The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa
Against its backdrop of vivid orange, red and purple Sonoran Desert hues, this 1,300-acre resort in the rugged Superstition Mountain foothills is just 12 miles from Scottsdale's upscale shopping plazas. But nestled among the oddly shaped cacti and 12-million-year-old rock formations, the Boulders feels like a secluded retreat.
The terraced Tennis Garden, comprised of five hard and three classic clay courts, lies a quarter-mile from the main resort area; a free shuttle is available for those who don't want to walk. In addition to racquet rental, 24-hour stringing and re-gripping services, the resort offers private lessons and daily drop-in clinics, a tennis aerobics program, match-making and social round-robins. Above all, personal attention is key: Tennis-staffers continually roam the courts with pitchers of lemon-infused ice water and fresh towels, and leave schedules of the next day's events in guests' rooms each night at turndown.
Off the Court
Nature trails wind through rocky desert foliage to El Pedregal, a resort-adjacent marketplace lined with fountains, shops, cafes and even a Native American cultural museum. The Golden Door Spa offers body treatments and facials, as well as a salon, whirlpools and a meditative labyrinth; an attached fitness center hosts health, lifestyle and fitness classes. Guests are also encouraged to "connect with their inner cowpoke" via desert Jeep tours, rock climbing, horseback riding and "Wild West" cattle drives along the Aqua Fria River. In addition, the resort is home to the Boulders Golf Academy, which offers private and group instruction on two Jay Morrish-designed courses.
Accommodations and Dining
The Boulders' 160 Southwestern-elegant rooms -- each with fireplace, Mexican tiling, natural-wood beams, and private patio or balcony -- occupy low adobe casitas or one-, two or three-bedroom pueblo villas. Six on-site restaurants and cafes include Latilla, which serves regional American cuisine; Palo Verde, which offers Southwestern-inspired entrees; and the Discovery Lounge, which features a crackling fireplace, soft jazz, and stunning Valley of the Sun views.
Tennis packages include accommodations, $50 daily dining credit, fitness facility access, unlimited court time, and $100 daily credit toward tennis instruction, use of a ball machine, or pro-shop purchases.
- January-March: $699 and up
- April-May: $579 and up
- June - September: $349 and up
- October - December 19: $579 and up
- December 20 - December 31: $699 and up
*Prices may vary
Although children are welcome at the Boulders, there are no special kids' activities offered.
The nearest major airport is Phoenix Sky Harbor International, 33 miles to the south. With advance notice (and a fee), the resort can arrange luxury-car pick-up.