Sizzling Summertime Savings at
Scottsdale Resorts & Spas
By Ann Nelson
Have you ever dreamed of staying at a top-notch resort, but weren’t sure you could afford it? Scottsdale, Arizona (just outside of Phoenix), offers more upscale desert resorts than any other place in America. There is nothing like going to a luxurious resort to rekindle your relationship, or simply relax by yourself. Resort prices drop dramatically in the summertime and can be very enticing. Some of these resorts are so elaborate, you may not want to leave the grounds.
Between June and September temperatures can reach 110 degrees or more, but if you are lounging by the pool, sipping a frozen margarita, or having a massage in an air conditioned spa, the outdoor temperature really doesn’t matter! If you plan to venture out, mid-summer mornings are usually comfortable and evenings can cool off rather quickly.
The Arizona Biltmore Resort, the original Arizona resort built in 1929, was a
major tourist destination from the very beginning. Every U.S. President since
Herbert Hoover has stayed there.
This AM-Four Diamond resort is located on 39 acres at the base of the Squaw Peak Mountain. The Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired resort truly gave me a sense of history and stability as I walked through the meticulously-landscaped grounds. For more than seventy years The Biltmore has survived the stockmarket crash, the depression and recessions.
One intriguing feature about the Biltmore are the “Biltmore Blocks”. Over 250,000 blocks were molded in an on-site makeshift factory. The blocks grace the walls throughout the hotel and carry the geometric markings inspired by the trunk and fronds of a palm tree.
The 22,000-square-foot spa features treatments and therapies from countries and cultures worldwide. The Biltmore offers a summer special from Memorial Day to Labor Day at prices well below the high-season rates. Rates will begin at $149.00 a night.
Spending time at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess was truly a breath of fresh air. The sounds of falling water and smell of fresh sage and mesquite enveloped us everywhere we went. Scottsdale is filled with world-class spas, and Willow Stream-The Spa at Fairmont is no exception. Havasupai Falls, a hidden oasis in the Grand Canyon inspired the innovative design. The spa is a tranquil oasis filled with exotic plants and waterfalls. Conde Nast Traveler has just named The Willow Stream Spa one of the top 10 resort spas in North America and the Caribbean.
After a spa treatment you may want to treat yourself to one of the four restaurants. My husband and I chose La Hacienda, a top-notch restaurant featuring a Spanish-Mediterranean menu with contemporary touches such as baby sea bass and rock shrimp with toasted almond-tomato sauce and charbroiled rack of lamb with a pumpkin seed crust. This summer, the AAA-Five Diamond resort offers a “Dive In Day” package for $249.00 a night, with a $100.00 food and beverage credit.
If you are looking for privacy, understated elegance and an outdoor shower attached to your suite, you may want to consider staying at The Four Seasons Resort. The casita-style buildings fit perfectly into the landscape and many rooms offer breathtaking views of Pinnacle Peak and the city of Phoenix. The Spa at the Four Seasons was named among “Top Resort Spas in North America and the Caribbean” for 2004 by Conde Nast Traveler magazine. The Spa offers an extensive array of seasonal, indigenous and innovative skin and body treatments, scrubs, clay wraps, facials and massages.
This AAA-Five Diamond resort offers a summer “Suite Indulgence” package that includes a one-bedroom suite, chilled champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries waiting for you when you arrive. Most of the suites feature a private plunge pool, or an outdoor garden shower. Rates for this package begin at $475.00. This rate is much less than rates for high season.
I had never dreamed of seeing a sandy beach at a hotel pool. Leave it to The Hyatt Regency to think of that! The beach fits right into the landscape filled with a swimming lagoon, a huge water garden, and beautiful ponds with lily pads and fountains. Actually, there are 28 fountains, 47 waterfalls, and hundreds of palm tress at this MA-Four Diamond resort.
The Spa Avania, an indoor/outdoor spa oasis was truly a unique experience for me. The Avania is the first resort spa to carefully choreograph all the details of the spa experience to the science of time and the body’s internal clock. My morning treatment was specially designed to give me energy throughout the day, and it worked. Treatments are geared to the body’s natural cycles during three specific periods of the day: morning (awakening and revitalization); midday (restoration and balance); and evening (relaxation and repair).
After spending a day at the spa, there are plenty of choices for dinner. We chose Vu. Voted “Best New Restaurant” by Esquire Magazine, Vu is one of the highlights of the resort. Chef Brian Lewis creates unique dishes featuring a contemporary New American menu. Five course chef-tasting meals are one of his specialties. Vu prides itself on pairing food and wine. It is truly an art here. “Summer Value Packages” are offered at The Hyatt. Rooms are $199.00 a night, including a $50.00 credit to be used toward food, beverages or the spa.
All of these resorts offer hiking trips, balloon rides, biking, jeep tours and
other adventures. You will need to contact the individual resorts for details.
Scottsdale was first settled by the Hohokam around 800 AD. These Native Americans transformed the desert into an Eden of ingenious irrigation canals. Their legacy lives on in museums and archaeological sites throughout the Valley. One thing that surprised me about Scottsdale was how lush and scenic it is. Pristine is a word that comes to mind with endless azure skies, and the backdrop of the stunning McDowell Mountains.
Scottsdale is known internationally for its many galleries of world-renowned art. On Thursday nights, Art Walks are held weekly year ‘round. Downtown galleries stay open late, serve refreshments and offer entertainment. It is a perfect chance to meet artist, art critics, writers, musicians, dancers and performers of all types.
IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION
Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa: (800)-950-0086,
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: (800)-344-4758,
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North: (480)-515-5700,
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort
& Spa at Gainey Ranch:
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: (800)-344-4758,
Ann Nelson is a freelance writer presently residing in San Diego, California.
Return to the May/June Index page