Throw out the sexist stereotypes. All golfers are not men, and women are not the only ones who enjoy spa treatments. Arizona golf resorts have been quick to recognize this, and to meet couples’ expectations. Some have golf and spa packages, others offer spa treatments tailored to golfers and couples. Even if one spouse doesn’t play golf, he or she can join the partner for a relaxing session at the spa. Here’s a sampler of resorts where you’ll find the best of both worlds:
Golf and Spa Packages in Phoenix and Scottsdale
If a hot golf-ball massage sounds gimmicky, think again. The Golf Massage in the spa at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is the real deal. Therapists stretch all the critical swing muscles, then use warmed golf balls to knead deep into stiff areas. After a 36-hole day on Troon North’s Monument and Pinnacle courses (both the work of Tom Weiskopf with Jay Morrish), you may want to indulge with your mate in a Duo Massage.
The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa in Scottsdale is set among 12-million-year-old granite spheres the size of condos. Two relatively short Jay Morrish-designed courses loop through the stunning terrain. There are closer encounters with rock formations on the South Course than the North, but both are visual treats as well as shot-making tests. The 33,000-square-foot spa offers a Couples Massage or a Golfers Massage that can be tailored for pre-round loosening – or soreness afterward.
Another Scottsdale standout for golf-spa vacations is The Phoenician. The resort is home to three enjoyable nines – the Florida-style Oasis, the Canyon (easiest) and the Desert, which climbs 200 feet up Camelback Mountain. Spa treatments in the resort’s Centre for Well Being combine Native American, Asian and European methods. Good choices are the Sports Massage; Massage 101 for Couples (a primer on how to do it yourself); or the Golf Meditation treatment, which reduces stress and sharpens focus.
The historic Arizona Biltmore, a Phoenix fixture since 1929, has hosted a long list of U.S. Presidents and celebrities. Many were drawn to the resort’s golf courses – the 50-year-old classic Adobe and the newer Links, where ball placement is critical. You and your mate can also match skills on the 18-hole putting course before retiring to the spa for recuperative measures. The Sports Massage employs arnica oil to heal stressed muscles, while the Couples Massage (in an outdoor cabana, October to April, weather permitting) features various aromatherapy oils.
Golf and Spa Packages in Tucson
Tucson, in the southern part of the state, is home to the intimate Lodge at Ventana Canyon and its Mountain and Canyon courses. The Mountain layout is noted for its spectacular views, and both courses have three sets of rated women’s tees. After golf, enjoy the “Ultimate Lodge Evening” – aromatherapy massages for two in your suite, a bath with healing oils (plus champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries) and a four-course dinner.
Another Tucson landmark is the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa. Wrapping around it is the 27-hole Jack Nicklaus signature course at the La Paloma Country Club, rated “women friendly” by Golf for Women magazine. At La Paloma’s Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa you may want to start with a hydrating milk bath (to counter the effects of desert winds) before your Sports Massage.
Golf and Spa Packages in Sedona
Located 90 minutes north of Phoenix in the heart of red rock country is the Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa. The 219-suite hotel overlooks the Sedona Golf Resort, a 6,640-yard, par 71 Gary Panks design winding among spectacular rock formations. The 20,000-square-foot Hilton Spa offers a signature “Full Circle” massage blending aromatherapy, Sedona stone, Swedish and deep tissue massage. Also popular with golfers is the Integrative Massage, which combines Swedish and deep tissue work.