My full review of our 4 day stay at the breathtaking 5 star Scottsdale, Arizona resort
Three summers ago my husband and I took some kid-free trips to Chicago and San Francisco. At the time we planned to begin trying for our second kid so we knew to take advantage of the opportunities. Eventually we did get pregnant with our second child and between that, moving, and COVID, a kid-free vacation was a luxury that was seriously out of reach.
Fast forward to summer 2021 and we were DETERMINED to get away. Usually I’m the vacation planner in the family, but together with one of his best friends my husband decided to book us a trip to The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. The goal? Endless golf time for the guys and endless pool and spa time for the women.
The very first thing I noticed about the resort is just how expansive the property is. After checking in at the main building we were escorted to our casita by golf cart. The casitas form a semi circle around the property giving them easy walking access to anywhere you want to go at the resort.
A POOL LOVERS PARADISE
The main swimming area is truly spectacular! This multi-level oasis features multiple separate pools and private cabanas. For those on a kid-free vacation you might enjoy the adult-only pool deck, but those traveling with the whole family with go bananas for the splash pad! A large tree house and winding water slide offer endless fun for kiddos while keeping them a bit occupied and separate away from the main pool area. This space was so cool we’ve talked about booking another trip with the kiddos.
THE ROOM ACCOMODATIONS
My husband and I booked a room with a private outdoor firepit overlooking the mountain. It was such a peaceful scene that we truly felt like we were away from it all when we were in our room. The bathroom had a spacious tub and separate shower complete with fluffy waffle robes and terrycloth slippers. You can bet I spent hours in those!
The friends we travelled with stayed in the Canyon Suites which is set a bit farther back on the property and required a bit of a walk. Honestly, this place is so huge I was convinced there was a conspiracy to get me in shape! As if this whole place wasn't fabulous enough, the Canyon Suites took it up a notch!
Our room in the casita was really spacious, but the canyon suites were even bigger. This separate building has it's own private pool and cabanas as well as a Mercedes SUV waiting to escort you at the drop of a hat. Each evening we had the driver take us to wherever we were eating dinner that night or escort us to the mall when we wanted to shop. As you can imagine this helped us cut down on our Uber costs and kept us riding in style the entire trip.
While the guys golfed 36 holes each day (yes, 36 holes), my friend and I spent time at the pool and the spa. I've enjoyed a few spa days in my life and this experience topped the charts. Our day started with an 80 minute full body massage and ended with a relaxing facial. In between services we were served lunch by the rooftop pool and took full advantage of the steam room and large indoor hot tub.
The entire spa was sufficiently designed with relaxation in mind. There are water and healthy snacks stations available throughout the facilities and ample lounge areas provide cozy spaces for downtime in between services. I wish I would have been able to get pictures of more of these areas like the steam room and sauna, but I wanted to be respectful of other spa goers!
BEYOND THE RESORT
Scottsdale and Phoenix have so much to offer both in dining and entertainment. Our first evening we had dinner at NOBU. If you haven't been to NOBU it's a Japanese restaurant known for it's exceptional sushi. There are locations all over the world including most large cities in the U.S.
Their large menu was a bit overwhelming - there are so many dishes that all sounded like must haves. My husband is a sushi novice so we also wanted to make sure he had an enjoyable meal as well. Our server was incredibly knowledgeable and helped us pick dishes that the entire table enjoyed. Some of our very favorites included the Lobster Ceviche on Butter Lettuce, Smoked Wagyu Dumplings, and the Yellowtail & Jalapeno.
We also enjoyed another fabulous dinner at Dominick's. My husband and I absolutely relish the opportunities to treat ourselves at a nice steakhouse. With two kids this doesn't happen very often - our most frequented restaurants are local chains that are loud enough to distract from the chaos of our own family! All that to say we were very much looking forward to our reservations that evening.
We were sat upstairs when all the tables surrounded a shallow pool in the center of the room. Since we tend to have a go big or go home philosophy on vacation that's exactly what we did for this meal. I started with the chopped salad and ordered the 8 oz filet with the black truffle peppercorn and let me tell you, my steak was incredibly tender and cooked to perfection. My husband and his friend split the Tomahawk Berkshire Pork Chop which was basically just 40-something ounces of meat and they couldn't get enough! Except the could, because it was HUGE.
Our table shared the creamy mac and cheese, roasted brussels sprouts, corn crème brûlée and the creamy double baked truffle potato. We definitely got dessert but if I'm being honest, I ordered a Raspberry Martini and every time I took a sip someone would come and refill my glass so by the time we got to dessert I wasn't really paying much attention.
We took advantage of our trip to celebrate our 11 year anniversary. On our last night there we went to Tiffany at Fashion Square to buy something special to commemorate our anniversary and the trip. Everyone there was so kind, especially the saleswoman who helped us, and we were given champagne. It really was a whole experience!
That was the perfect ending to a fantastic trip. We plan to go back again, but with the kids. We know they would love the splash pad and water slid at the Phoenician and it would be a great way to switch up our family vacations since we always go to the beach.
This trip spurred a desire and curiosity to explore other 5 star resorts about the U.S. Where are some of your favorite places to travel? I would love any and all suggestions so I can start making a list!
Until next time,