A visit to the iconic, five-star The Broadmoor resort need not cost a small fortune.
Many of the activities offered there or closeby can be enjoyed for free, or for a nominal cost.
“We value our relationship with the Colorado Springs area. People from all over the world come here, and our neighbors are welcome to come and experience all the Broadmoor has to offer,” said Krista Heinicke, public relations and communications manager for The Broadmoor.
Any visit starts with finding a place to park: Valet parking for those visiting Broadmoor restaurants or shops is complimentary.
Next on the list of things to do and see is a visit to Cafe Julie’s (located off the lobby of Broadmoor Main) for free samples of colorful homemade gelato and viewing handmade candies being crafted on the other side of the observation window. Various delectable treats are available to purchase for meals or snacks, including fruit tarts, pastries, soups, sandwiches, salads and beverages. Free refills are offered for drip coffee and iced tea.
The Broadmoor is a treasure trove of 100 years’ worth of historical artifacts, artwork, memorabilia, and stunning water features, along with details of the lives of Broadmoor founders Julie and Spencer Penrose. The Concierge Desk can provide a scavenger hunt for children and adults of all ages. This is a fun way to learn more about the legacy of the resort. Search for a painting of The Broadmoor by renowned artist Maxfield Parrish. Find the glass prosthetic eye belonging to Spencer Penrose, complete with red veins so it would match his remaining eye. There is always a large rose ball floral arrangement in the lobby of Broadmoor West: Guess how many blooms are in it? This is just a sampling of fun ventures to pursue.
Use your cellphone to download from Broadmoor.com a self-guided art-and-campus-history tour to explore the artwork and historically significant locations at the hotel.
The Penrose Heritage Museum, 11 Lake Circle, is on the hotel campus next to The Summit restaurant, and admission is always free. On exhibit are vintage automobiles, historic carriages, western cultural artifacts, and 15 race cars that have competed in the infamous Race to the Clouds, aka The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb — one of the oldest motorsport events in the U.S. Visitors can view Julie Penrose’s custom 1928 Cadillac limousine that was a gift from husband. Spencer Penrose’s 1918 Broadmoor special race car is also on exhibit.
In front of the main hotel building is an amazing, 14-foot-high fountain adorned with mythical seahorses and mermaids. Below it is a concrete pond filled with stunning water lilies and giant koi fish, in season. Architectural details inside and outside the hotel include a soaring marble staircase, cozy library, welcoming hotel bar, and expansive common areas flanked by picture windows highlighting mountain scenery. A walk around the lake and hotel grounds provides a delightful stroll past the outdoor swimming pool and resident ducks, geese, and swans, multiple shops and eateries, and the poignant skate-shaped bench commemorating Broadmoor skaters who died in a plane crash in 1961.
No visit to The Broadmoor is complete without a visit to the delightful specialty shops where service is personal and always friendly. Boutiques offering apparel, jewelry, cosmetics, pet gifts, shoes, and household decor are just waiting for perusal. Shopping here is a different experience from the local mall as many items are unique and hard-to-find.
Near the hotel are several not-to-be-missed sites:
• The World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame, 20 1st St., is the only institution of its kind and is dedicated exclusively to the preservation and interpretation of the history of figure skating. A modest entrance fee is charged. Info: worldskatingmuseum.org.
• The elegant, yet homey Penrose House, 1661 Mesa Ave., former residence of Julie and Spencer Penrose, is open for free tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Mondays. Reservations required. Info: elpomar.org.
• Pauline Memorial Chapel, 2 Park Ave., designed by local architect Thomas MacLaren, was built in 1919 under the watchful eye of Julie Penrose. Some of the historic artifacts are from Spain, Mexico, and England. Info: stpaulcos.org.
Additionally, January is a less-expensive time to try a staycation at The Broadmoor. The resort has a Colorado Appreciation Offer during the month: Hotel rooms from $149 double occupancy, offering early-bird dining specials at Del Lago and The Summit restaurants: $45 per person for 3-course meal.