With near-constant sunshine, low humidity, and average temperatures ranging from a desert overnight cool of 48 to a middle-of-the-day high of 78, Scottsdale is a great place for a March getaway. The suburb located just north of Phoenix offers easy access to Sonoran Desert exploration, oodles of golf courses, a ridiculous number of spas, plus shopping, fine dining, and downtown nightlife.
During my most recent visit, in October (also a relatively temperate time of year to visit, though perhaps a tad hotter), I checked out three decidedly different hotels, each with its own vibe. Here’s my take on experiencing the city three ways.
Girlfriend getaway: Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
As soon as I pulled up to the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, one friendly and handsome valet took my car keys and offered me an ice-cold water, while another ushered me past orange trees, blooming bushes, and stone plaza to the lobby decorated with antiques. I knew my girlfriends back home would love all these attractions, as well as the grounds inspired by southern Spain (complete with a fountain-filled Alhambra Walkway). I thought of them immediately.
But the 31,000-square-foot, Moroccan-styled Joya Spa is what makes the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia such a standout for gal pals. The dim lights, wrought-iron staircase, and majestic hanging lights in the spa lobby set the tone for sumptuous relaxation. Just steps away, you’ll find red velvet couches and satin pillows, framed treasures from Morocco, a massive healing quartz crystal, and intention stones that also put guests into rest and rejuvenation mode. One must-do: The Hamman treatment, which features a brisk exfoliation followed by a steam, whirlpool, sauna, and cold deluge.
Other resort amenities for a group of friends include daily free fitness classes and two outdoor pools—one only for adults, the other for everyone. I like the drinking and dining options here, too; you can enjoy small bites meant for sharing at CENTRO Lounge (the place has a huge wall of TV screens if you have sports fans in your midst), live music and entertainment in the Mbar courtyard, and a Spanish-influenced menu of worldly flavors at Prado Restaurant (check out the paellas, wood-fired entrees and sangria).
The W Scottsdale’s Living Room Lounge livens up after dark
Bachelor/bachelorette party: W Scottsdale
With an outdoor pool area featuring scantily clad servers and pulsing club music during weekend days, the W Scottsdale has a decidedly grown-up vibe. In fact, minors aren’t even allowed at the WET Deck. After dark, the party continues in two spots: the Living Room Lounge (which boasts live music), and the indoor/outdoor Shade Lounge & Bar (which features DJ-spun tunes). Everything about the scene at this place is definitely see-and-be-seen, and bachelors and bachelorettes can go big to celebrate their last moments of freedom with VIP treatment, including pricey private cabanas and bottle service.
Rooms at the W Scottsdale are ultra-modern and chic, with curved purple couches and free-standing oval tubs in a “living area.” (Note: Beware of creepy crawly bugs entering through your open sliding glass door if you are on the ground floor.) The Sushi Roku Restaurant is a sophisticated spot to share a meal of sushi rolls and sake, while the small Bliss Spa works for getting rubbed and rehydrated after a night out in downtown Scottsdale. Both the restaurant and the spa are steps from the front door.
Viewfinder Tip: Every March, 15 Major League Baseball teams descend on Arizona for spring training. Catch games at the downtown Scottsdale Stadium, or the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Romance: Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is a 30-minute drive north from downtown Scottsdale and is surrounded by cowboy country: saguaro cacti, creosote bush, rolling bluffs, and plenty of sand and light-brown rocks. I deem this upscale resort ideal for a romantic trip, namely because of its secluded spot. Also, signature white-glove Four Seasons service always makes this fan feel extra-pampered when I’m on a getaway with my guy.
Rooms here are in one- or two-story casitas and are stylishly decorated in a subtle, sunny Southwest style that includes rust-orange, sage-green, and sunflower-yellow striped furniture and bedskirts against maize walls. The rooms have gas fireplaces and patios or balconies with views of nearby Pinnacle Peak or the Sonoran Desert.
Spots for igniting romance at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale include the spa, with its side-by-side couples massage; an adults-only outdoor whirlpool; a private poolside luxury cabana; and a table for two at the Talavera steakhouse. Active couples will appreciate the nearby hiking trails up Pinnacle Peak, golf privileges at the Troon North Golf Club, and on-site tennis courts.
What criteria do you use when choosing a hotel for a special occasion?