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Scottsdale Travel Guide | The Expeditioner Travel Site

Scottsdale Travel Guide | The Expeditioner Travel Site

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Scottsdale, Arizona, is one in every of my favourite locations to go to any time of yr. Why do I really like coming right here a lot? The actual query is: The place to start out? Situated adjoining to Phoenix and within the coronary heart of the Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale’s climate is heat and sunny all yr lengthy, so you’ll be able to reap the benefits of outside actions from swimming, climbing, horseback driving and golf it doesn’t matter what season you go to. The eating places, bolstered by the help of hundreds of thousands of tourists and provided by native, recent elements, are incredible, and the variety of inns and resorts right here means yow will discover a property for no matter temper you’re in, whether or not it’s ultra-luxury to younger and hip.

On prime of all that, Scottsdale has extra spas per capita right here than anyplace else within the nation, it’s onerous to drive greater than 5 minutes in any course with out coming throughout a golf course, and the those that have chosen to stay on this desert paradise are welcoming and pleasant. It’s no shock that over four.5 million guests journey to Scottsdale yearly to expertise all that the town has to supply.

It will be unimaginable to listing each place to remain, pamper your self, or eat at in Scottsdale. However with so many choices to determine from, I’ve put collectively a journey information that will help you discover a number of the greatest lodges, spas, and eating places you need to go to throughout your subsequent journey to Scottsdale.


The Phoenician

The Phoenician is one among Scottsdale’s greatest recognized inns, and there’s excellent news for guests who haven’t stayed there shortly: it’s presently within the tail-end of a three-year, main makeover. Situated on the foot of Camelback Mountain and solely a brief drive from Previous City, The Phoenician is likely one of the greatest located resorts in Scottsdale. We made positive to rise up early one morning and make the brief drive to Cholla trailhead, the preferred gateway to climbing iconic Camelback Mountain.

The most noticeable change that long-time visitors will discover is the foyer, which has been utterly renovated, giving it a up to date, Southwest really feel that includes a shade scheme reflecting the colours of the desert, and together with a set of artwork from native artists within the area. They’ve additionally given the bar, The Thirsty Camel Lounge, a makeover, together with a brand new menu and a brand new location that gives panoramic views over the valley. For completely happy hour, my suggestion is to go to the bar round sundown and order the flavorful El Dorado, which options Herradura Reposado tequila, jalapeño, pineapple and lemon Juice, Grapefruit Zest, Agave Nectar and grapefruit bitters.

The Phoenician

Mountain Shadows

Mountain Shadows is a part of a wave of latest lodges in Scottsdale making a play for the youthful, hipper guests which are frequenting the town now greater than ever. Constructed on the location of the previous Mountain Shadows — one of many space’s first main resorts, and which was a favourite vacation spot for the Hollywood jet-set circa the 1960’s — the lodge has maintained its cool, Mid-Century vibe. The lengthy, slender pool provides superb views of Camelback Mountain for sunbathers, and The Brief Course, the brand new par-Three course, is a enjoyable strategy to get in a spherical of golf with out an excessive amount of time dedication.

Thought retro in fashion, the rooms have a distinctly modern, city really feel: assume uncovered concrete ceilings and open rest room format. Whenever you’re prepared for dinner, the brand new Fireside ’61 options an open kitchen and a menu from Chef Charles Wiley impressed from native flavors and recent, natural elements. And if you’re prepared for drinks, head to the energetic bar adjoining to the restaurant for reside music on the weekends and loads of people-watching as guests stroll in for date night time.

Mountain Shadows

Lodge Valley Ho

Lodge Valley Ho is situated only a brief stroll from Previous City, Scottsdale, and is among the best-situated lodges in case you are trying to discover the world by foot. It’s additionally one in every of Scottsdale’s most enjoyable lodges. The property was initially constructed within the 1950’s, and was the place to go to for Hollywood stars starting from Bing Crosby to Zsa Zsa Gabor. For these in search of some enjoyable on the weekends, the The OH Pool hosts pool events all through the summer time that includes a reside DJ and rentable cabanas.

A number of years again the lodge was expanded, most notably with the addition of the multi-story Tower, which options roomy suites and superb views in all instructions. In case you’re actually trying to take advantage of out of your keep, be sure you guide one of many many suites that embrace a full kitchen, cozy front room with walk-out deck, and sufficient room to host a gathering of all the new pals you make on the pool.

Lodge Valley Ho


Nicely & Being Spa at Fairmont

The Nicely & Being Spa is situated on the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, one of many largest and best-known resorts in Scottsdale. The property itself is large (it’s unfold out over 65 acres), and the spa is not any totally different. Impressed by Havasupai, a hidden oasis deep within the Grand Canyon, the spa contains a present store, full health club, and yoga and exercise studios — and that’s simply the beginning of it. Comply with the set of stairs down, and you’ll enter an expansive area that includes a roomy locker room, pre-massage lounge space, outside waterfall scorching tub, and entry to their unique rooftop pool to loosen up at after your remedy.

I arrived an hour earlier than my go to so as to check out all the choices the spa presents. I began off with the Swedish dry sauna to get the sweat flowing, adopted by the steam room, scorching therapeutic whirlpool, a refreshing dip within the chilly plunge pool, then lastly the Swiss bathe. I made a decision to provide the Himalayan Salt Stone remedy a attempt. That includes heat stones, the masseuse works your complete physique delivering salty minerals to your physique, with the objective of actually working your muscular tissues whereas additionally eradicating toxins.

Completely relaxed and with little motivation to do a lot else for the remainder of the day, I made my means outdoors and up a set of stairs to the pool the place I whittled away the remainder of the afternoon beneath the desert solar having lunch and making an attempt out a number of cocktails, together with the Arizona Hearth & Ice, made with vodka, lemonade, prickly pear and jalapeno.

Properly & Being Spa on the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

Sanctuary Resort Spa has been a well-known vacation spot spa resort for years resulting from its fame (even Jay-Z and Beyonce stayed right here throughout their honeymoon). In the event you’re not fortunate sufficient to have booked a room right here, you’ll be able to nonetheless go to the spa, which has an Asian-chic vibe and a laundry record of remedy choices. Bamboo shrouds its understated entrance, and the spa contains a Zen meditation backyard and reflection pool. Although smaller than a few of the newer, greater spas within the space, Sanctuary has a boutique really feel. Earlier than my remedy, I spent an prolonged go to to the eucalyptus steam room to refresh my pores and skin after a number of days within the dry, desert air.

Recognized for his or her extremely expert employees, I selected a basic Swedish therapeutic massage. The rooms are located to look out over the backyard, and the peaceable spa music and the aroma of the berry-infused lotion used on my pores and skin had me working onerous to not nod off and miss every thing. My masseuse even paid particular consideration to my neck which was sore type a vacation-related neck pressure from an evening spent sleeping on giant lodge pillows (there are worse minor accidents to endure).

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

We Do Males

For a lot of males, the thought of visiting a standard spa is out of the query. For these guys, there’s We Do Males, the boutique spa expertise tailor-made only for males. The brainchild of Stacey Grondahl, We Do Males caters to males in search of pores and skin remedies with out all the traditional fuss. The decor inside is a component tattoo parlor, half cigar bar, with leather-based upholstery, footage of male icons similar to Johnny Money and Frank Sinatra on the wall, and a faux-diamond encrusted cranium that greets you on the entrance.

A take a look at the names of the remedies right here will let you recognize you’re not in your girlfriend’s spa. The Sake Bomber, Not One other Prick, and Holy Mom Prick(er) are just some of the choices you possibly can select. With a rockabilly soundtrack on the stereo and a espresso and tobacco-scented candle filling the room with its scent, I had my face labored over for higher a part of an hour. Regardless of my beard (one thing they’re very used to working with right here), I had my pores and skin handled with blue agave extract, menthol and a pair of metallic balls (sure, actually) to make me look glowing like I had by no means glowed earlier than.

We Do Males

Eating places

Mowry and Cotton

Newly opened at The Phoenician, Mowry and Cotton takes high-end delicacies and serves it in a cushty, relaxed environment. With its uncovered wooden inside, Edison bulbs and mason jar aesthetic, Mowry and Cotton is clearly taking a cue from modern eating tendencies (the bearded waiters of their denims and cooking aprons can be simply at residence at most of the eating places again house in Brooklyn). The menu is a mixture of Previous West favorites and newer creations, and is attracting new guests curious to see what all the excitement is about (Chef Tandy Peterson and Mowry & Cotton have been just lately named one of many three greatest cooks and eating places, respectively, by Phoenix Journal).

We began with the charred brussel sprouts served with bonito and chicory kimchee, and a heaping order of the buttermil buns sprinkled with citrus sea salt butter and glazed with duck fats fig butter. On a tip from the entrance desk, we adopted this up with an order of lamb tacos made with harissa braised lamb and seasoned with pickles and herb quark, as properly an order of the smoked spare ribs served with cranberry snap pea slaw and coated in a honey chipotle barbecue sauce. With little room to spare, we completed with the peanut butter bar for dessert, a concoction of sentimental caramel, mousse, and chocolate croquant.

Mowry and Cotton


FnB is quick approaching its 10-year birthday, and this storied restaurant hasn’t let off the fuel pedal since opening to acclaim. Situated in Previous City, FnB (which stands for Meals and Beverage) obsessively focuses on seasonal, native components ready with the kind of care and and a spotlight to element usually present in a lot stuffier eating places. Stuffy FnB is just not: diners are seated shut to one another in one in every of three small eating rooms, and ornament is stored to a minimal to keep away from distracting you out of your meal. The desk subsequent to ours struck up a dialog with us once they caught us gawking at considered one of their dishes — it’s a type of locations the place everybody is happy to speak to one another about their meals.

On the night time we visited, we have been served by part-owner Pavle Milic, credited for bringing consideration to the Arizona wine scene. Again within the kitchen, co-owner Chef Charleen Badman, a James Beard award semifinalist (affectionately generally known as the “vegetable whisperer”), was working her magic. We started with the savory peruvian hen spring rolls, served with pecans and aji amarillo quark, adopted by a flavorful beet and chickpea salad. We then opted for the Creekstone Farms ribeye steak served with tepary beans, poblano peppers, roasted tomato and a tomatillo salsa, and a aspect of brussel sprouts and broccoli. After our third glass of wine and their signature butterscotch pudding served in a highball glass and topped with whipped cream, we have been already planning our return go to.

FnB Restaurant

La Hacienda

Situated on the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, La Hacienda is a superb high-end tackle the normal Mexican restaurant (which the Higher Phoenix space has loads of). Boasting a choice of over 200 tequilas and an eclectic tackle Mexican favorites from Chef Richard Sandoval (dubbed the Father of Trendy Mexican Delicacies), La Hacienda is a dependable favourite. Inside, the restaurant is impressed by conventional Spanish structure with beehive fireplaces and uncovered wood-beam ceilings, and out of doors you’ll be able to eat al fresco beneath strings of white lights strewn throughout the ethereal patio.

I began my meal off with their signature drink, La Hacienda, made with reposada tequila, cointreau, grand marnier and bitter, and an order of chips and guacamole ready recent at our desk. For starters we had chorizo and potato empanadas coated in tomatillo salsa and crema cotija cheese, and for dinner we shared the costilla de res, braised brief ribs served over ancho chile mashed potatoes, child carrots, herb-heirloom tomato salad, and smothered in a cherry chipotle mole.

La Hacienda


When you’ve spent any time watching the Meals Community in the course of the previous decade, likelihood is you’re already accustomed to Parts’s Head Chef, Beau MacMillan, the New England transplant who opened Sanctuary again in 2001 and shortly rose to grow to be one in every of Scottsdale’s most well-known cooks. Situated at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort, Parts boasts enviable views over Paradise Valley. MacMillan’s menu is Far East meets native Southwest flavors, and options seasonal, native produce, sustainable seafood and hormone-free meat.

For those who can, name forward and reserve a seat out on the balcony overlooking the pool. The quiet, peaceable environment is ideal for devoting your consideration to what actually issues right here: the meals. With fond reminiscences of consuming them throughout my final go to, the very first thing I ordered as quickly as we sat down was their signature shishito peppers, served gooey and a bit candy. On a suggestion from our educated waiter, we adopted this up with the fiery calamari, a spicy tackle the basic dish ready with a miso scallion French dressing. For our dinner we shared our big parts of chilean seabass, served with a kimchee coconut broth, and the braised brief ribs accented with a tangy hoisin sauce. With barely any room left in our stomachs, we couldn’t cross up the deconstructed s’extra, a becoming dessert because the air turned brisk and the campfire-like warmth lamps have been turned up.

Parts – Sanctuary Camelback Mountain


By Matt Stabile / The Expeditioner Twitter The Expeditioner Facebook

Matt Stabile Bio PictureMatt Stabile is predicated in New York Metropolis, and is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Expeditioner which was based in 2008. You’ll be able to learn his writings, watch his journey movies or contact him by way of e mail at any time at