The Boulders Resort and Spa has recently unveiled their new renovations and also gave us a taste of what Chef Brian Archibald can do. Named for the 12-million-year-old granite boulder formations that dot the landscape, The Boulders is situated on 1,300 acres in the Sonoran Desert foothills of Carefree, Ariz. A nature -lover’s paradise, the terrain and plant life have been left virtually untouched to allow indigenous plant and wildlife such as saguaros, mesquite, palo verde trees, coyotes, and deer to prosper.
The resort’s dramatic and innovative architecture blends with the surrounding desert landscape. Stone-colored adobe-style structures are grouped in low-rise clusters throughout the property. Like a mirage, the resort seems to have emerged from the Sonoran Desert, an offspring of the ancient boulders. Environmental groups have repeatedly acknowledged the resort’s eco-friendly design. The Boulders has earned the Urban Land Institute’s Environmental Award of Excellence and the Valley Forward Association’s Crescordia Award of Environmental Excellence, among others.The resort’s distinctive Southwestern interiors also provide a sense of place. When guests arrive at the Boulders, they enter the main lodge through massive entry doors crafted from four different hand-rubbed woods. Niches in the lobby walls display fine Native American crafts and original regional art by renowned artists. Glass skylights and large fireplaces provide warmth and light to complete the ambience.
A Southwestern décor is carried through in the resort’s 160 guest casitas as well. These spacious units feature hand-hewn wood-beamed ceilings with fans, wood-burning fireplaces, wet bars, large dressing and bathroom areas, and private patios or decks overlooking the sun-streaked desert or emerald-green golf course. Family and multi-generational getaway guests can also choose from 61 one-, two- and three-bedroom patio homes or the five-bedroom 5,000 sq. foot Villa Retreat.
Just as the resort’s architecture and interior design are in keeping with its Southwestern locale, so is its cuisine. The six restaurants range from Contemporary Southwest and American Classics to Cantina-style cuisine and Spa cuisine made from ingredients and the resort’s Organic Garden. The Discovery Lounge offers shared plates and appetizers and guests can dine poolside at the Pool Pavilion. Room service is also available.
Carefully placed within the midst of this desert hideaway are amenities that afford guests unparalleled recreational options. Two Jay Morrish-designed championship golf courses provide 36 holes of challenging golf. The courses are considered some of the most demanding in the Southwest, and are known for their rugged beauty and breathtaking panoramas. They continuously receive numerous awards including Golf magazine’s “Platinum Medal” award and Golf Digest’s “America’s 25 Best Resort Courses.”
The Spa at the Boulders blends the spirit of Eastern and Western influences in its architectural design, healing methods, treatments and philosophies. The 33,000 sq. ft. spa offers 24 spaces in which an array of treatments, including those incorporating indigenous herbs and rituals, can be enjoyed. The Spa at the Boulders also features a labyrinth (a path to tranquility); an authentic Tipi; a fitness center; movement studio and classroom for wellness lectures; Vichy treatment rooms; hydrotherapy tubs; separate facial, couple’s massage, and shiatsu rooms; a yoga studio; tea room; full-service salon and spa café. Bamboo accents, hand-sculptured water fountains, aromatic candles and Japanese gardens reflect the Asian influences, while artwork by local artisans, cool desert coloring and indigenous plantings pay homage to the Southwest.
For the adventurous, a host of outdoor adventure activities begin right on the resort grounds from hot-air ballooning, rock climbing, waterfall rappelling, mountain biking, moonlight bike tours, desert hikes, horseback rides, desert jeep tours, desert fly fishing, stargazing, Desert Photo Tours and Grand Canyon tours.
The Boulders Resort & Spa is located 33 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and transportation may be arranged in advance through the resort concierge. For more information contact the Boulders at (866) 397-6520 or (480) 488-9009 or visit www.TheBoulders.com.