Spencer Penrose’s dream to create one of the most opulent resorts in the world began in 1918. Over the past 100 years new building ensued, remodels took place, additional properties were acquired, and new and improved facilities were added to make The Broadmoor the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond resort it is today.
Philip Anschutz fulfilled his childhood vision by becoming the third owner of the Broadmoor on October 1, 2011. He stated, “I started coming to The Broadmoor when I was five. By the age of 10, I had told my parents I was going to buy the hotel.” Vacations spent at The Broadmoor have delighted guests of all ages with top-drawer service for an entire century.
Today The Broadmoor consists of The Broadmoor Resort and the three Wilderness Experiences, Fly Fishing Camp, Cloud Camp and The Ranch at Emerald Valley. The resort boasts a range of luxury accommodations featuring rich amenities, several fine dining establishments, cafes, a new chocolate shop, a pool, a bowling alley, a gym, a high-end spa and more.
Fly Fishing Camp, just 75 minutes west of the main resort, offers private fly fishing experiences and an all-inclusive option. Accommodations are available in the beautiful grand lodge or one of the seven fabulously restored miners’ cabins originally built in the 1880s.
Cloud Camp, located on the top of Cheyenne Mountain 3,000 feet above the resort, offers a one-of-a-kind, all-inclusive experience. Lodging options include, one of the seven well-appointed rooms in the breath-taking lodge or one of the 11 freestanding one- or two-bedroom cabins. For a private experience, the Fire Tower Suite offers a 360-degree view from the summit.
The Ranch at Emerald Valley, surrounded by over 100,000 acres of the Pike National forest, is only 30 minutes from The Broadmoor. Adventure abounds with fly fishing, hiking and horseback riding. This all-encompassing escape comes complete with splendidly furnished cabins and modern conveniences.
My son Garrett and I visited The Broadmoor for three days in June. I quickly realized that it was not ample time to explore this magical paradise but set out to savor every experience we could fit in.
Our Broadmoor West Premier room spread out over 550 square feet and offered a beautiful view of the lake from our balcony. We perused the grounds and then took a complimentary shuttle to one of The Broadmoor’s many nearby adventures, The Broadmoor Seven Falls. This magnificent series of seven cascading waterfalls drops 1,250 feet. A staircase comprised of 224 steps leads to the top where the stream feeds the falls and several trailheads await hikers.
Restaurant 1858 rests at the base of the falls and is seasonally open for lunch and dinner. Garrett and I dined on Chef Rocio Neyra Prado’s authentic Colorado cuisine, which gives a nod to flavors of the Old West brought in from immigrants that feasted on German, French and Creole dishes.
After lunch, we hiked down to the lower shuttle stop to rebuild an appetite for dinner at Colorado’s only AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star restaurant, Penrose Room. Penrose Room’s penthouse view from the sixth floor of the resort’s south tower provides a stunning perspective of the resort grounds and mountains in the backdrop.
Upon entering the restaurant, we found diners entranced in delightful music played by the Penrose Trio and vocalist Lila Mori. The maître d’ seated us, and we attempted to conceal our excitement about dining on the Chef’s Tasting Menu paired with sommelier selected wines.
Dinner began with a scrumptious slice of ahi tuna delicately displayed on a pedestal and paired with a glass of prosecco. Next, a fresh and velvety pea custard with ginger, sliced radish, and butter was set before us. Main lobster salad with satsuma mandarins, bacon, squash blossoms and crème fraîche came third followed by ris de veau, sweetbread with Oregon cèpe, Marcona almonds and Bing cherries. Each dish was artistically crafted using the finest ingredients. The fourth course was a moist and flaky seabass with risotto and artichokes.
After the seabass our dinner took a dramatic turn. I had watched Garrett’s complexion change over the last few courses and asked if he was all right. Garrett has a few food allergies, which we mentioned to the maître d’ at the beginning of the evening. Although Garrett did not eat any of those items, he was beginning to go into anaphylactic shock.
At this point we experienced the depth of service Broadmoor staff bestows on its guests. I informed the wait staff about the problem. Soon, a waiter that was also an EMT came over and took Garrett’s pulse. He asked if we had an EpiPen. Garrett carries one in his backpack, which was in our room on the other side of the lake. Within moments security was notified, and the head of the department made a run for it.
The EMT took Garrett out onto the restaurant’s balcony for some fresh air and to calm his spirits. The head of security arrived within minutes with the EpiPen, and the EMT/waiter administered the medication. The timing of these actions took place much quicker than if we had waited for an emergency vehicle to arrive. Within seconds of the injection, Garrett was breathing easier, his normal color returned and his heart rate began to go down. The EMT and security guard stayed with us the entire time, joking to lighten the mood and to keep us relaxed.
The staff was concerned, kind, quick and comforting. Each member acted with compassion and professionalism. Chef Max Robbins, the chef de cuisine, came to apologize, but I assured him nothing was his fault. He followed the restrictions we gave; we were just unaware of additional allergies.
Garrett, feeling better and now famished after the adrenaline rush, was game to finish dinner at the restaurant. We dined on freshly cooked herb-roasted ribeye with cipollini onions, creamed spinach, a delicious cheese course and, finally, a floating island with coconut sauce and passion fruit sorbet. The dinner is one we will both remember not only for the delicious food but also for the incredible service we received from beginning to end with trauma assistance in between.
The following day was my birthday, and we enjoyed a healthy breakfast at Natural Epicurean and then relaxed in the morning with a signature massage at The Spa at The Broadmoor.
Our treatment began in the Mountain View Room where we gazed out over the Cheyenne Mountain. We enjoyed a glass of watermelon/apple water that was both refreshing and exhibited flavor reminiscent of cotton candy. The combination of medium pressure and expert massage techniques washed away the stress from the previous night.
In the afternoon, we opted to take the exciting route up the mountain consisting of a car shuttle traveling three-quarters of the way and finishing on the back of a mule. Spencer Penrose built the road containing 17 switchbacks in 1925 at the cost of one million dollars. The road originally led guests to Cheyenne Lodge, which was bulldozed in 1971.
Allison Scott, The Broadmoor’s Director of Communications, said, “When Mr. Anschutz purchased the property, he started looking at what Spencer Penrose and his wife Julia did and why they did it. When he saw the foundation of the lodge, Anschutz said, ‘Let’s build a new one!’ He set out to build something much grander, Cloud Camp.” Built on the foundation of the old lodge, Cloud Camp opened in August 2014.
After arriving, we settled into our two-bedroom cabin, and along with a few other guests, toured the grounds with a cocktail in hand. In the kitchen we watched Chef Jonathan Frakes give a cooking demonstration while preparing a few sauces for our dinner. We sipped on more cocktails and enjoyed appetizers by the fire in the lodge.
The dining room, decorated impressively enough for royalty, set the stage for a dinner served with individual dishes and family-style plates. A delicious corn soup followed by salads launched the meal. Large platters of potatoes, asparagus with Hollandaise sauce, and the chef’s grandmother’s recipe for fried chicken were placed on the table. Each guest chose an entree of beef, salmon, duck or a vegetarian option. We finished the extravagant dinner with a decadent chocolate tart and a fresh berry cobbler.
Garrett and I rose early to watch the sunrise from the deck of the lodge where colors filled the sky and the morning light illuminated the city below. Fresh hot pastries, coffee and tea were available at this early hour. The chef served a delicious breakfast between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., and later I joined the relaxation yoga class out on the deck.
After breakfast a car arrived to take us down from the mountain. While riding down we passed the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo built by Spencer Penrose. Throughout our three-day visit, we learned about the numerous projects Spencer and Julia built. The Broadmoor was the Penroses’ proverbial baby, and I look forward to making a return trip to fully experience the vast offerings of the resort and its Wilderness Experiences.