Text and photos copyright © by May DeLory
One of the fab spots on the planet for Sonoran Desert-inspired spa, golf, hiking & southwest cuisine adventures. Hot air balloon Sonoran desert rides are stunning! Info below (& this isn’t a pun). Taking a late summer vacation? Don’t worry. September, October, and November are perfect months to visit Scottsdale. But for the real deals check out summer special packages. Don’t forget to enter the all-inclusive spa vacation. Info at the end of this post.
Tennis, golf, and a world-renowned spa, Boulders Resort at the heart of the Sonoran Desert is a true masterpiece in luxury. Treat yourself to golf, tennis, spa, daily food and beverage credits, valet parking, and more, all while enjoying the total comfort of your own private Casita at The Boulders Resort & Spa. Don’t forget to check out the package for Canadians.
What does it look like to fly in a hot air balloon when it hides in front of the sun? http://goo.gl/HVx2p
Art in your soul? Cosanti is the gallery, studio, and residence of Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri featuring terraced landscaping with experimental earth-formed concrete structures. It is where Soleri and his late wife Colly Soleri had established their residence in metropolitan Phoenix several years before, in 1956, on a site just a few miles away from Taliesin West (where Soleri studied). Cosanti has been designated as an Arizona historic site. http://www.arcosanti.org/
I’ve just returned from a sacred place in Arizona
I’ve just returned from a sacred place in Arizona. More than half a million Canadians make Arizona their second home. I guess it’s the quality of the sun and air. I loved it. There’s nothing else like it. Temperature in January and February usually run in the low 70’s during the day. Perfect for hiking, canyon exploring, golf, cycling and rock climbing. Although The Boulders Resort www.TheBoulders.com boasts a 33,000-square-foot Golden Door spa, with 24 treatment spaces and a full menu of both indigenous desert and international treatments, the design affords a feeling of intimacy. (Fabulous travel contest! http://theboulders.com/index.php/Natures-Namesake-Contest hurry as it ends June 2012)
You aren’t likely to find yourself bumping into other spa guests while you seek your little bit of nirvana as there is space to spare here. The Boulders is situated on 1,300-acres in the Sonoran Desert foothills. It was my first time sleeping in an adobe-style structure and I adored it—stone, wood, natural light, surrounded by indigenous plants and wildlife. It’s not unusual to hear in the distance the howl of coyotes in the night. Environmental groups have acknowledged The Boulders’ eco-friendly design and materials, earning the Urban Land Institute’s Environmental Award of Excellence among other awards.
When I arrived to the Golden Door Spa I had flown in from the province of Ontario in eastern Canada. To say I was tired was not the half of it. I had forgotten my credit cards and money back home. I boarded the plane with not two cents to my name. I wasn’t a happy camper on the ‘plane with no funds to purchase more than a cup of free water.
Back home fall was coming to an end with crisp winds signalling winter’s approach. What I left behind in Ontario was nothing like what met me in Carefree, Arizona; it tipped the balance to my total recovery. Always a fan of Hollywood’s western film I fell in love with sagebrush, cactus, ancient rock formation, and the desert when very young. Here I was decades later full-frontal with the very landscape etched into my imagination from all those giddy up cowboy films – towering 50-foot Saguaro cactus, granite boulders in excess of twelve-million-years-old housed in the Sonoran Desert. I nearly expected to see any second John Wayne, Audie Murphy, or Annie Oakley riding over the horizon on horseback. But it was not to be…just the sounds of the winds blowing over the grasslands behind me as I made my way through the spa’s heavy ornate entrance doors to another world.
In the coming days, during a hot air balloon adventure over the Sonoron Desert, I learn that saguaro first made an appearance in the desert 8,000-years-ago and begins life first as a tiny seed before reaching heights of 40-feet between fifty to one-hundred-years later.
The Golden Door Spa offers an essential oils massage that did wonders for my lungs. One of the ingredients used for the treatment was Frankincense. The treatment is expensive but works almost like magic…at least for me.
The Golden Door Spa is within the world renowned The Boulders Resort in Carefree, Arizona — just north of Scottsdale. The unique labyrinth at the Golden Door Spa is inspired by ancient Hopi medicine wheels. The labyrinth is but a few minutes’ stroll from the spa entrance. I’m also scheduled to receive a lymphatic massage that should kick-start my lymphatic system into high gear in order to help my body rid itself of the kind of bacteria I don’t want circulating in my body fluids. It is said a highly skilled lymphatic massage improves the efficiency of the immune system. It’s the sort of treatment that improves in close succession. I’m also looking forward to the Adobe Clay Wrap treatment slotted in for the following day. I desperately want to try this Sonoran Desert treatment that begins with a stimulating and extremely healthful dry exfoliation from a native ayate cloth. I inquire as to my not liking an excess of sticky oil on my skin after a massage. I’m informed that after the authentic adobe clay extracts body impurities and works on stiff and tired muscles the full-body and scalp massage are followed by a full-body hydration treatment with desert sage oil known for its healing absorption properties. In the end I am very pleased with this treatment. I’m in for the ride; but, I find it difficult to tear myself away from the ancient boulders both days. The landscape is breathtaking and soothing to the psyche.
I make my way into the spa waiting room. Mounds of fresh fruit greet me. The refreshing natural sunlight streams into the room without heating the space. Very sophisticated air circulation system I wager secretly. I feel as if I’m outside in natural air. The room is spotless…something I like very much, too. A very tall man in a white fluffy robe strolls into the waiting room, gives me a smile, and sits down. I don’t know where to begin. Talk or eat. Eat or talk. Spa etiquette says not to talk someone’s ear off while waiting for a treatment. I remain silent. I’m ten minutes’ early. The fruit and health food bars look so tempting from across the spacious room. I opt for something I’ve never heard of and looks simple enough. Within five minutes of drinking the Golden Door Potassium Broth I truly felt the life and energy return to my tired bones. I truly could not believe how energized I felt and how fast it happened. What’s best is that this special broth as well as other fresh fruits and drinks are complimentary at the spa.
The power of the universe is brought to The Boulders Resort with a special Spring Equinox dinner event. Dining with the Stars is anannual Spring Equinox dinner, offering a special dining evening with spiritual readings by noted astrologer Thomas McMullan (see below for link). There is a cocktail reception before the six course dinner and wine pairings by Long Meadow Ranch Winery. Contact Boulders for their current “star” dinner!
The Boulders Resort/Golden Door Spa is a special place…so unique that you must feel it to believe it. There is so much on tap with expert instructors you’ll have a difficult time deciding where to spend the bulk of your time. Not to worry. The resort’s educational staff will help you through it all, from special meditation programmes to rock climbing suitable for beginners to advanced. The Boulders Resort sports two Jay Morrish-designed championship golf courses, so I wasn’t surprised to learn of the Upper Cuts program for the golfer. The golf course was listed in Golf Digest’s “America’s 25 Best Resort Courses.”
I would return to The Boulders just for the Yin-Yoga & Restorative Yoga. There are a multitude of programs to keep just about anybody stoked for interest. Golden Door Spa knows how to get to the core elements of health and wellbeing. Try yoga in the spa’s organic garden followed by lunch in the Spa Cafe. The cafe area faces outdoors to the pool and ancient hills. The outdoor terrace serves the spa cuisine menu. Pull up a chair indoors at the Spa Cafe if you like as you’ll still enjoy healthy-for-you cuisine with fabulous views to hills, mountains, and one of the outdoor pools. You may wish to purchase chef Dean Rucker’s cookery book “Golden Door Cooks at Home: Favorite Recipes from the Celebrated Spa” written by chef Dean Rucker, Executive Chef at the Golden Door, Escondido, California, with Marah Stets, published by Clarkson Potter, April 2009, hardcover. I’m not sure if there are any copies left but it cannot hurt to ask. The recipe for Lemongrass-Ginger Broth with Shrimp and Snow Peas is wonderful. The book may be ordered by telephoning 1-800-857-0500 www.goldendoorboutique.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Don’t forget the adjacent 18-holes golf course. Telephone Toll Free 1-866-397-6520 Twitter account is @GoldenDoorSpa @BouldersResort
Arizona can see some high temperatures in July and August. A cool cocktail in hand feels good when the weather is hot. But some like it hot. The Boulders Resort in Carefree, Arizona is known for luxury on all fronts. The Golden Door Spa in an adjacent complex of its own serves great non-alcoholic drinks with flourishes from the spa’s private herb garden and fruit trees…fresh mint, strawberry, lime, lemon…the list is long. The Boulders Resort has recently introduced the Finlandia Cactus Spritzer made with Finlandia mandarin vodka, elderflower liquor, grapefruit juice and prickly pear syrup. Prickly Pear cactus is native to the area and has been important to the Mexican and Central American diet for over one thousand years. The prickly pear grows to 15 feet tall, the flattened pads covered in small barbed spines. The fleshy stem stores water as well as the pads. Prickly pears show off gloriously coloured flowers in the spring with cerise to purple to yellow. Juice is extracted from the fruit buds and used in syrup and jelly as well as drinks. Enjoy this spritzer in the Discovery Lounge at The Boulders Resort. The Boulders Resort is a Waldorf Astoria Resort…so you know a top chef and dining room staff will be creating unique dishes. Look for classic Southwest Mexican cuisine.
A Warm-Weather Desert Retreat Awaits
Discover an extraordinary desert hideaway, newly transformed, in the heart of the Sonoran Desert. Relax in our recently renovated Casitas and step into an atmosphere brimming with modern touches. These enhanced accommodations feature wood burning fireplaces, 42-inch flat screen HDTV’s, hand-hewn wood-beamed ceilings, private balconies, and much more.
An Exclusive Offer For Canadian Travelers
A “Truly Canadian” experience awaits at our unique desert hideaway in the Sonoran Desert Foothills. Canadian travelers are invited to enjoy the warm weather, nightly accommodations, daily breakfast, valet parking, access to the Golden Door Spa fitness facilities and classes, high-speed Internet access, discounts, and more, all in a beautiful, breathtaking desert setting.
The Truly Canadian Package includes:
- Luxurious nightly accommodations in a private Casita
- Daily breakfast ($15 per adult breakfast credit per day-choice of Palo Verde, The Bakery, The Spa Café, Bogey’s or In Room Dining)
- Welcome “Boulderini” drinks upon arrival (a regional twist from a traditional Bellini)
- Complimentary access to the Golden Door Spa and use of fitness facilities and unlimited classes
- 20% off spa services at the world-renowned Golden Door Spa (excludes salon services)
- Inclusive of Resort Fee – Includes valet parking, service personnel gratuities (excluding spa and food & beverage staff), transportation throughout the resort, in-room high speed internet and daily newspaper
- Complimentary golf club and shoe rentals for golf played at The Boulders Club
- Complimentary tennis racquet rental for tennis played at The Boulders
- http://www.theboulders.com/PDF/AstrologicalSoulReading.pdf Astrological Soul Reading Golden Door Spa package. 50 minutes / $155.
http://www.scottsdalecvb.com/desert-exploration/day-trips/ What do ya do when you live in a shoe? Get outta town! Unless it’s Scottsdale…ahhhh. Now say SPA TIME!
• www.TheBoulders.com A Waldorf Astoria Resort. 3rd night free! Ask about offer code “P3″. Telephone: 888-579-2631. Book now and stay between November 18, 2012 and January 12, 2013.
• www.Scottsdale.Hyatt.com Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch. 3rd or 4th night free, plus breakfast for two! Ask about code “GETAWA” Telephone: 800-55HYATT. Book now and stay between November 18, 2012 and January 12, 2013.
- www.hotairexpeditions.com Hot Air Expeditions has been voted the “number one hot air balloon company in Phoenix” by Fodor’s Travel for the last sixteen years in a row. Come and see why! Telephone 1-800-831-7610 Pick-up from various hotels including Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch (7-acre lagoon with singing gondolier. Very romantic, especially by moonlight). http://www.gaineysuiteshotel.com/ www.scottsdale.hyatt.com
- www.spaavania.com At Hyatt Regency Scottsdale hotel in Scottsdale, AZ. Heated mineral outdoor pool.
- www.camelbackspa.com 800-922-2635 Scottsdale’s only spa restaurant with views to the outdoor pool and mountains. Try the Desert Nectar Honey Wrap.
- www.SanctuaryAz.com Telephone: 800-245-2051. Ask about “One Night Free” offer — mention offer code “SCVB 3″. Book now and stay between November 18, 2012 and January 12, 2013.
- www.willowstream.com Scottsdale, AZ 800-908-9540 Indulge in Aqua Aerobics.
Private chauffeur to take you to your spa, shopping, or a night on the town in Scottsdale. 800-410-5479 Res. (480) 948-6131
The Driver Provider. Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation www.driverprovider.com 800-700-2687
Check this out at the Golden Door Spa: Golden Door Potassium Broth…this warm, reviving beverage is a favorite with Golden Door Spa guests. The mineral potassium is rich in fruits and vegetables. After an energetic physical workout the body may lose as much as 500 to 600 mg after two or three hours’ of strenuous exercise. Here is the recipe for the Golden Door Spa’s special broth. (If you cannot read the recipe print just click on the image to enlarge.)
Golden Door Spa telephone 1-866-397-6520
Name that critter contest at the Boulders Resort. http://theboulders.com/index.php/Natures-Namesake-Contest
SCOTTSDALE: A DESERT SANCTUARY FOR CELEBRITIES
With its stylish resorts, world-class shopping and dynamic nightlife, Scottsdale has become a haven for celebrities and the destination of choice for celebs like Britney Spears, Jamie Foxx, Halle Berry, Jeremy Piven and more. Everyone’s favorite hip-hop power couple, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, ditched the beaches of Saint-Tropez to celebrate their honeymoon at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain (www.sanctuaryaz.com).Stylish Hollywood elite like Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker, Angelina Jolie and Tim Gunn have prowled the fashionable corridors of the Southwest’s largest shopping mall, Scottsdale Fashion Square (www.fashionsquare.com). Scottsdale may seem like the latest in a craze, but its popularity with celebrities dates back to the 1950s when classic Hollywood stars like Zsa Zsa Gabor and Cary Grant graced the corridors of Hotel Valley Ho (www.hotelvalleyho.com). Visit www.ExperienceScottsdale.com for a list of celebrities who have visited Scottsdale.
Need extra information? Scottsdale information or receive a complimentary Experience Scottsdale destination guide, toll-free phone number 800-782-1117. www.ExperienceScottsdale.com
http://www.hotairexpeditions.com/ Balloon ride over the Sonoran-Desert.
Chance to win a vacation at an Arizona spa. www.facebook.com/ExperienceScottsdale . Facebook page beginning August 15, 2012 at 9:00am PST and will end on September 28, 2012 at 4:59 p.m. PST (“Entry Period”).
Check out the special mineral pool at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona. For true romance take an oh so romantic ride in the hotel’s private gondola with singing gondolier! A gondola is a flat-bottomed boat used on Venetian canals. http://scottsdale.hyatt.com/hyatt/pure/spas/ http://www.hyattregencyscottsdale.com/
Photos Copyright © May DeLory