Ringing in the New Year in Style
Tis the holiday season for The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and another unforgettable celebration is in store. I can attest it’s an awesome spectacle and a winter wonderland. The Broadmoor, affectionately known as “The Grand Dame of the Rockies,” is a sprawling family friendly resort, sitting snuggly at the bottom of Cheyenne Mountain.
With its superb location near the edge of the Rockies, surrounded by natural beauty and plenty of sunshine with occasional snow, it’s considered a top destination in the U.S. for getaways and conferences.
The Broadmoor experience begins right at the Colorado Springs Airport where the resort has a Welcome Desk with a friendly hello and a bottle of water, as you await The Broadmoor shuttle. It’s a quick trip, crisp and cool, with the picturesque mountain backdrop prominent at dusk.
I am no stranger to The Broadmoor. My previous visits have left me with enduring memories and a longing to come back. I knew I would be well cared for even travelling solo for New Year’s Eve. As we drove up, there was the familiar soaring pink Italian Renaissance-style building adorned with a giant holiday wreath and big red bow. Once in love with The Broadmoor always in love with The Broadmoor.
“The Spa at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs is just one of 30 spas in the world to earn a Forbes 5 Star rating.”
The stately Colorado blue spruce trees lining the road as we drove up were decorated with thousands of lights, a dazzling array of sparkling Christmas trees. I had only heard about this yearly tradition of “The White Lights Ceremony,” beginning just after Thanksgiving, when more than 250,000 strands of lights brighten the night sky and embellish the trees and grounds signaling the official Broadmoor holiday season. It was awesome.
To make this Broadmoor visit different from the others, I opted to stay in the Broadmoor Cottage, on the east golf course. I was well acquainted with the elegantly decorated rooms in the main building with beautiful fabrics, furniture and woods with sensational lake views. This charming one-bedroom cottage had high-beamed ceiling, designer appealing living room and comfortable bedroom with dressing room, huge fireplace, computer in room and Keurig Coffees. Outside my view was a forested area beyond the golf course, meandering creek with mallards bustling in the background.
If The Broadmoor walls could talk they would tell the remarkable story of visionary Spencer Penrose, a Philadelphia entrepreneur, and his socialite wife, Julie, who came to the old mining town of Colorado Springs and built a world class resort. He also built the Pikes Peak Railroad and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to house the exotic animals he had imported Africa. From the beginning, the resort was meant to attract the elite and was dedicated as The Broadmoor on June 29, 1918. The rich and famous all came through the portals. It was fitting that the first prominent guest was John D. Rockefeller and through the decades he was followed by entertainers, sports figures, including presidents like Presidents Obama, Clinton and Bush. Mr. Penrose commissioned American artist Maxfield Parrish, one of my favorites, for a painting of the resort, just as Randolph Hearst had commissioned Parrish to do illustrations for his publications.
As a part of unlimited pleasures, resort amenities appeal to everyone’s desires from golf, tennis, bowling, fishing, polo, dining (my favorites spots: The Summit and The Golden Bee) and then shopping, yoga and fitness. Its newest amenity is Cloud Camp atop Cheyenne Mountain and the new Broadmoor Ranch at Emerald Valley.
It’s a bustling time during the holiday season with the 12 Days of Christmas Culinary Demonstrations presented by Executive Chef Bertrand Bouquin and his team; the impressive life-size gingerbread house, plus a new holiday tradition of the King’s Cake, with a charm baked in worth a coveted prize. Everyone loves to visit the Christmas House which displays unique ornaments and collectibles.
Onboard the historic Cog Railway heading to Pike’s Peak, the Santa Train welcomes Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. In years gone by, after one visit to Pike’s Peak Mountain, Katherine Lee Bates wrote the beloved song “America the Beautiful.”
All too soon it was New Year’s Eve and I was pleased that I had pre-registered for the gala Broadmoor New Year’s Eve Party, mentioning that I was traveling solo. The early part of the day I had breakfast in my cottage, while anticipating my mid-day spa treatment. This award-winning spa is luxurious in décor with European appeal plus innovative and restorative treatments. My favorite treatment is the signature hot and harmonic Hot Stone Therapy Treatment. Since it was the New Year I was enticed to the Australian Mud Treatment for a needed detox. The mud was applied with a body palm massage and Echinacea cream, allowing the mud to extract the toxins and the cream to retain moisture. I emerged relaxed and refreshed, steamed a bit and enjoyed my pre-warmed luxury robe, while reclining in the Mountain View Room, sipping a glass of cucumber water.
The Spa at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs is just one of 30 spas in the world to earn a Forbes 5 Star rating. The Broadmoor resort is one of its three five star properties…earning the highest rating for the hotel and restaurant in addition to the spa. I do believe that this spa is unparallel for relaxation, treatments and rejuvenation. The historic Broadmoor is the longest consecutive winner of the AAA Five Diamond and Mobil Five Star awards for excellence.
A few hours before the New Year’s Eve party, I visited downtown Colorado Springs to catch a glimpse of the holiday décor and watch ice skaters circling Acacia Park’s outdoor skating rink. One of my favorite attractions, besides breathtaking Pike’s Peak, is the amazing red stone formations at Garden of the Gods where you may hike or drive to see it all.
At the New Year’s Eve celebration everyone was dressed in their finest outfits amid the lavish decorations. Ken Miller and The Broadmoor Pops Orchestra and the powerhouse band Tunisia provided non-stop music and entertainment. I was seated with a friendly group who were regulars at the Broadmoor on New Year’s Eve. It was a great way to toast New Years.
Spending the holidays at The Broadmoor is an experience to savor and a lasting memory. So long, see you again and Happy New Year.
The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80906,