Oases in the Desert – Arizona’s Fairways

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The amenities: Off the course, this family-centric resort boasts the 7-acre Oasis Water Park with an 8-story-high tower with three water slides, a gigantic wave pool, river tubing, Wild Cat Springs for kids, and a 25-person hot tub. There’s also the full-service, 20,000-sq.-ft. Arizona Athletic Club, offering 45 classes weekly; the Arizona Grand Spa, offering treatments for girls as young as 6; and several dining venues that feature fresh produce and natural ingredients in their Mexican- and Western steakhouse-style cuisine. For kids 5-12, there’s the seasonally operated Grand Adventures Kids Club.

The scene: This is a place where you want to take it all in—the resort offers lots to keep everyone happy. Definitely recommend a week (or longer) stay. Aside from being in one of the biggest cities in the Southwestern U.S., where top-notch restaurants, major museums, and high-end shopping are part of the package, the resort itself is really a great place from which to explore the South Mountain Preserve, with 51 miles of trails ideal for horseback riding, hiking or mountain biking. Whether the city or nature beckons, the resort has both at one’s fingertips.

The rates: The Golf Package, with rates starting at $279 pp per night, includes upgrade to premier suite with golf course view; one round of golf pp; club rentals; $25 pp dining credit (not valid at Rustler’s Rooste); happy hour pricing in Lobby Bar with scorecard; and resort fee.

tucson The property: Heading south, there’s Tucson, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in North America. In fact, the Hohokam Indians lived and farmed here for 4,000 years before Spanish missionaries and soldiers arrived in the late-1600s, and that history comes alive at the 200-year-old Tubac Golf & Spa Resort, located within the historic 500-acre Otero Ranch. The resort has undergone a $40 million renovation and now offers 98 charming rooms—think wood-beamed ceilings, Mexican tile flooring, brick archways and beehive fireplaces in categories that run from the 350-sq.-ft. Posada rooms, to the 800-sq.-ft., 2-bedroom Casitas. The newest addition to the resort are the 52 Hacienda Suites with sunken living rooms, fireplace, jet tub, walk-in doorless shower, mesquite counters and patio. For large groups, there’s the 3-room Otero House with a large living room, bedroom, rustic den with kitchenette and sleeper sofa, large fireplace, spacious dressing room, and private patio overlooking the golf course. Accommodations are set within four acres of winding brick pathways, fountains and views of the mountain ranges.

The greens: The onsite 27-hole championship golf course—divided into the Anza Nine, the Rancho Nine and the Otero Nine—is nestled within cottonwood trees and is considered one of the best courses in Tucson. The course originally offered 18 holes, but in 2006 nine hotels were added, significantly enhancing the preexisting layout. Golfers will meet their match on the Anza Nine, home to the tricky par 3 ninth hole with its island green and reminiscent of the 17th at TPC Sawgrass. There’s also a practice facility with a full-length driving range, putting green, pitching hole and bunker facility; three Class A PGA professionals on staff; and golf clinics running weekly from October to April.

The amenities: The onsite restaurants serve indigenous cuisine, including Southwestern- and Spanish-inspired meals at the Historic Stables Restaurant and Mexican food at Dos Silos. And for golfers, there’s always a quick meal to be had at the course-side La Cantina. There’s also a hacienda-style spa, fitness center, tennis court, heated pool, and culinary school.

The scene: For clients looking to explore the area’s indigenous culture and natural setting, the Tubac Golf Resort is ideal. The area offers a thriving arts community, with many galleries featuring work by local artists, and for nature lovers, there’s hiking, birdwatching and stargazing. There are even several wineries a short drive away.

The rates: The Tubac Signature Golf package includes accommodations for two and a round of golf for one. To add another golfer, it’s $40. This package starts at $215 and depending on when booked or how many golfers, rates go up to $335.