|The Spa Pool is heated for evening swims.|
Maureen Jones, owner of All Horizons Travel in Los Altos, CA, reveals all the ingredients necessary for a fabulous Arizona itinerary.
I am lucky to be able to visit Arizona several times a year to either play golf or attend a Signature Travel Network meeting—the state being one of its regular venues. I love the food, shopping, architecture and Indian culture. This time I was in Carefree, in the high Sonoran Desert, 16 miles northeast of Phoenix and up in the foothills where, at 2,500 feet, it is cooler.
There are many lovely properties in Arizona but The Boulders Resort is unique. Its Golden Door Spa was voted among the top 10 in the world. The 1,300-acre resort reminds me of Santa Fe, with its spacious, private One-, Two- and Three-Bedroom Pueblo Villas. Each has a fireplace and garden patio.
The property also has two very challenging golf courses, with, surprisingly, lots of wildlife—bobcats, rabbits, coyotes and javelinas. Being a birder, I was fascinated by the many different kinds of hummingbirds on the grounds. The sunrises and sunsets are spectacular—hawks flying across the red sky at sunset was an awesome sight. The rainbows were also out of this world. And there are 2,500 species of flowering plants on the property, with tall Saguaro cacti towering over them. In spring, the desert wildflowers are a must-see.
The Boulders is also a fantastic meetings destination with some outstanding facilities and seven excellent restaurants. This could be the perfect location for your family while you are attending a meeting here.
Activities include hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, desert jeep rides, horseback riding and some shopping. An amazing selection of turquoise and silver Indian jewelry, art and rugs can be found in the shops.
A fun restaurant nearby is the Pinnacle Peak Patio in Cave Creek. It is an old Western bar with nightly music and a menu with Western favorites such as steaks and ribs. Guests dress in Western attire, so go casual and don’t wear a tie. They will cut it off and staple it to the ceiling with the thousands already up there. This area, with beautiful homes and ranches, was settled in l846 and is on an old stagecoach route.
While staying at The Boulders, you can make daytrips to the Grand Canyon, Sedona and see the Navajo Nation. Get in touch with Detours of Arizona for details. If you have a car, drive to Sedona and stay at the Enchantment Resort in Boynton Canyon, a property similar to The Boulders (it has private villas with an excellent spa in a breathtaking location). Then head to the Grand Canyon, where you can stay at the historical El Tovar Hotel, on the southern rim. This is ideal for the Christmas season, when the Grand Canyon is spectacular with a dusting of snow on it.
|A Casita Bedroom at The Boulders creates a Southwestern ambiance with Mexican tiling.|