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“PEACE and SILENCE”

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Carefree Resort & Conference Center
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Carefree
Evesham, England
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“PEACE and SILENCE”
Reviewed October 14, 2007

We stayed at the Villas at Carefree Resort for a week . We had contacted them direct and been able to secure a Delux Sonoran Villa.
As we drove from Phoenix airport after a 2 hour flight delay, British Airways Bless 'em, we thought we were going to the middle of nowhere ! It was so dark ! The reception was excellent and we had our tea delivered to the unit.
The Villa was enormous and very well appointed, but the view from the balcony was breathtaking, we would just stand and stare for most of our stay. If you want desert and cactus and rabbits and quail and birds and owls and coyotes and wild pig and road runners, then you must stay here. All were seen from our balcony. And the view continued across to the mountains.
All the staff were very helpful and the on site restaurant was very good quality and value. The swimming pool in the villas area has to be seen and most of the time we were the only two there, amazing !
We are certainly planning to return.

  • Liked — The peace, Quiet and the view
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank BigMikeEvesham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Del Mar , Calif.
1 review
Reviewed October 9, 2007

Our stay at the resort was absolutely superb. Upon arrival at the hotel I was impressed with the friendly staff, doors were opened, staff was polite, courteous and helpful. We were starved so the woman at the front desk had the bellman take our bags to our villa while we ate at the hotel restaurant. The restaurant was a real authentic western style saloon and the food was to die for. After our time in the saloon we were taken to our villa by the hotel shuttle. We were shocked to see how large the villa was. The pictures do not do it justice. It had everything including the kitchen sink. I was impressed with the first class feel and the warm southwestern charm. One thing notable was the fact that we requested some groceries to be stocked in the kitchen, much to my amazement when we checked into the villa it was already stocked and we didn't have to wait for this to happen. The accommodations were attractive and top notch. The next day we were having breakfast and the waiter heard us talking about golfing and suggested that we play at the golf course Legend Trails. Neither of us had clubs but were in the mood to play some golf. Again the staff went above and beyond the call of duty. The next thing I know, the hotel staff set up a tee time arranged for us to rent Taylor made clubs and gave us a ride to the course. About the golf course, green green green and so picturesque. ( bring a camera) After golf we treated ourselves to the spa. Let me tell you, this was by far the most amazing experience. It was the ultimate stress relief and I felt so relaxed. It is a great way to end the day. There is so much to do and enjoy including looking up at all the stars in the desert night. I have stayed many times at the La Costa Resort however Carefree Resort offers better service, rates and an over all unique experience. A+ We will be back !!!!

  • Liked — everything
  • Disliked — i loved everything
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank DelMarCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2007

I spent three days at the Carefree Resort from Sept. 29 - October 1st. I travelled alone, seeking a chance to have some relaxation, rest, and spiritual growth. I chose Carefree largely because it was one of the less expensive spa resorts in Arizona, and as a public school teacher, my budget doesn't stretch very far. In fact, with the cost of lodging, tazes, fees, food, and very limited spa services, I spent over $1,000 in just three days - or, in other words, half my monthly income as a teacher. That said, my hope was that I would really have a chance to grow and reflect and relax and hoped that the money spent would be worth it.

Broadly speaking, the resort is fine. Admittedly, I was a bit disappointed upon arrival, because it simply wasn't as pretty or luxurious as I had anticipated a $170/night hotel to be. The staff members were all very kind, courteous, and helpful, and generally seemed to be enjoying their jobs, and the one thing that was utterly impressive was the food at the Lariat Grill. I was continually impressed by the quality.

I was, however, really disappointed by a large majority of the rest of my trip. The first room to which I was assigned had broken door locks, and though the staff was quick to assist me in changing rooms, this was not the greatest start to the trip. My new room was dumpy - again, not what I would expect for the cost. The hair dryer had been torn off the wall, and I had continued struggle getting housekeeping to bring me a new one. The mirror has broken glass edges, the bathroom floor was not swept during my stay, and the sliding patio door had very loose glass in it that was damaged.

One of the major reasons I chose to do a spa resort in Arizona was for...well, the spa! Again, because of my budget, it was hard for me to rationalize spending the exorbitant amount of money the services cost, but I hoped that they would be so luxurious that I would end up being glad I dd it. I was, however, disappointed in the quality of the spa services. I felt rushed and pushed through. I was disappointed that the steam room was not in working order, and the general facility seemed shoddy to me. In Colorado, for the amount of money I spent, I would have received three times the services in three times the setting. It was a true disappointment. Additionally, I am a fitness enthusiast and was very disappointed in the quality of the "fitness center." The equipment was archaic and non-functional. 15 minutes on the elliptical trainer sounded like a herd of elephants running through the African jungle. There were no gym attendants, no water, and dirty towels carelessly tossed about.

All of these let downs actually drove me to search the Internet while I was at Carefree to find a neighboring resort at which I could spend a day. I chose to travel over to the Boulders and quickly realized what I had been missing. Their spa, fitness facility, and general property were exactly what I had hoped for, and I was disappointed to note that for about $25 more per night, I could have stayed there and felt like the money I was spending was justified.

Generally speaking, the Carefree resort is an average property with excellent staff and food. However, for the amount of money I spent, I am not regretful that I made the decision to stay there. I would have rather enjoyed a weekend in Mexico for that cost.

  • Liked — Food, staff
  • Disliked — Room, spa, fitness facility, general ambiance of the property
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank ColoradoSonja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMThatCares, General Manager at Carefree Resort & Conference Center, responded to this review, October 15, 2007
Colorado Sonja:

I feel badly that you did not thoroughly enjoy your experience with us - specifically due to the Fitness Facility. We had hoped to have this center revitalized by the end of summer, however, there was a delay in our equipment arriving. Our project (new equipment, flooring, paint, televisions, etc) will be complete by year-end. When it is, I would love to have you back as my guest to enjoy an experience you should have the first time. As you pointed out, my staff is terrific, and in a short period of time, I think you will find the facilities of our resort a great match. Again, please accept my apologies for your experience...I look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind Regards,

Frank
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texas hillcountry
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2007

Wow, where to begin! This place is quite amazing...at first glance. We have been on a whirlwind tour of the west this August and were on our way back from California to Texas and decided the Phoenix area was a good mid-way stop to relax for a few days before heading back home to Austin. I had been to this area several years ago and fell in love with its raw beauty and serenity. This property online looked amazing and it was such a bargain, being the off-season. After looking at all the choices, I decided on the Sonoran Villa which, at $105.00 a night was a steal! We arrived and saw all the beautiful grounds with huge saguaros and flowers all around. We were greeted by two handsome gentlemen that gave us the royal treatment, opening our car doors and offering assistance. We walked into the beautiful lobby area which is decorated in a tasteful western/lodge theme. There are beautiful, huge geodes and other unique art everywhere. Check-in was okay and we were treated very politely. My first surprise came when the desk clerk let me know that there was a $15.00 PER DAY amenities fee, whether you used them or not. I was a bit put-off by this, but realized that the room rate was still a deal, even with the extra charge so we proceeded to get our keys and the gate code. Gate code? She explained that this area was gated...we thought "awesome". I asked her about several activities I had seen on their website that looked interesting and were listed as "amenities"...I soon found out that every single one cost money...and alot of money. I personally don't consider it an "amenity" if you have to pay for it. She handed me the "Activities" Sheet for the weekend which included everything the resort had to offer for each day. This looked cool. We got back in our car to drive to our villa. Important note...this property is HUGE. People actually live in some of the villas full-time. So, you need a car to get around. Or, you can rent a golf cart (yes, costs extra) for about $15-20.00 per day. You can see it's starting to add up, right??

We drove to our villa and noticed that the gates were open so we drove right in. We soon realized over time that the gates were ALWAYS open! They never shut them...so why bother with a gate code?? Weird...must be for the people who pay the big bucks on-season! We found our villa, walked up and put our key in the door and it wouldn't open. It seemed as if it were deadbolted from inside so we called the front desk and the maintenance man was there practically by the time I hung the phone up! Awesome service! He showed us that on some of the doors, you have to pull up on the handle rather than down and the door opened right up. After further inspection of the door, we noticed that someone had tried to kick it in, so the framing was split. Creepy. This was the real reason for it not working properly. We noticed that this door was a foyer door and once inside, there were two more room doors as well as a utility room with washer and dryer. So, you shared this entrance with another guest. We opened the door to our villa and were shocked! It was gorgeous! Finally, a hotel room that lived up to it's internet hype! It looked like an apartment and was so spacious! We have three children and there was plenty of room for all of us. You walk in to the living area which has pull-out couch (not very comfy by the way but sufficient for kids), chair, two desks, and an armoire with tv. The bedroom had huge closet, armoire/dressers with another tv and fridge. The bedroom had a sliding door that led out to a balcony that ran the entire length with another slider back into the living space. There was also a french door that led to a second balcony that was absolutely huge. It had lounge chairs for sun worshippers, as well as a glass table with chairs to eat at. The only negative is that it overlooked the parking lot, so maybe ask for one with a better view. The bathroom area is amazing. The toilet has its own room which is next to another large closet that has full-size ironing board and iron. Further down is a sink area which leads into an area with a door that has the bathtub/shower and another sink. It was all beautifully appointed and new.

Next, we went to check out the pool. This is one of several pools they have and we asked to be near it for the kids. From what I understand, you can get far enough away to have to drive to the pool, so if this is important, ask for one close to the pool. Anyway...the pool area is gorgeous. Beautiful saguaros, florals, succulents, all surrounding a waterfall. We noticed the jacuzzi as well but were disappointed that it was broken...so much for the amenities we paid for!

By now it was lunchtime and we noticed that the "schedule" said that there was a barbecue by the main pool which is located by the lobby area. So, we loaded up and drove back to the lobby. We looked and looked for this barbecue...we were starving. We were then told that they weren't doing the barbecue after all. We soon found out that this "schedule" was not something they followed to the letter. I guess off-season is when they let their hair down and don't try as hard, it seems. So, we went into the restaurant there inside the lobby which was really nice. There was no one to greet us, no hostess for quite a while. She finally arrived and looked grumpy and grunted at us, like we were bothering her or something. This was our first (and only) bad run-in with staff here. We sat down, ordered and were pleased with the quality. The food was delicious. Our waitress was a bit stand-offish at first, but once I engaged her in conversation about the area, she perked right up.

Later that evening, we went to what's called the "Dive-in Movie" which was actually cool. You go to the main pool and they show a movie while you swim. There's a small bonfire where you make s'mores which, again, costs you extra money. We thought that was lame to charge extra for this. But, oh well...it's not THAT much extra so we went with it. They were yummy. The kids had fun and my husband loved the bonfire...even IF it was 90 degrees outside! LOL!

The next morning, we left to go on the Apache Trail which I highly recommend...it's amazing. When we came back, we noticed that, while the beds were made, there wasn't much else done to the room. We were out of toilet paper which they didn't bother to replenish, the soap that we had used up wasn't replenished and there weren't enough towels left for us. We had to call the front desk to get them brought to us. Again, the response was very fast. They were there in no time. But I thought it rather lazy to not notice these things.

The atmosphere here was what I described to my husband to be The Overlook hotel from the movie The Shining. It's a beautiful place but during the off-season is kinda desolate and empty. That's how I would describe this place. It's gorgeous and the service is impecable but in the off-season, it's kinda desolate...especially during the weekdays. The weekday nights were downright creepy. We were literally the only people on our street...it was so freaking quiet! The weekend wasn't so bad...a few more people around. I feel like they were on a skeleton staff, even though they were responsive. The grounds are gorgeous and it's a fantastic place to go for a relaxing retreat. There is so much that we didn't experience that I would have liked to. There's a spa, tennis (we were surprised this was extra as well and very expensive), golf, crafting, nature walks, etc. We just didn't have time to get it all in.

So, if you're looking for a beautiful place; whether it's for a honeymoon or family get-away, you will NOT be disappointed. This is a top-notch hotel with a few kinks to work out, but nothing that will ruin your experience. We wished we could have stayed longer and will definately be back again!

  • Liked — Fabulous Villa, Beautiful pool/grounds, Service, Relaxing
  • Disliked — Having to pay extra for amenities you get for free elsewhere, skeleton staff
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank plattapus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMThatCares, General Manager at Carefree Resort & Conference Center, responded to this review, September 18, 2007
Dear Plattapus:

I have read your comments and would like to offer my sincere apologies for the inconsistencies you experienced. Forgive me in advance for the length of my response, but I would like to try and address each of your concerns so that you will know that we do care about our guest comments and feedback.

First, I appreciate your kind comments about my staff - they are indeed wonderful and genuinely care about each and every guest.

The $15.00 daily fee you described is a resort fee and includes the following services and amenities.

1. All bellman gratuities.
2. Wireless internet access throughout the hotel and complimentary use of the computers and internet in the Roadrunner Internet Cafe.
3. Complimentary shuttle service to and from the main resort from the villas.
4. Complimentary shuttle service into the main town areas of Cave Creek and Carefree
5. Our daily activities program - including the dive-in movies, morning walk maps and complimentary bottled water, complimentary shuttle to and from Pinnacle Peak Mountain hiking trail, daily campfires and an afternoon activity of the day.
6. Complimentary local and toll free phone calls.
7. Daily newspaper
8. Complimentary use of the Fitness Center (24-hour access) and
9. Overnight parking and complimentary valet services.

We have taken the initiative to make the appropriate changes to our confirmation letters so guests will be informed of all of these services. Surely you will agree that if you were to pay for these items a la carte at any other hotel, you would surpass these fees by a great amount - we are truly trying to add value by including all of these items rather than charging separately for them.

The gate code that you were given for the Village is valid. During the day, we keep the gate open for the convenience of our guests (6am-6pm) and the gate is then closed from 6pm overnight until 6am the following morning.

I make no excuses for the fact that the BBQ and the staff in my restaurant was not cordial at first, these are not acceptable practices and will be addressed. We take great pride to create activities our guests will enjoy and I am disappointed that we did not meet your expectations in this regard.

The hotel is situated on 54 acres in the desert and although I can appreciate your impression that it is "creepy" at night, it is a serene setting and part of the charm is the quiet and being able to actually see stars at night. We emphasize our business on corporate and group meetings during the week - which are rare in August - but weekends as you pointed out are a leisure demand time for us.

I appreciate your comments and hope you will contact me personally prior to your next return so I can personally attend to your needs and ensure that your next experience with us is a great one.

Thank you so much for your comments. I really appreciate it.

Kind Regards,
Frank
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2007

A friend and I stayed here for 1 night in Sept '07. The service was excellent. Everyone was very helpful and friendly, and we loved the complimentary shuttle to and from the town of Cave Creek. We stayed in the hotel (not at an individual villa), and the room, unfortunately, left MUCH to be desired. We were dissapointed to see the that the carpet was old and grubby, the room needed a paint job, the comforters and heavy drapes seemed old and used. The whole room had a damp quality to it. Everything felt damp and moldy. The bathroom was okay, cleanliness-wise, but needs to be updated. It was just a bit of an unpleasant experience. We did enjoy the pool, but after our night's stay, we were ready to make a quick exit.

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank EnviroGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMThatCares, General Manager at Carefree Resort & Conference Center, responded to this review, September 19, 2007
EnviroGirl:

Thank you for taking the time to write your review. I am disappointed that you and your friends did not enjoy your experience with us.

The rooms in the main resort and scheduled to undergo a complete refurbishment in December of this year.

The project will include brand new carpeting, new bedding, new bathroom fixtures (including walk-in showers), the installation of LCD televisions and the like.

I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you personally about your stay in hopes of having you back soon.

As you also mentioned, my staff is wonderful and our resort itself is a real unique destination. I hope to hear from you.

Kind Regards,
Frank

fashmore@carefree-resort.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chandler, Arizona
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2007

After reading some of the reviews we were nervous about going to the resort. We just got back today from a wonderful weekend at the Carefree Resort and Villas, we didn't want to leave. Everyone was nice from the moment we arrived until the moment we left. We went to celebrate our one year anniversary and we had the best time ever, they even had a nice card and bottle of wine waiting for us in our villa the day we arrived. Food was great as well as the drinks. We will be going back.

  • Liked — The deluxe villas were great - has a fully stocked kitchen and two baths!
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank cnhfromCoMo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 10, 2007

The Carefree Resort was the site of our company's two day conference. The service was first rate and the food was delicious. The villas are fantastic and tempt one to want to reside there year round. The staff was friendly and helpful. We will definitely be back.

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank ZiggyPhoenix_AZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Carefree Resort & Conference Center

Property: Carefree Resort & Conference Center
Address: 37220 Mule Train Road, 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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Carefree
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Carefree Resort & Conference Center 3.5*
Number of rooms: 234
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Carefree Resort has recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation of all meeting space, public areas, resort guest rooms, Lariat Restaurant and Lounge and launched the all new Sonoran Suites, a boutique experience within the Resort. Experience authentic Arizona, located amidst high Sonoran Desert natural preserves 1.5 miles north of Scottsdale. The Resort grounds are filled with towering 20' Saguaro, giant Ocotillo, desert wildflowers, and Prickly Pear Cactus. Reserve one of our Villas, if you are looking extra space and want the comforts of home. Equipped with a full kitchen, dining room, and living room and are available with one or two bedrooms. Our friendly staff can arrange popular destination activities such as scooter rentals, bike rentals, golf, desert jeep tours, hot air balloon rides, and other adventures. The Resort features a five treatment room Spa with full spa and hair salon services, five lighted Tennis Courts, two heated swimming pools, and a complete Fitness Center. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Carefree Hotel Carefree
Carefree Resort And Conference Center

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