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Winter Golf Getaways: Rock Solid

Mike Nolan

A NEW VILLA IS JUST A STONE'S THROW FROM THE BOULDERS' COURSES

The new $8,000-per-night Villa Retreat at the Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa in Carefree, Ariz., comprises two modern adobe homes connected by a courtyard with an infinity-edge swimming pool. Though the estate is 5,000 square feet and sleeps as many as 12 guests, it blends as seamlessly into the Sonora Desert landscape as do the bobcats and coyotes that guests can observe from the compound’s spacious second-floor decks. The villa can serve as an oasis for two families—or three foursomes—at the 1,300-acre resort, which is located about 15 miles north of Scottsdale. (Direct helicopter service to the Villa Retreat is available from Scottsdale.)

For a group of golfers, the Villa Retreat provides easy access to the Boulders’ two Jay Moorish–designed courses. Set in a rock-strewn landscape—created 12 million years ago by the same geologic event that nearly separated Baja California from the mainland—the courses are among the most scenic in the Scottsdale area. "The North Course is older and more traditional, while the South Course is narrower, and you get more of the boulder-pile experience," says golf director Tom McCahan. "On the par-5 fifth, you drive toward the resort and can see people climbing on the rock face."

In addition to the Villa Retreat, the Boulders offers 160 casitas and 55 pueblo villas, all of which are being updated as part of a $30 million resortwide renovation.

The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa, 480.488.9009, www.theboulders.com

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