You might ask yourself why we are including The Broadmoor— a grand historic hotel that harks back to 1918—in an issue dedicated to adventure travel. And if you are asking yourself this question, you know The Broadmoor well, because at this Colorado Springs, five-star, five-diamond resort that offers the Colorado Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, it’s all about being pampered while guests play golf, get a spa treatment, take in some of the most gorgeous vistas in the Southwest, dine on award-winning cuisine…and well, pretty much sit back to enjoy life in the lap of luxury. I mean, there’s plenty of ways to get active—a bike ride here, a tennis game there—but adventure? Yes, indeed.
the ranch at emerald valley
When The Ranch at Emerald Valley—located eight miles west of The Broadmoor (about a 30-minute drive), and bordering more than 100,000 acres of the Pike National Forest—opens next month, it’s going to take The Broadmoor experience to new heights (both figuratively and literally, as it’s located 8,100 ft. up in the mountains). Here, guests will find themselves vacationing in rugged luxury—an oxymoron yes, but not when The Broadmoor does it.
At The Ranch, which will be open seasonally May to October, guests can expect the same “luxuries, services, dining and enjoyment offered at Colorado’s grandest hotel, coupled with a more intimate atmosphere,” says Connie Dorsey, general manager at The Ranch. The all-inclusive hideaway—and we are not just throwing that word around, this place is truly tucked away—features 10 all-new, beautifully appointed, mountain-style 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom cabins that can sleep 32 guests. Decor? Think Ralph Lauren, but all done by Colorado-based designers, and highlighted by wood burning fireplaces. Guests will get to enjoy their family-style dining—all meals will be prepared by a Broadmoor chef—in the newly constructed Grand Lodge, where they can also enjoy pre- and post-dinner cocktails at the bar while taking in stunning mountain and lake views. Although, to truly appreciate the surroundings, we recommend soaking in one of the lakeside hot tubs.
So you know the luxury is going to surpass even your most well-heeled clients’ expectations, but where’s the adventure? Well, as one staff member of The Broadmoor team puts it, “It isn’t Disneyland up there; there’s wildlife, canoeing, hiking.”
In fact, activities abound at The Ranch, and The Broadmoor has taken great advantage of its own backyard to offer them up in spades, because as Dorsey says, “Colorado has so much for the outdoor enthusiast.”
On this mountainous playground, your clients will be able to go on guided horseback rides, take daily guided hikes along scenic trails, go mountain biking, go fly fishing on pristine mountain lakes, canoeing, even take up archery, volleyball, or, for the more sedate, a game of croquet. Those are the activities available as part of the all-inclusive pricing, but for an additional cost, clients can go on jeep tours, river rafting, fly fishing with an instructor, or take a hot air balloon ride.
“A stay at The Ranch will be invigorating, full of activity and mentally relaxing,” says Dorsey. “It’s ideal for the upper-income, life-motivated person who enjoys being challenged in life and in the activities they pursue.”
The Ranch, by the way, is deeply ingrained in The Broadmoor’s history, as it was bought by The Broadmoor’s original owner, Spencer Penrose, a gold and copper magnate, back in 1923, who turned it into his own personal getaway.
It’s no surprise, then, that guests of The Ranch have unparalleled access to the amenities of The Broadmoor. With a simple phone call, ranch guests can be whisked down the mountain for golf, tennis, spa, swimming and shopping.
“The Ranch at Emerald Valley is not meant to replace a stay at The Broadmoor, but to be an addition to a stay at The Broadmoor, something no other hotel can or has to offer,” says Dorsey. “To truly enjoy what The Ranch has to offer and receive the benefits thereof, a 4- to 7-night minimum stay is best. Following a stay at The Ranch, would be two or three nights at The Broadmoor, which includes dining at some of the world’s finest establishments.”
It might be one of the country’s most historic resorts, but there are lots of new things going on in this very upmarket establishment, which encompasses 3,000 acres and is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. For starters, the resort opened up Play at The Broadmoor, where guests can hang out late night to bowl or munch on unique snacks (think roasted jalapeño corndog), and reopened The Golden Bee, opening it up to twice the size of its original layout. It’s a lively watering hole that’s reminiscent of a 19th century London pub and it’s the perfect place to top off the night with a ragtime piano sing-along (a definite don’t miss, especially if guests want to sip on a beer float or eat traditional English pub fare; a must are the desserts!). It also has a rooftop beer garden serving up international brew.
Additionally—and this is something you are going to want to make note of—the main Broadmoor property is expanding with an aggressive renovation of Broadmoor West. Construction will start in October and be completed in May 2014, and all guestrooms will get a redo with all-new, five-fixture marble baths and an updated look. A new Italian restaurant, Ristorante del Lago, which will be set on the western edge of Cheyenne Lake—the resort’s centerpiece—will debut as well. The renovation will add 31 guestrooms: 27 rooms and four suites.
That said, clients don’t have to wait until May to enjoy all of the resort’s amenities. Here are some of the things we loved most about The Broadmoor:
- Our rooms: We made Broadmoor South our home base, and we could’ve sat in our beds staring out at those views for the entire trip, but of course the great outdoors beckoned. The accommodations themselves are truly top-end, with an expansive bedroom area, and a very spacious bathroom (don’t miss a dip in the tub with a picture window that looks into the bedroom and right through to those gorgeous vistas).
- Chef’s Table at Penrose Room: Divine—it’s the only five-star, five-diamond restaurant in Colorado. Complement that with the view; it’s located on the top floor of Broadmoor South, and those surrounding mountains are exceptionally beautiful no matter how many times you look at them and gasp. Oh, yes, there’s the food. Think duck foie gras terrine; slow cooked striped bass; duo of beef tenderloin. A definite must-indulge.
- Spa: It’s got the five-star stamp on it and it does not disappoint. For starters, there’s the co-ed Mountain-View Room—it’s cozy, comfortable and again, there are those views, overlooking one of the golf courses and the mountains. And then there are the treatments—pure bliss. A must-have is the Body Peel, which culminates in a Vichy shower. Recommend clients enjoy all of the pre- or post-trappings of this 43,000-sq.-ft. spa; there’s lots of nooks for relaxing.
- Golf: We didn’t try our hand at teeing off during our visit, but with three magnificently laid-out courses, we can’t imagine your golf aficionado clients are going to have a hard time finding their game here. There’s the East Course, the West Course and the Mountain Course, and they’ve played host to such national tournaments as the U.S. Women’s Open and PGA Cup matches. Designers? It’s the who’s who of the golf world: Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Arnold Palmer, Nicklaus Design.
- Cottages: Set along the 18th fairway of the East Course, the Broadmoor Cottages are simply perfect for families, especially those multigenerational families you are making so many bookings with. The 1- to 8-bedroom cottages offer 450-sq.-ft. bedrooms and 150-sq.-ft. bathrooms with heated floors, as well as high-beamed ceilings, wood floors, natural stone fireplaces, and French doors that open to expansive verandahs with oversized wicker chairs and rockers.
- Shop ‘til you Drop: The resort is home to a variety of shops (26) selling all manner of unique gifts. You can find replicas of historic newspapers at The Library; candy and more candy at The Children’s Shop; a new collar for Fido at the Pet Boutique; and locally made jewelry at LUMA. And let’s not even get into the golf items, the shoes, the clothes, the…well, you get the picture.
All-inclusive opening rates for The Ranch at Emerald Valley start at $435 per night pp dbl, excluding alcohol. Rates for a superior room at Broadmoor South are $565 during peak season and $445 in the off-season.
Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines serve the Colorado Springs Airport (COS) daily from both the east and west coasts.
Adding to what’s being called The Broadmoor Wilderness Experience will be Cloud Camp, with 11 cabins and resting at the top of Cheyenne Mountain, 10 miles west of The Broadmoor, and set to open June 2014. “It will offer endless views to include Pikes Peak, the Pike National Forest, the entire city of Colorado Springs, breathtaking sunrises to the east, and sunsets west into the mountains. Guests can ride up to Cloud Camp on the back of a mule or jeep, or even hike to the top of the mountain,” points out Connie Dorsey, general manager at The Ranch.
WHAT TRAVEL AGENTS ARE SAYING…
One of The Broadmoor’s top-selling agents says she is excited about the opening of The Ranch and points out that the new properties, The Ranch and Cloud Camp, “will attract a younger crowd to The Broadmoor who like the feel of the mountains.”