The Boulders, a Waldorf Astoria Resort
The Stay: Named after the 12-million-year-old granite boulder formations sprinkled throughout the landscape, this Arizona resort is located in the high Sonoran Desert just north of Scottsdale. The concierge staff can coordinate hot air balloon rides, mountain biking, moonlight bicycling, hiking tours, horseback and desert jeep rides, desert fly fishing, and Grand Canyon tours. Room rates from January to April start at $249 per night.
The Golf: The property’s two Jay Morrish-designed championship golf courses offer guests 36 holes of play—the South and North courses are considered some of the most demanding in the Southwest. A unique spot on the South Course is the 5th Hole, which is carved from the desert and has a rock outcropping, sheltering the green.
The Spa: The 33,000-sq.-ft. Waldorf Astoria Spa offers 24 treatment rooms, classrooms for wellness lectures, separate facial and shiatsu rooms, and a yoga studio. The spa’s west wing features the fitness center and a cafe, while its east wing provides a more tranquil experience with meditation areas, treatment spaces, hydrotherapy tubs, a full-service salon, and a tea room.
Arizona Grand Resort & Spa
The Stay: The Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, with 744 suites and villas, has something for everyone—golf; a spa; six dining venues; and The Oasis, a theme park with heated pools, a Slide Canyon Tower with three towering water slides, a 10,000-sq.-ft. Oasis wave pool, and a 950-ft.-long lazy river. Rates start at $159 per night.
The Golf: This 18-hole course with mountain vistas includes a 7,000-sq.-ft. practice green with a sand bunker and chipping area. Elevation changes add to the challenging par 71 course, which has been rated a four-star course by Golf Digest.
The Spa: The 20,000-sq.-ft. Athletic Club & Spa offers a fitness studio; indoor golf training; racquetball; indoor basketball; a 5-lane lap pool; over 45 weekly exercise classes; and a full-service spa and salon. The spa also offers relaxation, facial, and healing treatments, as well as a Toe Reading service, similar to palm reading, but whereas palms don’t change throughout one’s life, toes do, so this gives guests, it is said, a more accurate reading.
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
The Stay: This Southern California, 305-guestroom, five-diamond property offers guests complimentary Mind and Body classes, bicycle rentals, WiFi, tennis courts, and golf practice facilities. Room rates start at $309 per night.
The Golf: The 18-hole, par 70, George Thomas-designed course has hosted Senior PGA tours, the EMC Golf Skills Challenge, and the Michael Douglas & Friends Celebrity Tournament. Golfers can opt for golf instruction at the Academy of Golf program featuring experienced PGA and LPGA professionals who offer private lessons, enhanced junior and women’s academies, and mental game coaching.
The Spa: The 31,000-sq.-ft. Spa Ojai features 28 treatment rooms, including massage rooms with fireplaces; whirlpools; steam rooms; saunas; and sunbathing loggias. Fitness options vary, from yoga to evening walks, and guests can even opt for such classes as Drums Alive, a mixed aerobics and strengthening workout using drum sticks and fitness balls.
The Stay: Terranea, part of the Destination Hotels & Resorts collection, is located in Rancho Palos Verdes on a 102-acre property just minutes from Los Angeles. The resort is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on three sides offering guests grand ocean views. Amenities include three pools, eight restaurants, golf, and spa options. Room rates start at $395 per night.
The Golf: The Links at Terranea, a 9-hole, par 3 course with views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island, and designed by Todd Eckenrode, offers players a multi-tiered short game practice area with chipping and putting greens, plus private and group instruction, junior player lessons, and golf clinics led by The Links’ PGA professionals. The Golf Academy also offers fitness evaluations using the Titleist Performance Institute Golf Fitness Program, which gives players the same assessment and fitness training that professional golfers use.
The Spa: The 50,000-sq.-ft., oceanfront Spa at Terranea features 25 treatment rooms overlooking the panoramic seascape and Catalina Island. The spa also features an oceanfront yoga and Pilates studio, a fitness center, a full-service salon, a cafe and boutique. A private spa pool and hot tubs are set among a lush garden landscape with relaxation lounges, private cabanas and fire pits. Couples can enjoy treatments in one of three Signature Treatment Suites—Fire, Earth or Ocean—featuring such goodies as a freestanding copper soaking tub, a fireplace, an infrared sauna, and a Swiss shower.
Trump National Doral Miami
The Stay: Trump National Doral Miami, formerly known as the Doral Golf Resort and Spa, was purchased by Trump Hotel Collection in 2012. The property, located about 10 minutes from Miami International Airport and 20 minutes from Miami Beach, offers four golf courses, 643 guestrooms, 43 resort suites, 48 deluxe spa suites, and eight new deluxe guestroom villas. Room rates start at $219 per night.
The Golf: Golfers have plenty to enjoy with 72 holes of championship golf over four courses. The property unveiled the recently renovated Red Tiger Course this January. The 120-acre course features water hazards in 17 of the 18 holes. The Blue Monster course, reopened in February 2014 and host to the PGA Tour for over 50 years, received a complete renovation with new greens, traps, fairway trees, and bigger lakes. The practice facility was also renovated to five times its original size and now features a new driving range, and a short game, chipping, and putting area. The Jim McLean Golf School at Doral offers lessons, 3D-swing analysis, summer junior golf camps, and the TaylorMade Performance Lab, which provides in-depth swing information using 3D-motion capture technology that’s analyzed by a professional.
The Spa: The 50,000-sq.-ft. spa features 33 treatment rooms; over 100 signature spa treatments and services; a fitness center; and adults-only indoor and outdoor spa pools. However, more is in store as the spa will get a renovation this August that is expected to be finalized in late 2015.
Rosen Shingle Creek
The Stay: This 1,501-guestroom resort is set on 230 acres along Shingle Creek, located 10 minutes from Orlando International Airport. It offers an array of amenities, including numerous and varied dining venues, four pools, two lighted tennis courts, nature trails and a sand volleyball court. Room rates start at $175 a night.
The Golf: Golfers can take on the greens at the Shingle Creek Golf Club, a David Harman-designed course that lies along Shingle Creek and features interconnected waterways, fairways and 360-degree views. The course offers five-diamond standards and an 18-hole, par 72 course; and Brad Brewer, named a Top 100 Teacher by Golf magazine, has his own academy.
The Spa: The Spa at Shingle Creek features four pools, a fitness center, whirlpools, a sauna and steam room. Guests can enjoy a range of therapeutic and relaxing massages, as well as body treatments such as the Calusa Cocoon, which uses a natural oceanic clay infused with grapefruit, eucalyptus, peppermint, and spearmint to exfoliate the body.
For more on amazing amenities at these resorts, check out Standout Amenities at U.S. Golf & Spa Resorts.
Archived related articles (available on recommend.com/magazine/issue archive): 5 Can’t-Miss Bookings for 2015 (December 2014)
Arizona Grand Resort & Spa: (877) 800-4888; arizonagrandresort.com
The Boulders, a Waldorf Astoria Resort: (888) 579-2631; theboulders.com or waldorfastoria3.hilton.com/en/about/travel-agents.html
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa: (855) 697-8780; ojairesort.com
Rosen Shingle Creek: (866) 996-9939; rosenshinglecreek.com
Terranea: (866) 802-8000; terranea.com or destinationhotels.com/travel-destination-hotels
Trump National Doral: (855) 878-6700; trumphotelcollection.com/miami