veggie pizza. The dinner conversation was full of amusing tales of Ron’s many experiences at The Broadmoor over the years, and after enjoying a few cold ones and sharing a banana split three ways, we called it a night.
Except K- and I didn’t call it a night, actually! Later that evening we headed downstairs for s’mores toasted over the outdoor fire to celebrate our last evening of vacation and last night at The Broadmoor.
The next morning we splurged on a chic breakfast at the Lake Terrace Dining Room, and I have to admit that my Denver omelette was splendid, a great gastronomic farewell to a lovely resort and really fun couple of days.
And The Broadmoor? I adore the place. It’s beautiful, genteel, not stuffy, and elegantly appointed. It’s definitely on the very high end of hotels and some of the restaurants and activities were not inexpensive, but if you can afford even a single night’s stay, it’s absolutely worth the cost and highly recommended. Heck, if it’s out of your price range you can still enjoy walking around the grounds and a modest meal at the Golden Bee or one of the more casual eateries.
We’ll definitely be back!
Disclaimer: Many thanks to the PR team at The Broadmoor for covering the cost of our stay, meals and activities. The trip was delightful and knowing that we didn’t have to worry about the nickels and dimes made it even more relaxing.