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“"No country for old men!"”

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Boulders Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Carefree
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 6, 2013

This resort should be selected carefully - it is for guests looking only for golf and tennis who don't wish to explore anything other than wide swaths of desert! The low buildings are spread over about 13,000 acres - the buildings are the same color as the desert - with a few cacti in between.The rock formations are spectacular, but one cannot do anything with them but climb them! The only way to access the lobby is by open golf cart. You must call the desk, wait for them to come to your room, and then take an open air (sometimes very cold) ride to the office. If you're wishing to go further you switch to a shuttle bus to go to your destination. Meals taken in the resorts restaurants are uniformly expensive and tasteless. The neighboring restaurants in Carefree aren't any better or less expensive. The spa is beautiful, but it is very expenisve to use it as the only means of entertainment. It was a very long five days!

Room Tip: Go to the Four Seasons Troon North!
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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8  Thank Annjudith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shannon L, Manager at Boulders Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded January 8, 2013

Dear Past Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at The Boulders Resort. On behalf of the entire Boulders Team we extend our sincere apologies for the disappointments you encountered during your time with us. The beauty, that is The Boulders, is created by the amazing natural setting as each casita is nestled within the High Sonoran Desert and the 12-million-year-old boulder formations. This backdrop is the ideal setting for a tranquil and relaxing experience, which we wish to all our guests.

Once again, we are truly sorry you did not have a positive experience and regret the inconvenience and disappointments surrounding your stay. We pride ourselves in providing our guests the opportunity to rejuvenate at this secluded haven, amid the natural splendor of The Boulders Resort.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,628 - 1,634 of 2,258 reviews

Reviewed January 4, 2013

I had occasion to stay at The Boulders for one night this past summer. I wanted to stay longer.

I did not expect to be in Arizona again any time soon, but it happens that I had an unfortunate emergency surgery with nine days in the hospital. When I got home I decided I needed to treat myself to something really nice and the first place I thought of was The Boulders. It had been about a month since my surgery and I still had a lot of healing to do. I thought the sunshine and warmth would be more conducive to that process.

I went alone and my husband told me to pamper myself so I did...

The staff is gracious and friendly without being stuffy. There is seemingly no request that cannot be accommodated. The property itself is beautiful and beautifully cared for. I spent a lot of time at the spa which has a nearly overwhelming list of services, a Grill restaurant with delicious and healthy selections, a full gym with every manner of machine as well as weights, a large array of classes such as Yoga and Pilates, steam and sauna rooms with a Japanese soaking tub and wonderful shower facilities. Use of all spa facilities and classes are included in your resort fee which also covers most staff gratuities. Of course, there is also a lovely pool at the spa as well as a small private pool where some spa treatments such as refloatology and Watsu are conducted. I highly recommend both of those treatments. Of course there is a boutique and a salon for mani/pedi's and the like.
I ate twice in the Palo Verde restaurant at the main reception area. I had a marvelous cobb salad for lunch and a steak for dinner. For lunch I ate on the terrace and dinner was inside since at this time of year (late November) there is no terrace dining in the evening. They had a nice price fixe menu for dinner which I enjoyed very much and the service was very good.
I also enjoyed the Grill Restaurant and Bogey's which is the adjacent sporty bar. Food and staff was really great. Since I was by myself I really enjoyed chatting with the staff. The chefs wondered if I was the new manager. I wish I was as it would be a pleasure to work with such wonderful people!
Since I was in no condition to play golf, it was a bit painful to gaze on that beautiful green grass and not be able to play but on my last day there, I not only climbed the Boulders trail which was a huge accomplishment for me, I spent some time pitching and putting on the practice green. It was great fun and I was pretty happy with my performance. As is true throughout the property facilities, the staff was wonderfully accommodating.

If you are looking for cheap, don't go to The Boulders but if you want special you really get that as well as value for your dollar in the end. It is a wonderful way to treat yourself. You will want to go back with all your friends!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank webby53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2013

My wife and I were at the Boulders in late December for four nights. Overall it was a good trip and we enjoyed it. The Boulders is a beautiful, scenic property with spectacular views of the huge rock formations that are in several places on the property.

Pros - The casitas are very nice. They aren't what I would call luxurious, but they are tastefully done. Wood burning fireplace in each one, flat screen tv (approx. 42") and nice bathrooms and closets. The separate shower is a little small for most guys. There is a great variety of views among the different casitas. Sometimes requests are honored; sometimes they are not.

My wife loved the spot and had some sort of treatment every day. Great massages and a very nice place. She said it took quite awhile a couple of times for the golf cart shuttle to come and pick her up to get her back to the room.

The golf is generally quite good. Jay Moorish designed both courses. North course is more traditional and not target golf. Range and putting green and excellent and well kept. The south course is the more difficult of the two, at least for me. It is not hard core "target golf" but it comes close at times. Lots of waste areas and some forced carries on tee shots and approaches. There is a lot of local knowledge around the greens. You will see all sorts of wildlife, mostly on the south course for some reason. Coyotes, bobcats, rabbits and doves. We even saw a large group of Havalina pigs one day roaming the fairways. They are all used to people and will get fairly close to you. Take your camera. You will need to ride in a cart to play golf here. The distances from the green to the next tee can be a long way. To me, the courses just are not walkable.

The Boulders is a pretty remote location. That is good for the most part, but not entirely so, as I will now get to.

Cons - these are mostly comments; none are overwhelming negatives. While the Boulders is only about thirty miles from the Phoenix airport, it can easily take over an hour to get there. That is because of Scottsdale Road, which is the best route to take. Scottsdale Road is now full of stop lights, many of which are ill - timed. And they are long lights, not just fifteeen or twenty second lights. We drove into old town Scottsdale for dinner one night, where there are any number of really good restaurants. It is easily 40 to 45 minutes each way. When you look at a map you don't think it is all that far, but time wise it really is. It's a haul and really not worth the one and a half hour drive round trip for dinner. The food at the Boulders is good, but I would not say that it is exceptional and I am one of those pepple who doesn't want to eat every meal at a resort. There are some places in nearby Carefree and Cave Creek which are pretty good, but you're not going to find any sort of great meal. Also, there are some good restaurants about ten minutes away down by Troon North. Hopefully you get my drift -- the Boulders is an isolated place. That is a good thing unless you are out foraging for food.

The weather. Sigh. What can I say? The dead of winter is just not the best time to travel to Carefree, Arizona. The Phoenix Chamber of Commerce would lead you to believe that it is 75 degrees and sunny in the Valley every day in the winter. Not so. It can be cloudy and the days can be in the low 50's. Not great golf weather, believe me. Carefree is about 2500 - 2600 feet above sea level so it is going to be eight to ten degrees cooler than Phoenix. That can make a difference. You could catch great weather in the winter but it can be really cold, too. I'm not willing to chance it again. I will not go the Boulders in the winter again until late February or early March to make sure that it warms up.

As has been mentioned, you can do a lot of walking if you want to. The place is really spread out. The very friendly staff will take you around in golf carts, but sometimes you need to wait a few minutes for one to show up. If your casita is far away from the main lodge, you have little choice but to take the golf carts. I would also echo the earlier comments that the Boulders is not a great place for young kids. This is mostly an adults only type of resort.

Like most people, I hate paying a "resort fee." But I didn't mind it at the Boulders. If you had to tip a guy every time you took a ride in a golf cart, had your cart taken out from valet parking, etc., it would drive you nuts.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank wirepaladin08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

Anniversary trip couldn't have been better. The resort is outstanding. The people were incredibly attentive, accomodating.and responsive. The food was excellent. Our casita was great with a wonderful view of the mountains and the beautiful grounds/golf course. We're not spa people, but this spa is amazing. Couldn't have scripted a better place. We're looking for excuses to go back to the Boulders.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Tex5555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2013

This is not our first time to visit this resort. It is our first time for the Christmas holiday. We had such a wonderful time we are already planning our next Christmas. The resort was completely staffed and open for the holiday. The golf course was amazing. The spa was incredible. The food was outstanding. The staff were all wonderful. I can't say enough great things about our experience. This is a beautiful property.
This is more of an adult resort. I woulde not recommend it for young children.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the casitas on the golf course.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 2lilly2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2012

Amazing resort! Stayed here for five days over Thanksgiving week this year, and was extremely impressed with every aspect of The Boulders resort. Will definitely stay here again next time I'm in the Scottsdale, area!

Pros: The staff was overwhelmingly accommodating and helpful (they use golf carts/shuttles to transport you to different areas of the resort by request, which was very much appreciated, thanks Bill from Wisconsn!).

The location was absolutely gorgeous and unlike anywhere I've ever been before (beautiful, enormous boulders surrounding the resort grounds, Saguaro cacti all around, golf areas were beautiful, and the various ponds and wildlife).

The casita was pristine, had a wood-burning fireplace (which we used a LOT), bed was super comfortable (I hadn't slept that well in months), and the bathroom was also amazing (double sinks, bath tub, glass shower, walk-in closet, etc).

The Golden Door spa was very luxurious, and the staff were very nicd and professional. The massage was amazing, as were the various saunas. The pool at the spa (which is open to all resort guests), was very relaxing.

My boyfriend and his parents went golfing at The Boulders and they said that it was exceptional. More specifically: the practice area (driving range, short game area, and putting green) was worth visiting on its own; the course itself was extremely well run; and the fairways and greens were in impeccable shape. Overall, an extremely fun place to golf!

Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
1  Thank Kate M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2012

When we determined that we'd be in AZ for Thanksgiving, we knew we wanted to include a couple of days for ourselves at The Boulders. We have stayed there before & LOVED it. The grounds are beautiful and peaceful. We most recently stayed at a casita which backed up to the 6th hole on the golf course. Gorgeous.

The Casitas are wonderfully appointed, including wood-burning fireplaces with fresh firewood every evening; large bathrooms which include generously sized shampoos, etc.; the robes & bedding are luxuriously comfortable; and a KEURIG machine! A lovely treat each morning to have a good-tasting, fresh-brewed coffee in our room. While we knew we had neighbors at our casita, we never heard anyone. It seems that everyone respects & appreciates the beauty & serenity of the resort & grounds.

The private patio provided a little private outdoor relaxation with lovely views of the property, the golf course, and the adorable little quail & rabbits. We kept our patio door closed at night but were still able to hear (but were never bothered by) the coyote nearby. While the property is expansive, it is easy to get around & there always seems to be a staff member in a nearby golf cart offering a ride.There are also nicely paved trails & signs to guide you along the way.

The resort staff is extremely attentive and accommodating. The Golden Door Spa is serene, meticulously maintained, well staffed, and offers a variety of services which may be included in your resort fees. I was able to enjoy Pilates in the Movement Studio at no extra cost. While we have eaten at the resort restaurant in the past, we enjoyed breakfast on the patio at the Golden Door. Light, fresh fare served by friendly staff. It is a smaller, quieter option for breakfast & lunch.

While my spouse golfed, I lounged & enjoyed lunch by the pool. It was quiet &relaxingwith a server who was attentive & friendly. I was even able to enjoy a nap. No noise, no distractions.

I would definitely return and highly recommend The Boulders for any time of year, for any number of people. Golf, spa, relax, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank politicallyincorrect
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

Address: 34631 N Tom Darlington Dr, Carefree, AZ 85262-3721
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: $227 - $640 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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