Scottsdale Resort Reccomendations, PLEASE!

Old Jul 4th, 2003, 01:39 PM
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Scottsdale Resort Reccomendations, PLEASE!

We are planning a return trip to Scottsdale and would appreciate resort recommendations. Last year we stayed at the Scottsdale Princess and loved it. Since there are so many great resorts in the area, we would like to try somewhere different. The problem is we are having a difficult time making up our minds. We are considering Phoenician, Biltmore, Boulders, Four Seasons, Westin Kierland and Marriott Camelback. All offer attractive rates in Aug (which is the only time I can get away from work). Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Victor
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Old Jul 4th, 2003, 04:16 PM
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They all appeal to different personalities.
Lowest on your list would be the Westin. It has few of the extra resort type amenities the others offer, though it's new and clean.
Boulders is getting a little long of tooth and is now managed by Wyndham, which has accelerated its decline IMO. Its biggest asset is its beautiful location and scenery. Casitas are private and spacious, but need updating. Carefree is a long hike from the attractions of Scottsdale.
Four Seasons has the best standard rooms of this bunch and is only about 3 yrs old. But its property is pretty unimpressive to me. Almost all desert landscaping (rocks, dirt etc) and in summer feels extra hot. Also very isolated and pools just OK.
Phoenician has the prettiest grounds. Service has tailed off a lot since Starwood took it over several yrs ago. Standard rooms are large and nicely done. But if you go, don't let them stick you in any of the wings/additions remote from the main lobby area. Get a city/pool view room in the main building. Makes a big difference.
Biltmore is unique because of its architecture, and has grounds that are almost as nice as Phoenician's. Rooms, however, are a bit of a letdown to me, as they look and feel dated. Always find summer deals there.
Camelback's rooms are in the same description as Biltmore's. Nice central location, pretty grounds. Good spa. Good all around resort but definitely 'old Arizona' feel, which adds character, but if you like places like the Four Seasons, etc, Camelback may not be your cup of tea.
Each resort has its flaws, they're each much better overall than the average warm climate resort in the US.
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Old Jul 4th, 2003, 09:56 PM
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How about the JW Marriott at Desert Ridge? It's new, so everything is pristine. Stayed there recently for some R&R and thought it was great. Beautiful pools, fabulous spa. Rates should be very reasonable in August.
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Old Jul 4th, 2003, 10:06 PM
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I have lived in Scottsdale my entire life. If you want the nicest and most quaint romantic resort, then stay at the Royal Palms. Very pricey, great rooms, gorgeous grounds, excellent service. This is for the people who want to be pampered and in a smaller resort. The Boulders is very nice but far north about 30 minutes from downtown Scottsdale. Forget Four Seasons, looks like a La Quinta from the Outside and I have been inside and feel its not worth the price.
Gainey Ranch Hyatt is nice, Phoenician also nice but stuffy. There is a new modern resort called the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain that has a NY feel to it. But for a couple get away, good location, spa and dining..... Royal Palms is the place! I own a Real Estate company and put my clients up here to impress!
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Old Jul 4th, 2003, 11:17 PM
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I went to dinner at the Royal Palms last fall and have to say I thought the regular rooms (didn't see any suites) looked very standard and un-special. The set up (not the casita part) reminded me of an apartment complex. The smaller size of the resort gives it a much cozier feel. Location is very good.
The Phoenician WAS stuffy the first several years it was open. If you're coming from almost any major metro area less casual than Phoenix/San Diego/San Antonio/Portland etc it won't seem stuffy.
The rooms at the Hyatt Gainey Ranch are really blah. The only reason people mention this hotel with the great resorts in the area is its beautiful grounds and great pool system.
The Sanctuary's rooms are not impressive if you're looking for a luxury, romantic getaway. It tries too hard to be like a W hotel inside (not sure that flies in the desert southwest).
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Old Jul 5th, 2003, 06:28 AM
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I had this same difficult decision to make as we are also traveling at the end of august. My husband and I decided on The four seasons because it does look like its in the desert. And all rooms have a fireplace and a small patio. Plus the rates are fantastic right now. Oh, they were so nice on the phone.

Im sure whatever resort you decide on, you'll have a great time.
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Old Jul 5th, 2003, 06:33 AM
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The Biltmore is our favorite. The grounds are incredible and the architecture is beautiful.
I agree some of the rooms can be downright gloomy (they once had us facing a wall), but the resort has so many different styles of rooms, you can just ask to see another room (although it is a haul from some of the rooms back to front desk!) ...or upgrade to a room with a balcony or better yet, a villa (which we had for our wedding)...I am sure they will be very accomodating in August!
There are a couple different pools, the original pool with the mosaic tiles is our favorite! The poolside food is very tasty! You will definetely be poolside with the temps in August(did I hear 115 today?)
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Old Jul 5th, 2003, 07:32 PM
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Just returned today from 8 days in Scottsdale. Stayed 3 nights at Westin Kierland (loved it and had great service) and 4 nights at the Phoenician (terrible pool side service and unattentive bell desk service). I have a complaint in to Starwood about the stay at the Phoenician. I have stayed other times there and have never had this kind of service. I would also take a look at the Royal Palms. It is a very nice resort. Hope this helps.
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Old Jul 13th, 2003, 05:47 PM
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Definately Royal Palms, if you like a European villa feeling. But get the casitas, they are all decorated differently by local designers and in August you should be able to get great deals. All the other resorts feel very much like big hotels. The Sanctuary is nice, very beautiful at night with a good restaraunt and bar. The Phoenician has a great spa. The Biltmore is nice, very old Arizona feel, but you do have to get the right room. My husband and I grew up here, then moved away, since we've come back we always stey at the Royal Palms a couple of times in the summer. Ask about packages too.
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Old Aug 12th, 2003, 11:51 AM
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My husband and I travel to Scottsdale often alone and with our 2 sons. We have found the Marriot Renaissance behing the Borgota to be really a find. We like the Phoenician suite which is a private casita with a kitchen, living room with pull out, fireplace and private patio with a hot tub plus another front patio with a table and chairs just perfect for breakfast. It has a fabulous pool and pool bar. This property used to be called the Cottenwood. It's a great location and for the price winter $319 and summer (we were there in July) $199. You can't beat it!
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