best scottsdale resorts

This, my fellow travellers, will be the last in the Arizona series–at least for awhile! In this final post about the Scottsdale area, I thought I’d share a few comments about the Scottsdale resorts and hotel accommodations I’ve personally experienced.

scottsdale-resorts

I loved the gorgeous fountain at the Troon North Golf Course, a partner of the Four Seasons Resort.

scottsdale-accommodations

The Four Seasons Scottsdale is very discreetly built into the beautiful desert landscape at Troon North, and has winding paths that let you immerse yourself in it.

enjoyment at some of the best scottsdale resorts

In my most recent trip, we visited the Four Seasons Scottsdale for the better part of the day for a tour, lunch, and spa treatment. I really loved the Four Seasons as they made a very conscious effort to embrace the personality of the desert in their landscaping and design. I could very easily see myself spending a week at this resort and feeling right at home as I loved the ambiance and service–not to mention the views!

chocolate-spas

The ingredients for the Cocoa Mole body wrap at the Four Seasons are pure and natural enough to eat!

The highlight of my visit to the Four Seasons was the Chocolate Molé Energising Body Wrap. This 80-minute treatment is well worth the (roughly) $240 US fee for the three-step process. You begin with a Cafe Mocha sugar scrub that contains espresso coffee grounds blended with assorted oils, aloe vera juice, and black willow bark to exfoliate the skin. The second step sees your body wrapped in warm linens after a clay comprised of Red Sedona Clay, cocoa powder, and assorted oils and teas have been smoothed onto your skin. While your skin is soaking in all these natural toxin removers, you receive a scalp rub featuring a blend of soothing oils.

chocolate-spas

You can see the fine mist of water coming from the overhead Vichy shower over top of me. I felt a bit like a car in a carwash!

The third step is undoubtedly the most fun! A moveable Vichy shower bar is placed over your body to wash off the dried cocoa clay. I was completely euphoric at this stage, as the cocoa had made its way into my pores and the endorphins and serotonin released into my body from the natural wonders of cocoa, along with the rain forest effect of the Vichy shower on my cocoa-covered skin left me giddy as a school girl. I think my technician’s fancy rubber boots helped fuel the giddiness. 🙂

chocolate-spas

My spa technician was Alisa, a massage therapist with a terrific sense of humour and pretty flashy rubber boots!

And the finishing step in the cocoa molé wrap was the application of the whipped shea butter infused with vanilla and cardamom. My skin was radiant and felt silky smooth, and I think I smelled pretty darn good, too! I would highly recommend the Fours Seasons Scottsdale for its top-notch spa, access to the Troon North Golf Course, and the breath-taking desert setting.

scottsdale-resorts

Guests of the Four Seasons can take the complimentary shuttle over to the Troon North Golf Course. During our tour of the course, we saw a spotted bobcat, and an abundance of quails and bunnies.

The next day we explored the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, where the ambiance is strikingly different to the Four Seasons. At the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the emphasis is on the beach. Yes, a beach in the desert. The resort’s manager is from South Florida, and wanted to create a unique pool to impress guests. So sand was shipped in to create a beach at the main pool. And golf is king. The Princess has two 18-hole Championship-level TPC golf courses and is home to several PGA events. The landscaping at the Princess is also very different from the Four Seasons.

scottsdale-resorts

The sandy beach at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is such a unique amenity for a desert resort.

scottsdale-resort

My friend Laverne preferred the ambiance and landscaping of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. For me, it was the Four Seasons. Every individual will have their favourite, as all of the Scottsdale resorts are incredible in their own way.

Keep in mind that each of these breath-taking resorts is situated on secluded rural property to really give you the feeling of being away from an urban environment. Yet, you are just minutes from Phoenix and its suburban neighbourhood of Scottsdale.

scottsdale-resorts

The 1.4 billion-year-old boulders that envelop The Boulders Resort and Spa provide a mystical sense of place.

As I mentioned in the previous post, The Boulders is also an enticing resort situated between Scottsdale and Cave Creek. If you are looking for Zen without too much distraction, The Boulders would be a great choice for your Arizona getaway.

On previous trips, I’ve also stayed at the Phoenician and the Westin Kierland and enjoyed them both tremendously. These are larger, multi-level properties that provide a wide range of experiences and options. Be sure to study the website of each resort to find just the right ‘in the desert’ feeling you may be looking for.

scottsdale-resorts

The Magnuson Hotel/Papago Inn is a small quaint property offering a casual friendly vibe and great value.

scottsdale-resorts

We didn’t count the budgies at the Magnuson Hotel, but there were a lot of them!

If a four or five-star resort is outside the range of your budget, we recently stayed at the Magnuson Hotel, (a small Best Western also known as the Papago Inn) while in Scottsdale. It has a 4.0/5 rating on TripAdvisor and we snagged ourselves a room for just $90/night that included free wifi and parking, and a hot breakfast daily. There’s a nice pool and a bunch of budgies that sing to you as you swim.

I hope this post gives you an idea what to expect from a visit to Phoenix and area. There are a lot of great Scottsdale resorts to choose from, and one that is sure to fit your budget and personality. Visit the Experience Scottsdale site for lots more ideas.

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Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

76 Responses

  1. Laverne says:

    I loved the landscaping at the Fairmount Princess. There is something to be said about the Four Seasons too with its natural landscapes. The boulders at The Boulders had a natural beauty too. All were beautiful in their own way. The Magnuson Hotel met our needs. No need to hunt for breakfast and easy access to our Scottsdale destinations. I would definitely go back!

  2. Janet May-Hewson says:

    Hi Doreen. Everything looks so inviting. Looks like you had a fantastic time. Excellent!

    I have a question on the sugar scrub, which was first stage of your wrap. Was it a dry rub? I keep hearing dry vs wet with differing views. The whole wrap process looks very healthy for your skin as you unload toxins. Very relaxing I’m sure.
    Jan

  3. Linda Strange says:

    Oh wow ! What a varied selection. If we ever decide to try the Scottsdale area, I’ll definitely follow your advice re the Fairmont & Four Seasons Resorts. I know my well-travelled Aunt was smitten with the beauty of the desert.
    Thanks for this, Doreen.

    • Thanks, and you’re welcome, Linda. I know you are well-travelled and that you and Doug love that touch of luxury. It was my impression that the two of you would enjoy the quiet solitude one can have in a Casita at the Four Seasons. Access to everything the reposer offers, but on your own terms.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…best scottsdale resortsMy Profile

  4. Catarina says:

    Doreen, I would love to spend some days having the treatment you had and a few more. Would be wondnerful.

  5. As always, Doreen, your posts and photos leave me with the feeling that I’ve really visited these spots. I love the variety of the places, and really appreciate the budget option. Saving money on accommodations allows for splurging on the spa visit! I’m so glad you were able to get away for a little R&R!

  6. Lovely resorts! On our first trip to Phoenix (our first trip ever together), my husband took us to the JW Marriott Desert Ridge. It was sheer pampering after spending days hiking. I’m not sure about the chocolate wrap–I think I’ll take your word for that and enjoy nibbling my cocoa!

    • Trust me, Rose. If you have one chocolate body wrap, you will want more!!! It’s quite the experience. Get Alex to take you to the Hotel Hershey and have their chocolate facial. It is exquisite. they don’t have a chocolate body wrap, but the facial was great. I also had the chocolate bath there, but it didn’t live up to my expectations.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…best scottsdale resortsMy Profile

  7. Pat says:

    Congratulations Doreen on your accomplishment of receiving 15,000 comment postings on your blog!

    You go girl!

  8. Carol Colborn
    Twitter:
    says:

    Love Scottsdale Resorts. We’ve had a staycation in one and Christmas/New Year and Thanksgiving special dinners at Four Seasons and Fairmont. But I love your Chocolate Molé Energising Body Wrap! Quite expensive though!

  9. Beverly says:

    Thanks for providing such detailed information about a variety of Scottsdale area resorts. If I ever travel to the Scottsdale area, I will be sure to consult your blog again.

  10. All the photos are so gorgeous, looks like a wonderful trip and so relaxing. The Fairmont hotels certainly know how to do luxury right.

  11. Jim and Susan Shaw says:

    Thanks so much, Doreen, for sharing your experiences, insights and recommendations regarding travel in the Scottsdale area. Your descriptions are so inspiring that we have put those resorts under “Arizona” on our bucket list. Cheers!

  12. Donna Janke
    Twitter:
    says:

    These resorts are fantastic. I love the scenery in and around them. I wish they were in my budget! The Chocolate Molé Energising Body Wrap sounds amazing.

  13. I think the Four Seasons would be my choice – I would love wandering through that desert landscape!

  14. Phoenicia
    Twitter:
    says:

    What beautiful photographs Doreen. The waterfall made me think of peace and tranquility. I love the beautiful outdoors; visiting a new country and exploring the land. I enjoy being in new environments generally and am as excited as a child in a confectionery store.

  15. Kemkem
    Twitter:
    says:

    I was reading about the Mole scrub and felt myself relaxing and enjoying. I love and actually do tend to relax when getting body scrubs :-). Then l fall asleep during the massage that always follows. I am loving the looks of the Four Seasons! Thanks for sharing these Scottsdale resorts.

  16. Jeri
    Twitter:
    says:

    I’m definitely disadvantaged as I’ve not experienced a Chocolate Molé Energising Body Wrap! You definitely make the case for visiting Arizona. If I can get my RV plans to come to fruition in a couple of years, my first winter will be spent in the Southwest.

  17. Pamela McKuen
    Twitter:
    says:

    I loved the desert landscape at the Four Seasons. It’s so different from anything I see here in the Midwest. I’m glad you didn’t miss out on anything chocolate, even if it was rubbed on your body instead of inside of you.

  18. Yes, there are so many great resorts in Scottsdale that it’s just a matter of choosing the right one for one’s individual tastes. I haven’t been up to the Four Seasons yet, but you can bet that I’m putting the Chocolate Molé Energising Body Wrap on my list of things to do.

  19. Wow! Stunning pictures! 🙂
    The chocolate mole body wrap sounds so, so, so very good – I’d love to do that some day!

  20. Monika
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow Doreen. I’ve never had a chocolate wrap but they look amazing. I guess the smell was pretty intoxicating too? All the resorts look great, the landscaping at the boulders resort looks stunning. Love all the pictures – a great addition to your blog post and really bring it to life.

  21. Judy
    Twitter:
    says:

    Another interesting post, Doreen. The pampering and atmosphere of all these resorts sounds wonderful! Of course being RVers, there isn’t much chance that we’ll be indulging, but it’s great fun to experience them with you.

  22. Great resorts! But I pick the Four Seasons for that Cocoa Mole body wrap! Yum!

  23. I always enjoy reading your articles to see how you will bring in the chocolate! The spa treatment sounds divine plus Scottsdale and its resorts are so beautiful and luxurious. Great post!!

  24. Tami
    Twitter:
    says:

    While the luxury resorts sound amazing (loved how you described that whipped shea butter with vanilla and cardamom soaking into your skin!), I’d be just as happy with Magnuson Hotel and the budgies singing melodies while I swim! Glad there’s a budget option for desert enjoyment.

  25. A chocolate body wrap sounds so decadent!

  26. Mark Wyld says:

    Seems like an amazing place for rest, relaxation and indulging in golfing passions. All these places look amazing to stay and i am sure anyone would be comfortable at them

  27. I don’t indulge in spas very often but The Cocoa Mole body wrap at the Four Seasons sounds so relaxing. I’d love that experience. Will keep head Scottsdale resorts in mind for sure.

  28. Scottsdale has some of the most beautiful resorts. Thanks for introducing me to a few new ones!

  29. last time there I stayed at a Days In for 35$, a great deal but nothing as beautiful by far as these. I want a Cocoa Mole body wrap very badly now lol.

  30. Jackie Smith
    Twitter:
    says:

    We’ve stayed at the Fairmont Princess a couple of times: once we got a great room rate on a Black Friday sale in late November for an early December stay and another time we booked an early summer stay (when the temps go up, the prices go down I think was the promotional tag line). The Fairmont Princess also is a fun place to stay in December when it gets all decked out in a winter wonderland theme including an ice skating rink. Your post brought back some wonderful memories!!

    • Thanks for sharing your memories on the Fairmont Princess, Jackie. They did mention that they have awesome rates during the hot Arizona summers, when locals may want to come and enjoy a week or weekend at a fabulous resort with many distractions from the heat. I’d also love to see the desert all decked out for the holidays!
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…best scottsdale resortsMy Profile

  31. Sue Reddel
    Twitter:
    says:

    So many wonderful resorts in Arizona and Scottsdale. I love the look of that pool area at the Fairmont. We’re fans of Fairmont properties so I’m sure we’d enjoy this one too. Right now looking at all that sunshine makes me long for spring.

  32. neha
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great so see such beautiful resorts in scottsdale. And each one surely has something unique to offer to it’s guest. But I find the carwash treatment the most unique – like you call it 🙂 If I were to ever visit here, I would definitely want to try it

  33. What a fun journey…..especially that yummy spa treatment!

  34. Denny George says:

    All of these properties seem to embrace nature and the natural landscape in and around Scottsdale. I particularly enjoyed your pictures of Four seasons Scottsdale. I must admit, the spa sounded great as well.

  35. Shaily
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow! The Chocolate Molé Energising Body Wrap sounds like a fantastic idea – so refreshing, relaxing and rejuvenating. This is something I would so love to experience. A sandy beach in the middle of a desert also sounds great. Love the ambience and location of the Boulders Resort and Spa, especially the 1.4 billion-year-old boulders that envelop it. Thanks for sharing this lovely collection. 🙂

  36. Sandy N Vyjay
    Twitter:
    says:

    These are some really great places. What I really liked is the fact that these are not your normal run of the mill properties. Each one has something unique. I like the look of the Four Seasons Scottsdale, it has integrated the wilderness of the desert in its ambience. The other property I was intrigued with was the boulder resort, the rocks look so mysterious.

  37. Umang
    Twitter:
    says:

    Oh some of these resorts are just amazing! My favorite kind of resort is one which is in the middle of nowhere and offers complete relaxation. Seems like many of your recommendations fit my preference.

  38. Sandy Mary
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow what a lovely place. especially the first fountain pic is awesome. Thank you for sharing such a pleasant moments doreen.

  39. suresh says:

    Hi Doreen,
    what a lovely place these are some really great places I love the look of that pool area at the Fairmont.

  40. Bookehost says:

    I’ve been there on the last year. The place is amassing !!! Recommended !

  41. Thanks for sharing. All seems inviting. Seeing these places make me want to be there. Beautiful resort!

  42. Saurabh
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wonderful place! And great fountain pic. Thanks for the share.

  43. Astha
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thanks for sharing. Scottsdale looks like a wonderful place with fabulous resorts.

  44. Mohammad Vasim says:

    Wow! What a Lovely Place. You done a superb Job in describing the resorts of Scottsdale. Thanks For Sharing.

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