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By: Carlos Dragonné
It is sunrise in Colorado Springs and the sun barely illuminates the manmade lake that divides the towers of the hotel. The mist has given way to the rays that remind us that there are many things to do and that, before anything else, what is needed is breakfast. Just one night ago they took us on a culinary tour of Italy with authentic flavors and recipes that left me floating, thanking the fate of these trips commanded by the chef who dominates his art. It is time to breathe new aromas. It is time to open your eyes and begin to understand the greatness of the place where we are. Welcome to Colorado Springs. Welcome to The Broadmoor.
I wake up in a room where I forget that I belong to other lands. Like a romantic white comedy of the 50s, I open the curtains to see the sun hit the mountain front and I am reminded that today is a new day of adventure. The aroma of fresh coffee is already in the room, I turn around and next to the coffee machine I see her, my travel accomplice and much more. Today, she is the one who beat me in the race to wake up. Her look says it all: there is a lot to discover in a property that has stood proud for 99 years in this city.
Tables are meant to be shared with loved ones and this morning we sit and fill up on coffee, a croissant, bacon and a bagel in Lake Terrace. I talk with Cassidy Boone about the amazing experiences to be had at The Broadmoor and alternative properties such as Fly Fishing Camp and The Ranch at Emerald Valley. Cassidy makes us laugh, guides us through the history of the hotel, tells us about her personal experiences on previous trips and encloses everything in a phrase that we have repeated since we arrived: it’s like a dream every time you arrive here. It became very clear to me, in that moment, that we have just gained a new friend to share stories with.
To travel you need to open your mind and eyes to new territories, cultures and activities that you do not usually partake in. Traveling is, as we have always said, the best way to learn and grow. Growth is important for everyone, and from my point of view, there is no growth without the distance from home, without the trips that fill your mind with miles traveled and, above all, miles to go.
As I was growing up, one of the images I had in mind was Tom Skeritt and Brad Pitt in the movie A River Runs Through It. The moments when they were fly fishing in the Montana River prove to be an important part of the characters’ development. Conflicts are created while fly fishing on the river, but there are also resolutions and redemptions. That’s where my romanticism of fly fishing came from. At The Broadmoor there is an activity to learn how to fly fish, so that would be my first stop in the day.
The hotel takes into account that it is absolutely necessary to offer a series of outdoor activities while the middle of nature. The activities at The Broadmoor range from mountain biking to falconry. If the guest wants to take advantage of the luxury of the resort, there are two golf courses with extraordinary designs, one of which will receive the US Senior Open next year to start the celebrations of the 100 year anniversary of The Broadmoor. You can also take a trip to the spa to relax the body with a massage or a beauty treatment.
Usually one of the great challenges of properties of this size is to maintain a constant quality in the gastronomic area. Fortunately, and against all odds, The Broadmoor created goals out of typical challenges and went with the philosophy of Spencer Penrose. How many times have I told you that restaurant bread is the first sign of the quality of a kitchen? Well, each of the restaurants on this magnificent property has a different type of bakery that goes along with each culinary concept. Whether it’s the deeply Italian heritage of Ristorante del Lago or La Taverne’s steakhouse, any table one chooses to eat at will give them a different way through the sometimes forgotten but always important element of travel.
So, what is our favorite stop at The Broadmoor? The answer to this can be almost as complicated as gathering the strength to pack up and go home. On the one hand, Ristorante del Lago has been an extraordinary experience both at dinner and at breakfast. Each ingredient is brought from Italy and ends up transformed into something you will fall in love with. You can find pasta cooked to perfection, or a risotto that makes even the biggest skeptic devour. In addition, a breakfast can include a frittata cooked in a stone oven, or a selection of cold meats and cheeses from various Italian regions. Everything they offer is almost insurmountable.
We would have to set up some way to determine a favorite. For example, a dinner at La Taverne that starts with a cocktail as we make room for what is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting protein invasions on any trip we have taken. La Taverne feasts you with an impressive seafood bar where everything is sustainable. They have a menu of USDA Prime cuts from local farms, cooked to a point of perfection that is achieved by a chef with many years behind a grill.
Then, just when I want to think of a winner, I remember the desert with bourbon that I enjoyed during our the challenge over the remote control in the bowling alley at Play at The Broadmoor, mentioned in a previous article. I think of those Nachos with White Cheese Sauce and the Buffalo Burger that followed in Restaurant 1858 at Seven Falls. And I confess, I’m useless to decide, completely overcome by the flavors of several days in a hotel that has left a mark on me forever.
I finally arrive to the room at nighttime, exhausted from tours and dinners, with my stomach sore from laughter and the aromas of the day crossing my memory. My feet want to continue walking through the corners of a property that I will never stop falling in love with. Elsie, my accomplice of everything, lies down on the bed facing me. It took me a while to put on my pajamas and cross the room to join her. When I arrive to bed, she is sleeping peacefully with a smile that defines why we do this, and all the dreams that we are fulfilling. I stroked her hair and barely ran my fingers over her face. I cover her with the blanket and very discreetly I put back on my jeans and shoes to walk around the property, now at night, while everyone is asleep. Insomnia? No … it’s just this need to absorb as much as possible of the 99 years of greatness that I just enjoyed, waiting to sleep next to her with a smile like the one she has and the one that illuminates the night in The Broadmoor.