I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for The Broadmoor 5-star hotel in Colorado Springs, about an hour south of Denver, Colorado. They’ve been very generous letting my younger daughter and I stay there and experience various activities over the years. Earlier writeups, if you’re interested: A trip to the Broadmoor with tomahawk throwing and bowling, and our more recent trip to the Broadmoor that included dinner at Restaurant 1858, a wonderful steak restaurant in their Seven Falls mountain property.
There’s no avoiding the pandemic, though, even as we’re a few months into 2021 and vaccines are flying into arms left and right. We’ve also spent a lot of time at home in the last 12 months, so I was curious about how The Broadmoor was keeping everything clean and safe, even as they had restaurants, bars, their spa, and the hotel itself open for business. They again offered us a weekend visit, so my now 17yo daughter K- and I headed down in a loaner 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE.
As soon as we pulled up to the main entrance, it was obvious that they had found a comfortable balance between masks, safety, hygiene, and guests being able to relax and enjoy the beautiful venue and wonderful amenities. In fact, we felt safe throughout our stay, and all of us ooh’d and aah’d when we first saw our swanky one-bedroom suite in the deluxe Southlake building:
The Broadmoor is a five-star and five-diamond hotel for a reason, and stepping into a room shows why:
K- ended up sleeping on the pull-out sofa in the main sitting area, which was not entirely ideal, but she didn’t complain and as we found the room quite comfortable for daytime and evening games and conversation, it worked out fine. They also have smaller units with two beds in the room – as we’ve had in previous visits – but it was fun to experience the layout for these higher-end rooms.
Within our room, the Covid measures were mostly focused on a deeper, more thorough cleaning every day. Teaspoons, cups, soaps, everything was in sealed plastic bags; there was zero risk of contamination from previous guests or the cleaning staff. Indeed, housekeeping wore gloves and every single Broadmoor employee had a face mask on at all times. We still had turn-down service (with, yes, chocolates on the pillows, all promptly snagged by my daughter!) and any requests we made were promptly fulfilled.
For the first night, my older daughter Ashley – now 24yo – joined us too, which was great fun. The two girls decided that they could get quite used to the bathroom layout:
The venue is enormous too, almost 3,000 acres, built around Cheyenne Lake. On the west side of the Lake is Broadmoor West, where we’ve stayed during previous visits, on the north edge a fantastic outdoor pool complex (still closed for winter, alas), the south side leads into their world-class golf course and the east side is Broadmoor Cottages, Broadmoor South, Broadmoor Main and, a few hundred yards east, the Broadmoor Event Center.
THE VIEW AROUND CHEYENNE LAKE
Here’s a panoramic shot from our balcony, with Broadmoor West across the water:
Or, if you prefer, a night photo from the other side of the lake, with the Main building in the center and Broadmoor South on the right:
Suffice to say, it’s just beautiful, and even if you just visit to walk around the lake, you’ll find it’s time well spent at one of the most beautiful spots in all of Colorado!
TIME FOR A SWIM, BROADMOOR STYLE
Once we were all settled in our room, we decided it was time for an afternoon swim. The outdoor pool complex was still closed due to the vagaries of spring weather in the Rockies, but the hotel has a wonderful indoor pool that feels like something you might find in the nicest homes in Gatsby’s West Egg neighborhood. The girls were definitely able to lose any remnant stress from our drive, as you can see:
Covid protocols for the pool area limited total guests in the pool, required each family to have its own seating area with social distancing between, and we had to sign in, with a max pool time of two hours. Being in the pool with other people, even if we were spaced out in the water, felt very normal. Nicely normal, actually.
Dinner our first night was a favorite venue: The Golden Bee. It’s a reconstructed 19th Century British pub known for its singalongs and highly entertaining piano players. Except with Covid, the piano was shuttered to avoid the greater risk of spreading germs by people singing with gusto. The tables were also widely spaced, which felt a bit odd given how cozy the “Bee” usually is.
It’s a traditional British pub with darn good food and a menu that offers more than just classic fare for the more modern palate. I had my standard meal there: a shandy to drink and fish & chips:
A terrific meal, with the highlight being the southwest chipotle slaw. I know, not exactly authentic 19th Century English cuisine, but a perfect counterpoint to the fish, tartar sauce, fries, and ketchup. Not sure what a shandy is? It’s half-beer and half sparkling lemon soda. Made correctly it’s delightfully light and tasty, even for people who aren’t big beer fans. K- had a Beyond burger & fries and Ashley had the vegan Buddha Bowl. Both received positive reviews!
All staff wore face masks and guests were expected to wear face masks when they weren’t actually sitting at their tables. That combined with the table spacing meant that while we couldn’t completely forget it was the tail end of our pandemic, it did feel pretty darn normal once we sat down. It was quite a relaxed and pleasant dinner.
The next morning was spa time, with both girls scheduled for manicures and pedicures at the Broadmoor spa. It’s a tough life they lead, as is obvious in this photo:
Though it was scheduled for 90 minutes, the process took closer to two hours. During this time I explored the property a bit and grabbed a mocha latte at the cute Café Julie’s. Finally, they were done and, as you can see, their nails looked fantastic:
K- got the red, though afterward, she regretted not sticking with her first choice of black nail polish. Either way, I think their fingers – and toes – looked lovely and very grown up.
For the afternoon Ashley’s boyfriend Dylan came down from Denver with their two dogs and we all checked out a terrific new (off property) sandwich place called Colonel Mustard’s Sandwich Emporium, then headed to the famous Garden of the Gods, about 15 minutes from The Broadmoor. It was busy, busy, busy, and the new dog is just a 10-week-old puppy. He’s not exactly a bundle of energy! Look closely and you’ll see how that played out:
While we wanted to get in a hike around the beautiful grounds, we ended up bailing and heading back to The Broadmoor to enjoy the dog-friendly property instead. Much easier with a Bernese Mountain Dog pup who bounces for 10 feet then collapses and sleeps for five minutes!
After a very nice afternoon, Ashley and Dylan headed back north to Denver with the pups while K- and I headed to dinner at La Taverne Steakhouse. Another beautiful venue, also with widely spaced tables and the full waitstaff masked up. The menu is primarily steaks and seafood, and K- and I both settled on the same entree: Salmon. I started with an amazing French onion soup while she had a chopped salad, then we both enjoyed honey glazed salmon, hers with green beans, mine with mashed potatoes:
Admit it, that looks fantastic, doesn’t it? We splurged on dessert, trying both the raspberry sorbet and the chocolate chip cookie with ice cream. It was a lot of tasty food, so afterward we walked around the Lake and chatted about this, that, and the other. The grounds are beautiful day or night, and it proved a very pleasant post-meal aid for our digestion.
The next morning K- slept in while I did a bit of work and joined an online Microsoft webinar for an hour. Then it was time to pack things up, retrieve the Highlander from valet parking, and head home. Overall we agreed that it was another wonderful and relaxing weekend at The Broadmoor, from excellent food to chic spa time and a relaxing indoor pool.
We also agreed that The Broadmoor is doing everything appropriate to keep guests safe and minimize the risk of Covid even as they continued their renowned focus on the guest experience. I didn’t feel unsafe for even a single minute the entire time we were on the property, even as most guests eschewed wearing their masks outdoors in the breezy spring weather.
If you’re looking for somewhere to have a special weekend with your significant other or to treat the family after the long isolation of the last 12 months, The Broadmoor is a great option that’s an easy drive from anywhere in Colorado. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Disclosure: The Broadmoor covered the cost of our lodging, overnight parking, one meal, and the spa treatment for my girls in return for me sharing our experiences at the hotel. Which was pretty darn nice of them!