One of the fun bonuses of my job as a destination wedding planner is the destinations I get to travel. This fall I’ll be in Colorado Springs at Garden of the Gods Resort & Club for a three-day destination wedding weekend. As with all my destination couples, we like to meet up for a few on-location planning days throughout the process. Often that gives me to opportunity to review and enjoy the places where my couples have chosen to tie-the-knot.
This 116 room boutique hotel have a uniquely residential feel about them. The rooms & suites in the Lodge have the best direct views of the Garden of the Gods National Park. The views and convenience to the amenities are a huge bonus for this room type.
The Cottages and Casitas are unique in that they can be booked as one, two, and three bedroom spaces. The cottages are arranged in the loop and the center unit (a king bedroom) features a kitchenette and spacious living/dining area with a fireplace inside and outside. The Casitas are similar but with a full-kitchen option for those traveling for longer times or prefer to cook their own meals on the road.
We had a cottage suite and it was so spacious my clients came over for wine and a meeting. It would have been a perfect connecting space if we were traveling as a group with friends in the optional connecting rooms. My only complaint is that there are no full-length mirrors.
Food & Beverage
We enjoyed every dining option while at Garden of the Gods Resort and Club. Across the board, I could say the alcohol recommendations were spot on. From the bartender at The Rocks Lounge giving us the inside scoop on his favorite of the signature cocktail options to Sommelier Sean’s dinner pairings. Room Service was prompt and properly prepared. The Rocks lounge lunch was light and exactly what we were looking for.
The Grand View Dining Room does carry a business casual dress code, but as the nicest of the property restaurants, it was easy to dress up for the evening. We happened to be traveling during the Valentine’s Day weekend for which they’d put together a prix fixe menu. In all honesty, I wasn’t looking forward to it, but they blew me away.
The roasted beet salad was simply stunning and tasted as good as it looked. The butternut agnolotti was a light pillow of culinary goodness. I ordered the hasselback potatoes with romesco for my entree as my husband, Matt, ordered the Filet Mignon with mushroom risotto which I 100% stole a bite or two from. For dessert, the pastry chef truly outdid themselves. The strawberry & raspberry creamuex dome included a marscapone cheesecake, almond cake gold leaf champagne gelee, strawberry fluid gel, and valhrona bahibe gelato. All delicious. All beautifully presented.
Spa & Activities
While I didn’t have the availability during my client’s on-location planning day to test out the spa, Matt did!
Like many spas, the STRATA team created a calm and soothing ambiance. Their changing room included slippers and a robe to don while waiting on your therapist in the Relaxation Room with chaise lounges, magazines, and tea.
The treatment included a sound bath and aromatherapy while the therapist was communicative without being intrusive.
Matt also tested out their sauna and steam room. The steam room was the perfect end after the massage to keep him loose and relaxed before going back out into the Colorado cold.
Other activities on property were laid out in the personalized in-room guide. The fitness options were extensive including spin, pilates, yoga, and more. I was able to squeeze in a yoga class with Rodney who was a delight. The stretches he lead us through were exactly what I needed while traveling and his laid back, but knowledgable approach made the class accessible to yogis of all levels.
If you pack your snow boots – or travel when it’s not actively snowing – a hike in the Garden of the Gods park would have been a great day-time activity. We didn’t have the proper footwear and opted for taking in the views by the fire or in the main lodge bar.
What to Pack
NOTE: We traveled in February and it did snow one day we were there.
Day 1 – Travel Day
Black Slip Dress + Camel Cardigan + Camel City Coat + White PP48 Sneakers
Day 2 – On-Location Planning Day
Day 3 – Relax Day
Day 4 – Travel Day
White Silk Camisole + Black Jeans + Camel Cardigan + Camel City Coat + White PP48 Sneakers + White Beanie
Other Packing Must Haves
If you want to use the fitness center or enjoy the outdoors at Garden of the Gods National Park, be sure to pack some athletic attire.
As I say nearly every time I leave my swampy home of Houston, Texas – if you aren’t used to dry air, bring extra moisturizer.
We don’t have snow boots – for reasons obvious to the above residence – and were lucky enough to be able to borrow some from family in town, but if you want to explore in winter time, you’re going to want some solid waterproof shoes.
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