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Sure the golf is great, but see what the rest of the resort is like too

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The Westin Kierland is in the heart of “new” Scottsdale, the modern section of the city that has sprung up over the past 20 to 30 years just north of the traditional Old West core.

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At the Westin Kierland Resort, our two-bedroom, ground-floor guest room was surrounded by the resort’s golf course on one side and its sprawling pool complex on the other. Added bonus: Our flat seemed to be constantly surrounded by cute desert cottontails.

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The natural setting might be Four Season Scottsdale’s biggest asset, but the ridiculously luxurious cabanas at the main pool are a close second. Cabanas with TVs, fridges and game consoles? As the kids say, that’s sick.

Barbara Kraft

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The 210 laid-back but still luxurious rooms at the Four Seasons Scottsdale are contained within casitas (small houses) that blend in with the land.

Barbara Kraft

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Pinnacle Peak overlooks the Four Seasons in northern Scottsdale.

Barbara Kraft

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The Fairmont’s course is TPC Scottsdale (Stadium), which is best known as the venue for the most raucous and well-attended event on the PGA Tour – the Waste Management Phoenix Open. (Despite the sponsor, it’s the fans who get trashed.)

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Built at the base of Camelback Mountain, the Phoenician is an oasis of sophistication and elegance in an otherwise casual Scottsdale.

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When wandering the grounds at the Phoenician, look for a charming, serene one-hectare Cactus Garden. More than 250 types of desert plants are on display, including the majestic Saguaro, jumping cholla and jojoba.

Lonna Tucker

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