The Sonoran Desert surrounds The Boulders, a unique desert hotel with casitas and villa accommodations 45 minutes north of downtown Scottsdale. As a Waldorf Astoria Resort, you expect luxury, but the dramatic Arizona landscape amidst towering 12-million-year-old boulders is an endorsement from Mother Nature. With a stay in its 160 guest casitas and 61 villas, you’ll complete your exclusive experience at The Boulders.
If you want an Arizona retreat away from it all, you’ll find it less than an hour drive to Carefree and you’ll enter the world of The Boulders. The resort is off the beaten path and you’ll wind your way through desertscaped-flanked road with adobe-style buildings scattered along the way. The lobby and reception desk are located in detached pueblo structure with a southwestern themed lobby with exposed log-beam ceilings, tree-trunk pillars and flagstone floor. The lobby bar is near the reception desk with cozy seating around a fireplace.
I continued my Southwestern themed stay by golf cart to my guest casita, winding through towering boulders and desertscape to arrive at my building. Without the cart transportation, those with ambulatory problems might be deterred by this short walk – really a short hike – to your guest casita. However, the staff is always willing to fire up the golf cart to bring you home. Your stay will also be a retreat as this luxury resort won’t be your typical hotel stay. The Boulders features 160 guest casitas and 61 one-, two- and three-bedroom villas.
The architect took full advantage of the desert backdrop, snuggling the casitas again the rocks. Each expansive casita offers exposed log-beam ceilings and the curved pueblo walls. My room was on the 2nd floor consisting of a bed and a living space, work desk and wood-burning fireplace. Your bed is placed near the patio door and a few steps and you’re greeted with an amazing view. The bathrooms are also amazingly large with deep soaking tub, plenty of sink space and closet. Wi-Fi is complimentary, but I found it difficult to actually want to work.
You’ll not want to leave this resort with its seven restaurants and a lounge, two championship Jay Morrish-designed golf courses, eight tennis courts — and adventure literally surrounds you including golf, tennis, bicycle tours, rock climbing and fly fishing in the lakes scattered throughout the golf courses.
An upscale mall, el Pedregal Marketplace, adjoins the resort. Be sure to visit the Spotted Donkey Cantina, a casual and fun dining experience with an extensive menu including margaritas to round out your southwestern escape. The Waldorf Astoria spa is yet another amazing retreat.
I admit I did a lot of walking while on this resort, but the desert air and the beautiful southwestern backdrop enhanced my luxurious stay at The Boulders, a Scottsdale Hilton Curio Collection Resort.
Photos courtesy of Diana Rowe and The Boulders. Accommodations courtesy of The Boulders.