K.C. was a featured writer for Yahoo! Travel before joining trips to discover in 2013. She is the author of Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland, an Amazon bestseller every year between 2013 and 2016. She has been a featured expert on Newsweek, Travel + Leisure, Travelocity, among others.
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The top golf resorts in Arizona have long been enticing golfers from across the globe, with many offering championship courses named among the very best in the world. But you’ll find more to do than golf at these resorts, with everything from luxurious spas and inviting pools to fine dining. It’s the total resort experience. Any of the hotels on this list are sure to provide the stay any golfing enthusiast is looking for.
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offers the ultimate backyard for any golf enthusiast with 36 holes to play on, including the Champions Course and the Stadium Course (host of the Phoenix Open). All can be enjoyed among picturesque mountain backdrops, golden desert landscapes, and lush green fairways. You’ll have plenty of dining options to fuel your efforts, including Bourbon Steak, La Hacienda, Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar, and the Ironwood American Kitchen. There’s an on-site spa that often makes lists for the best spa resort in the country, as well as multiple swimming pools, including a spectacular rooftop option. The spacious rooms include private balconies or patios that overlook the desert and oversized bathrooms with deep-soaking tubs.
The Lodge at Ventana Canyon, one of the top resorts in Tucson, offers a semi-private golf club with two 18-hole Tom Fazio championship courses, including the well-reviewed Canyon Course and the Mountain Course, known for its short par 3s that are some of the most difficult you’ll find. It is located near the Santa Catalina Mountains and includes an eight-lane, junior Olympic-size swimming pool, a gym, a luxurious spa, and the on-site restaurant Catalina Dining Room, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every suite has a kitchenette, dining area, and private patio or balcony.
One of Arizona’s top resorts, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is tucked into the rolling hills of Marana, about 20 miles northwest of Tucson. It offers access to the luxury golf course at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain. Its 27 holes have hosted the World Golf Championship-Accenture Match Play, providing a challenge for resort players that comes with scenery to help ease the pain of a bad shot. When you aren’t on the course, you can enjoy 20 miles of hiking and biking trails, a fabulous spa, and an on-site restaurant that serves tasty southwest cuisine. Lavish rooms come with crystals and colorful geodes, as well as balconies with views of Wild Burro Canyon and the Tortolita Foothills.
The sprawling JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa lies adjacent to the Wildfire Golf Club with two 18-hole courses designed by Arnold Palmer and Nick Faldo. It also offers a wealth of other amenities, including four swimming pools, an Arizona’s best lazy river for relaxing inner tube rides, a fitness center, and the Revive Spa with 41 treatment rooms and a healthy restaurant. There are a total of 10 eateries on-site with everything from casual to high-end dining, while rooms include living areas, minifridges, coffeemakers, and balconies.
A luxurious Arizona resort perfect for relaxation as much for golf, the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass, located just south of Phoenix in the Gila River Indian Community, was designed as an authentic representation of the local Native American culture. It includes two championship 18-hole courses with fairways that run alongside crystal-clear lakes and desert canyons. There’s a spectacular pool with a waterslide and wading pool that’s next to the river. There’s also a spa that offers indigenous treatments and experiences, an equestrian center, complimentary Pilates classes, guided meditation, and cultural art tours. Dining and drinking can be enjoyed at nine bars and eateries, including indigenous fine dining at Kai. All rooms come with furnished balconies or patios, and most include beautiful views.
The Boulders Resort & Spaoffers an elegant golf getaway with the Boulders Club featuring two award-winning courses that stretch across the desert landscape and that are often ranked among the country’s best. The spa, which has its own outdoor pool and whirlpool (in addition to the resort’s main pool) that backs up to ancient boulders, is widely regarded as one of the most impressive spas in the American Southwest. Guests can enjoy walking trails, guided hikes, mountain biking, and nighttime bike tours too. There are also multiple dining options that focus on local, seasonal, organic ingredients. Accommodation is in casitas with private balconies or terraces, wood-burning fireplaces, and all the usual tech amenities.
The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa’s 27-hole golf course, which includes three nine-hole courses, was Jack Nicklaus-designed and has been named among the country’s top resort courses by Golf Week Magazine. There’s also a pool complex with five pools and a massive waterslide, a kids’ club, a luxurious spa, a fitness center, and multiple dining options, from Southwest fare to a mix of Spanish and South American dishes at Contigo Latin Kitchen. Rooms are modern and spacious, with flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and balconies or patios, some of which include scenic views.
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is one of the most luxurious resorts in the Phoenix Metro Area. It’s located a thousand feet above downtown Scottsdale and nestled among granite boulders in the foothills of Pinnacle Peak. Its 36-hole Troon North Golf Club offers some of the best 36 holes of golf in the state. Its made up of the Monument Course and Pinnacle Course, both of which provide challenging desert golf, magnificent desert views, elevation changes, and excellent conditions. After a day of play, enjoy pampering at the spa, lounge around one of the coolest hotel pools in Scottsdale, and dine at one of multiple eateries, including Talavera, a steakhouse, and Proof, which features classic southern fare. Accommodation is in one- and two-story casitas with adobe-style gas fireplaces, huge comfy beds, and private balconies with glorious sunset views.
An oasis in the middle of the desert, the Hilton Phoenix Tapatio Cliffs Resort sits on over 400 acres adjacent to North Mountain Park and Lookout Mountain Golf Club. Its 72-par course is a picturesque paradise of greens with desert landscape strewn with palm trees. Those who wish to learn to play can attend a private or group lesson at the Hilton Golf Academy too. It also happens to be one of Arizona’s best hotels with a waterpark. The waterpark includes free-form pools, hot tubs, waterfalls, a 138-foot enclosed waterslide, and fully-stocked private poolside cabanas that come with TVs, minifridges, fans, and comfy lounging furniture. There are several dining options with indoor and outdoor seating, while the spacious suites have separate bedroom and living areas, multiple TVs, and private patios or balconies.
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa hosts the Westin Kierland Golf Club, one of the top courses in the Phoenix Metro Area, with 27 holes across three nines on perfectly manicured greens with tranquil lakes, dry desert washes, and Sonoran flora and fauna. Golf carts are used to get around the resort and you’ll be just steps from upscale shopping, dining, and entertainment in Kierland Commons. There’s something for everyone on the grounds, including a water park with a top-rated lazy river, waterslide, and FlowRider, along with a pool for the adults. Teens can enjoy special events, as well as weekend bonfires, sunset bagpipers, a top-notch spa, and the eight on-site restaurants. All rooms have private balconies or terraces and high-end amenities, including well-stocked minibars.
Offering one of the most stunning settings in the Southwest, the Enchantment Resort may be better known as a spa destination, but it also hosts The Club at Seven Canyons, a fabulous private course among jaw-dropping views. Guests can enjoy many other activities, including hiking, mountain biking, yoga, meditation, swimming, and cooking classes. Afterward, indulge in a treatment at Mi Amo, all inspired by the traditions and wisdom of Native Americans. It’s designed to achieve balance and harmony. On-site dining is focused on healthy yet delicious dishes that feature fresh, seasonal produce. Accommodation is in adobe casitas that sit at the creekside, with beehive fireplaces and private decks.
The Phoenician sits across 250 acres at the base of Camelback Mountain. It’s a paradise for golfers, with an 18-hole course carved out of the Sonoran desert that provides a high-end desert resort experience and magnificent views. It also hosts a three-tiered pool complex with a waterslide for the kids and an adults-only section, while the grounds are filled with waterfalls, koi ponds, and palm trees, ideal for a stroll. Plus, there are eight different dining venues that provide diverse culinary experiences and a spa with a menu of decadent treatments. Rooms and suites all come with private balconies, many of which boast breathtaking views.
The Omni Tucson National Resort is an upscale golf resort that’s home to the original parkland Catalina Course with eight lakes and 80 bunkers. It was named by Golf Digest as one of the best in North America. It also hosts the newer desert-oriented Sonoran Course that was designed by former Ryder Cup Captain Tom Lehman. Guests can enjoy the quiet desert setting with fabulous views of the Santa Catalina Mountains, a heated zero-edge pool surrounded by palm trees, and a luxurious spa with a plunge pool, whirlpool, steam room, and sauna. There’s a sports bar with billiards and fine dining at Bob’s Steak and Chop House. Choose from suites housed in the casita-style adobe buildings or the Mountain Vista rooms with wood-beamed ceilings, Southwest decor, and private balconies with mountain views.
A beautiful desert oasis, the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch offers three courses at the nearby Gainey Ranch Golf Club. Accessible exclusively to Hyatt guests and golf club members, it provides challenging and scenic play, particularly the Lake course, which has strategically placed streams and waterfalls to challenge players. The property includes a lagoon, waterfalls, a three-story waterslide, and a beach, meaning it’s also one of Arizona’s most family-friendly resorts. There are even gondola rides along the many waterways, while the Spa Avania offers massage services and other treatments. Enjoy multiple dining options on-site as well as nightly entertainment. The spacious rooms feature private balconies or patios, iPod docking stations, and flat-screen TVs.