Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Climate from Fall to Spring Makes Phoenix a Resort City

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Climate from Fall to Spring Makes Phoenix a Resort City

Article excerpt

FAMILIES of quail, one right after another, parade among the spring-blooming desert cactus plants, and bushy cottontail rabbits scamper everywhere. Lucky them. They live year-round at the Boulders, the posh Phoenix-area resort that rates at the top of almost every list of best places to stay in America. For a few days in April, I got to join them, and I didn't want to leave.

Graced with a near perfect climate from fall to spring, the Phoenix area has emerged as a major resort capital, and vacationers fleeing the chill of winter flock to the city to swim, golf, play tennis, hike, horseback ride or just relax under an usually warm and sunny sky. As it happened, my wife faced back-to-back business trips in two of the city's most luxurious resorts - The Phoenician was the second one - and I wasn't going to be left behind.

Both the Boulders and The Phoenician are pricey, especially in mid-winter, but my experience - sharing my wife's employer-paid room - is that they do treat you very well. If you are in the mood to splurge in the frosty weeks ahead, consider one of these two desert retreats, or any of central Arizona's dozen or more top-notch resorts. So you know what to expect: From January through May, the high season, the Boulders charges $495 a night for a casita for two, and The Phoenician's rooms are in about the same price category. Under normal circumstances, I'm not much of a resort person, and I don't play either golf or tennis. When I travel, I tend to choose a destination that interests me, and then I look for suitable lodgings - often a bed-and-breakfast inn. At a resort, I figure the upkeep on the golf course and tennis courts, which I'm not using, are inflating my bill, and, anyway, I spend much of my time sightseeing away from the resort. But the Boulders, set amid a garden of mountainous pink-rock boulders, is so appealing, I'd be happy to return on my own buck. A stay at any of the Phoenix-area resorts - among them, the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, Marriott's Camelback Inn Resort Golf Club & Spa, the Orange Tree Golf & Conference Resort and the Scottsdale Princess - has definite advantages. You can remain on the grounds, filling your day with a choice of activities. …

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