The Broadmoor hotel wears diamonds as well as any grand dame.
AAA on Friday named The Broadmoor as a five-diamond winner for the 39th consecutive year, making the Colorado Springs luxury resort the only hotel to receive the travel organization's highest rating each year since the awards were started in 1976.
"We stand alone in that regard, which is something that I think we can take some extra pride in," said Broadmoor president and CEO Steve Bartolin.
The Broadmoor is one of four Colorado hotels to receive five diamonds from AAA as part of its 2015 ratings. The others are the Little Nell in Aspen and the Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons in Denver - with the Four Seasons being new to the list.
Meanwhile, AAA named The Broadmoor's Penrose Room restaurant as a five-diamond winner for the eighth straight year. It's the only Colorado restaurant to receive five diamonds.
The Broadmoor, on Colorado Springs' southwest side, is the internationally known "Grand Dame of the Rockies" that's played host to presidents, celebrities and foreign dignitaries since it was founded by mining magnate Spencer Penrose in 1918.
With 776 rooms and sitting on a campus at the foot of Cheyenne Mountain, the hotel features golf, tennis, pools, restaurants, shopping and a spa, among other amenities. In recent years, it's added wilderness retreats on top of Cheyenne Mountain and in the Pike National Forest, which allow guests to hike, fish and enjoy other outdoor activities while staying in rustic Broadmoor-style accommodations.
Besides AAA's five diamonds, the Forbes Travel Guide (previously known as the Mobil Travel Guide) has awarded The Broadmoor its highest rating of five stars for 54 straight years.
Despite being the only hotel to receive five diamonds for nearly four decades, Bartolin said The Broadmoor can't take the recognition for granted. Guests expect superior service and accommodations, while competition among luxury resorts is fierce.
"It is a race without a finish line," Bartolin said. "And the bar raises. The standards get more and more lofty and stringent, the expectations - as time goes forward - are higher.
"You can't rest," he added. "The minute you think you can rest on your laurels, forget it."
While The Broadmoor has spent more than $130 million on upgrades in recent years, guest rooms and other physical facilities make up only 25 percent of AAA's ratings, while the rest is based on service, Bartolin said. That's why a housekeeper assigned to a room will know not just the names of guests, but their children's names and even that of their dog.
"Those are the kind of things that set you apart," Bartolin said. "It really gets down to the people."
The Broadmoor is owned by the Denver-based Anschutz Corp., whose Clarity Media Group owns The Gazette.
Florida-based AAA rates properties each year in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Properties first must pass unannounced on-site evaluations to become AAA approved; they're then rated from one to five diamonds based on services, facilities and amenities.
In addition to The Broadmoor's five diamonds, three area hotels repeated as four-diamond properties: The Cliff House in Manitou Springs and the Cheyenne Mountain Resort and The Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, in Colorado Springs.
AAA also named The Broadmoor's Summit and The Cliff House Dining Room as repeat four-diamond restaurants.