Have you ever stayed somewhere and still think about not just the location, but the hotel itself? I have never had that experience until staying at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s hard to put into words what makes this hotel so great, but I will do my best.
1. The hotel itself. The Phoenician is part of Starwood’s luxury collection, and it’s easy to see why. Nestled next to Camelback Mountain, the hotel boasts a number of pools (5 maybe?), a golf course, tennis courts, a fitness studio, sweeping grounds, a spa, multiple restaurants, and children’s club with activities. While my husband and I do not have children yet, the resort clearly caters to the needs of families, couples, and guests of all ages.
2. Activities. As mentioned above – The Phoenician caters to all types of people in all walks of life. As a result, you will never be bored at The Phoenician. My husband and I had a packed itinerary during our stay, with trips to Sedona, and Diamondbacks game, so when combing through the schedule, we selected to go on a guided hike of Camelback, as well as a free cactus tour. Additionally, we participated in the kids event of feeding the Koi fish that are in one of the ground’s ponds. There were also massive lawns as part of the property where corn hole and bocci were set-up, so we tried our hand at those as well. Above, I also mentioned that there were maybe 5 pools, if not more. And after our road trip, trust me when I say, we laid by every single one. There was also a water slide, and channeling our inner big kid, went for it over and over again. We were primed and ready to take on more, but were unable to fully take advantage and participate in all of the daily activities. A quick peek at their website today let me know of poolside movies and frozen t-shirt tosses. Why aren’t we there right now?
3. The staff. I have never, ever seen a staff hustle as much as I have here. We stayed in April and Scottsdale was breaking the 100 degree mark. When laying by the pool we were never short of water. Free pitchers of water were delivered constantly in order to ensure that all guests were and remained hydrated. The concierge was incredibly friendly and ensured that our tours and activities were booked, despite being completely overwhelmed with guests. Additionally, the first aid staff were incredible. I had an awkward moment by the pool where I stepped on a tiny piece of glass that needed to be removed from my foot. If you ever want to see a grown woman act like a child, see me during a time of a foot crisis, I hate feet! Anyway, my husband asked a staff member for some tweezers as he’s used to handling my foot hysterics, instead, my husband returned with 3 men (one of which was an EMT) and a hotel manager to ensure I was okay. There is nothing more wonderful and embarrassing than having 3 people + your husband attending to a minor foot incident (in my head though, it was major) while you’re lounging by a pool.
4. The service. I have been a Starwood Platinum member for over 3 years now, and I have always been treated well when visiting Starwood establishments, however, I have never felt more appreciated and loved than I did at the Phoenician. Upon checking in, our room was upgraded and we were met with a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. The following day, based on my portfolio with Starwood, we returned to our room to find my favorite, Peanut M&Ms and Diet Coke on ice (and yes, I did stay fit on this vacay!), what a great afternoon delight. It was truly nice to know that my loyalty was rewarded, and in such a small but great way too!
5. The food. So clearly I love to eat, and I don’t always make the best food choices, but their poolside dining was delicious, as well as their restaurant, Relish Burger Bistro. I sometimes think about trying to recreate those tater tots, maybe I should? Look at that garnish! I can’t tell whether or not it’s a little bit sad or funny that my only picture from the hotel is of the burger but anyway, the point I’m trying to make here is that it’s an actual hotel restaurant worth its salt.So Starwood Hotels, if somehow you happen upon this blog, just know that you completely nailed it with The Phoenician. I have never loved a hotel stay more than I have in Scottsdale, and my husband and I constantly talk about how it’s not a question of if, but a matter of when we return because that’s how much we loved it. The staff deserve the highest accolades and have my utmost respect. Well done!