As featured exclusively in Connextions Magazine Issue 12.
By Contributing Writer David Duran
The sparkling jewel in the desert that is known as Scottsdale, Arizona is famous for it’s massive hotels, premier spas and first class dining, which it should well be, because this place is nothing less than 5 stars all the way. The best of the best is presented to visitors in this beautiful city nestled just a short distance from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Scottsdale was at one point a very western town, known for cowboys and saloons, and its “old town” district still has the original infrastructure to prove it. Mostly shopping and dining now, the old town area gives a glimpse to the past of what once was in a city that has now been taken over by pure indulgences.
Taking advantage of the beauty of the Arizona desert surroundings, Scottsdale has some of the best hiking, climbing and outdoor activities in the area, just be warned of the summer months where temperatures can be stifling. For the blazing summers, nearby lakes provide a place to cool off, but in reality, all you need to do is take advantage of any of the luxury hotel properties available, some even equipped with lazy rivers and water slides.
WHERE TO STAY
Want to be hip, trendy and stay right in the heart of the nightlife district? If so, you know that W Hotels are right on point and offer luxury within a modern and stylish environment. Their various categories of rooms offer some of the most unique layouts and furniture of any other hotels. In combination with their Bliss Spa, the products in-room are the ones you will be tucking away each night so the maid service will replenish them the next morning.
This is definitely the place to see and be seen. Their pool parties are with strict dress codes, VIP services and bouncers at every entrance. Don’t let that intimidate you though, in true Scottsdale fashion, it’s all provided to ensure the maximum enjoyment and experience. The lobby lounge/bar fills up quick at night, so be sure to grab a spot before dinner at Sushi Roku, one of the cities “Top 10 Asian Restaurants,” and in a city filled with over 600 restaurants, that’s a very notable title to have. Lucky for guests, it’s located just steps from the lobby of the W.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Can you ever go wrong with a Four Seasons? It’s just not possible, and the Scottsdale property, which is nested away in Troon North, offers complete privacy and serenity away from everything else. The property consists of all extremely spacious private casitas in different categories, and makes you feel like you are coming home rather than a hotel room. The spa offers your classic massage packages and services, but has taken on adventurous new treatments developed by surrounding elements of the resort. The golfer’s massage is a combination stretching/massage that rubs your back and pressures those tight muscles using actual golf balls. But the most exciting amenity here is their new “fun-dining” restaurant, Proof. This is completely out of the box for the Four Seasons and it has become a massive success. Here you will enjoy comfort food, a great beer selection, craft cocktails that leave you mesmerized and some decadent desserts, some which even offer a boost of alcohol! The casual spot has their staff in jeans with their sleeves rolled up. What about the kids? Well, they have a soda fountain bar with appropriate height levels just for them. Within walking distance of the property are some of the Pinnacle Peak trails, which offer some easy to strenuous hikes, a good place to burn off some of those spiked milkshakes from Proof.
Bespoke Inn, Café and Bicycles
Scottsdale’s only luxury B&B offers something totally different. This unique property in the heart of the arts district and walking distance to all, is quickly becoming recognized as the place to stay if you desire complete privacy and a different experience. With only 4 guestrooms, each offers something different as all the furniture has been re-purposed or custom built by the owners. The 500sq ft. Signature Room, which has one of the most beautiful on-suite bathrooms you will ever see, is right off the main common area, which becomes part of your space after hours. The common space is perfect for entertaining or just relaxing. It’s massive living and dining room is complimented in massiveness by its gourmet kitchen. The daily-hosted happy hour is a great time to meet your neighbors! Across their courtyard is a bicycle shop where guests can rent bikes to cruise the city or just get in some calorie burning. If you prefer to take a dip in the pool, they offer a second story infinity pool, which at first view will leave you speechless. With only 4 rooms, the pool is basically your private oasis in the desert. The B&B most recently opened its new eatery, Virtù Honest Craft, which offers a “wandering Mediterranean” cuisine under the culinary talents of Chef Gio Osso, one of Scottsdale’s bests. The small and intimate restaurant has seating for approximately 50 indoor and out so it’s a perfect compliment to the quaint four-bedroom B&B.
Talking Stick Resort
Time for a little gambling! This hotel, which debuted in 2010 offers all the over the top luxuries you would want, while providing guests with a casino and full on Vegas-style entertainment. From top music acts, to live sporting events broadcasts to cabaret type performances; the Talking Stick is a resort that has it all. It’s conveniently located close to major AZ highways and is only a short distance to the center of town. The rooms are beautifully modern in style and the Casino floor is alive and jumping 24/7, so after a night out, you can come home to a little extra fun before bed. On the 15th floor of the property is their signature restaurant, Orange Sky. With plenty of dining options in the hotel, this one should be saved for that special night out. It offers floor-to-ceiling windows that offer the best 360-views of the Valley’s signature orange sunsets. For a more private dining experience, special curtained off window sections are available and are hard to come by without a reservation, so book upon arrival. This unique Scottsdale property will easily indulge your inner lucky streaks, so don’t spend all your time in the casino, and enjoy everything they have to offer.
GET OUT AND GET ACTIVE
For some of us, getting out of a luxury hotel is tough, but don’t fret, Scottsdale offers first-class shopping and dining throughout their streets too. The Beverly Hills of the desert has it all, and you wont be disappointed if shopping is heavy on your itinerary. Stylish boutique shops line the streets of downtown, which lead you to the massive mall, Scottsdale Fashion Square. If eating is more your thing, try a culinary walking tour which will take you to the best of the best the city has to offer. Arizona Food Tours offers a variety of tours, and takes you to places like; The Mission, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, 5th and Wine, Cowboy Ciao and Kelly’s, all must try restaurants on or off the tour! For a special treat and some tasteful craft cocktails, stop by The House, tucked away in Old Town Scottsdale where Chef Matt Carter serves up his re-imagined Mediterranean dishes. For a little outdoor adventure, Desert Wolf Tours has some sweet Tomcars for guests to drive around in the desert. The Tomcar was originally developed for use by the Israeli Defense Forces special operations units, so you know it’s going to be rough and tough out there. The tour involves some light hiking to some of the best views of the Sonoran Desert.
Scottsdale, Arizona offers some of the best almost year-round weather with comfortable climates that make anytime a good time to visit. For summer month planning expect some heat, but also take advantage of discounted hotel rates and package deals. Whether it’s ultimate luxury and indulgence you are seeking or active outdoor adventures…you’re covered either way. The best shopping, the highest class of dining, the unlimited outdoors, and the finest in accommodations – Scottsdale will not disappoint. For more information on Scottsdale visit: http://www.experiencescottsdale.com