There are many reasons to love Garden of the Gods Resort, which was recently named Yelp’s #1 Hotel in the United States. The most obvious one is that you can’t find a view of the iconic Garden of the Gods park like this anywhere else. Set just above the park’s visitor center, the resort has the best possible vantage point of the red rocks and Pikes Peak in the distance.
The founders bought the property in 1949 to create a private club and resort, enamored with the view and possibility it would bring for tourism and members. After changing hands the resort is now again locally owned, and touts that what was once an exclusive club is now aimed towards continuing to be “an inclusive destination of discovery” and committed to “welcoming all who seek to restore their spirits and satisfy their souls”.
With the addition of the state of the art STRATA Med Spa and Fit, the resort is, to me, equal parts luxury, outdoor basecamp, and wellness getaway – all with great food and drinks.
Here are the details:
WHY IT’S AWESOME:
You’ll notice I mention the view about 450 times in this piece. Sorry, I just can’t get over it. After spending part of my childhood living in Colorado Springs and now visiting frequently as a traveler and Colorado resident for the past decade – the view from the resort is still unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Even without the amazing food, high ceilings in the luxurious club rooms, amazing service, wellness classes, spa, and infinity pool – the view on its own would be worth a visit.
Luckily, if you’re not as visually motivated as I am – there is so much more than just what meets the eye here. Despite its location in the middle of one of Colorado’s consistently fastest-growing cities, it feels like you’re in a secluded wellness retreat.
Its STRATA Med, Fit, and Spa really set the resort apart. While not all-inclusive, there is an abundance of wellness options you can choose to schedule during your visit. From concierge medicine to spa treatments (where I had one of the best massages of my life) to daily fitness classes and personal training – the resort caters to all wellness needs.
IN-HOUSE FOOD AND DRINK:
For a resort that feels intimate, there are a surprising number of food and drink options. From the more upscale Grand View Dining Room (currently under renovations), to the slightly more laid-back Rocks Dining Room and Rocks Lounge and Patio, Kissing Camels Grille and Bar and Beach and Cable Barista – you have lots of choice without ever leaving the property.
I especially enjoyed the large room service menu that can also be delivered to the infinity pool. During my dinner at Rocks Lounge, there was live music, low lighting, and truly exceptional service. I can’t wait to return.
- All rooms with private balcony or patio
- In-room fireplaces
- Fitness center with daily fitness classes
- In-room wine on tap
- STRATA Med Spa Fit center
- M & M Tennis Facility
- Recreation center
- Three swimming pools
- 27-hole golf course
- Kids Club
- Spa and salon
Something I loved about Garden of the Gods Resort was that every club room and suite in the lodge portion has either a balcony or a private patio facing the Garden of the Gods and Rocky Mountains. If you have a larger party or want more privacy – you’re covered. The resort also has plenty of residential-style cottages and private casitas with one, two, and three-bedroom options.
Explore room types here.
BEST THING TO DO WITHIN A 15-MINUTE WALK:
Garden of the Gods visitor center and park is just below the resort – and it is well worth a visit. The National Natural Landmark is a public park that is free to the public and absolutely awe-inspiring. The rock formations are otherworldly and the views are epic. There are 21 miles of trails within the park, as well as opportunities for technical climbing (with a guide), horseback riding, and biking. You can even take a Segway tour around the park. It is legendary in Colorado Springs and outside of it – consistently one of the top attractions in the country.
BEST THING TO DO WITHIN A $20 CAB RIDE:
Garden of the Gods Resort is located in Colorado Springs but is just a couple miles from one of my favorite vibey mountain towns: Manitou Springs. Known throughout history for its healing mineral springs, it is one of my favorite places to spend a day. The downtown area is super walkable, eclectic, and unique. And just up the road, you can grab a ride on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway – the world’s highest cog railway that climbs up the iconic Pikes Peak. Once you’re at the top you gotta stop for the famous Pikes Peak high-altitude donuts made at the Summit House before walking around and understanding why this mountain inspired Katherine Lee Bates to write the song “America the Beautiful.”
This is a luxury resort, so I expected a comfy bed – and I was not disappointed. The club room I was in had a large bed with luxurious linens I had to pull myself out of. But the best part is that if you want to stay in it you have a million-dollar view right from there.
While the room, spa, and wellness areas are all sleek and would garner a 10 rating in sexiness, the common areas in the lobby are definitely family-friendly and lean somewhat more refined than sexy.
I’ll have to come back in the summer season – when the infinity pool switches back to adult only – to see if a score change is warranted.
THE VIEWS AND PHOTO SPOTS:
Garden of the Gods wasn’t named TripAdvisor’s #2 attraction in the country (and #9 in the entire world) in 2022 for nothing – it’s remarkable. And you have a view from nearly everywhere on the property at Garden of the Gods Resort. From the infinity pool to the private balconies or patios in every club room or suite to the windows in the bar and the reflection pool that dates back to 1951 – the options are nearly endless.
I recommend waking up for sunrise at the infinity pool – it may be cold but the warm light hitting the red rocks is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
BEST SEASON TO VISIT:
I have only visited the resort in the winter – which was magical – but I’ve visited Garden of the Gods park in all seasons. There truly isn’t a bad time to go. The warmer months will bring more crowds, but also more activities on the resort and off, while the winter months are peaceful and slower. It’s also a treat to wake up to snow-covered red rocks in the distance.
IF I HAD TO COMPLAIN ABOUT ONE THING:
When I visited in December only one of the three pools was open for the season – the heated outdoor dreamy infinity pool with views of the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak. While this normally wouldn’t be a problem, it’s an adults-only pool when the others are open seasonally, and during the winter transitions to all ages. I would love to visit and be able to relax in an adult-only environment anytime.
Rates start at just over $220 per night for a basic queen room, with specials for Colorado residents.