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“By the 2nd day, I was allready plotting my return.”

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Boulders Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Carefree
Certificate of Excellence
Midwest
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“By the 2nd day, I was allready plotting my return.”
Reviewed November 27, 2012

My husband was working in Phoenix for the weekend, and as it overlapped our anniversary we decided to find a resort to spend a few days and celebrate, so we chose The Boulders as it was written up as one of the 50 Top Golf Resorts in the US. He likes golf, I like pools, decision made.

What can I say- I was extremely impressed with the beauty of the property, the landscaping, the amenties (golf, pools, spa, fitness center) and the vibe- peaceful, calm, serene. As soon as we arrived, I felt calmer and more relaxed. No cars are allowed on the property; they valet park them and you are shepared around in complimentary golf carts, if you request it.

The property is well designed so you don't see many people going to and fro. I loved it! We hardly saw anyone, despite the fact that the resort was reported to be 75% booked. if you don't like crowds, this is the place for you.

The casita (our hotel room) was spacious and equipped with a great bed, a fireplace, a huge flatscreen, a very large bathroom with a walk-in closet, and 2 super-comfy oversized leather chairs. My favorite was the patio- super quiet, shaded, private, and a view of a natural desert landscape. I could sit outside in pleasantly shaded sun, reading, watching bunnies and hummingbirds make their nests.

New York Times was delivered daily, which made my day as a subscribed reader.

Service was great- from the welcome at the front desk, where all the added charges (resort fee includes tips) were made clear- to the valet- to the room service- to the surprise bottle of champaign from the Manager for our anniversary.

The pools are lovely- and views from the pools are stunning. My husband found the golf course challenging and really lovely. he had a great time.

There are a number of dining choices on grounds- all fine, some better than others -my favorite was a lunch at at the spa and the main restaurant in the lodge. But for more options, just a pleasant 5 minutes walk away on lighted landscaped paths adjacent to the property- is a mall/shopping area with at least 3 more dining locations. We ate at a fun pizza place there, and there was a very popular Mexican Restaurant as well. It also has a Ben and Jerrys and the Bakery Cafe.

There are tons of outdoorsy activities available on the property- hiking, climbing, biking, nature walks, etc.

The fitness center was outstanding- I was able to complete my entire high-maintenance (thanks to my personal trainer back home) workout without problems, and with great views, and finished it off with a wonderful shower experience in the spa with great products, plently of space, and an abundance of fluffy towels and amenities. They have a large schedule of daily, free fitness classes available from yoga to cardio to pilates, to you name it.

My only complaints? Not really complaints- just some considerations to make sure it is the right place for you.
- If you are looking for a lively place with lots of people watching and conversations to evesdrop on at the pool- this is not the place for you.
- I woudn't probably reccomend it for families with young kids- other than the pools, they didn't seem to have childrens activities that I was aware of, and getting around might be a pain as the property and walks are quite large.

- They have 3 pools, but they are very spread out and good sized, but not huge. They only had one attendent at a time at each pool, so at times you had to wait for your beverage, food, or a menu.

- If you don't like to walk- this may not be the place for you if you are not interested in using the free golf cart service. The property is quite large.

- The casitas have fireplaces in them, which is really nice- but if the smell of smoke bothers you- you may not care for it. They burn some kind of wood that is unfamiliar to us as northeners- and the smell was a bit odd as you walked about the property, as many people also had outdoor fireplaces. Mesquite? Not sure.

Will we go again? Absolutely- hopefully this spring. Would highly reccomend it to anyone who is looking for a luxury resort experience in a very quiet, natural setting. Awesome.

Room Tip: Some rooms are stand-alone "casitas" - like tiny houses- whille others are on the 2nd stor...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank dzeni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Vancouver, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
245 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2012

If you are looking for a great desert location with magnificent surroundings, trails and a great golf course this is it. The boulder are massive and impressive. The whole resort is manicured and made to blend with the surroundings. The golf course is first class. There is nothing but good things to say about the whole location.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
3 Thank Raul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhattan Beach, California
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2012

This property is a quiet, zen-like, desert oasis a little under an hour from Sky Harbor Intl. Stayed here for a long weekend and was not disappointed. We were completely impressed with the outstanding service we received the entire time. From the front desk who secured us a special casita for our anniversary, to the bell desk responding quickly and providing blankets in the golf carts on a cool night, to the housekeeping staff who pleasantly restocked our supply of fire wood multiple times - everyone was genuine, sincere and invested in providing an excellent experience and service. Our casita was large, private and definitely felt like home. Even though the resort was apparently sold out on one of the nights we were there, the layout of the property makes you feel like you have the place to yourselves. It was very peaceful. We enjoyed the room service and especially enjoyed lounging on our patio or in front of a real woodburning fireplace. The Golden Door spa treatments were great as was the service of the staff there -- you can't help but relax in such surroundings. Great weekend away - will definitely be back - hopefully to play golf next time on the beautiful course.

Room Tip: Rooms across the bridge and close to the spa are extra quiet and private.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank AllysonJS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maryland
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2012

I've rarely stayed at a hotel, even other Waldorf Astoria 's where the staff were so uniformly friendly and helpful. We were in a Boulders Casita, spacious , upgraded, lovely amenities. This is real desert, so you feel like you're in another world. special kudos to Jenny at front desk who handled a couple of problems we had with tennis time and a bum cable connection with speed and courtesy. One note, don't eat at overpriced cafe at spa (one oatmeal, one yogurt with fruit, two coffees - $38 with tip ). the cafe at the resort shopping center, El Pedrgal, was much better and more reasonable. Also the Spotted Donkey restaurant is not to be missed, or the bull riding five minutes away in Carefree!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank soccersenior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2012

This was are 8th stay at the Boulders, it gets better every time we visit
Excellent location with beautiful views. Great rooms and outstanding service.
The Goldendoor Spa is one of the best at any resort, anywhere.
The golf courses are very special, just like the dining.
It was are 35th anniversity and the Chief went out of his way to make it a special evening.
A great place for couples,with a very romantic atmosphere.
We will go back again and again.

Room Tip: Ask for a Sonoran Casitas, second floor has the best views.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank RetiredLongIsland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

I said it all in the title. After a disappointing stay at the Wigwam, we were wowed by everything this resort has to offer. Will definitely recommend anyone to come here. Go try The boulders golf course which is an awesome course and the restaurant called the "Spotted Donkey" was our favorite restaurant on site. The spa was terrific and we were pampered for 3 days on our 6th year anniversary. We would like to thank everyone at The Boulders for making this great memory that will be in our hearts for many years to come.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank DaRealJC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2012

The service here is the best. My wife and I went for our anniversary. We didn't tell the resort the purpose of our trip, yet our server during one of our dinners presented us with a Happy Anniversary dessert (it actually had it written on the plate in syrup)....I asked the server how they knew, and she leaned over and whispered "This is the Boulders, we know everything" and winked. We believe the lobby bar server must have overheard us and ratted us out to the restaurant -- blew us away. That's just one example -- the service and attention at the spa and everyone else we encountered was top notch. The views are great - we stayed in the "Sonoran Casita" with views of the boulders on one side with golf course views on the other. We don't golf, but the course was fantastic to look at with the landscaping.
The resort is remote - we actually took a limo from the airport (PHX) and never needed a car since we had most of what we wanted on property. There is a nice shopping/eating area within walking distance that borders the property if you want to venture out but stay close. If you have a car, you do have some options in North Scottsdale and Cave Creek areas that include western shopping as well as a few unique restaurants. It's roughly 10 miles S from the resort to as much restaurant and shopping you can handle in Scottsdale.
We have since moved to the area only a couple miles from this resort, so it isn't likely we would be back, but we've stayed at every Waldorf Astoria property (traveled for business so could use points, status, etc for vacations) and this is 2nd only to the one in Rome for us -- HIGHLY recommended.

Room Tip: There are really no cars on property -- a lot of walking paths, but don't worry about how close...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank CarlosRides
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Boulders Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton

Property: Boulders Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton
Address: 34631 N. Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree, AZ 85262
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 — Boulders Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton 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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