Entries in ‘Spa’ Journal

Historic Broadmoor: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Friday June 20, 2014 at 6:06 AM | 20 Comments

"Broadmoor" Colorado Springs

Historic Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO

The historic Broadmoor reins supreme as the grand dame of Colorado Springs in Colorado. The resort holds the titles of the longest running Forbes five star and AAA five diamond property in the country – they have held this distinction since The Broadmoor’s official opening on June 29, 1918. Located on 3,000 acres with three golf courses, 779 rooms, 19 restaurants, cafes & lounges and a Forbes five star spa, the historic Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado radiates luxury.

Broadmoor Wilderness Experience

Situated in Colorado Springs, The Broadmoor serves as an upscale base camp for outdoor explorers and sports enthusiasts.

While I’m not the golfer in the family, The Broadmoor offers several top-notch golf courses on property. In the summertime, complimentary golf clinics are offered certain days of the week, as are complimentary tennis round robins. While not exactly a wilderness experience, the kids (and kids at heart) might want to take a spin on Cheyenne Lake in a paddle boat. Check with the concierge for further details.
 

Golf course view from Broadmoor Spa

Golf course view from Broadmoor Spa


 
I have made a promise to myself that I will return to The Broadmoor with my husband to experience The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley. This exclusive ranch property is just a 30 minute drive up the mountain from The Broadmoor. Surrounded by the majestic Pike National Forest, the all-inclusive ranch offers fly-fishing, hiking, biking and horseback riding in beautiful Colorado Springs. Cloud Camp, an all-inclusive 54 guest resort that sites on the site of the original Cheyenne Mountain Lodge, is another Broadmoor Wilderness Experience I have yet to try.
 


 

"Broadmoor" "Penrose Room"

Dining at Broadmoor’s Penrose Room

 
Broadmoor restaurant dining

I mentioned in another post that dining at The Broadmoor is like one continuous progressive dinner party. If you like barbecue and enjoy hands on cooking classes, you’ll want to sign up for Barbecue University at the Broadmoor. I could be cut off from the outside world and be perfectly content living off The Broadmoor with its 19 restaurants, cafe and lounges. As long as I’m left behind with the head baker, chocolate maker and spa director, I know I’ll be in good hands.
 

"Broadmoor" Spa

The Spa at The Broadmoor

 
Spa at The Broadmoor

Speaking of good hands, my massage therapist, Deanne from Mississippi, delivered a 50 minute session of deep tissue heaven to my body. Make sure to pack a swim suit and arrive early or stay late to take advantage of the co-ed indoor and outdoor swimming pools and outdoor hot tub. Additionally, there is a steam room, sauna, aromatherapy room (recommended for acclimating to the Rocky Mountain altitude of 6000 feet above sea level) and fireplace lounge. The co-ed mountain view room and terrace, looking over the golf course, is a great place to relax and recharge before your spa treatment.
 

"Broadmoor" hotel room

Broadmoor West Premier King


Broadmoor West renovation

The Broadmoor resort is composed of several hotel buildings; Broadmoor Main, Broadmoor South and Broadmoor West. Walking to different parts of the resort is easy via the Cheyenne Lake Bridge. There is also 24/7 complimentary shuttle service available for hotel guests.

During my stay, the Broadmoor West had recently undergone a complete renovation. My lovely premier king, room #4443, with Juliet balcony and view of Cheyenne Lake, rented for $465 per night (check the website for current rates). Pets are welcome at The Broadmoor with a charge of $50 per pet, per night (maximum two dogs per room.) The pet fee includes special Broadmoor bedding and pet food bowls, as well as a treat for your four-legged friend.
 

"Broadmoor" hot tub

Soak in The Broadmoor hot tub



Broadmoor resort fee

Love them or hate them, resort fees are here to stay. The Broadmoor $32 daily resort service charge includes wireless high-speed internet access, local telephone calls, daily newspaper, Fitness Center access & two daily fitness classes, incoming faxes, Little Theater movies, in-room beverage service, daily housekeeping and nightly turndown service, bottled water and arrival gift. Being from California, where we are experiencing drought conditions, I was a little miffed to see that sheets and towels were changed on a daily basis. Housekeeping quickly fixed my environmental dilemma, replacing my hand written note requesting my bedding not be changed with a pre-printed no sheet-changing card.
 

"Cheyenne Lake"

Paddle boats on Cheyenne Lake at The Broadmoor

Insider tips

The Broadmoor is a member of Historic Hotels of America. The historic Colorado Springs property offers complimentary art and history tours on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Western art aficionados take note, as Broadmoor owner Mr. Philip Anschutz owns one of the largest collections of Western art. Horticultural tours are offered seasonally on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. Golf clinics are offered free to hotel guests on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow @TheBroadmoor on Twitter.

If You Go:

The Broadmoor  (855) 634-7711

1 Lake Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of The Broadmoor. All opinions and experiences are my own. I’d love to hear about your visit to the historic Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.

Eco-Friendly Hotels that Make Travelers Happy

Wednesday April 16, 2014 at 11:11 AM | 0 Comments

Even though Earth Day reminds us to think about our environmental footprint each April, some hotels make an earth friendly commitment year round. Here are a sampling of eco-friendly hotels worthy of a shout out. One of my favorite hotels — Boone Tavern, made it on Booking.com’s eco-friendly hotel list.

Historic and eco-friendly Boone Tavern, Berea Kentucky

Historic and eco-friendly Boone Tavern, Berea Kentucky

Boone Tavern in Berea, Kentucky is proof that history can meet modern times. Built in 1909, this beauty that’s also a Historic Hotel of America, is part of Berea College and a showcase for its culinary and hotel management programs. The hotel and tavern’s renovations include: energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, energy star lighting, solar tubes and skylights, heat recovery coils, and low VOC paints and adhesives. Guest rooms and common areas feature handcrafted furniture that represent Kentucky’s craft heritage, as well as, Berea’s fame as the Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky.

Boone Tavern rooms feature hand-crafted furniture

Boone Tavern rooms feature hand-crafted furniture

Along with the environmentally friendly building that earned Boone Tavern its LEED Gold Certification, Boone Tavern’s restaurant is another reason to visit. The restaurant’s traditional American cuisine features locally grown ingredients. Signature dishes like “Chicken Flakes in a Bird’s Nest” and “Spoonbread” are the don’t miss, although I can vouch that anything on the menu is splendid. Still, the spoonbread is what you will talk about years later.

ecofriendly Bardessono-Courtyard

The eco-friendly Bardessono courtyard has a stunning view

If you go, take time to browse in Boone Tavern’s gift shop and the other shops that line Berea’s streets. There’s a reason why this is the folk art capital. The hotel’s shop includes items made by the college’s students. Hand-woven items and hand-crafted furniture are part of the bounty.

One of Nancy’s favorites also made it on the eco-friendly hotel list. Bardessono Hotel and Spa in Yountville, California is a perfect pairing for a trip to Napa Valley and wine tasting. As Nancy discovered during her stay at Bardessono, one of three LEED Platinum-certified hotels in the United States, “it is easy to be green while looking stunningly chic.”

Cavallo Point where almost every room has a stunning view

Cavallo Point where almost every room has a stunning view

Cavallo Point in Sausalito is another California hotel with LEED Certification. The reuse of historic materials and landscaping with native plants are just part of Cavallo Point’s dedication to achieving the Green Seal Environment Standard for U.S. Lodging Properties. The hotel’s energy-efficient appliances that automatically switch to sleep mode when not in use and the programmable thermostats and motion sensors that reduce heating and cooling costs are some reasons why Cavallo Point is an eco-friendly hotel. The property doesn’t use Styrofoam containers and it recycles plastic. Refillable soap dispensers and cloth napkins are other environmentally friendly practices within the hotel.

At Cavallo Point, going green comes with a view. Most of the resort’s guest rooms have views of San Francisco, the bay or the Golden Gate Bridge.

City Flats Hotel, Grand Rapids--a resuse of a landmark jewelry building

City Flats Hotel, Grand Rapids–a resuse of a landmark jewelry building

Michigan is another state with two eco-friendly hotels that deserve applause. City Flats Hotel in Holland was the first hotel in the Midwest to achieve LEED Gold status. Step inside for proof that eco-friendly, luxury and creativity go hand in hand. Each of the hotel guest rooms has its own unique flair. Each hotel room’s green decor includes: cork flooring installed with low-VOC adhesives, naturally hypoallergenic bamboo linens, curtains lined with a black-out fabric to reduce energy needed to heat and cool room, light fixtures with energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs, and countertops made from Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Certified recycled glass and concrete. Also, hotel furnishings are locally made.

The CityFlats Hotel in Grand Rapids is another Michigan hotel with LEED Gold Certification. Its eco-friendly combo includes the unique features of the City Flats Hotel in Holland and is an example of turning a city landmark into a new use. The building was once Fox Jewelers.

Along with booking at any of the hotel’s websites, check out Booking.com.

Post courtesy of Jamie Rhein of Midwest Travel Writers Association.  All photos except Bardessono courtesy of Booking.com. Bardessono photo by Nancy D. Brown.

South Point Casino Hotel Spa, Equestrian Center in Las Vegas

Friday September 27, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 6 Comments

South Point Casino

South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa Review

Everything about Nevada is big; from Hoover Dam, to the casinos on the Las Vegas strip. One thing I didn’t expect to see in a Las Vegas casino hotel was a larger-than life bronze statue of legendary poker player, mobster, casino owner and cowboy Benny Binion, sitting on top of his roping horse, near the entrance to South Point Casino’s equestrian center on the casino floor. This really shouldn’t surprise me, as South Point is famous for its arena and equestrian center.  South Point Casino is the only hotel I know of where you can drive up in your horse trailer, unload your horses and check into your hotel room all at the same time.

 

 

South Point Hotel suite

South Point Hotel suite #2481

Stay and play at South Point Casino Hotel and Spa

The South Point Casino, located on the tail south end of Las Vegas Boulevard, features 2,163 hotel rooms, 11 restaurants, a movie theater, bowling alley, weekly entertainment in the showroom, a swimming pool and Spa Costa del Sur, in addition to the equestrian center, arena and exhibit halls. In other words, you can stay and play at South Point without leaving the grounds.

After a day of watching cutting horses work with cattle (many of the equestrian events are open and free to the public) I checked into my king suite #2481, with a city view and view of the parking lot. My non-smoking room rented for $79. plus tax during the weekend and $49. on a week day – check the website for details. The room included a Serta Perfect Sleeper Point Plush mattress, 300 thread count linens and Archive bath and body amenities.

South Point Hotel pool

South Point Hotel swimming pool in Las Vegas

Rooms offer LED screens, high speed internet, separate bathroom with combination shower and bath, large closet with safe, desk and in room coffee maker. There is a daily resort fee of $14. per room that covers in room Wi-Fi, fitness center, local and toll free in room telephone calls, boarding pass printing, airport shuttle (based on availability) and casino discount booklet.

South Point dining options

It was my good fortune to be in Las Vegas during Restaurant Week. Restaurant Week in Las Vegas is not only a good value at participating restaurants, $5 of each meal purchased is donated to Three Square to help end hunger in Southern Nevada. After dining at four of South Point’s restaurants, I have come to the conclusion that large portions are key to the casino’s success. In listening in on diners conversations with waitstaff, most everyone walks away satisfied.

Cowboy sculpture, "Saturday Night" Kelly Graham

Cowboy artwork hangs outside Cinch Saloon at South Point Hotel and Equestrian Center

As I walked into Silverado Steak House, I was thrilled to be surrounded by cowboys here attending the Las Vegas Cutting Horse Association Futurity. Call me an equestrian groupie; I like the smell of horses and leather and the jingle jangle of spurs hitting the floor as cowboys and cowgirls amble along.  After an appetizer of Thai crab salad, my Kona crusted flat iron prime rib with cafe de Paris butter arrived sizzling on the plate, accompanied with asparagus, a hand tossed salad and perfectly baked potato. A flavorful Merlot from Lodi, California was included with the meal, as was a chocolate molten cake paired with vanilla ice cream. A satisfying meal for any cowgirl.

Lunch at the Big Sur Oyster Bar was overkill. A Las Vegas local recommended the lobster grilled cheese on sourdough with white cheddar ($24.) While the waitress suggested the Maryland jumbo lump crab cocktail ($16.) Like a kid in a candy store, I ordered both and instantly regretted my decision as soon as the crab cocktail arrived. With its all meat lump crab, this was a wonderful meal in itself for seafood lovers. Then came the lobster sandwich, stuffed with slipper meat from China or Indonesia and house cooked potato chips. According to the chef, Maine lobster is cost prohibitive.

prime rib, South Point Steakhouse

Kona prime rib at Silverado Steakhouse, South Point Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada

Don Vito’s Italian restaurant was also participating in Restaurant Week. My dinner began with bacon wrapped scallops, followed by heirloom tomato salad, Scampi Puttanesca over spinach tagliatelle, concluding with warm chocolate bread pudding. The house Cabernet Sauvignon accompanied the meal with $5 per meal given to Three Square. Service was attentive. Again, large portions – the cowboy seated across from my table wasn’t able to finish his meal either.

Breakfast the next morning found me at Coronado Cafe, open 24 hours, this restaurant reminded me of Denny’s – friendly service, value-pricing. I ordered the three cheese omelette with buttered wheat toast and hash brown potatoes ($7.95.)

Costa del Sur Spa, South Point Hotel, Las Vegas

Make time for Costa del Sur Spa at South Point Hotel, Las Vegas

Costa del Sur spa

I’m not a fan of Las Vegas casinos, nor the accompanying cigarette smoke. I’d rather spend my money in the spa. To date, one of my best spa experiences was found at Costa del Sur. This 40,000 square foot spa features 28 treatment rooms, a relaxation room, jacuzzi and eucalyptus steam room.  I recommend you arrive at least 30 minutes early – why not make it a spa day – to enjoy the entire spa experience! Daily spa passes are offered to hotel guests for $30. My insider tip: ask for Denise – she has been with Costa del Sur since it opened at South Point in 2006.

My 80 minute Goddess of the Sun Ritual body treatment started off with a full body exfoliation with sugar scrub. This followed with a hydrating body wrap, along with a cool stone facial and warm Moroccan oil scalp massage ($170.) If you want to really knock your socks off, combine the Goddess treatment with a hot stone, deep tissue sports therapy massage (additional charge) and throw in Reflexology, using pressure points on the feet. Be warned; this custom spa treatment will leave you so relaxed you’ll be headed to bed early. As Denise says, “it’s all about getting the body to exhale.” Amen to that!

slot machines, South Point Casino, Las Vegas

Hotel room artwork and slot machines feature horses at South Point Hotel

Insider tip

Gambler or not, make sure to sign up for the South Point Club Card – it’s free (must be over 21) and gives you discounts. And who doesn’t like to save a buck, go bowling for free or get a complimentary dessert with dinner? For the night owls, Coronado Cafe offers graveyard specials from midnight until 6:00 a.m.

Need to know

South Point Casino, Hotel and Spa does not accept pets. The South Point Equestrian Center does not board individual horses, nor do they offer horseback riding to the public.

Check-in time: 3:00 p.m.

Check-out time: 12:00 p.m.

If You Go:

South Point Hotel Casino and Spa (702) 796-7111

9777 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89183

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Top photo courtesy of South Point Hotel. I was a guest of South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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