The greater Phoenix-Scottsdale metropolitan area is home to nearly two dozen resort hotels, most of which offer luxury accommodations, personalized services and a bevy of recreational activities. Yet as of 2011, only four of these properties have been rated an AAA five diamond property for at least seven years running. As a rule, overnight room rates tend toward the pricey side, although these properties appeal primarily to discerning vacationers and businessmen who do not find higher costs to be an issue.
Camelback Inn, A JW Marriott Resort & Spa
The Camelback Inn, A JW Marriott Resort & Spa, unveiled the results of a $50 million renovation in 2010, including a grand southwestern courtyard, hacienda-style lobby and 20,000-square-foot ballroom. The property is just minutes from downtown Phoenix and provides easy access to activities ranging from hiking to biking to swimming. Golf lovers can enjoy 36 championship-level holes at the Camelback Golf Club, situated about three miles from the resort, along with a driving range, pueblo-style clubhouse and luxury lounge with outdoor fireside seating. In addition, the on-site spa offers a sprawling menu of massages, facials and body treatments, plus a fitness center and beauty salon. Resort dining options include a classic American steakhouse, festive regional bistro, casual poolside eatery and health-conscious restaurant inside the spa. Each guest unit is equipped with an iHome clock radio/MP3 player, cordless telephone, laptop safe, bathrobes, private balcony or patio and kitchenette with fridge, wet bar and stovetop or microwave.
The Phoenician offers nearly 20 vacation specials, from romance packages to tennis vacations with semi-private lessons to resort credits and free breakfasts for AAA members. Guests are invited to take a complimentary audio tour of the premises, including its $25 million art collection, and receive two tickets to the nearby Phoenix Art Museum. The resort's 22,000-square-foot spa features 24 private treatment rooms, cardio and weight-training studios, a meditation atrium and a full-service salon. Corporate travelers can utilize any of 26 meeting rooms as well as a business center with PC workstations, then unwind with a day on the links, including nearly 6,300 yards of play over 27 well-manicured holes. Meal options range from a burger bistro to a steakhouse to a fine-dining American-Italian restaurant. Choice of accommodations include oversize guest rooms, suites or casitas, each with plush king or double beds, rich Berber carpeting and private baths dressed in Italian marble.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is nestled in the high Sonoran desert at the foot of Pinnacle Peak, providing easy access to attractions like the Cave Creek galleries, Reata Pass and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. The property features a state-of-the-art fitness facility with sauna and steam room as well as aerobics, yoga and tai chi classes taught by certified trainers. The 6,000-square-foot, free-form, bi-level pool is heated to 80 degrees and two on-site tennis courts are lighted for nighttime play. Other activities include guided desert hikes, off-road jeep tours and wine tasting, and guests also receive privileges like priority tee times at the off-site Troon North Golf Club. The three resort restaurants have menus primarily consisting of local southwestern dishes or contemporary American cuisines, with one also offering al fresco dining. All 210 rooms, including 22 suites, feature custom furnishings, gas-burning fireplaces, flat-screen televisions, soaking tubs and handmade art by the Huichol Indians.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is convenient to points of interest like the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Gardens, along with activities like desert Hummer tours and hot air balloon rides. Guests can make use of seven tennis courts, two 18-hole TPC golf courses and an award-winning day spa ranked by "Travel + Leisure" as one of the best in North America. An array of boutique shops on the premises carry locally designed gifts, crafts and jewelry, and concierge, valet parking and same-day dry cleaning services are available. Younger guests can play games and watch movies in a designated "teen hang-out room" or participate in the National Geographic Explorers Camp. Guests can sup in the resort's main dining room, a gourmet Mexican restaurant or a seafood grill with an extensive selection of wines and specialty martinis. All 629 spacious rooms are bathed in earthy, desert hues and feature refreshment centers, work areas, Wi-Fi access and private patios with a table and two chairs.
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