Please follow all local and CDC recommendations before traveling (see cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html). In the meantime, you can enjoy this content as part of a "stay" or to build your bucket list after self-quarantine.
As I neared the entrance to The Broadmoor, an AAA Five Diamond property that has been in Colorado Springs since it officially opened in 1918, I could have sworn I saw a deer jump into my peripheral vision.
"Wait, was that real?" I asked my passenger Maureen. A moment later we spotted another half a dozen whitebags frolicking in the same spot. What a memorable welcome to these creatures as we stepped into one of the oldest five star resorts in America.
Calling The Broadmoor a resort is almost a mistake. This property sits on 5,000 hectares and was originally modeled on the large villas around Lake Como in Italy. Since it opened over 100 years ago, the property has expanded to include 20 restaurants, cafes and lounges with dress codes ranging from casual to formal (The Broadmoor has a four paragraph treatise on dressing for the occasion), a variety of accommodation options in multiple buildings and 20+ specialty, boutique, and retail stores, including an art gallery, pet boutique, sports outfitter, jewelers, and branded towel sellers. There's also a Forbes five-star spa and fitness center with a hair and nail salon, and activities like championship golf, tennis, and pickleball.
The thought of the large selection of restaurants made us hungry and we tore ourselves away from our stately guest room with a balcony and a view of the garden to eat.
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We arrived at Ristorante del Lago, whose Adam Tihany-designed dining room with fireplace is a vision of terracotta tiles, wooden beams and windows that open onto the lake. The atmosphere is formal but the food is all comfort. Over a bottle of smooth Brunello di Montalcino, my friend and I shared homemade pasta, wood-fired pizza, hearty meatballs with polenta, and a plate of roasted cauliflower. All of the plates were exemplary, including a dessert made from textbook-perfect tiramisu.
The next morning we enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour at Café Julie & # 39; s, a Parisian pastry shop in the hotel lobby, where a special Valrhona chocolate kitchen offers irresistible specialties every day. Then we went on a leisurely Cadillac Escalade ride to the nearby Seven Falls, where water splashes several hundred meters into a row of seven granite shelves. And for a real challenge, climb 224 steps up and then let yourself be abseil or zip down again.
Three of the most unique wilderness adventure packages are offered outside the Broadmoor property and feature a myriad of outdoor activities including hiking, climbing, horseback riding, fly fishing, archery, falconry, paintball, mountain biking and yoga. As we continued our drive, we passed a zoo (which no longer belongs to The Broadmoor) along the Cheyenne Mountain Highway that leads to Camp Cloud, which is 3,000 feet above Broadmoor (Camp Cloud is 9,200 feet above sea level). The Escalade stopped halfway up the freeway so I could change my mode of transport: I rode the rest of the way on the back of a mule named Nora, who proved stubborn and required a strong pull on her reins for half of the uphill hike .
The history of this land is fascinating, and before dinner we gathered on the porch outside the dining room to learn that a woman named Katharine Lee Bates climbed Pike & # 39; s Peak in 1893 – a remarkable feat in itself – and such was thrilled by the breathtaking view below her that she sat down and wrote the lyrics to a song: "America the Beautiful". At Camp Cloud, this popular anthem is played every evening from May to October, accompanied by a moving ceremony under the sunset flag.
Every aspect of dinner in the main lodge was like a dream, as was the chef's presentation of the local Steelhead Trout á la Provençale. The next evening, after spending the day hiking and archery, I was ready for another cooking demonstration. This time the chef boned chicken wings and stuffed them with Italian sausage. They were crispy and unique. After dinner, I wandered around a bit and although I was tempted to soak in one of the two outdoor hot tubs, I opted for a spot by the campfire to end my evening with cognac and s & # 39; mores. Magical.
Scenes from the third round of the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, on Saturday, April 10, 2021. For more information, click here.