Grand Weekend Getaway
Boulders Resort & Spa Arizona
Amid my considerably hectic work schedule and family life where there’s nary a moment to spare, let alone full weeks (or more) to take extended trips, I’ve become a master of the “micro-vacation”—those long weekend getaways that strike just the right balance of relaxation, adventure and indulgence to suitably satisfy my persistent wanderlust. A recent micro-jaunt took me to Phoenix, Arizona—America’s sixth-largest city where cowboys continue to roam and the red rock-laden topography is peppered with the kind of cactus some only see in cartoons. The city’s enduring Southwestern backdrop is not only an indelible draw for me but also 16 million other leisure visitors who trek to Greater Phoenix each year for some fun in the Sonoran Desert sun. At the center of this incredible itinerary is the Boulders Resort & Spa, which is located just north of Phoenix in the quaint town of Carefree. The property just completed a multi-million dollar renovation to its Casita accommodations as well as multiple common areas, including its Main Lodge, Discovery Lounge, Latilla Ballroom and multiple of its on-site eateries. For your traveling pleasure, here are some stupendous schedule items:
Lunch at Gertrude’s Restaurant housed within Phoenix’s famed Desert Botanical Garden
Gertrude’s is known for its seasonally inspired cooking that combines American favorites with classic cooking techniques and flavors from around the globe. Under the direction of Executive Chef Matthew Taylor, Gertrude’s seasonal menus celebrate Arizona’s growers and producers while offering a sophisticated culinary experience in a reserved oasis setting.
A “Phoenix Point of Pride,” the Desert Botanical Garden is one of only a few botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. Desert Botanical Garden offers the world’s finest collection of arid-land plants from deserts around the world in a unique outdoor setting.
Boulders Resort & Spa
One of the world’s most celebrated hideaways, Boulders Resort & Spa is named for the 12-million-year-old granite boulders that dot the landscape. The newly renovated private Casita accommodations, with their expansive stone-laden bathrooms and a host of creature comforts, also boast private patios and wood-burning fireplaces. It’s the only resort in Scottsdale where guests can burn wood in their rooms.
Dinner at Palo Verde Restaurant
Great pleasure awaits at the newly renovated Palo Verde, the resort’s signature restaurant. Chef Brian Archibald offers a new Contemporary Southwestern Cuisine that respects the integrity of the region and incorporates local Arizona ingredients and freshly foraged produce from the resort’s Organic Garden. Relax and enjoy a sublime dining experience on the outdoor patio with glorious views of the scenic duck pond with grassy knolls where Gambel’s quail and newborn rabbits scamper.
“Boulder Trek ” Guided Walk
This 50-minute adventure trek includes information about how twelve million years ago a geologic eruption left a series of massive rock formations and also about the fascinating background on the topography, flora, fauna and historical sites with petroglyphs, solstice sightings and more.
The Spa at the Boulders
This 33,000 sq. ft. facility is a full-service spa where guests find restoration, pampering, and renewed energy. The facility incorporates the elements of feng shui and a Zen-like ambiance while staying true to the natural environs and Native American influences of the region. Its 24 treatment spaces are complemented by such signature elements as a labyrinth (path to tranquility), an authentic Tipi for guided meditation, private Watsu pool, Vichy treatments, Couples Spa Suites and a 5,600 sq. ft. Organic Garden. The spa offers a 2,000 square-foot fitness center, yoga studio, a Spa Café and sweeping views.
“Couples Massage” Spa Service (50/80 minutes)
The Spa at The Boulders pampers couples with private spa suites. With 800 sq. ft. and private access, full-service amenities include private steam/showers, private patio, vanity area, outdoor shower, outdoor fireplace, internet access, indoor and outdoor massage tables, data port and television and an outdoor Jacuzzi with cascading waterfall.
Dinner at the resort’s on-site Spotted Donkey Cantina
Resort casual attire. Fresh, lively, and energetic, the resort’s Spotted Donkey Cantina embraces Arizona’s southwestern influences with “cantina-style” dishes and western flavors in a relaxing atmosphere. Great pleasure awaits patrons where “Modern Mexican” creative cuisine is a mix of regional flavors, top-notch artisanal ingredients, and locally sourced foods. My personal favorite dish among the many savored, including the Mexican Shrimp Ceviche appetizer (shrimp, cucumbers, avocado, jicama, cilantro & jalapeño, served in a lime aqua chile sauce), was the Chimayo Chile Filete de Puerco. This oven roasted pork tenderloin is cooked to tender perfection and topped with a rich, perfectly reduced bourbon ancho chili sauce. The sliced medallions are served atop green chili bacon, large noodle “mac and cheese.” Enough said.
Sadly all good things must come to an end. But, given that Phoenix boasts more than 450 hotels with more than 62,000 guest rooms—including over 40 luxury resorts—your next marvelous micro-vacation awaits. For its part, given how much there is to do and see at The Boulders Resort & Spa and the caliber of its hospitality, repeat visits to this relaxing nature-laden retreat are certainly warranted. With this city’s dependably warm temperatures that make outdoor activities a way of life year-round, any time is a great time to visit “The Valley of the Sun.”
Learn more about Boulders Resort & Spa by visiting www.theboulders.com | Resort: 1.480.488.9009 | Reservations: 1.888.579.2631