Looking back over a recent visit to the Scottsdale Arizona Fairmont Princess Resort and Spa, I can definitely classify it as a destination unto itself. Guests could sequester themselves in this desert oasis and not need to venture to the many other sights, tastes and adventures awaiting discovery outside its perimeter.
After local touring, your comfortable Princess lodgings await with gourmet food and drink, swimming pools and golf courses, a lagoon and extensive spa services, which are all available to entertain any visitor’s empty hours.
La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval is a prime watering hole for those with a taste for Tequila. The Tequila Bar specializes in the best of the south of the border Agave delights. With 110 Tequila varieties from 36 different labels, this bar may be your very own destination. I can attest that they make a sweet Cactus Martini to delight your senses of taste and sight.
Besides Tequila, La Hacienda offers upscale, authentic but with a twist, gourmet Mexican food one might hope to find in the finest dining establishments of Mexico City. The table-side preparation of fresh Guacamole is a must to start your taste buds off in anticipation of delights to come. Chef de Cuisine Forest Hamrick can delectably prepare Huarache de Res (Seared Beef Tenderloin, Carmelized Onion, Black Bean Puree, Crispy Masa flatbread and Oaxaca Cheese); Pipian de Pueroco (Slow cooked Suckling Pig, Roasted Corn Puree, Pumpkin Seed and Pipian Sauce); Atun (Pistachio Chile Ancho Crusted Tuna, Sweet Potato, Green apple Salad and Mole Verde); or Verduras a la Parilla (Grilled Seasonal Vegetables, Crema Potatoe Puree, Citrus Adobo Broth, chili Habanero with Turffle Oil) among many other inventive gourmet offerings.
While I am not a coffee aficionado, La Hacienda’s flaming coffee is not to be neglected, even if only for the floor show exhibition it offers table- side. The Cinnamon flies up in flames lighting up the dining room, as the preparation of chocolate and several secret ingredients are combined in a magical and mystical concoction.
Other Resort dining spots are the Bourbon Steak, The Grill, LV Bistro, Stone Rose, the Pool Bar and Sonoran Splash, and with all luxe resorts, in room-dining is available from fine a candlelit dinner to movie snacks.
You may want to pamper yourself in relaxation and contemplation at the Fairmont Princess’s Willow Stream Spa. (http://www.willowstream.com/) A full line of facials, body rubs, massages, as well as salon amenities, including manicure and pedicures, are on your menu in this full service facility. The Spa also is home to a work-out room, a waterfall room, private hot Jacuzzi and cold water plunge along with a multiple head European styled shower. The locker facilities include toiletry amenities, robes and sandals. The roof-top pool is another oasis, as it offers a world-away experience amid palm tree vistas.
Touring the grounds is a pleasant morning excursion. If you were staying in one of the outlying Casitas, your stroll of lagoon and pools could be topped off with a breakfast at LV Bistro. I enjoy the treat of an Eggs Benedict when on holiday, and the spicy rendition I had on my departing morning equaled any of memory.
While staying in a Casita is a bit out of the way, it offers you more space than a normal room and with an expansive bath. The accommodation is like a studio condo for your relaxing. If you stay in a Casita the staff will pick you up in golf cart should you need to visit the main building. This is a recommended transportation for this expansive property. Parking is by valet only at the front entrance upon check in, and there is self-parking on the outskirts of the room locations. I must say I usually like to stay near the action in a large resort such as the Princess, but overnighting in a Casita was a delight as it gave nighttime peace and quiet – something I require.
My visit to Phoenix and Scottsdale was necessitated by a July business meeting. July in Southern
Arizona with temps constantly in the hundreds is not an ideal holiday atmosphere. But with a little acceptance, planning and tolerance I found Phoenix and Scottsdale a delight. And if that can be said when the weather is at its worst – well, I can see why the area has such a draw for so many the whole year round!