From the moment Conchita Nolet greeted us at the front door of the St. Mary’s Inn B&B we knew we had made the right choice for our stay in Colorado Springs. She was warm, gracious and welcoming. Her husband Zeno joined us shortly after and his charming personality only confirmed our first impression. Located just a few blocks from the center of the city in a lovely residential area, the inn is convenient to the restaurants and shops along the main streets. The large, well-lit off street parking area is nicely landscaped and attractive.
The St. Mary’s Inn is an elegant Victorian mansion with beautifully furnished rooms that accent the period of the house itself. While the antique and reproduction pieces give the visitor a sense of the period, amenities are modern and well done as not to take too much from the theme of the inn. While Zeno oversaw the renovations, Conchita was responsible for the decorating and has taken great care to ensure the rooms each have luxurious linens, comfy mattresses and pillows. We stayed in the Aspen Suite, which was attractive and appealing to both men and women. The granite tile bathroom with its double basins was equally appealing. When we returned to the inn later that evening we found the bed turned down, truffles on the pillow and a lovely hand-written welcome note from our hosts - a nice touch.
After giving us a tour of the inn we settled in with the other guests in the living room to enjoy cool drinks, snacks and cookies, which are available all day. Zeno and Conchita are very sociable and used the time to make dinner recommendations as well as getting to know their guests. We all enjoyed sharing information about our travels and those guests who had been at the inn for several days or were returning had us anticipating breakfast the following morning.
After recommendations from our hosts as well as other guests, Conchita called and made reservations for us at the Bistro de Pinto. A small continental restaurant with just about ten tables that is chef owned. Dinner was outstanding and we sent compliments to Chef Mike Pinto who graciously came out to the table to thank us. The soup du jour was wild mushroom that made us wish we ordered a bowl in place of a cup. The rack of lamb with fingerling potatoes, my choice, and my husband’s flat iron steak, special of the evening, were cooked perfectly. We almost passed on dessert but when offered the mango mousse pie we decided to share. A decision we regret only because we each could have had our own slice. It was light and full of flavor with pieces of mango in the mousse. Yummy
After dinner we decided to drive to the Garden of the Gods as the visitor center is open later during the summer. We stopped at the first viewpoint, which has vistas of the city as well as the amazing rock formations, and spent so much time that the sun started to set so we decided to return the following day. This is a spot that is not to be missed.
In addition to visiting the Garden of the Gods, you must head up to Pike’s Peak, either by car or via the cog railway. The authentic Anasazi cliff dwellings in Manitou Springs is another amazing site. Click Here for more information on attractions in Colorado Springs and Pike’s Peak County. I also suggest a visit to U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, which houses a Hall of Fame Rotunda in addition to a sculpture garden and a 12’ tall Olympic Ring wall.
We opted for the later breakfast seating but were welcomed at the table when we arrived early to get a cup of coffee. Zeno started us off with juice and a glazed baked grapefruit. The entrée of the day was Conchita’s signature dish, stuffed French toast with a homemade orange sauce on the side. No butter or maple syrup needed. It was beautifully presented and garnished with fresh fruits and sliced almonds. Scrumptious! A platter of breakfast sausage was also passed around the table family style.
While we were disappointed that due to prior commitments we were unable to extend our stay, the up side is the incentive is now there to return. There is more we want to see and do in the area in addition to spending more time at the St. Mary’s Inn. As we were leaving there was an exchange of e-mail addresses with other guests so we could keep in touch and perhaps return at the same time. Conchita and Zeno are wonderful people; they provide outstanding service as well as being perfect hosts that bring their guests together.