Quick quiz: What is the best golf resort in the United States?
According to Golf Magazine's list of Premier Golf Resorts 2014-2015, the best golf resort in the United States is...
|The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.|
|Surprised?Today I'm going to tell you why The Broadmoor shot to the top of Golf Magazine's list...
And how you can take advantage of an exclusive, unpublished stay-and-play package valid all summer long.
Before I get to that, here are just a few of the reasons The Broadmoor was voted "America's Best Golf Resort."
Major Championship Golf
|The Broadmoor's list of resort activities is long and varied, from spa services to tennis, a movie theater and a museum.But, above all, The Broadmoor is a golf resort. There are three, 18-hole courses here with different vintages and backgrounds offering a variety of experiences...all of which are top shelf.
The East Course is The Broadmoor's flagship layout, measuring just shy of 7,400 yards from the tips and boasting an impressive architecture and tournament golf pedigree.
This walkable collection of parkland holes by legendary Golden Age architect Donald Ross and mid-20th century master Robert Trent Jones most recently hosted the U.S. Senior Open in 2008 and the U.S. Women's Open in 2011.
The course also has an impressive amateur golf tournament history -- just ask Jack Nicklaus who won his first U.S. Amateur title here in 1959. More on that in a minute.
|The West Course is also a hybrid -- of Donald Ross/Robert Trent Jones holes AND of level and hilly terrain. It's a nice introduction to Rocky Mountain golf, and while it can't match the East Course for history, some say it exceeds it with fun.Speaking of which, just south of the hotel -- but perched 500 feet higher than the East and West courses' 6,400-foot elevation (everyone hits it far at The Broadmoor) you'll find the aptly-named Mountain Course.
It's the resort's modern gem, a super-scenic, Nicklaus design (renovated in 2006), with elevated tees, dramatic carries, and fairways tumbling up and down the mountainous terrain that surrounds the resort.
Once off the tee, the terrain is actually quite tame, which makes for a pleasant round whether you choose to walk or ride.
And that's another thing I love about The Broadmoor. Whereas other resorts force you to take carts, you can walk these courses, with or without a caddie.
Rebirth of the Broadmoor Invitation
|Remember when I said Jack Nicklaus claimed his first U.S. Amateur title at The Broadmoor in 1959?Well, it turns out that the resort's amateur golf pedigree does not stop there.
In fact, from 1921 to 1995, a tournament called The Broadmoor Invitation was one of the USA's foremost annual amateur golf tournaments.
Hale Irwin, Mark O'Meara, Fred Couples, John Cook, Corey Pavin, Lanny Wadkins and numerous other golf greats have played in it.
This year marks the rebirth of the event under a new format: 64 teams of players (with a 12-handicap or lower) get to play five rounds from July 6-10.
Outside of tournament rounds, the Invitation will include a number of special events, such as a private history tour of the resort, a wine tasting, a culinary demonstration and daily Titleist Performance Institute fitness classes.
If interested, you can learn more about The Broadmoor Invitation here.
Service Down to a Science
No resort has won more consecutive Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond awards than The Broadmoor.
And part of this is due to its hands-on, private ownership.
This is almost unheard of nowadays, but The Broadmoor has had just three private owners since opening nearly 100 years ago.
Whereas many big resorts have been gobbled up and are now managed by big, anonymous-feeling conglomerates, The Broadmoor has consistently delivered true hospitality and personal service.
It's a resort owned and operated by people, not private equity.
Here's how the extremely particular editors of Golf Odyssey describe it:
"The Broadmoor employs a huge, well-trained staff. Every employee we encountered gave us a courteous greeting and asked if he or she could be of assistance. Whenever we asked a question, the response was detailed almost to a fault. The Broadmoor has golf service down to a science."
|Known for its pale pink stucco façade and Italian Renaissance-style architecture, The Broadmoor is an American icon.The public spaces in the main hotel are, in a word, exquisite.
And while there are too many types of accommodations to detail here -- there are classic hotel rooms, suites, cottages, brownstones, and ranch accommodations -- all are colorful and distinctive, with an enthralling mix of the historic, modern, opulent and just the right amount of Western flair.
If you go this summer, you'll be among the first to see the resort's "new" Broadmoor West building, which some say rivals the Broadmoor Main.
They spent a whopping $57 million building new rooms, remodeling and expanding others (by 85-200 square feet), adding two new restaurants, and creating a new facade and lobby (see below for a sneak peek).
|Two other new lodging options I'm dying to check out are Cloud Camp, located 3,000 feet above The Broadmoor atop Cheyenne Mountain (reachable by four wheel drive vehicle, hiking or mule), and the Ranch at Emerald Valley. Both are satellite mountain retreats with a main lodge and individual cabins.World-Class Dining|
|If you can't find a great meal at The Broadmoor, you can't find one anywhere on Earth.There are 19 restaurants, bars, and lounges of varying décors, cuisines and levels of formality for you to choose from.
Among the newest is Ristorante del Lago (photo above), where regional Italian fare is paired with a stunning interior by world-famous designer Adam D. Tihany and a stunning exterior by Mother Nature -- the views overlooking Cheyenne Lake are utterly breathtaking.
Also brand new is Natural Epicurean, a restaurant where the cuisine -- and overall concept -- is driven by four words: healthy, wholesome, organic and natural. Indeed, the open-air space features sustainable hardwood floors, recycled glass, post-consumer product lighting and classic butcher block tables. There's even a living herb wall and working, patio garden which supplies ingredients to the kitchen.
The Broadmoor has its classic restaurants, too.
Once again, a few observations from Golf Odyssey:
"For a special occasion dinner, the formal Penrose Room delivers an evening-long gourmet experience, with tableside preparations, mouth watering soufflés, and an enormous wine list. Presentation and service are outstanding. A live band, dancing, and stunning views enhance the ambiance."
Other on-site dining options include The Summit, a contemporary American restaurant whose space was also designed by interior architect Adam D. Tihany, and The Tavern, which is an institution among The Broadmoor's broad palate.
Glorious Weather and Easy to Reach
Ok, The Broadmoor can't take full credit for these things, but it (and you) benefit from them.
Average high temperatures in summer are in the 80s with low humidity -- pretty much perfect for golf and other outdoor activities.
As far as location, Colorado Springs is less than 90 minutes south of Denver and its international airport (DEN).
It is an easy drive, but for the ultimate fly-in convenience, Colorado Springs has its own airport (COS) served by major carriers such as American, Delta and United, as well as the regional Alaskan and Allegiant Airlines.
By the way, you don't need to rent a car if you're flying in. Both airports have shuttle service to and from The Broadmoor.
The Exclusive Offer for GVI Readers
OK, here's the unpublished stay-and-play package I mentioned at the top.
When I heard The Broadmoor was Golf Magazine's No. 1 resort, I immediately went to work trying to craft a special package for you.
Remember how I said The Broadmoor's management is very "hands on?"
Well, I was able to speak directly with CEO Steve Bartolin and he loved the idea of putting together a special package just for Golf Vacation Insider subscribers.
Here it is: it's the resorts "Five Star Golf Package" but with exclusive perks and upgrades just for you in green...
|Again, the standard rate for this summertime, high-season package starts at $430 per person, per night...but you'll get all the extras and upgrades in green above.And remember, it's not available to anyone else.
Only you can take advantage of it (all summer and early fall), but you must use the link below if booking online... or mention "Golf Vacation Insider" if you prefer to call.
So, to get access to this exclusive package or to learn more...
Call toll free (866) 471-3270 and mention "Golf Vacation Insider."