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Just 30 minutes north of Scottsdale, is a sunshine-filled retreat with all the perks: hiking, spa, fine dining, and golf. We're talking, of course, about The Boulders, Waldorf Astoria Resort -- an award-winning property nestled among the granite boulder formations in the community of Carefree. If you're angling for a pre-holiday warm-weather getaway, you're in luck. This November 30 through January 3, 2015, rates have been reduced to as low as $229 per night.
For comparison, rates during high season -- mid-January through early April -- rise between $359 and $829 a night at the resort. And with the New Holiday Traditions at the Boulders package, you'll also enjoy a $100 credit to use at the resort’s six eateries. From Belgian waffles at Bakery Café, to the day’s sustainable catch at The Grill Restaurant & Bar, to 46 varieties of tequila and Mexican specialties (like roasted chicken breast with mole and roasted plantains) at Spotted Donkey Cantina, there’s no reason to leave the resort in search of quality cuisine.
Accommodations are in scenic 550-square-foot casitas with wood-beam ceilings, leather armchairs, and sliding doors that lead to a patio overlooking the Sonoran Desert. The package also includes a s’mores kit and welcome cocktails, plus 20% off at either the 33,000-square-foot Waldorf Astoria Spa (Desert Zen massage or a turquoise clay wrap, anyone?) or The Boulders Golf Club (two 18-hole courses). The twinkly lights, wood-burning fireplaces, and mugs of hot apple cider are just cheery extras in perfect pitch with the holidays.
We test-drove the deal and found the lowest $229 rates available from December 14-22, with slightly higher ones on other dates. Also of note is that non-special rates for the same period actually dip to $199 a night, particularly that week of December 14. Still, the credit that comes with the holiday promo, plus the food and drink extra, still make the package more attractive. Finally, a $30 daily resort fee (for Internet access, valet parking, gratuities, fitness classes at the spa, and transportation around the property) is tacked onto reservation costs.