Continuing with my Summer Staycation Series, I’m thrilled to share one of my favorite properties in the valley, The Boulders in Carefree, AZ. The property has a special place in my heart because it reminds me of my dad- he used to love driving up to the Boulders for breakfast and to watch the sun rise. Although I’ve visited The Boulders a few years ago, the property felt new with recent renovations and upgrades throughout.
If you’re not familiar with the resort- the dramatic views and innovative architecture nearly blends in with the surrounding desert landscape. Stone-colored adobe-style buildings are scattered throughout the property and like a mirage, the resort seems to have emerged from the boulders that it is named after.
The lobby called “The Lodge” features massive doors crafted from four different hand-rubbed woods. Although the rooms are pretty spread out around the property, a quick call to the bell desk and a golf cart arrives for your convenience. Every detail has been accounted for here!
Within each casita, distinctive Southwestern interiors are warm and inviting. Each room features wood-beamed ceilings with fans, wood-burning fireplaces, huge bathrooms, and private patios or decks with gorgeous views of the Sonoran desert or emerald-green golf course. There are a couple pools on property and we opted to spend our time at the more chill of the two at the gorgeous Spa. Luckily we could still order cocktails and bites. I highly recommend the spicy margarita.
Just as the resort’s design keeps the Southwestern flair throughout, so is its cuisine. The restaurants on site range from Contemporary Southwest and American Classics to healthy spa cuisine made from ingredients and the resort’s on site garden. We dined at The Grill overlooking the golf course and I must say, this was one of the highlights of our stay. Not only was the food and view amazing- we saw wild deer, turtles, coyotes, rabbits, and various lizards take turns frolicking on the golf course as we ate! The staff even joked that we really brought out the wild animals that night! Now, back to the food. The deviled eggs and queso appetizers could have been a meal in themselves- I think we licked the bowl and devoured every egg. For entrees, I enjoyed the local chicken roasted and served with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots. James had a vegetarian mushroom risotto which I snuck a bite or 2 of because the flavors were terrific.
The next morning I visited The Spa at the Boulders where they do an incredible job of blending the spirit of Eastern and Western influences in its design, treatments and philosophies. The spa offers 24 spaces in which an array of treatments, including those incorporating local herbs and rituals, can be enjoyed. The Spa at the Boulders also features a labyrinth perfect for walking before or after a treatment, a fitness center to burn off your queso calories, and spa café with the yummiest food. My recommendation: the breakfast wrap with extra avocado. Bamboo accents, large boulders, water fountains, and gardens reflect the Asian influences, while paying homage to the Southwest. I enjoyed an Arnica massage that was expertly executed and left me feeling refreshed, relaxed, and free of muscle tension. My therapist even customized the service to my liking which included a scalp massage and extra attention to my lower back.
When it was time to check out, I was sad to leave- the resort truly is an escape from the daily grind and hustle of the city. Only 20-ish minutes north of the 101/Scottsdale Rd. I highly suggest you check in to check out of reality, even if for only 24 hours!
For more info and to book your stay visit www.theboulders.com/