Resort features and facilities that may well be considered exceptional elsewhere, like championship golf courses, award-winning spas and gourmet restaurants, are the norm in Scottsdale. While the high-end, luxury hotel market is amply represented, Scottsdale also offers some smaller, comparatively modest boutique resorts.
The Boulders Resort
Within its 1,300 acres of Sonoran Desert, the Boulders Resort, which is part of the Waldorf Astoria collection, features 160 casitas and 60 one-, two- and three-bedroom villas; two championship golf courses; the Golden Door Spa; four swimming pools and six restaurants. The casitas and villas are arranged in village-inspired groupings within the natural landscape. They feature elegant decor with Southwestern touches like Mexican tile work and adobe fireplaces; the villas include full kitchens, private garages and laundry facilities. The resort's expansive grounds allow for on-site hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing, and they also include an outdoor marketplace with art galleries and boutique stores. The resort's numerous accolades include a mention among America's "Top 15 Golf Resorts" by Conde Nast Traveler and winning Travel + Leisure magazine's "World's Best Awards" every year from 2002 to 2008.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North sits in the foothills of Pinnacle Peak. Its accommodation options consist of casita rooms and suites with one to three bedrooms, all with Sonoran Desert-inspired decor and original Huichol artwork. Luxury touches in all the rooms include down bedding, a refrigerated private bar and a fireplace. The 22 suites feature private patios and mountain views; some boast a private plunge pool and a telescope for stargazing. The major attraction for golfers is the acclaimed, 36-hole Troon North Golf Club, where resort guests enjoy preferential tee times. Other on-site recreational opportunities include guided sunset hikes up Pinnacle Peak and complimentary wine-tasting sessions.
FireSky Resort and Spa
FireSky Resort and Spa is located in the heart of Scottsdale, close to museums and the Fashion Square shopping mall. One of the more unexpected features of the AAA Four Diamond resort is the sandy beach that surrounds a lagoon-style swimming pool, along with a poolside cocktail bar, fire pits, cabanas and lounge seating. The Mediterranean-inspired gardens add shade and greenery that provides a pleasant contrast to the Sonoran desert surroundings. FireSky's hospitality is exemplified in its "tall rooms" for statuesque guests, which feature extra-long beds and fully adjustable shower heads. It is also a pet-friendly resort; food and water bowls and a bed will be provided in your guest room upon request.
The Phoenician received the elite AAA Five Diamond award for the seventh consecutive year in 2011, adding to a long list of accolades that also includes being named one of the "Top 500 World's Best Hotels" by Travel + Leisure magazine multiple times. The resort's 27-hole golf course and 22,000-square-foot spa also boast numerous prestigious awards. Luxurious touches in the guest rooms and suites include Berber carpeting, Italian marble bathrooms and high-end bed linens. Guests are invited to peruse The Phoenician's $25 million art collection, which includes diverse pieces such as Navajo rugs, French tapestries and contemporary fiber art, with a complimentary self-guided tour that also includes admission to the Phoenix Art Museum.