A Rocky Start to Boulder

Boulder's Omni Interlaken offers hectic travelers a calming breather

By: Terra Judge

Almost everyone I spoke with while in Boulder, Col., advised me to stay. “It’s just so easy to live here” was a phrase I heard over and over and I am now also a Colorado convert. Hailing from Los Angeles, I forgot there was such a thing as open space especially since my departure to the Omni Interlocken Resort was even more chaotic than usual.

Confusing airport shuttles and a flood of people resulted in missing baggage and thus a missed flight. The crux of the craziness was when a harried flight attendant urged us passengers to sing, “Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now,” to expedite disembarking from the plane so that the airline staff could get home.

It seemed as though Los Angeles was urging me to get away from it all and Boulder couldn’t have fit the bill any better. The Omni, situated conveniently between Boulder and Denver, beckoned with a 27-hole championship golf course, an expanded full-service spa, two outdoor pools and Pavilion and more than 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space on 300 acres of manicured and refreshing property.

Only 30 minutes from Denver Airport, the moment I set foot inside, I knew I had arrived to an oasis away from city traffic and crowding. The glass of champagne put in my hand as I checked into my room confirmed that I was here to relax.

The resort offers 390 guestrooms and suites, including 12 one-bedroom suites that feature sitting rooms, double-sleeper sofas, a wet bar and two televisions; and The Omni Suite which boasts over 1,000 square feet of spacious luxury with a marble foyer, hardwood floors, Oriental rugs and balcony.

Despite the lure of plush accommodations, I hardly found any time to lounge about my room. The FlatIron Chef Competition, held on June 8 in the Omni’s outdoor pavilion, posed six chefs from Denver against six chefs from Boulder in a challenge to create the most delicious dish using the evening’s secret ingredient: a 250-pound fresh tuna. The 220 audience members were treated not only to a spectacular culinary demonstration, but also given the responsibility of determining a winner. Spectators also sampled from three cooked-to-order food stations featuring martini, beer and wine pairings and Colorado favorites such as Hazel Dell mushrooms. Other mouth-watering competitions are coming up check in with the Omni to find out more as event dates get closer.

The culinary comforts didn’t stop there. Omni’s acclaimed Meritage Restaurant recently named award-winning chef Will Chenworth as executive chef, the man who led Boulder to victory in the FlatIron Chef Competition. With artistic delights, such as squab and duck confit souffle and poached lobster tail with parsnip puree, Chenworth deserves the FlatIron chef title.

For beer-lovers, the Brew Master Menu at Fairways (the golf clubhouse) features interesting and delightful beer pairings prepared by Boulder Beer. Guests can enjoy beers creatively dubbed “Sweaty Betty” and “Hazed and Confused,” and then head back to the Omni for jovial American Indian storytelling by Bailey Phelps in the on-site tepee.

Those opting for non-alcoholic drinks will be pleased to tour the Celestial Seasonings tea factory. Potent aromas and free samples pepper the tour, where guests can view the process of mixing and bagging teas.

Other day-time activities include hiking in the nearby Eldorado Canyon State Park, where easy to moderate hikes lead visitors to viewing extreme climbers on the surrounding sheer red cliffs framed by the powder blue sky.

Guests can also take a free shuttle to the nearby Boulder farmer’s market at Pearl Street Mall to buy freshly ground pesto and soft goat cheese. There is no better place to experience the colorful population of Boulder, most toting their furry friends to casually stroll the outdoor shops and eateries.

Golfers will also be drawn to the Omni for the enormously popular Kinetic Golf Academy. A specially-designed “K-vest” is strapped on to clients to better alert them of their body position while swinging the first completely wireless motion analysis system to be released worldwide. A one-hour private session is priced at $150, and instructors also prescribe a series of practice positions to be done at home.

Even the golf carts are high-tech, with built-in GPS and color computer screens that map out the location of every hole to let the golfer know the exact yardage.

The relaxing icing on the delectable cake that is Boulder is the Omni’s new spa, which offers nine treatment rooms, two outdoor heated pools, an outdoor hot tub and an outdoor heated pool deck. Almost-daily afternoon thunderstorms break Boulder’s heat and offer a refreshing, natural shower while relaxing in the large, steaming hot tub.

Surrounded by purple mountains, blue sky, green grass and champagne it was hard to leave the open space and board the plane back to the big city. After a stay at the Omni, visitors will hunger to get back to Boulder.


Omni Interlocken Resort
500 Interlocken Blvd.
Denver, CO 80021