From the outside, Soul Community Planet sort of looked like an old Days Inn. Cinder-block walls, near the bustling I25 in Colorado Springs; it looked like your basic hotel from the outside. However, as I parked my car, I could see through the big windows in front and saw the fireplace burning inside the big open lobby, green plants everywhere, and a general welcoming, homey vibe. From the outside to the inside, it felt like a different world. I walked in the lobby and looked at the colorful wall with a globe painted on it and the words “Soul Community Planet – Holistic Hospitality”.
Bringing New Life to an Old Hotel – Ahem…Schitts Creek Anyone?
Ew David! We’ve all been stuck at home during the pandemic watching Schitts Creek entertained by life at the Rosebud Motel, and now I felt as if I had just walked into the Colorado Springs hotel version of it! Rosebud was known as a little past-its-prime tired motel on the show that they turned into a ‘vintage’ motel concept. This old cinderblock building was definitely the shell of a bygone era, but inside that shell was a unique idea that was anything but tired or bygone.
I went to Colorado Springs because I was tired of working from home day after day and I needed a little ‘workcation’ from my Denver apartment. I wanted a change of scenery, and I wanted to check out this new hotel concept – Soul Community Planet.
Recycling a Hotel
The hotel was built back in 1967 as the Garden Valley Hotel. It then changed hands a few times from a Days Inn/Super 8, to the Knight’s Inn. It was in what used to be a pretty bad area of town and the building was destined for the landfill. Most people would’ve bulldozed it. But not Soul Community Planet – they knew the building was solid, and by purchasing it in 2018, they would save thousands of tons of waste from the landfill.
This is a big part of Soul Community Planet’s environmental mission; buy distressed buildings that are 20 years old or older and take the opportunity to breathe new life into it. And boy did they breathe new life into it!
Soul Community Planet – A New Holistic Hotel Concept
I had expected to see a few ‘green/holistic’ things and concepts, like I’ve seen in other places that want to utilize the ‘travel responsibly’ message. However, to my surprise, SCP went way beyond the superficial ‘please recycle and don’t change the sheets/towels daily to save the environment’. Instead, they exceeded my expectations with their holistic hotel concept. Over and over again I was surprised at how maniacal they are about their culture.
The name, Soul Community Planet, is a mix of the three defining attributes: Soul, or personal wellness; Community, or social good; and Planet, or sustainability. I talked to the GM, Gus Krimm, about these attributes.
“We try to cater to people who value the environment, social good, and wellness. Every decision we make falls into one of the three mentalities that we are built on: healthy, kind, and green”
Every person I met who worked there seemed happy and helpful. It’s not surprise since listed among their SCP ‘values’ are things like, “we have fun”, “we are not perfect – but we continually try to be better”, and “we make a difference”. Not only was it a great place to stay, but it seemed like a super place to work!
Read traveler reviews about Soul Community Planet Colorado Springs on Trip Advisor
12 of the Coolest Things About Staying at a Soul Community Planet Hotel
I realized pretty quickly that this wasn’t your average hotel stay. My two-night stay at SCP Colorado Springs was a super introduction to the brand, and its many cool things they have put in place that align with their mission and values.
1. Co-working at SCP Hotel
Forget just sitting in your room and working at a boring hotel desk, SCP has an entire co-working space. This is why I came to Colorado Springs for a two day workcation. SCP Commons (the name of the Co-working space) is in a big area off of the lobby. It offers a large communal workspace, private conference room, fast wifi, tons of plugs, printers, and even some hammock swings! Plus you can join in on SCP community events from weekly food truck meet-ups to special musical guests, and, “TED-Style” talks that are planned.
2. SCP Fitness
When you stay with SCP, you get access to their incredible gym and classes. This is not your typical hotel gym afterthought with a few old and sad machines and weights. SCP Colorado Springs has a 5,000 square foot fitness center and an outdoor pool! Plus – they have yoga rooms where they hold classes every day. The fitness center was state of the art; they even have Peloton bikes in the fitness center. I took my first ‘spin’ with Peleton during my stay!
3. Buy Local Products at Provisions Market
There is no restaurant on the premises, however there is a Provisions Market. The market is filled with locally-sourced, fresh and wholesome consumables and are available 24/7. I had never seen so many Colorado products in one place from local craft beer, kombucha, and locally roasted coffee, to Colorado chips, salsa, burritos, bars, candy, and fruit. Most everything was organic!
4. Pay What You Want – Fair Trade Pricing
Yes – you read that right…you can pay what you want when you stay at Soul Community Planet! I had never heard of such a thing before for a hotel – but after I learned about SCP, it didn’t surprise me that they’d have something like this.
When I talked to Gus about the ‘Pay what you want’ policy he said that they put in place as a satisfaction guarantee – as opposed to all or nothing.
“We believe that most people see some value in their stay even if they have an issue. The goal is to deconstruct the barriers between the guests and staff. It’s a way to display our intent that we are all on the same page. We’ve found that it makes people more comfortable to provide honest feedback,” explained Gus.
When you check out, the staff starts the conversation “What could we have done to make your stay better?” They lead with humility understanding that the hotel business isn’t perfect. This allows the guest to provide feedback without feeling that there is going to be conflict. If the guest provides feedback that is anything less than perfect, then the fair trade pricing gets brought into the conversation. You are asked to pay what you feel like that is equivalent with your experience
When I asked Gus if he felt any guests had ‘abused’ this policy he responded, “We believe in the good in people and if you take 100 guests and 1 had a bad experience and didn’t pay anything – then we learn how to be better for the other 99.”
Mind blown. This policy and thinking alone made me become a huge fan of Soul Community Planet.
5. No Waste…Anywhere
Soul Community Planet takes the idea of ‘no waste’ to a whole new level. They made intentional decisions to not have coffee makers or alarm clocks in the rooms.
“It’s wasteful when most people don’t use them. We have these things available if people want them – but if you don’t use them – then we aren’t wasting things,” said Gus.
He’s right, I never use an alarm clock in a hotel room because I have my phone for my alarm. And SCP would much rather see guests come out to the common area to get free coffee and be a part of the ‘community’ instead of just staying in your room.
The soap is all in large containers and refillable to cut down on waste of small bottles. Even the soaps are all made from recycled oils. And each room is provided with a box of water that can be refilled in the lobby at filtered water stations.
The no waste concept is even in their furniture in Colorado Springs – most of the wood you see in the room (like the bed headboard) is made from beetle-kill trees.
SCP makes it easy for you to travel responsibly and think sustainably. If you want other ways to travel responsibly – be sure to check out this Guide to Sustainable Hotels and Tours
6. Free Coffee
SCP provides free coffee (even fancy ones like lattes and cappuccinos!) in the lobby/market – so drink as much as you want any time of day! Of course it comes from a local roaster.
7. The First Bar Drink is Free
The hotel has a bar that is stocked with only local Colorado Springs beers and Colorado distilleries. When you check in you are given a free drink voucher to encourage you to try the local brands.
8. A Lobby of Games
To encourage the community aspect, the lobby is filled with comfortable couches and community tables. They have life-sized games of Jenga, Connect 4, Tic-Tac-Toe, a pool table, and more!
9. Every Stay Does Good
SCP believes in giving back. They have taken each of their pillars; soul, community, and planet and found a way to give back for every person that stays with them. I didn’t have to lift a finger and my stay provided the following:
• SOUL – Provide one youth with WE Well-being lessons, giving them the tools and resources to foster resiliency, create meaningful connections and build life-long skills that promote mental well-being;
• COMMUNITY – Light the home of one family caring for a critically ill child for 24-hours through Miracles For Kids; and
• PLANET – Plant one tree in an unnaturally deforested area through One Tree Planted.
“Every time a guest chooses to stay at an SCP Hotel, not only do they get to enjoy SCP’s exceptional service, amenities and bohemian vibe, they also are consciously choosing to join a community that is driving positive change in the world around us,” said Soul Community Planet Co-Founder and CEO Ken Cruse.
10. SCP Membership
For locals they also offer memberships to the space to achieve their community goal. SCP members have access to a full range of fitness and wellness programming and coworking spaces while enjoying SCP’s vibrant eco-friendly social environments. Additionally, members enjoy special monthly programming and a free draft beverage everyday.
I loved this because it means that it brings locals into the space for travelers to interact with too. My favorite thing about travel is meeting locals, so when you stay at SCP you have more chances to do that – even on a workcation!
SCP Memberships are offered month-to-month with no commitment period or initiation fee. Membership rates start at $100 with discounted rates offered for fitness-only memberships, evening and weekend memberships and one-time drop-ins.
SCP’s Fair Trade Pricing policy extends to the SCP Membership program, allowing members to tailor the breadth and rate of their membership to meet their needs.
11. Great Design Aesthetic
I was in love with the clever design and art all over the building. It felt fresh and creative – nothing like the old Days Inn it used to be! SCP Colorado Springs had an industrial look with exposed ceilings , paint cans, bike wheels, crates and edison bulbs. They also had a beautiful ‘living wall’ full of plants.
The guest rooms were all designed in a minimal fashion with wood floors. There was a lot of space which felt really refreshing. The renovation was led by designer Kelli Ellis of HGTV and The Design Network.
12. Zen Rooms
You can even request a “Peaceful Room”; designed for rest and relaxation with minimal electronics. Anyone can also request meditation pillows, yoga mats, salt lamps and other zen-like touches.
The room was so zen that I didn’t even know what some of the stuff was! I learned that a Himalayan rock salt lamp was more than a pretty soft light in my room. The light on the inside of the rock heats up the rock and it puts off negative ions and neutralizes the air – especially with radio waves from phones. And it creates a nice warm glow!
A Perfect Colorado Workcation
I adored my workcation at SCP Colorado Springs. I was able to work in the co-working space comfortably, enjoy the marketplace, drink bottomless coffee, and even worked out on Peloton! I even found time to get out and do some hiking around Garden of the Gods!
And if you don’t have to work, or have breaks like me, here’s some great ideas on what to do in Colorado Springs!
If you are looking for a new workspace because you are sick of your house or maybe you’re a digital nomad – definitely check out SCP co-working!
The Best Hotel in Colorado Springs
I don’t know if it’s the best hotel in Colorado Springs – but it definitely is the most environmentally responsible hotel in Colorado Springs! You can’t help but feel good about your stay at Soul Community Planet because a stay at SCP makes the world a better place.
In addition to the Colorado Springs location I stayed at they have added more SCP hotels. Plus – they will be adding more around the US in coming years!
SCP Hilo will open this summer on June 1 bringing the vision of Holistic Hospitality to The Big Island’s adventure aesthetic and lifestyle. With an ideal location on the eastern side of The Big Island, SCP Hilo offers guests easy access to nearby Liliʻuokalani Park and Gardens, Hilo Farmers Market, Rainbow Falls, Nani Mau Gardens, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and Mount Mauna Kea.
Redmond Oregon The revival of The New Hotel Redmond by SCP included transforming a historic gem into a stylish, modern vision of the Central Oregon aesthetic and lifestyle. Its four stories, topped by The Rooftop, includes 49 guest rooms and suites with SCP’s trademark mindful, minimalist style, including the use of sustainable and regionally-sourced materials. Warm wood, crisp warm whites, and earth tones bring the natural beauty of Oregon inside.
Depoe Bay Oregon This eco-friendly lodge is located in a charming harbor along Oregon’s central coast. SCP’s trademark mindful, minimalist style, including the use of sustainable and regionally-sourced materials, is seen throughout SCP Depoe Bay. SCP Depoe Bay offers 13 guest rooms, each with a view of the harbor.
Read traveler reviews about Soul Community Planet Colorado Springs on Trip Advisor
I was a guest of Soul Community Planet for my stay, however all opinions expressed here are my own.