The Boulder Resort and Golden Door Spa – Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.A.
A High-Desert Resort Where Golf Rules
Arizona is a paradise for golfers, and among its more than 250 courses The Boulders is a true standout, with two 18-hole Jay Morrish-designed courses standing green against the dramatic high-desert terrain. House-size, 12-million-year-old granite boulders surround the property, with Flintstones-like buildings nestled ingeniously among them.
But it’s not all about golf and spectacular location: The Boulders is also one of the Southwest’s most lavish hotel resorts, and since its opening in 1985 has regularly been voted one of North America’s best. With the recent addition of the world renowned Golden Door Spa, guests can now be pampered and rejuvenated in its glorious 33,000 square-foot sanctuary. Awesome views fill the picture windows of the 160 onebedroom casitas that look over the cacti-studded Sonoran Desert.
Bridle trails that crisscross the hotel’s 1.300 acres of unspoiled terrain promise John Wayne outings. The hotel-located in the whimsically named town of Carefree (with street names like “Why Worry Lane”) – is tended to by a staff that is both warm and can-do efficient. In the evening, after the last hole is played, the good times continue with sunset balloon rides, excellent dining in eight different restaurants, and a chance to jump aboard a jeep tour with a local astronomer to view the stars as you’ve never seen them before-all amid the aroma of juniper branches being burned in open-air hearths. The silence of the desert is broken only by the occasional howl of a lone coyote.
Where: 34631 N. Tom Darlington Dr. (Carefree is 33 miles north of Phoenix and 13 miles north of Scottsdale). Tel 800-553-1717 or 480-488-9009, fax 480-488-4118; www.wyndham.com/boulders.
Cost: casitas from $139 (low season), $625 (high season).
Best Times: Jan-May, with a moonlight concert series Apr-Jun.