There are two things that you should know when traveling to Colorado Springs. First, jumping into a hot yoga session an hour after arriving and prior to acclimating to the altitude is a poor choice. You will be the class entertainment, guaranteed. Second, your visit to the city will be incomplete without visiting the legacy that is the Broadmoor Hotel.
Offering a complete departure from the traditional franchise image of resorts, the Broadmoor is in a class of its own. Nestled in the rolling foothills, this grand establishment was built in 1918 and hosts a collection of private guest buildings, restaurants, golf courses, cottages, and pools that create an exclusive community much the size of a small military base - only much more glamorous. In every way, the Broadmoor has remained true to its past, invoking golden-era ambiance, without sacrificing the ability to evolve with the times. While the Broadmoor is old, it is anything but aged.
Whether your visit includes an actual stay at the Broadmoor Hotel or just a day trip to the lavish grounds, you owe it to yourself to experience The Spa at the Broadmoor. The spa confidently boasts a motto of, “If you’ve been here, you know.” Not wanting to be left out of the “know”, I booked a combination treatment one afternoon and made my way to the Golf Club building, whereupon I ascended the grand staircase and took the elevator to the third floor spa.
I was greeted by a lovely hostess and was soon mesmerized by an oversized wall mural of nymph-like women bathing in a Grecian fountain. A smiling attendant provided me with slippers and a heated blue cotton robe before conducting a tour of the expansive spa which boasts 35 treatment rooms. I was then left to explore as many of the amenities as I liked before my treatments began.
The Spa at the Broadmoor was designed with true luxury in mind. The soothing women’s lounge area has floor to ceiling wooden lockers that are both spacious and locked with a personal code. Though the flower wallpaper used in select parts of the spa could use an update, it was not at all worn. In place of chairs, yellow ottomans are situated around the richly carpeted lounge and the white marbled vanity room. Gold sconces adorn the aqua walls and the recessed ceilings are hand painted with cloud murals. Coral tiles embellish the floors of the vanity room, leading you like the past the restrooms and on to the amenities room.
Here, you have the choice of enjoying the aromatherapy room (which is kept at room temperature and infused with mists of eucalyptus), the dry sauna room, or the steam room with cold-plunge shower. Both the sauna and the steam room are generously roomy. The spa was built to accommodate many visitors without sacrificing a sense of space. With thirty minutes left before the start of my treatments, I chose to unwind in the aromatherapy room. The eucalyptus easily opened up my senses and allowed my mind to enter a place of relaxation. Peaceful, woodwind music played softly in the background and I enjoyed this solitary moment to myself.
As my treatment neared, I left the women’s only area and sought out the renowned Grand Mountain View Relaxation Room. Appropriately named. While there is also a fireside relaxation room, most patrons find their way to the Mountain View Room for its unparalleled view of the Colorado mountains and sprawling golf courses below. Oversized chaise lounges look directly out over a sumptuous wall of windows, and all other seating in the room is positioned for views as well. After helping myself to the delicious display of pineapple, watermelon, and cantaloupe, I took my glass of orange water and headed to the Mountain View balcony to enjoy my view from outdoors. Here I happened upon a delightful discovery: time is announced with bells at the Broadmoor. Yes, bells. Instantly returning me to my days in Oxford, the peeling bells provided a lovely reminder that the past truly embellishes the present here.
My cheerful therapist found me right on time and led me back to a private soaking tub in the women’s lounge. I had selected the Broadmoor Combination Spa Treatment for the day, which combines an herbal bath soak with an exclusive mud therapy body wrap. I chose the Black Night Blooming Jasmine herbal soak from the bath menu for its effectiveness at deeply relaxing the body. After pouring the bath at exactly 106 degrees, my therapist provided a full glass of water and then left me to soak for 25 minutes.
The calm lighting of the room, the elegant music, and the smell of Jasmine made the 25 minutes feel like heaven. The therapist checked on me twice, each time brining a welcomed cold compress for my forehead. This herbal treatment is renowned for drawing the toxins out of the body while richly replenishing the skin with herbs. When finished, my skin felt literally full with moisture and incredibly soft to the touch. I was rather astonished at the effectiveness of this treatment.
While relaxing in the Grand Mountain View awaiting my next treatment, I overheard a group of ladies effusively praising the spa. “You only live once,” observed one gal matter-of-factly in a southern accent. “And I make it a point to come here at least once or twice a year”. I could be forced to adopt this philosophy.
I was soon led to a treatment room with soft blue walls and a wall fountain which filled the room with the relaxing sound of trickling water. My therapist began the Australian mud wrap with a fantastic Balinese palm pressure message. Different from a stroking technique, this method involves gripping the body with both hands and then giving a slow and strong squeeze. Next, the grey Australian mud was applied all over my back, arms, and legs and then linen sheets were tightly wrapped around me, cocoon style. This is an incredible sensation and the tension leaving your body is palpable. As the mud set, I received a lovely pressure point massage on my face, using decadent Jasmine oil. The pressure point was not too firm, but perfectly calming and indulgently lengthy. An ear massage followed, and then a circular scalp massage. I was beginning to wonder how many wonderful things one treatment could contain.
After I was asleep with mouth agape – pardon me, I mean after I was relaxed - my therapist unwrapped the linens and washed off the mud with hot, wet towels. An allover body rub with tangerine rose oil locked in the moisture and then as a last indulgence a light mist of rose oil, made from recently pressed rose petals, was applied over my face and arms. This treatment was anything but boring, but rather incorporated many elements all at a soothing pace and expertly executed. I highly recommend it. If you are a hotel guest, I suggest visiting the lavish pool on the second floor after your treatments. You can even stay in your robe as your order from the poolside café.
As I left the marvelous grounds of the Broadmoor I reflected on how, regardless the age of an establishment, there is simply nothing archaic about excellent service that’s accomplished with humility and attention to detail. The Spa at the Broadmoor: Now I’ve been here, and now I know. Five stars without a doubt! *Note: The spa treatments are on the pricier side at the Broadmoor, but it’s important to note that gratuity is included in the price.