The Garden of the Gods Club is a private club in Colorado Springs with an enviable location right across the street from the Garden of the Gods, a public park featuring some of the most striking red-rock formations in the state. Club members enjoy a 27-hole golf course (also with plenty of scenic views), a handful of restaurants (including a formal dining room and more casual grill), full-service spa, fitness center, tennis courts and recreation center.
What’s cool for Colorado Springs visitors: the Lodge at the Garden of the Gods Club is open to the public. Paying overnight guests can also enjoy all of the Club services and amenities. My husband tagged along on my spring travel-writing research trip to Colorado Springs (about 5 hours from our mountain home), and we had a pleasant stay at the Lodge, just the two of us. The summer months will bring even more options for families. Here’s why I’d recommend the Lodge at Garden of the Gods Club for a family weekend this summer in Colorado Springs:
The location is excellent: From our room in the South Lodge, we could walk down a set of stairs, outside across a grassy lawn, and down a short, moderately steep trail to the back of the Visitor Center at the Garden of the Gods Park. The guys at the Lodge’s front desk didn’t know of this unmarked trail; they suggested driving on a road all the way around to the proper entrance. (Or, they did not tell us about the unmarked trail because we weren’t supposed to cut through the back way.) Still, our way by foot was super convenient, and it wouldn’t be difficult for school-age kids to traipse up and down for easy access to the city-owned, no-fee park with its myriad hiking and biking trails.
The Lodge at Garden of the Gods Club is also a convenient base camp for exploring attractions west of Colorado Springs’ downtown area, namely Cave of the Winds, Pikes Peak Cog Railway, Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Manitou Springs (stop in for tasting at D’Vine Wine!) and the excellent restaurants in historic Old Colorado City.
Rooms are spacious: The two of us stayed in a King Lodge Room (one of 66 rooms and suites), and found it plenty big. We appreciated the sitting area (with table and chairs, sofa and coffee table), plus two sinks, large closet and shower (with great water pressure). Certainly a Double Lodge Room would have accommodated my family of four for a couple nights. Our view of the Garden of the Gods rock formations from our balcony was superb, too!
Free hors d’ouevres at Lodge happy hour: Never ones to pass up free food, my husband Quent and I had a glass of discounted house wine ($6) and complimentary appetizers before we ventured into Colorado Springs for restaurant research. From 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday nights the Lodge Lounge is packed with other Club members and Lodge guests, nibbling on fruit, cheese and crackers, as well as hot items like chicken wings and peanut-butter stuffed French toast (nope, didn’t go for that last one). It’s quite the festive scene. Kids are welcome here; I saw some moms – with children in tow – piling plates high with food to bring back to the room.
Besides the Lounge freebies at happy hour, other dining options available when we visited include the formal Lodge Dining Room and the more casual Lodge Lounge, both open for breakfast lunch and dinner. In the summer, the Kissing Camels Grille (named for a rock formation in Garden of the Gods) is open in the Golf Clubhouse, overlooking the fairways.
Recreation center with outdoor pool: Frankly, I was glad that we hadn’t brought our kids along to visit the Lodge at the Garden of the Gods when we visited in early April. The gorgeous infinity pool located right at the Lodge was up and running in the cool spring weather, but it’s only for grown-ups. We only saw a few adults using the pool when we were there, and I think my well-behaved tweens wouldn’t have been kicked out if they had played quietly in it (i.e. no cannonballs). Still, it was a bit surprising to me that the sign on the door leading to the “spa pool” (though down the hall and separate from the full-service spa) made it very clear that it’s meant only for adults.
However, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, a Junior Olympic-sized pool, with adjacent kiddie pools and water spray area, is located a couple of miles away, past the golf clubhouse, and open for all Club members and Lodge guests. Drive your own car or take a Lodge shuttle to the Recreation Center, which also features a snack bar, game room, basketball/soccer court and children’s playground – again, only open in the summer.
Full-service spa: I had no time to indulge in a spa treatment while I was at the Lodge at the Garden of the Gods Club (darn travel-writing research assignment kept me out and about taking notes at restaurants, attractions and shops), but I like the look of the spa menu with its variety of massages, facials, scrubs, manicures and pedicures. Each of the men’s and women’s locker rooms has a steam room, or you can soak in the co-ed whirlpool in a sunny solarium. Next time!
Thanks to the Lodge at Garden of the Gods Club for hosting my stay.