#TravelTuesday: Garden of the Gods Resort and Club, a Heavenly Wellness Retreat

by Brian & Dana Maass on August 25, 2020 in Travels,
00 GOG Resort Exterior e1598299028149

Sitting on a Colorado mesa overlooking 70-million-year-old rock formations, Garden of the Gods Resort and Club has long offered both locals and guests a respite from reality.

Established in 1951 as a private country club, this immaculate piece of property is named for the neighboring Garden of the Gods Park, a registered National Natural Landmark. With the towering landmark of Pike’s Peak in the distance, this park is a focal point for the city of Colorado Springs and belongs to the people, offering free admission to all who enter. 

Early inhabitants and native Americans believed the area’s sandstone rock formations held special supernatural powers. Enemy tribes would lay down their weapons in awe of their majesty. Only 1.5 miles away from the resort, you won’t find a better view of this 1400-acre geological wonder. Texas resort founders and visionaries Albert and Margaret (Hunt) Hill identified these grounds as an ideal location for a private country club, offering exclusive membership for those wanting to enjoy the finer things of life. After the Hills sold the property in 2007, the space opened up to the public. In 2013, the present owners took the reins and opened the state-of-the art STRATA Wellness Center.

Health and Wellness

Now open, and with full COVID-19 precautions in place, in addition to traditional massages, STRATA Spa offers unique ways to unwind and recharge.
Photo courtesy Garden of the Gods Resort and Club

The impressive 31,000 square foot STRATA Integrated Wellness Spa houses an event and fitness center, wellness spa and medical center, employing over twenty doctors and clinicians. In addition to traditional massages, STRATA Spa offers unique ways to unwind and recharge. Consider a visit to the salt inhalation room, or the herbal sauna, to release your stress. Developed in Austria, the dry floatation service begins with gentle body exfoliation, followed by the release of therapeutic heat which envelops your body. Imagine the sensation of being wrapped in a warm, weighted blanket, with a feeling of weightlessness beneath you. Toxins are released, and your body enters a state of complete relaxation (This treatment is suggested for a rest day). 

STRATA features medically-focused services, including health assessments, chiropractic treatments, cardiology program and nutritional services. They promote optimal health, to build up immunity and fight disease through the practice of holistic and functional medicine. The resort has also taken all the necessary COVID-19 precautions to ensure a safe and clean environment for their guests.

Luxe Lodging

Wake up to coffee and a view. Rooms at the resort feature views overlooking Garden of the Gods park. In the evening share a romantic evening with the mountain view as the backdrop. Photo courtesy Garden of the Gods Resort and Club

Options for lodging at Garden of the Gods Resort and Club include Lodge Rooms and Suites, individual Cottages, and Casitas. The smallest option (Lodge Suite) is generous on comfort and views. Opening the door to your private patio, you will find an unobstructed panoramic view of the park that will take your breath away. Lodge Rooms offer outside entry for ample fresh air, fireplaces for cooler nights, comfortable seating, luxury bedding and two separate vanities with a generous walk-in closet. A favorite feature is the ensuite wine dispenser, where you can serve yourself a glass at the mere touch of a button. The mini fridge and bar area provide a compact space to store snacks and other beverages. 

Casitas and Cottages both offer 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom floor plans with Rocky Mountain views, outdoor fireplaces and a soaking tub in each bedroom. While Cottages include a kitchenette, Casitas boast kitchens complete with full-sized appliances, helpful for longer stays.

Premier Dining 

The reflection pool just outside the Rocks Lounge and Dining Room, is a sought-after location for couples looking for the perfect place for engagement photos, a wedding ceremony or as the perfect backdrop to a romantic dinner date. Photo courtesy Garden of the Gods Resort and Club

At Garden of the Gods Resort and Club, fresh dining options brim with flavor. The property’s two most casual restaurants include the Kissing Camels Grille and Bar and the Rocks Lounge and Dining Room. The more elegant Grand View Dining Room requires reservations, and there is a dress code. In this culinary haven, al fresco dining rises to new heights, with tables set among a reflection pool, vibrant gardens and mountain skyline. From a full meal to afternoon charcuterie, room service offers plenty of options from morning until night. (No reservations necessary, and shoes are optional!)

In search of specialty coffee, smoothies, yogurt parfait, or fresh pastry to start your day? Head down to the Beach and Cable Barista, in the STRATA Building. Here you’ll find friendly service as you fuel up for the resort’s multitude of on-site activities.

Activities and Amenities

After a long hike, or a day exploring the many things to do in and around Colorado Springs, take a moment, relax, and take in the serene beauty of the mountains and park at the Garden of the Gods Resort and Club infinity-edge pool. Due to COVID-19, be sure to make reservations in advance. Photo Brian Maass

Hiking at the nearby Garden of the Gods Park is highly recommended, and you have several options. Venture by car to explore on your own, walk the two-mile path, or book a 90-minute Saturday morning tour with a STRATA Fit Hike Guide. Resort tours include a shuttle ride to and from the park entrance.

With two miles of paved sidewalks inside the gates, this park is known for its accessibility features, so guests of every physical level are welcome. Be sure to bring comfortable attire and a good pair of walking shoes. Plan also for some time in one of three gorgeous pools, playing a round of golf at the championship 27-hole Kissing Camels golf course, or scheduling a round of tennis at one of six courts. 

A guest favorite, the infinity-edge pool is a must. Geared toward adults, it boasts a constant temperature of 84 degrees and mountain view with cloud formations rolling above. The poolside menu offers casual outdoor dining and an array of beverages. 

Designed by architects J. Press Maxwell and Mark Rathert, Kissing Camels Golf Course is a challenging course with immaculate fairways, stunning views of Garden of the Gods park, and in the shadow of Pike’s Peak. Photo courtesy Garden of the Gods Resort and Club

Exercise enthusiasts will find the fitness center to be exceptional. Spin bikes face the Garden of the Gods Park, an incredible setting to work up a sweat. State of the art work-out equipment is available for use, along with an array of classes, from pilates to yoga. Did you ever play a game of pickleball? Enthusiast or novice, you can practice your skills or set up a private lesson at one of several courts on-site. Traveling with children or even a (smaller) four-legged child? The Kids’ Club is open weekdays (currently mornings only) and Friday evenings, so the adults can take a break while the kids are entertained in a supervised setting. All activities (including pool times) are scheduled online or through the concierge at least a week in advance of your trip, to ensure controlled capacity for your own safety and satisfaction. Dogs (1 per family, under 40 pounds) must be pre-registered at the resort, with the required deposit and fees applied. 

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Cover photo courtesy Garden of the Gods Resort and Club

Brian and Dana Maass are married and live with their dog Chester in Round Rock, Texas. When not working their day jobs, they can be found traveling, writing, capturing photos, exploring the Hill Country, and serving the community. Follow them on Instagram at @Dana_Maass_Adventures and @Brian_Maass_Adventures.