Is your typical me-time experience a rushed manicure at the local salon, an every-eight-weeks haircut and styling, or — when you’re really living high on the hog — an hour-long Swedish massage performed by your mom’s neighbor’s cousin? If so, it’s time to reevaluate your sense of indulgence and kick it up a bit — OK, a lot — by booking yourself a day at The Spa at The Broadmoor resort, one of Colorado’s truly exceptional jewels.
A hour and a half drive from Denver, The Spa is part of the 3,000-acre Broadmoor complex that’s tucked into the foothills near Pikes Peak. This spectacular location features 11 top-tier restaurants, 700 gorgeously appointed rooms and suites, three championship golf courses, tennis courts, and an infinity pool and recreation area, all settled at the base of Cheyenne Mountain and surrounding Cheyenne Lake, graced with silently gliding swans.
The recently renovated spa, at the property’s southern end, feels like a world within a world — quiet, serene and set apart, its sole mission that of healing and relaxation.
It’s not often you’ll find a place more dedicated to your personal well-being. “Our vision statement really sums up what we hope our guests will experience at The Spa at The Broadmoor: creating lasting memories through extraordinary experiences,” says Ella Stimpson, spa director. “We listen carefully to each guest and customize [their] service to fit their unique needs.”
Treatments run the gamut from simple to exotic. During a recent visit, Stimpson recommended that I try Ashiatsu, which involves a therapist clinging to overhead bars while using her feet to glide and massage all over the client’s back and leg muscles. Not for the tender or ticklish, this technique is best for those who love deep-tissue massage.
It’s profoundly therapeutic — my computer-weary shoulders and too-often-sedentary hamstrings appreciated the intense kneading — but I found I needed to concentrate on my breathing to keep the pressure from becoming a bit too much to handle.
Dana, my therapist, is, to borrow from Shakespeare, small but fierce — she’s probably not tall enough to easily reach the gas pedal on most cars, but her strong feet did plenty of driving over my tense shoulders, back and legs. Weather permitting, this massage can be performed outdoors or poolside in a privacy tent (you wear a bathing suit — just in case a breeze kicks up).
Even if you book only one appointment, you’re welcome to spend the whole day within The Spa’s creature comforts, enjoying the sauna or steam room, the delicately scented aromatherapy room or the fireside lounge. When hunger strikes, you can mosey down to the spa café for light, healthy fare, then retreat upstairs to the roomy resting area and deck, which offers cucumber or orange water, tea, fresh fruit, magazines for browsing and comfy chairs and ottomans facing tall, clear windows that overlook the nearby mountains.
Other delights abound at The Spa, including a romantic couples’ massage room, complete with fireplace, European décor, low lighting and side-by-side massage tables; the energizing five-minute Serenity Shower (the Spa has two of only three such showers worldwide), with 18 showerheads set at varying temperatures and pressures, sure to get you giggling; and dozens of other first-class massages, wraps, scrubs, facials, manicures and pedicures.
If so inclined, you can even use your spa time to improve your game. Stimpson notes an increasing interest in “results-oriented” offerings, such as pre- and post-golf massages. “They really do make a difference in the quality of your game and the quickness of your recovery … so not only do you feel great, but you play better!”
The Spa provides package deals for brides, men, expectant mothers or anyone simply wanting a break from the real world. Whether you’re on a weekday business trip or a second honeymoon, whether you’re a mom bonding with your teen daughter or a retired couple looking for magic, or whether you simply need some alone time to recharge your body and mind, you’ll remember this spa long past the day itself.
“We not only have one of the most extensive menus for a resort spa, but we are proud to offer many services that guests won’t find (elsewhere),” says Stimpson. “We simply have (everything) you need to feel like a queen or king.”
If You Go
www.broadmoor.com; 719-577-5775 or 866-686-3965
1 Lake Avenue Colorado Springs, Colo. 80906
Boulder-based freelance writer Elisa Bosley (www.elisabosley.com) covers travel, food, health and any other subject that requires first-hand spa research. Her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Sunset, Healing Lifestyles & Spas and other publications.
From the Editors: We spent a heap of time making sure this story was accurate when it was published, but of course, things can change. Please confirm the details before setting out in our great Centennial State.