The Southwest knows how to party, and with the biggest party of the year coming, now's the time to make sure your fiesta is as hot as possible.
As New Year's Eve approaches, the Phoenix-Scottsdale area is getting itself ready to party like its 2007. There's revelry of all kinds, from great golf options to parties at top restaurants, hotels and resorts. Here are a few choice places to get your "Auld Lang Syne" on.
Pointe Hilton Resorts on Tapatio Cliffs: Pointe Hilton will have the party in full effect, with great activities and action at four separate restaurants.
The southwestern-style Lantana Grille offers a dizzyingly varied feast with salads, pasta station, sushi, prime rib, honey-baked ham, a winter fruit display, duck éclairs, bacon-wrapped dates, tempura shrimp, lobster ceviche shooters and more. Put a sweet exclamation point on your year at the dessert station featuring chocolate fondue with pound cake and assorted petite fours.
At the Hole-in-the-Wall you can ring in '07 with an eight-ounce filet mignon and half-pound Alaskan King crab legs for $34.95 or "The All-American" Texas-style prime rib with jumbo shrimp for $29.95, among many options. The Different Pointe of View and Pointe in Tyme Grille & Tavern offer high-class culinary fare, including prime center-cut filet mignon, lobster thermidor, porcini-smoked breast of Muscovy duck with truffle Chambord glaze and pancetta-seared Chilean sea bass.
For guests who prefer to take the elevator home, Pointe Hilton has a New Year's Eve suite rate of $199, while availability lasts. To take advantage of this special rate you must confirm a room at the time you make your restaurant reservation.
Assuming you make it through the celebration unscathed, the resort's Lookout Mountain course, a Bill Johnston design set amid stunning scenery, is a great place to start the year.
"I think Pointe Hilton is a hidden gem in the desert. Its southwestern decor and high elevation changes really make it a resort to remember," said Lilla Trapani of Arizona Golf Packages. "The food is phenomenal, service friendly and the ambience something to treasure. The golf is a mix of desert and traditional terrain offering some holes with wide fairways and others with high elevation change from tee box to fairway."
Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa: The world-famous resort will kick off 2007 with a "Roaring '20s" gala at the Wigwam Ballroom. Black-tie or formal 1920s attire is suggested. The five-course dinner will feature items from the Wigwam's 1929 season-opening menu. Cocktails, casino games, music and more will highlight a great event, with tickets starting at $225 and room packages available.
Wigwam recently poured $5 million into its two Robert Trent Jones courses, bringing them back to the level of their early-'60s heyday.
"It's pretty safe to say that [restoration architect Forrest] Richardson's restored some of the roar to Wigwam Gold," Chris Baldwin wrote in a recent review.
Westin Kierland Resort: With 27 holes of championship desert golf, a water park with a waterslide and flowing river, eight diverse dining areas, live entertainment and more, the Westin Kierland always offers something special for the end of the year.
The resort offers a plethora of unique deals for golfers looking to enjoy the full course-and-spa treatment. The golf at Kierland stands out in the crowd, from the air-conditioned carts to the Irish bagpiper who plays duffers off the finishing hole of the Acacia nine.
"We try to make it about the experience. We try to give golfers something else besides just another good golf course," Head Professional Ryan Eckroat told GolfArizona.com.
December 7, 2006
William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.
Finding a golf course to play in the Sarasota/Bradenton area 45 miles south of Tampa is easy. World-ranked beaches, European-style boutique shopping and al fresco dining, and a fantastic circus museum are just a few of the choices available for off-course entertainment.
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