Not Your Parents' Broadmoor

The legendary hotel gets a makeover, a new spa and a more youthful attitude

By: Karen Goodwin

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. The Broadmoor, Colorado’s only Five-Diamond, Five-Star resort, has emerged revitalized after 2002’s widely publicized drought and wildfires put a damper on the region’s tourism.

Last year, The Broadmoor’s aggressive marketing paid off, and this year it will continue to emphasize package sales, Andre Gutierrez, director of reservations, said.

The Broadmoor, about 90 minutes south of Denver International Airport, will work more closely with travel agents and increase the number of packages listed in GDSs. Agents earn a 10 percent commission on the entire price of a package, not just the room portion, Gutierrez said.

The hotel also features a special agents-only area on its Web site, and offers a 25 percent discount to agents on individual fams.

Essentially, the hotel is borrowing an idea from cruise lines: bring in customers with attractive base prices and then get them to spend on food, beverages, golf, tennis, a children’s camp and its biggest revenue producer, the full-service spa.

Despite the soft economy, the 700-room Broadmoor completed a $75 million improvement project in 2002, which restored original European artwork and fixtures, and upgraded rooms and public areas.

In April, the property unveiled its new and improved spa, which was enlarged to include more state-of-the-art treatment facilities, a more elegant decor and a number of new amenities.

Renovations like these as well as an attention to detail have helped The Broadmoor maintain its AAA Five-Diamond rating (earned every year since 1976) and its Mobil Five-Star rating (every year since 1960). So have its 11 restaurants (including the Four-Diamond Charles Court and the Four-Star, Five-Diamond Penrose Room), its first-run movie theater and 114,000 square feet of meeting space.

In yet another honor, the publication Resorts & Great Hotels designated The Broadmoor a “Connoisseur’s Choice” for 2004.

Health- and fitness-conscious clients will never run out of things to do here. Besides the spa, there’s a first-rate fitness center, three designer golf courses, nine tennis courts and three swimming pools. Guests can also hike and bike the scenic trails in nearby Cheyenne Canyon.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, The Broadmoor runs supervised day and evening programs for children ages 4-12 complete with arts and crafts, picnics, paddle boating, horseback riding, golf clinics, tennis lessons and day trips. Kids will also love the dual-tube water slide built into a new infinity-edge pool.

With the recent renovations, the resort is trying to attract more families and a younger clientele.

“We’re not their parents’ Broadmoor,” a spokesperson said.

Nearby attractions include the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Pikes Peak and the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the U.S. Figure Skating World Hall of Fame and Museum and the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, the world’s highest suspension bridge in a 5,000-acre park.

High season is May 1 to Oct. 31. Golf, holiday, spa and romantic packages are available, as are summer tennis camps with pro Dennis Ralston.

The Broadmoor is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.


Broadmoor Refresher

The truly hard work at the Broadmoor’s new 90,000-square-foot spa was narrowing down my selection from the menu of 100 spa services. I opted for “The Refresher,” which included a 30-minute massage, mini-facial, bath of choice and the spa’s signature service called the “Broadmoor Falls.”

At check-in, I was led to my locker and told to memorize the number “once people get relaxed they tend to forget it,” said Chantell, my attendant.

When it was time for my Broadmoor Falls treatment, Chantell brought me to a secluded shower with a battalion of sprays, and directed me to stand there as she arranged 17 showerheads and turned on the torrents.

After a couple of minutes, she re-entered the room and sprayed my back with a showerhead wand, concentrating on various muscle groups. End result? I felt like the proverbial wet noodle.

Then Chantell led me to a relaxing Jacuzzi bath, after which came my Swedish massage and finally the mini-facial.

When my spa treatments came to an end, I was led to the Quiet Room, where I slipped into a lounge chair with stunning views of Cheyenne Mountain. In my spa-induced trance, the real world seemed very far away.

My biggest problem at that moment was remembering the number of that darned locker.