Desert Deals in Arizona

Two of Arizona's top golf courses have recently undergone some impressive changes and upgrades. The Tournament Player Club opened its new 18-hole Champions Course just across the street from the famed Stadium Course that hosts the PGA Tour's FBR Open. And the two-year renovation at the award-winning 36-hole Troon North Golf Club is finally complete, giving you an entirely different playing experience as you play the holes in a different order. There are dozens of public courses to try, but if you're looking for luxury golf, hit any of the top golf resorts. You won't be disappointed.



You can pamper yourself at the Alvadora Spa at the Royal Palms, Phoenix.
Photo Courtesy: Royal Palms Resort & Spa


Spa


Regardless of whether your taste is simple or chic, there's a fluffy bathrobe with your name on it just waiting for you in this desert retreat. Head over to the Center for Well-Being at the Phoenician and lose yourself in the 80-minute Accusage, which combines a therapeutic massage with acupuncture and works the tension right out of your body.

To put your best face forward, try the Caviar Facial and Stone Face Massage. You'll leave feeling 10 years younger. Need some inner balance? Try the Avania Spa featuring different snacks, music and treatments at various times of day. Special massages for golfers are offered at the Four Seasons Spa, where warmed golf balls are used to help get the tension out of your tight muscles.

If you want to try out one of the cutting-edge new spa treatments, sign up for the Rollersage body treatment at the Agave Spa or try the Turquoise Massage at the Revive Spa, where actual Arizona turquoise is used.



Hikers climbing Pinnacle Peak, Scottsdale.
Photo Courtesy: Scottsdale CVB


Hiking


One of the best ways to get a bird's-eye view of the Phoenix area is to hit the hills for a little hiking -- and the best part is, it's free Follow the locals and check out 2,889-foot Pinnacle Peak for a moderately difficult hike in North Scottsdale. Advanced hikers will want to check out the 2,700-foot Camelback Mountain, because this popular trek has a steep and tricky 1.16-mile summit trail. A favorite with families is the 2,608 foot Piestewa Peak, with its moderate 1.2-mile summit trail. But go early, because it gets crowded on the weekends.


Shopping


Just when you thought this destination couldn't get any better, remember that designer shops continue to move into this area in record numbers. With names like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Tiffany's, Cartier, Hugo Boss, Juicy Couture, Burberry, Coach, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade and Ferragamo, the list goes on and on. Fashion Square in Scottsdale has all the above mentioned shops and dozens more. For outdoor boutique jewelry and clothing shops and restaurants, check out D.C.Ranch Marketplace, the Borgota, the Biltmore Fashion Park or Kierland Commons, and have your credit cards ready.

As a destination that's constantly updating and upgrading itself, there's one thing you can count on. The Phoenix-Scottsdale area continues to move full speed into the future, making this one desert oasis you'll want to keep an eye on. For more on desert deals in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area check out Karen Schaler's Travel Therapy Web site at www.traveltherapytrips.com.

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