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This sprawling, family-friendly resort is good enough to almost make you forget the beauty outside the property. Pros: beautiful setting, great for kids, plenty of activities and services for families. Cons: no adjoining rooms.
One rainy afternoon, when the kiddos were both in school, I found two seconds to tackle neglected administrative tasks and discovered that I had accumulated a significant amount of Wyndham Rewards points. Instead of hoarding points like an some ladies hoard commemorative spoons, I cashed them in and took the family on a much-needed getaway. Since Wyndham Rewards points expire four years after they are first deposited (or after 18 months if there is no account activity), I figured I should listen to the experts and use it before I lose it.
I searched through the vast collection of Wyndham-affiliated properties for the perfect family-friendly trip. From hotels in Miami to glitzy condos in Vegas, hotels in Manhattan and vacation rentals in Napa, the variety of selections was dazzling, all for 15,000 points per night.
While there were many destinations and accommodation types to choose from, it was the Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Springs, a Dolce Resort, that caught my eye. A 90-minute drive from Denver, this family-friendly resort sounded like the perfect base for active travelers looking for a luxury mountain getaway in southern Colorado courtesy of hotel points.
This was my first Wyndham redemption, and I earned the majority of my points by signing up for the Wyndham Rewards Visa, earning the bonus points and getting 5 points per dollar on everyday purchases and 10 points per dollar spent at Wyndham Rewards hotels.
You can’t book Dolce Resorts online using Wyndham Reward points, so I called Member Services (866-996-7937) to select my desired travel dates and redeem for a free stay at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort.
For a summer Saturday, I was given a few options. One would’ve cost me 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points for one night. I didn’t have to pay taxes on the room, but there was a resort fee of $24 per day. For those traveling with a pup, there was also a $35 pet fee per night. Alternatively, I could have opted for the Go Fast room, which would’ve cost me 3,000 points for one night plus a discounted nightly rate of $291.85 ($352.34 with taxes included). This was instead of the regular $499 rate (before taxes).
I decided to do the former, Go Free, cashing in 45,000 Wyndham Rewards points for a three-night stay. I packed up the husband, the kids (ages 4 and 2) and set out on a good old-fashioned family road trip from Denver to Colorado Springs.
If you don’t have Wyndham Rewards points but want to still save your cash, you could use your Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card or Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® to book the stay, and then use the points from those cards, at a rate of 1 cent per point, to cover the charges.
Surrounded by the picturesque peaks of the Rocky Mountain Front Range, Cheyenne Mountain Resort Colorado Springs had 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space, three restaurants and 316 guest rooms in eight residential lodges, many with mountain views. There were three outdoor pools, an 18-hole golf course, a spa, 9,000-square-foot fitness center, kids splash pad and a supervised play space called Kids’ Korner.
The property was near all of Colorado Springs’ most popular attractions, from the Garden of the Gods, a natural landmark of iconic red rock formations, to Pike’s Peak, making this area a mecca for hikers, climbers, mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. You could spend the day exploring a 14er (a mountain peak with an elevation of at least 14,000 feet), go zip-lining or river rafting. You could also travel back in time to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, ancient Anasazi ruins dating back 800 to 1,000 years, or go underground for a stalagmite tour at the Cave of the Winds.
The resort was 20 minutes by car from Colorado Springs Airport (COS).
The check-in process was simple and straightforward, with a warm welcome and transactional exchange of ID and credit card for incidentals. The lobby itself was a large open space with the Mountain View restaurant, Elevations bar and casual seating area all on the same floor. Tucked away off the lobby was the General Store, a coffeeshop serving Starbucks brews, ice cream, smoothies and grab-and-go snacks like chocolate bars and fruit. We were given a map of the resort, notified of restaurant hours and briefed on upcoming family-friendly activities we might want to attend.
We stayed in the deluxe double queen, a 430-square-foot room with mountain-themed decor including framed photos of nature, butterflies and bark from local trees. The kids slept comfortably in the beds, and it was a stress-free, easy stay. Highlights included the private balcony with views of the golf course and mini-fridge to stash the kids’ snacks. I also enjoyed having the Keurig coffeemaker.
There was a television in the room, and guests were able to choose from a variety of cable channels or movies for purchase through LodgeNet movies. The Wi-Fi was speedy and reliable. There was even a dedicated work station to plug in my laptop.
Since each room had the feeling of an individual lodge, there were no adjoining rooms, which could be a drawback if you wanted connecting rooms for the kids.
A step above the double queen was the one-bedroom junior suite, sleeping five and offering a king bed, two pullout sofas and two balconies. The presidential suite offered 1,130 square feet of living space and multiple bedrooms. Wyndham Rewards points can only be used for standard rooms only, not for the above suites.
The bathrooms were basic, nothing fancy, just functional. It contained a shower tub, Alluvia Spa lemongrass-sage bath products, terrycloth robes (cozy) and a hair dryer.
The beds were cozy, but if you have a wiggly little sleeper, one of the hotel’s complimentary pack ‘n plays might be a good idea.
Food and Beverage
The Mountain View Restaurant served all-you-can-eat buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The breakfast buffet was a great value at $19.95 for adults, $9.95 for children ages 7 to 12 and under 6 for free. (There was also an a la carte menu, but our hungry kids went straight for the buffet.)
There were made-to-order omelets, yogurt parfaits, fresh fruit, pastries of all kinds, cereals, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, piles of delicious crispy bacon and Belgian waffles. The food was delicious.
Mountain View also had a Sunday Champagne brunch for $49.95 per adult with shrimp, oysters, smoked salmon and mimosas. In the evening, the prime rib and make-your-own sundae stations really stood out.
For a nibble or quick happy-hour drink, Gates Grill overlooking the golf course or Elevations, an indoor sports bar near the lobby serving appetizers and small bites, were the places to go.
Potentially the best thing about the Cheyenne Mountain Resort was full access to the adjacent Country Club of Colorado, which boasted a wide range of activities for the whole family. There was a private, 35-acre lake where you could build sandcastles and enjoy a variety of free watersports from stand-up paddleboarding to sailboats.
My favorite aquatic activity was taking out the pedal boat with my 4-year-old. A five-seater, the boat brought me back to my own childhood spent pedaling on the open water at a snail’s speed. My daughter enjoyed navigating the boat and acting like the captain, while I got a bit of a thigh work pedaling around and around and around the scenic man-made lake.
You could play a round on the 18-hole Pete Dye-designed golf course or practice your backswing at one of the 16 indoor/outdoor tennis courts. We worked on our swings and our hand-eye coordination, but mostly we just chased the bright yellow balls around the court and screamed with delight.
There was an Olympic-sized lap pool, the Splash Pad, kiddie pool and waterslide with a lifeguard on duty. The fitness center was massive, with every kind of treadmill and bike you could want. There were roughly 60 instructor-led classes each month, from yoga to Zumba. There was also a juice bar to slurp back protein shakes post-workout.
But let’s be honest, the best post-workout treat was a visit to the Alluvia Spa and Wellness Retreat for a relaxing deep-tissue massage. From hot-stone massages to blue-agave toning body wraps, there was a wide variety of spa services, even some specifically geared to teens.
I’m a sucker for a spa, so I made an appointment for one of their signature massages, the “Rest and Relax Custom Massage.” It was 80 minutes of bliss. The massage combined Swedish and deep-tissue techniques and was highly customizable, so you could select your specific pain points, desired pressure and personalized aromatherapy oils.
All the elements combined to create an atmosphere of deep relaxation: the gentle New Age music, the sweet smell of eucalyptus and the soft-spoken therapist with healing, magic fingers. Heaven.
There was on-site childcare, a supervised play space open to children ages 6 months to 7 years old. The cost was $10 a child, and there was two-hour limit (four for golfers). The one catch was that they were not a licensed daycare facility, so they didn’t change diapers, feed meals or give bottles.
I used this service while I was getting my spa treatment at Alluvia, and it worked out well. There’s nothing more counterproductive than stressing about your kids’ safety while trying to relax on a massage table, but I knew the staff could easily find me if anything went wrong.
When choosing the perfect family-friendly accommodations, that balance between what’s fun for the kids and what won’t drive the parents nuts isn’t always easy. The Cheyenne Mountain Resort has done a great job providing a comfortable guest experience with great service and unique activities in one of Colorado’s most beautiful locations for both children and adults. There are so many fun things to do, from golf to tennis, poolside movie screenings to pedal boats, that, despite all the cool tourist attractions offered in the area, there’s really no need to leave the resort at all.
If you have Wyndham Rewards points burning in your pocket and are looking for a luxury mountain getaway that is fantastic for the whole family, the Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Springs is a great choice.
Featured image courtesy of Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs.
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