Win­ter Warmth, Desert Zen at The Boul­ders

Luxe Beat Magazine - - Contents - By Ann Yung­meyer

The cap­ti­vat­ing set­ting of The Boul­ders Re­sort, among the 12-mil­lion-year-old gran­ite boul­ders for which it’s named, is one com­pelling rea­son to visit. And, the iconic Ari­zona re­sort, now in its 30th year, of­fers cham­pi­onship golf, a state-ofthe-art spa, ten­nis, pools, hik­ing, bik­ing and rock climb­ing on its 1,300-acre prop­erty, all eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble.

On a brief win­ter­time get­away, my daugh­ters and I had cho­sen the lux­u­ri­ous hide­away in the Sono­ran Desert foothills of Care­free, just north of Scotts­dale, for its splen­did desert scenery and the wide choice of ac­tiv­i­ties, op­tions that would more than sat­isfy our ad­ven­ture­minded three­some.

The Boul­ders is about a 45-minute drive from Phoenix Sky Har­bor Air­port, so it’s best to have a rental car, but once there, you can park and for­get it. Golf cart shut­tles are avail­able, and ac­tiv­i­ties and ameni­ties are within walk­ing dis­tance, in­clud­ing sev­eral din­ing choices, bou­tique shop­ping and gal­leries at el Pe­dre­gal Cen­ter.

Re­sort guests can choose to stay in pa­tio homes or one of 160 smaller ca­sitas, each in a South­west­ern mo­tif with hand-hewn, wood­beamed ceil­ings and wood-burn­ing ᦐRHSOAFHV 2n thh Vxnny GHJRHH day that we ar­rived, ad­mir­ing the panoramic views from the porch of

our ca­sita, we never imag­ined that the tem­per­a­ture would cool enough each evening and early morn­ing to Hn­moy a ᦐrh in oxr ᦐRHSOAFH %Xt it turned out that with news­pa­per de­liv­ered at our door, we could think of no bet­ter way to greet the VXNRIVH than Zith morn­inj Foffhh Ey thh ᦐrh thh aro­matif VFHNT oi ju­niper wood waft­ing through the crisp dawn air.

Na­ture was at our doorstep as we ex­plored me­an­der­ing paths through tow­er­ing saguaro cacti and gi­gan­tic boul­ders, where the na­tive chuck­walla lizards can some­times be seen warm­ing them­selves on the rocks. We dis­cov­ered sev­eral loop trails for walk­ing and bik­ing and found amaz­ing views on the Boul­ders Trail, a short up­hill hike to a per­fect van­tage point for watch­ing the sun­set.

THH rhvort offhrv JXIGHG in­ter­pre­ta­tive hikes both on prop­erty and at nearby recre­ational ar­eas, but we opted to ex­plore on our own. A short drive away, we found ex­quis­ite 360-de­gree views on the Pin­na­cle Peak Trail and an abun­dance of desert plants in­clud­ing prickly pear, jo­joba and agave, from which te­quila is made. Another day, ZH HINHG a EHAXTIIXO ᦐYH mioh Ooos on the Go John Trail at Cave Creek Re­gional Park, where we found end­less op­por­tu­ni­ties to pho­to­graph thh GHVHRT ᦑora INFOXGINJ my fa­vorite for the cam­era lens – the iconic saguaro cac­tus.

Though we didn’t play golf, The Boul­ders is well known for its two 18-hole cham­pi­onship cour­ses and its sig­na­ture #5 hole on the South course – char­ac­ter­ized by a dra­matic rock out­crop­ping with un­matched vis­tas of the re­sort and sur­round­ing Sono­ran Desert.

We did, how­ever, get a unique view of the golf course scenery via the cart paths on a Moon­light Bike Ride, offhrhg av a rhvort af­tiy­ity THH evening we chose to go, there hap­pened to be a full moon and a wildlife view­ing op­por­tu­nity. Af­ter meet­ing our guide, Rico Ri­ley, from Black Moun­tain Ad­ven­tures, and EHINJ ox­tᦐt­thg Zith EINH hhomht and han­dle­bar light, we set out in dark­ness on a 1.5-hour ride on the wind­ing and slightly hilly cart paths. We stopped a few times along the way as Rico pointed out the ge­o­logic ZONGHRV ang OOFAO ᦑora :H VSOTTHG a herd of javelina, a grey horned owl and a shoot­ing star. Half­way through the ride, we heard a pack of coy­otes howl­ing nearby, and soon af­ter, the full moon rose above the hori­zon.

The Wal­dorf As­to­ria Spa is a prime fo­cus of The Boul­ders Re­sort ex­pe­ri­ence. The 33,000 sq ft. fa­cil­ity and mul­ti­ple lounge ar­eas in­vite one to spend the day, and with the mam­moth boul­der mounds as a back­drop, we en­joyed pool time and yoga, med­i­ta­tion in the labyrinth, and a stroll in the or­ganic herb gar­den where guests are in­vited to snip fresh herbs.

Through the vast menu of spa treat­ment op­tions, guests get a

taste of the unique essence and calm­ing Zen of desert liv­ing. Each treat­ment fea­tures aro­matic scents and or­ganic in­gre­di­ents with ther­a­peu­tic in­ten­tion. The three oi XV trihg Giffhrhnt MAVVAJHV fea­tur­ing lo­cal herbs: the Ar­nica Ther­a­peu­tic, a deep tis­sue mas­sage with sage and ar­nica-in­fused oil for MXVFOH VORHNHVV ang in­ᦑam­ma­tion the Ab­hyanga, a tra­di­tional In­dian oleation mas­sage for nour­ish­ing skin and calm­ing the ner­vous sys­tem, fol­lowed by an Ayurvedic herbal Zras ang thh 6iohnt 6tonh 0AVVAJH with an­cient basalt stones and blue cy­press and vetiver oil blend.

Although the Phoenix/scotts­dale area boasts a grow­ing foodie cul­ture and lively restau­rant scene, from Fon­thm­so­rary 6ox­thzhvthrn ᦑay­orv to so­phis­ti­cated com­fort food and farm-to-ta­ble fare, we sought out healthy re­gional dishes at or near the re­sort. The Spa Café tempted us thh ᦐrvt morn­inj Zith a hhaothy ver­sion of Eggs Bene­dict made with grilled turkey, avo­cado and yel­low pep­per hol­landaise. We fol­lowed the 6ox­thzhvthrn 0H[ifan INᦑXHNFH at Palo Verde and The Spot­ted Don­key Cantina in Care­free, and on our last night, we ven­tured out to The Herb Box in Old Town Scotts­dale to en­joy their im­pres­sive small plates, in­clud­ing our fa­vorite, the Korean IRIHG FAXOIᦑOZHR

Com­ple­ment­ing the South­west­ern Ioog ᦑay­orv ZH HNMOYHG Vam­soinj thh sig­na­ture mar­gar­i­tas found on many menus and made with desert in­spired in­gre­di­ents such as prickly pear juice, or­ganic Tres Agaves Blanco te­quila, blue agave nec­tar and lime juice. One called the “Skinny Senorita” seemed the per­fect drink for a girls’ get­away, and along with the warm sun­shine and in­spired scenery, our desert Zen ZAV Havy to ᦐng

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