Cheyenne Mountain Resort is a great reason to defy these casual Colorado travel observations I’ve made in the past decade:
When people travel to our fair state, roughly 60% or so come into Denver. About half of them stick around the area. The other half mostly head to the mountains for skiing or camping or whatever adventure the tourism board has enticed them to be a part of.
Another 20% fly or drive to other destinations like Aspen, Vail, Steamboat or Durango, also to ski – or in the case of Texans, to escape the brutal summer heat back home.
The Broadmoor: it’s wonderful, but…
Don’t get me wrong. I love the Broadmoor, especially after RAS and I stayed there five years ago and enjoyed a round of bad golf (completely my fault, not at all theirs) and a wonderful dinner in the top-level Penrose Room. I love its palatial, grand European setting, its manicured landscape, the luxurious appointments at every turn and the feeling that you’ve stepped into a rarified world of refinement. It’s definitely a place where I feel the need to be on my best behavior.
It’s just that it was a great one-time thing, at least for me. Certainly, I wouldn’t turn down an offer to stay there again. I’d certainly like to visit the newer properties making up their Wilderness Experiences, because they offer a more Colorado native atmosphere. But the Broadmoor doesn’t quite fit my regular travel style.
A place like Cheyenne Mountain Resort does
RAS and I went there just for one night, as NLS was staying at a friend’s house for a sleepover. This was also the second hotel I stayed at in one week and a continuation of my hotel odyssey.
But I truly don’t recommend this short a stay. It features extensive grounds: ten buildings with rooms and suites that all overlook the golf course, the property’s lake and the Rocky Mountains. Specifically, you can view the namesake Cheyenne Mountain and Pike’s Peak to the north. If you need convention or meeting spaces, you probably won’t find a better place to be…other than the Broadmoor.
The main reason why you might want to stay here a little longer is taking advantage of all the resort has to offer – and it’s a lot.
Why you should go there
Starting with the rooms, I loved the vista we enjoyed from our balcony. I think the only complaint I had here was the darkness and datedness of the bathroom. Both areas (the vanity and the bathroom/toilet area) don’t have any natural light, and the fixtures in the rooms don’t illuminate them much better. Other than that, it’s a fantastic, comfortable place to rest between everything to do.
You can reserve a tee-time on the resort’s moderately challenging course, which encircles the 35-acre private lake. Had we realized that we could golf here, RAS and I probably would have hauled our clubs and booked something. Alternatively, we could’ve brought our tennis racquets and rallied on one of their 17 courts. Instead, I just settled for a good workout in their impressively equipped fitness center that would be comparable to any pro sports team’s own.
There are also plenty of water sports options, thanks to an Olympic-size pool and the lake. You can swim, sunbathe, paddleboard, kayak and row to your heart’s content. Finally, if all of these activities have stressed you to your max, head to the Alluvia Spa. You can indulge in a few renewal rituals, like the exclusive Espresso Mineral Mud body treatment.
The centerpiece of the resort
Up at the main building where you check in, you can dine at the main restaurant, Mountain View, or have a drink at the Elevations Lounge. A third option is the Pineview Grill, located in the golf club. The culinary emphasis is on locally source Colorado-inspired cuisine, like elk bolognese, wild mushroom ravioli, and bison bratwurst.
The best part about the main lodge is the views, which offers visitors the most dramatic landscapes in the Springs. Inside, the rustic lobby features a sky-high ceiling with a massive stone hearth, cushy leather lounging chairs and the déjà vu feeling that you’re in a snowy getaway, even when it’s 90 degrees outside.
I’m hoping to return to Cheyenne Mountain Resort someday, with the girls in tow. Being here just might spark their long-dormant inner athlete. More realistically, we’ll probably all have a little fun.