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Hot or Chill

Find the destinations of your dreams with these picks from fellow Fairfielders



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The Boulders: Arizona

John and Lynn Shavinsky

Because John is a pilot and Lynn an inveterate explorer, the couple has taken many memorable and unique trips, often content to move on to the next interesting destination.

One place that’s lured them for repeat visits is The Boulders, the desert oasis Waldorf Astoria resort in aptly named Carefree, Arizona. It offers a luxury getaway that deftly mixes the romanticism of the American Southwest with all the extra amenities of a top-shelf resort.

John, an executive in the jet-leasing industry, first discovered The Boulders at a business conference and was immediately impressed by how different this venue was from your typical tropical island. Not that there’s anything wrong with tropical islands, “but this is just so different,” he explains.

Especially noteworthy are its casitas, townhouse-style suites nestled into gorgeous desert walls that give visitors the feeling that they truly inhabit their surroundings. “The way they are built into the rocks blends into the environment,” says John. With amenities such as wood-burning fireplaces and big flat-screen televisions, the bunking is supremely comfortable, too.

John enjoys the two impeccably maintained golf courses, four pools, the spa, excellent food and the overall relaxed vibe. “It’s perfect for a spa, pool, good book if that’s what you want to do,” he says. “And I enjoy seeing the different wildlife—the roadrunners and even a few rattlesnakes on the golf course.” His tip for golfers: “Keep your ball on the green. You really don’t want to venture into the desert to find it.”

A doer by nature, Lynn appreciates that there’s plenty to keep her occupied. She and John have enjoyed traveling by horseback under starlight to casual open-air barbecues, sipping on chili-spiced beer at local micro-breweries and touring the desert by Jeep. Other popular options offered to resort guests include hot air balloon tours above the Sonoran Desert, Grand Canyon helicopter sightseeing and a “wild West” cattle drive along the Agua Fria River.

Lynn also recommends a day trip to nearby Scottsdale to peruse its sophisticated galleries and boutiques. “It’s not your cookie-cutter touristy stuff, which is exactly why I like it,” she says.

As for the kids, The Boulders welcomes them, but the couple suggests it may be more relaxing to bring older children and teens who will respect the spa-like environment (no rambunctious water parks here) and truly appreciate desert exploration. “What they [her boys] liked was the cowboy hats, boots and the spurs everyone wears,” says Lynn. They also enjoyed the “towering Redwoods and cactus everywhere” in Saguaro National Park and a day trip to the mining ghost town in the Superstition Mountains outside of Phoenix. “It’s so different from Fairfield or any island they’ve ever been to,” says Lynn. Which is exactly the idea.

If You Go: Take advantage of the excellent rock climbing clinics offered through the on-the-premises Waldorf Astoria spa.

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