The Boulders - Rugged Luxury


Arizona's Surburban Golf Resorts:

Terrific Stay & Play in the Sonora Desert Valley.

Posted by: Rick Parnham


Arizona is widely considered the premiere desert golf destination.  Scottsdale has long been the most familiar name  for travelers considering the hospitable climate from Fall to Spring that draws hundreds of thousands to the Sonora Valley, many with travel bags filled with drivers and irons. Iconic images of cactus and desert, lining lush green fairways, populate the minds of those looking for a cold weather escape and plentiful options to satisfy that craving for rugged locales that would make Wille Coyote and the Roadrunner feel at home.

The Scottsdale and  greater Phoenix area provide those isolated, mountain hugging experiences, but also an extensive list of splendid suburban resorts embedded in the cityscape. These golfing oases provide wonderful stay and play options without needing to leave the city. Each present a different feel and have something unique to appeal to the needs and wants of the golf traveler.

Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch: Scottsdale, AZ
The McCormick Ranch neighborhood of Scottsdale is a product of 1970's suburbanization of the hot Sonora desert. The resort is built atop the once thriving ranch lands, located along the Scottsdale Greenbelt. Opened in 1976 as America's first conference resort, the hotel has recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation to cater better to the golf tourist guest. Featuring 326 rooms and suites in a sprawling hacienda-style complex, the resort presents a gentle, refined charm.

The main resort features traditional hotel style lodging while the Stillman Building offers guests  a townhouse option for family or group stays. Guests are enticed by the beautifully modernized and spacious rooms, relaxing and inviting.  Each building has an outdoor heated pool with the main pool offering cabana rentals with a poolside grill and bar for relaxing in the desert sun. The Luna Spa and Fitness Center provides a workout opportunity and chance to rejuvenate within the full service treatment rooms. Three dining options are on-site ranging from the casually elegant Kitchen West, serving a local farm to table menu for lunch and dinner, to Bar Six40 a casual yet refined coffee and cocktail lounge with a contemporary menu of light fare; or if you are looking for a fun menu for take-out or poolside dining, the Twisted Vine is perfect for families.

Golf: Adjacent to the McCormick Ranch Golf Club featuring two courses, The Pine and Palm, designed by Desmond Muirhead. Stay and play packages are available through the resort.

Talking Stick Casino & Golf Resort: Scottsdale, AZ
Casinos and golf have long been nicely paired together.  This holds true at Scottsdale's remarkable Talking Stick Casino Resort. Owned and operated by the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community this four diamond property, located on the eastern edge of the city, is home to a golf and entertainment complex difficult to rival. The striking hotel is the heart of the complex and features 496 luxurious guest rooms and suites located in the 15 story tower that provides breathtaking views of the mountains. Celebrating the community's heritage the hotel houses an extensive collection of native art and artifacts in the Cultural Center to explore. 


Talking Stick

Talking Stick's Spectacular Tower

Plenty of activities allow for a memorable and exciting stay. Three different pools, complete with a pool-side grill and bar and with cabanas available, make a day in the sun both inviting and pampering. The Spa at Talking Stick provides a fitness complex for those looking to stay in shape along with a variety of soothing body treatments to refresh and rejuvenate. Guests can take in top-tier performers headlining  at one of the many indoor and outdoor venues or sample their luck at the more than 50 tables or 800 gaming machines in the casino. Delicious food choices abound in the five dining options ranging from traditional American dishes, to delicious fresh seafood, to specialty sandwiches and pizzas; depending on what your palate and budget fancy.  An action packed stay greets you at Talking Stick Resort.

Golf: The Coore-Crenshaw Talking Stick Golf Club is available to guests for stay and play packages, giving access to 36-holes of desert golf on the North and South courses.

The Boulders Resort: Carefree, AZ
Ancient red granite boulders provide the backdrop for this luxurious resort in north Scottsdale. Nestled in a rugged parcel of 1300 acres of Sonora desert and surrounded by gorgeous mountain vistas, The Boulders Resort and Spa is an inviting and enchanting stay and play choice. The resort is built amongst the Boulders community and features accommodations in hundreds of spacious and charming casitas dotting the property. Built around three centers, the lodge, the clubhouse and the spa, guests have access to all of these amenities, each a short walk from your personal home away from home.  

A variety of dining options are located within the resort.  The Lodge houses Palo Verde and its tasty southwest-style menu. The Grill Restaurant and Bar is located in the clubhouse and provides a casual yet elegant dining menu featuring a diverse American-style menu, while the Spotted Donkey Cantina greets guests in the community's shopping and conference center,  tempting you with a Mexican flair. To compliment the world class golf and tennis, the outdoor activities at The Boulders are limitless, offering biking, hiking, rock climbing, photography hikes and hot air balloon rides. The pampering spa is the perfect respite for an adventurous and active stay in this most unique setting.

Golf: The resort is home to two highly acclaimed Jay Moorish designs, the North and South Courses feature a desert golf feel amid the gigantic namesake boulders.

The Arizona Biltmore: Phoenix: AZ
Long regarded as Arizona's most prestigious hotel, The Arizona Biltmore has been a favorite  of America's elite for decades. Designed and built in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright, the property is a celebration of  geometry and luxury. Located in north Phoenix, the hotel was built by Wrigley money in 1928 as a haven for the rich and famous. Architecturally stunning, the hotel boasts 738 rooms and suites, all recently renovated to the finest of contemporary decor.



Spectacular Architecture and Opulence

The perfectly manicured gardens are graced by Wright's replica "Sprites" and the vast patios feature outdoor fire pits for a perfect evening under the desert stars. A choice of 8 remarkable pools, one with a near 100 foot slide are the perfect place to enjoy the desert sun.  Sophisticated dining experiences are plentiful. Wright's, set in a spectacular conservatory-style venue  is the signature dining choice, both elegant and refined.  Frank and Albert's,  provides a contemporary ambiance with a casual creative menu whether at the restaurant or exquisite bar. Opulence and luxurious charm surrounds you at this iconic Phoenix landmark.  

Golf: Adjacent to the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club featuring two courses, The Adobe and Links, provide two distinctive experiences. Stay and play packages are available through the resort.

The Wigwam: Goodyear, AZ
The Wigwam opened nearly a century ago as a company retreat for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and has been welcoming the public since 1929. The historic resort sits on 440  beautifully manicured acres home to a sprawling southwestern-style resort lodge.  Home to Litchfields, the resort's  open kitchen fine dining experience featuring a farm to table menu is an absolute must during  your stay. The 331 casita-style guest rooms scattered throughout the property provide a secluded feel graced with warm and inviting adobe style appointments. A late night appetizer or beverage is best experienced at the Wigwam Bar centered around the lodge's historic 1918 fireplace.  

The resort is filled with options to keep you busy throughout your stay at The Wigwam. A casual stroll or cycling tour on the spacious paths lined with beautiful gardens is a casual way to enjoy the charms of the resort.  Those looking for some invigorating activities can chose from tennis, beach volleyball or a visit to the state of the art fitness center. The double waterslide at the main lodge pool is a centerpiece for outdoor fun it provides a great place to enjoy the day with family. The more secluded Oasis pool and hot tub is a quiet respite for sun and downtime.

Golf: Wigwam Golf Club features Two Robert Trent Jones designs The Gold Course and The Patriot as well as the Robert "Red" Lawrence, Heritage Course.




















































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Poolside Relaxation




Photography Courtesy of

Arizona Biltmore. The Boulders, Talking Stick Resort, Scottsdale Resort and Wigwam Resort