Earlier this winter (or was it fall?) my boarding pass took me to Scottsdale. A favorite city of mine: laid back vibe, sunshine, desert landscape, no humidity, and sunsets only God could create.
I’ve only been to Scottsdale in July or August (don’t knock it to you try it. I’ve been summering in Scottsdale the last six years). On top of that, I’ve only stayed at one hotel, the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale. Why mess with a good thing?
Well, business called, and I ended up at The Phoenician.
What I liked about the resort: service and location. Everyone was going out of their way to be helpful and welcoming. I was even upgrade to a decent view and was able to check in at 11am, no problem. Did it help that I was a Starwood Preferred Guest member? I’m sure it did. Either way, I really have to commend Mora at the front desk and Jacque the concierge. Instead of looking at a parking lot. I had a view of the hotel’s cactus garden 🌵
Other highlights of the property include its art collection. They even have a piece purchased from the Vatican. There is an audio tour that you can take … maybe I’ll do that next time.
And yeah, I got a “selfie” with a hawk. She was quite beautiful and kind. (They use the hawk on the restaurant patio to deter birds from eating your lunch.)
Location: I’m used to staying out in North Troon, which is about a 30 minute ride to some of my favorite restaurants. It was a pleasant surprise that this property was a less than a $10 Uber ride to Old Town Scottsdale. I spent my free afternoon wandering around—and met this super friendly horse named Charlie and the Charros cowboys.
Lunch was had an old Favorite, “FnB” (James Beard Foundation Best Chef of the Southwest Nominee). I discovered this place just last August with my husband and couldn’t wait to go back. Devoured Peruvian spring rolls & permission salad. Wish my conference was caterer by Chef Badman. But it wasn’t meant to be.
A few things I wasn’t thrilled about:
Being indoors. The hotel is a corridor hotel with long connecting hallways and escalators that take you down to the restaurant/ballroom/pool level, making you feel that you are in the land of endless conventioneers. (In fairness, I was a conventioneer—name badge and all.)
The weather. It was warmer in Washington, DC in November than it was in Scottsdale. The first day was decent but after that…. it was rainy and 55 degrees. And I mean pouring rain. Then it was cold. When the sun did come out many of my colleagues planned on hitting the golf course. Spent a few pennies in the pro shop–as shorts were not going to cut it. (I know it’s not fair to complain about the weather, but this is why I love going there in August. If it rains it for 20-30 minutes, and then it’s sunny and 100 degrees again. Perfect pool weather.)
Grumbling aside, I did have that one sunny somewhat warm day. I headed to Camelback Mountain. Views that are nothing like back east.
On my last day, I hosted an early morning work reception back at The Phoenician. I will say again that service was great. And what fun chandeliers.
Then I left and returned to DC where it was warmer in November than Scottsdale. 🙃