Wonderland In Colorado Springs by Bonnie and Bill Neely

I felt like Alice In Wonderland when I checked in at the historic lobby of the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, CO. The hand-painted oak beams on the ceiling and the winding marble staircase recall the opulence of the early 1900’s when the hotel was built by Spencer Penrose of Philadelphia, who spent $150,000 of his own money improving the property every year he owned it, 1918-1936. The Broadmoor Hotel was built as one of the Grand Dames of the Century and in almost 100 years since has grown ever grander. Set in the Rocky Mountains valley at the base of the Cheyenne Mountain and Pikes’ Peak, the pink stucco buildings rim a lovely private lake whose resident white swans and colorful ducks enhance the peaceful scene.
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My room in the newer South Building, which went even beyond what I had expected of a Five Star, Five Diamond hotel, is quite large and furnished with period antique furniture and tastefully selected green, crimson and gold appointments…every detail perfect for the comfort and warmth of an exquisite home. The spacious marble bathroom, with its own TV and telephone, features a stone walk-in shower beside a huge tub and marble vanity with double sinks. The granite mini-bar had everything I could wish for. And what fun…like a magic genie the little LCD screen beside my bed did all kind of things to my room! With just a touch I could turn on or off or dim various lights in the room, call for service, control the TV and closing and opening the drapes for the exquisite view from my French door which opens on a protective grillwork railing overlooking the placid lake and mountains beyond.
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I am fortunate to be here for the late fall brilliance of gold maple and aspen trees below my window and snow caps on the lush green mountains. With crisp evenings and early mornings and glorious sweater weather daytime temperatures, I chose a wonderful time, just before November snows begin. But cozy fireplaces and warm ambiance make this a beautiful place to spend cold winter nights looking out on fields of snow and icy wonderlands. And the 6,000 foot elevation makes it also the perfect place for springtime beauty of surrounding gardens and the pleasant summer breezes and swimming in the elaborate outdoor pool. The Broadmoor will exceed your expectations any time of year!
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I took my exercises at the fun classes in the world-class spa and fitness center and large indoor pool. Then I followed this with the most incredible massages to prevent sore muscles. I could workout every day if I could get this kind of pampering at home!

Tennis courts are also perfect for any season since you can choose outdoor, or climate- conditioned indoor courts beneath the enormous white bubble. Alas, I didn’t plan for golf on this visit, but I certainly will next time. This is where Tiger Woods won his first amateur tournament. I loved walking the cart paths to take photos at sunrise, a perfect time to appreciate the natural and humanly created beauty of this exquisite setting, so perfectly preserved through nearly a century. With three different world class courses, the Broadmoor keeps golfers quite happy.
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Finding fifteen restaurants to choose from on the Broadmoor property, I would like to have that many days to sample all the wonderful menus. The delicious breakfast buffet in the Terrace Dining Room overlooking the lake had every delectable selection I could think of. The Tavern Restaurant, first opened to celebrate the end of Prohibition, is quite large, with several different seating areas. I chose the Garden room, a glassed-in courtyard with lush plants all around…a perfect setting for ladies’ luncheons. Men might prefer the more masculine ambiance nearer the Tavern bar.

The black sheep of the Penrose family, Spencer made his first fortune with his Cripple Creek C.O.D Gold Mine, which he purchased the money from selling a ticket his family sent him to return to Philadelphia from the Wild West combined with a bank loan. He had come here to escape his family whom he felt he displeased, being the only of seven sons who had not succeeded in a professional career. The west adventure proved lucrative, and even this conservative town, built in the 1880’s by General William Palmer on the principles of no gambling, alcohol, or wayward women, proved to be the place for Spencer to make his name and fortune, even though he was himself a heavy-drinker and somewhat wayward tycoon.
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Penrose purchased the property for the Broadmoor, the site of the burned Casino. He dared to hire builders and artisans from many countries to build the hotel within one year. Sparing nothing he began construction and the doors opened June 1, 1917. He invited the world’s great hoteliers to come as his guests for two weeks and these men in years that followed met here as The 100 Million Dollar Club, named for their combined worth. The Cigar Bar in the hotel has murals and photographs commemorating these men and these opulent times.

There are many lovely shops at the Broadmoor, so shop-aholics can be entertained for days. The hotel has full one-stop wedding planning service to host exquisite weddings and receptions on the property. The property is perfect for any kind of business or convention function and handles large groups with as much ease and grace as with individual guests. Treat yourself and those you love to a memorable holiday or event at this exquisite property.