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“Good time at the boulders” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Boulders, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

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The Boulders, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   34631 North Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree, AZ 85377   |  
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Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Carefree
Houston, Texas
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Good time at the boulders”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I spent a weekend at the boulders, the place is beautiful, service is excellent. I attended the fusion class at the gym, the instructor was great, she was very knowlogeble and excellent instructor. My only complaint is that the hotel did not have turn down service, I was in the room 311 and the shower was very small and uncomfortable, but I did really enjoy our stay at the boulders.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBouldersResort, Manager at The Boulders, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your recent stay at The Boulders Resort. We are so sorry we disappointed you by not extending turn down service. During the summer months we discontinue this service, but it will be back later this year.

We look forward to your return to The Boulders Resort. Please be so kind as to contact the Executive Office and allow us to assist with your reservation.
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1,258 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (258)
Date | Rating
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English first
Aurora, Illinois
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

Our heartfelt thanks to The Boulders, thank you for a perfectly wonderful vacation. My daughters and I enjoyed 6 days and 5 nights of peace and fun at your beautiful resort. The Boulders comes with my highest recommendation. I've been to many great resorts, surely this is among the top.

Our room was on the North side of their property, it was clean and comfy and had a great view. We walked to/from often, though whenever we requested a ride to/from the El Ped the bellman were there in a jiffy to pick us up with a friendly smile every time.

The main pool and area is beautiful, my only suggestion is that they don't allow smoking (at least on the main deck around the pool). One time, someone even was smoking while in the pool, ugh. I didn't notice anyone smoking at the Golden Door pool, it's a serene setting, perfect for a relaxing day at the pool there or inside utilizing there refreshing locker and wet room areas.

We typically ate at the El Ped, though warning that a large pizza from Brugo's starts at $26. It's good, but not $26 good. The Bakery Cafe is reasonably priced with delicious food, I highly recommend it for breakfast or lunch (they are only open until 2PM). Ben and Jerry's was a great evening capper for ice cream. We only had a carry out from the Spotted Donkey, the food was good though kind of pricey.

The walking trails at The Boulders are really nice, can get some great photos. You'll see some wildlife and the scenery is beautiful all around. It's a very safe environment.

The staff was friendly from arrival through departure, they treated us like royalty each and every time. This was our second time at The Boulders, the first time was @ 9 years ago. Both were just as satisfying and great for a quiet family vacation. Special thank you to Nancy, one of the staff at the pool who always was so courteous to us.

Tips for your stay:
1. We didn't rent a car, used that savings to stay an extra night. Didn't ever miss having one.
2. There's a Starbucks in the Albertson's at the strip mall just a 2 minute walk from the El Ped. Pick up snacks, sun screen, etc. and save yourself some $. The nice sized mini-refrigerator in the room is stocked daily with 2 bottles of water and the rest stores plenty of food/drink.
3. If you need a cash station, there's a Harris and Wells Fargo Bank between the El Ped and strip mall across the street.
4. There's a few more dining options at the strip mall in case you are looking for something other than The Boulders restaurants (very pricey) or the El Ped.
5. If you want total peace and quiet, you're better off at the Golden Door pool (18+ older only).
6. The food from the pool/bar at the main lodge is delicious, just pricey. Consider splitting a sandwich or burger (comes with fries), otherwise plan on spending about $40 with tip (not including something to drink).
7. Be prepared for the $150/day incidental fee they will charge to your credit card even if you pre-paid for your room in advance.
8. The summer rates are well worth it, there's plenty of pools to keep cool and in the shade and during the evenings we found it pleasant. The fall/spring are there busy times, higher rates as well as business groups that come in. Go in the summer if you can.

We loved our vacation at The Boulders and will return another time. The atmosphere is beautiful and it's easy for serenity to find you from the moment you arrive and stay with you until you depart.

Room Tip: We had our own Casita, that's a nice way to go.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

Was on a birthday trip to AZ and spent first night here. Used tripadvisor to find and it was great. The staff upgraded our room on arrival to a stand alone casita. Room was beautiful and huge. Bathroom great too! We just relaxed, enjoyed the bar and the pool. Staff were friendly and very helpful even retrieving my wife's eye glasses from the car.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

We have been guests at this property several times in the past few years. Every visit has been a quality experience. The staff is consistently efficient, professional, and welcoming. The rooms are private and clean. They are also well designed, and VERY comfortable. The Golden Door Spa is top rate in every way, and a must during our visits. We like that the Boulders is a perfect get away for any size group; fun for family yet romantic for couples. They pay attention to the details at this resort!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

I just called their reservation line to confirm my stay. Yikes. Worst customer service experience ever I'm sorry to say. Before I had a chance to finish my sentence I was promptly cut off by the gentleman, told they're experiencing technical difficulties, told to call back in 30 mins, and promptly hung up on before I could say a word. He was speaking "a mile-a-minute", totally impersonal... It was like calling Domino Pizza or something. Weird. Who does that? I called back and spoke with a nice woman who explained the situation but.. I hope they were just having an off night and that this does not exemplify the tone of their overall customer service, which they advertise as "flawless".

Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBouldersResort, Manager at The Boulders, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, August 13, 2012
On behalf of the entire Boulders team we are truly sorry for the lapse in service our guest received. We take great pride in providing our guests with superior service and exceeding their expectations. We apologize for this disappointing experience and assure everyone this issue will be addressed and additional training provided.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention and allowing us the opportunity to correct our shortcomings and protect it does not transpire in the future. We look forward to welcoming you to The Boulders Resort and providing you with superior service!
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Arizona
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

What can I say? Returned to the Boulders after 8 years (and two ownership changes for them) and loved loved loved the experience. The service is impeccable. I am most pleased by how dog friendly they were. We have two fairly large dogs that we brought, and benefited from the new pet package The Boulders offers. The package comes with two plush dog beds, bowls, a treat and toy, and even a bottle of water for each pooch. They were more than happy to accommodate our dogs, and they were allowed to go on the golf carts that take you to your room - which is really important if you are far from the lobby.

So on with the rest. Room was great - very clean, rustic yet tasteful. I'm not a fan of saltillo tile, but it worked in the bathroom there. The bathroom feels very spacious, and I appreciated the separate vanity table. The bedroom area was nice - bed might be a tad soft, but wasn't too bad. The porch overlooking the golf course was great. Overall, feels very spacious, even with two big dogs and adults.

Service was great - always a smile and willing to help. Never took too long to get a cart to take us to dinner or the lobby.

The one knock for me is restaurants. Breakfast was pretty terrible on the resort, and The Spotted Monkey (located in El Pedregal) left much to be desired. Much better when it was Javelina Cantina. We didn't eat at the lobby restaurant for dinner. We went to Scottsdale most of the time for our meals - kind of a drive, but worth it in my opinion. There are other restaurants close in Carefree that are pretty good -we just didn't try them this time.

We didn't have time to golf or use the spa, but when I used the spa 8 years ago it was great. The pool area was lovely, although the drink selection was a little weak.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBouldersResort, Manager at The Boulders, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
Thank you for your kind review. The Boulders team is delighted your recent stay created wonderful memories for you and your family. The Boulders Pet Program was recently implemented and has been a great success. Our new guests seem very happy during their time with us and we look forward to welcoming many more four legged friends to The Boulders Resort.

Please accept our profuse apologies for the disappointments you encountered with our Food and Beverage team. We are most grateful for your kind and candid feedback and the opportunity to review our culinary offerings. Once again, thank you for being our guest and for sharing your memories.
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Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

We choose The Boulders for our annual staycation this year. The service at the front desk was as good as it could be. Most of the staff were very friendly and helpful, offering quite a bit of information about the resort. We started at the Spa pool while we waited for our rooms to be ready. Very beautiful and relaxing, but there are signs up stating "no cell phones" as people are coming out of the spa and they want it quiet and relaxing. The pool is adults only (age 18 and older). We had our own music playing so soft we could not hear it well in the pool, but we were asked to turn it off. If you want quiet, go to this pool. You can order some food and drinks inside and they will bring it out to you. There is also a lap pool near the clubhouse, which we did not use, and the main pool by the check in area, which we did utilize. We had our music playing here and it was not a problem. A bit more lively, which was all we wanted. You can order food/drinks from poolside. I think the pool filter needs to be checked. There was a white scum, as well as debris on one side of the pool. The waitress called for someone to clean it, but all they did was skim the pool a little, and got hardly anything out. We just joked about it, but they really need to check this. The atmosphere is really great, and we had fun hanging out.

Our room was fantastic with a great view of the golf course (which looks beautiful!) and the mountains. Hairdryer, toiletries, wood burning fireplace, large space, great balcony where we sat for several house in the morning and had coffee. There was a wet bar and a fridge. We brought our own food so that came in handy (did not try any restaurants).

The entire layout of the resort is more relaxing then the Four Seasons Scottsdale, where we have also stayed. We all decided that we would be happy to return to The Boulders. It is not a party place, but a very relaxing place for adults.

Room Tip: Ask for room 369 - even the staff says it is one of their favorites! Great views!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBouldersResort, Manager at The Boulders, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at The Boulders Resort. We strive at all times to create beautiful memories for our guests and we are delighted you time with us was a relaxing experience.

We are truly sorry for the lapse in service you encountered while enjoying the Lodge Pool. We are so very grateful you brought this to our attention, as it allows us the opportunity to provide additional training to our team members and to conduct a thorough cleaning of the pool. Once again, thank you for being our guest and for the kind words.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Boulders, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Address: 34631 North Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree, AZ 85377
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Central Arizona > Carefree
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Carefree
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Boulders, A Waldorf Astoria Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 223
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape to a secluded haven amid the natural splendor of painted desert sand, towering cacti, and clear, blue sky - The Boulders. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Boulders, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Carefree
The Waldorf Astoria Collection Carefree
The Boulders Resort And Golden Door Spa
Boulders Resort
The Boulders Resort Luxury
Boulder Arizona

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