Feel Alive at 105 at The Broadmoor

by Brook Benten on October 17, 2023 in Lifestyle, Wellness,

When The Broadmoor opened its doors in 1918, founder, Spencer Penrose, said that it was “built for tomorrow.” 105 years later, and now offering guests a resort, three wilderness properties, Colorado’s most majestic waterfall, and a railway up Pikes Peak, truer words may never have been spoken.


Built for Tomorrow

The Broadmoor opened during the year of the Spanish flu. The microscopic killer circled the entire globe in four months, claiming the lives of more than 21 million people. 

105 years later, we’re no longer in a state of emergency over an airborne virus. But we are unwell. According to a 2023 Global Wellbeing Report, low well-being stunts the way that people experience life. The same report revealed that only 12% of people in a survey over 14 countries said that their well-being is where it should be. More harrowing, 44% of survey respondents believe that achieving overall well-being may be impossible! It’s not impossible. It’s in Colorado Springs. Spencer Penrose built a property for tomorrow. It is exactly what people need today.

What’s Hampering Well-being in 2023

Loneliness: This public health issue was intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, loneliness remains a pressing issue. 17% of adults reported feeling lonely “a lot of the day yesterday,” according to a 2023 report by the American Psychological Association.

Obesity: New CDC data shows that 22 of the 50 states in America have obesity records over 35%. That’s up from 19 last year. That’s up from 0 states a decade ago. Each one point increase in a person’s body mass index (found by taking your body weight and dividing it by your height in meters squared) raises the risk of cardiovascular disease by 10%.

Poor Nutrition and Inactivity: Most Americans eat a diet high in ultraprocessed foods. Ultra-processed foods have been linked to cancer and cardiovascular disease. Things like chips, savory packaged sweets, soft drinks and fast foods are ultraprocessed foods. As Americans consume more and more (highly addictive) ultraprocessed foods, health outcomes decline. Sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition often go hand in hand.

The Broadmoor: Built in 1918. Built for 2023

If these dismal health statistics have you wanting to pack your bags, you should. According to Dr. Claire Marie Manly, PhD, author of Joy from Fear, “When we’re stuck in a daily grind, it’s often difficult to reset our brains in positive ways.” How to break inertia isn’t an enigma that you have to solve on your own. The Broadmoor has 105 years of experience delivering wellness solutions. 

Wellness travel is the fastest growing sector of the hospitality industry. 1 in every 20 dollars spent by consumers worldwide is spent on wellness. That number is expected to rise by 5% annually. With high demand comes a surge of new properties entering the “wellness resort” space. But no one does it quite like The Broadmoor.

Set on 5,000 acres just outside the Colorado Spring city limits, The Broadmoor offers 784 rooms, an Estate House and three wilderness properties nestled in Cheyenne Mountain to nurture well-being. Whether at a restaurant, The Spa, or out in nature, you’ll be nourished. You’ll soar, move, rest, and feel fully alive during your stay— so I’d recommend staying a while. 

Small positive changes can cut through poor health like water through a rock. Not by pressure but consistency, the rock is transformed. So, too, can you be. Try taking your first steps here. Photo courtesy The Broadmoor.


to provide with substances necessary for good condition

When you think of nourishment, you ought to think of goodness for your eyes (watching beneficial things, e.g. feeding the 17 giraffe at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo), ears (listening to soothing sounds, e.g. the cascading waterfalls at Seven Falls), nose (inhaling clean mountain air), and touch (healing human touch, e.g. a massage or body wrap at The Spa)

But the first thing we all think about when it comes to nourishment is what goes into our mouths. 

Colorado has the lowest obesity rates in the United States. Partial credit is due to the presentation and consumption of whole foods. Photo courtesy Summit at The Broadmoor.

The Broadmoor boasts award-winning restaurants that serve freshly picked seasonal ingredients. Here’s a glimpse at how I nourished my body at The Broadmoor.

I go a little weak in the knees at the aroma of a warmed butter croissant. The scratch-made croissant from The Broadmoor’s Parisian Patisserie was flakey on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside. It was made with whole wheat flour, which boosted the fiber content without sacrificing the decadence. It paired nicely with a piping hot cup of coffee. 

Whether on the east (Cafe Julie’s) or west (Natural Epicurean) of Cheyenne Lake, the much-loved croissants are served at both to spare you the walk… although a leisurely morning walk around the lake may bode well with your pastry and coffee. Photo courtesy The Broadmoor.

I delighted in the spa salad from The Grille. It featured a bed of kale decorated with pumpkin seeds, quinoa, feta cheese, and salmon. This salad was a protein + fiber superhero. The flavor profile and nutrient density was as beautiful as the view of the championship golf course in my periphery. It was refined, relaxed, dreamy and diet-friendly, in equal measures.

Don’t you just love the surprise of an amuse bouche? I could be served a walnut on a coaster and I’d go giddy over the unexpected treat. The Ranch at Emerald Valley, one of The Broadmoor’s wilderness properties, did a lot better than that. Gooey gouda cheese came wrapped in a thick cut of bacon that made my mouth water. It’s watering all over again just looking at this picture.

It actually wasn’t as good as it looks. It was better. Photo courtesy Brook Benten.

The rest of my dinner at The Ranch at Emerald Valley was impeccable. All of the meals, snacks and drinks (alcoholic or otherwise) are included at The Ranch at Emerald Valley. If you prefer top tier alcohol, it will be served for an additional fee. (Those who imbibe would have gotten along well with Spencer Penrose, who, in anticipation of prohibition, stockpiled over 300 cases of assorted liquor).

Equally nourishing as my meal was the conversation with my server. When Spencer Penrose opened The Broadmoor in 1918, he charged each employee with providing a level of service and overall experience unattainable in the United States but expected in Europe. Like much of Penrose’s influence, that expectation has lived on. My server at The Ranch at Emerald Valley said that she has worked at The Broadmoor for 17 years. With warmth and congeniality, she told me about how valued she has always felt as an employee at The Broadmoor. She said that at one point, she stepped aside for a mom reason (raise your hand if you get that. 👋), but returned when she got a call from the CEO asking her to come back. It fed my soul to hear of employees being treated with respect and gratitude. Similar stories of occupational wellness were echoed by other team members.


to fly or rise high in the air

Broadmoor Outfitters offers Fins Course Zipline. In this soaring adventure, you’ll fly over canyons through five ziplines and assisted rappel 180 feet to the canyon floor. You’ll walk two rope bridges, taking in birds eye views of Cheyenne Mountain and Seven Falls. Reservations are required.

For high-flying fun but less adrenaline (no rappelling), consider the Wood Course Zipline, also offered by Broadmoor Outfitters. Photo courtesy The Broadmoor.

If soaring over mountain tops on ziplines is too adventurous for your taste, consider a train ride to the top of Pikes Peak aboard the cog railway. Care for a bit of physical activity and a bit of breezy locomotion? You can purchase a one-way ticket on the cog and hike either up or down Pikes Peak the remainder of the way (be sure to check the weather and bring appropriate gear).

Building the Pikes Peak Cog Railway in 1925 is one of Spencer Penrose’s most enduring legacies. Photo courtesy The Broadmoor.


To make progress

A survey of 1.2 million adults in the United States found that people who exercised regularly experienced 43 percent fewer poor mental health days. Exercise is not only a physical activity but also a psychological and social activity.

The Broadmoor offers a multitude of ways to move your body that are inseparable from improving your self-efficacy and sense of community. A few examples of movement options include tennis, pickleball, golf (ranked among the best in the world), swimming (the heated outdoor lap pool at the fitness center is open year round), paddle boat rides, guided hikes, and mountain biking.

There’s one adventure you absolutely must partake in while at The Broadmoor: Seven Falls.

The Broadmoor acquired Seven Falls in 2015 and restored the splendor after massive flood damage. Photo courtesy The Broadmoor.

Seven Falls is a magnificent series of waterfalls situated in a 1,250-foot-wall box canyon between the towering Pillars of Hercules. Take in stunning valleys and striking rock formations as you climb the challenging 224 steps. Drink in the beauty of the 140 year old waterfalls and marvel at the picturesque views of the canyons from the top.


To refresh oneself

“Being still and doing nothing are two very different things.” Jackie Chan

The Ranch at Emerald Valley was originally purchased by Spencer Penrose in 1923. Photo courtesy Brook Benten.

A short drive up Cheyenne Mountain brings you to one of The Broadmoor’s three wilderness properties. At 8,200 feet elevation, The Ranch at Emerald Valley offers 13 cabins (with a maximum total occupancy of 32 guests) surrounded by over 100,000 acres of the Pike National Forest.  

Each cabin features gas fireplaces and heated floors. Photo courtesy The Broadmoor.

This is a quiet sanctuary to cuddle up in a plush robe and enjoy peace and quiet. There is a list of daily activities noted on a chalkboard in the Main Lodge. (The Main Lodge also provides newspapers, snacks, warm welcome cookies, meals and a barista station). Daily activities include horseback riding, fly-fishing instruction, archery, and guided hikes. Kayaks and canoes are available for guest use, as are mountain bikes and walkie talkies to channel a golf cart pick-up from a hike to the property. Some guests like to stay at the sister wellness property, Cloud Camp, then hike a trail that takes them to The Ranch at Emerald Valley and allow The Broadmoor’s shuttle to transfer their luggage. Although not everyone would consider such a trek “restful,” I would and fully intend to do so on my next wilderness property visit.

Among the restful experiences I enjoyed during my stay at The Ranch at Emerald Valley was hiking Gray Back Peak to read a book in solitude at the summit. Photo courtesy Brook Benten.

Feeling alive and being well go hand in hand. What Spencer Penrose built in 1918 is the antithesis of fad wellness. Without trendy amenities like floatation tanks, sound baths, cold plunges, or red light therapy, The Broadmoor distinguishes itself as a good old fashioned wellness haven that’s been helping guests feel alive for 105 years.

The Broadmoor

1 Lake Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80906, United States 

www.broadmoor.com | Reservations 1-855-634-7711


Cover Photo Courtesy The Broadmoor

Brook Benten, M.Ed., EP, is a well-being advocate in Austin, TX. She has devoted over twenty years to helping Americans live healthy lives. Her next book, “Sweat with Brook Benten: Helping Other Mothers Lift the Motherload” will be published in January 2024. Instagram @BrookBenten