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Scottsdale Awaits Cooler Temperatures and Welcomes Hot Renovations, New Restaurants,  Engaging Art, and a Busy Season for Festivals and Outdoor Adventure

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (July 31, 2018) – Autumn: it’s the time of year in Scottsdale when locals remember why they withstand the summer heat, and visitors ponder extending their stay and delaying that flight back home. With fresh looks and amenities to indulge in at luxury resorts, a packed events calendar, new treats for the taste buds and every reason to hit the patio or the trails, it’s easy to see why; the cooler temperatures aren’t the only thing calling travelers’ names this season. Check out what’s new in this desert oasis.


Scottsdale’s resort landscape continues to transform with a new, sustainable wellness escape, must-see renovations, revitalizing amenities and another property opening on the horizon.

The Scott, a Mission-inspired, 204-room resort situated in Old Town Scottsdale, will soon unveil newly redesigned guestrooms and suites, including new room categories. Set for completion in September 2018, the second phase of the property’s $15-million renovation is a comprehensive revamp of all guestrooms and includes an all-new Presidential Suite as well as the addition of four, one-bedroom suites.

The thoughtful design by designer, AvroKO, draws from four central pillars: the colors and comforts of 1930s Havana, the elegant geometry of the Bauhaus, Mission Revival architecture and the airy, minimalist beauty of the Arizona desert. The first phase of The Scott’s redesign debuted in September 2017 and introduced refreshed public spaces, including the lobby, model rooms and meeting rooms, and a new signature restaurant, bar and lounge concept, The Canal Club.

Nestled on 125 acres in Paradise Valley, the award-winning JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa has opened its new, 15,000-square-foot Paradise Ballroom, which adds a 17,000-square-foot scenic outdoor terrace and brings the resort’s total meeting and event space to 95,000 square feet. The state-of-the-art space capitalizes on the lush desert landscape and views of Camelback and Mummy Mountains with floor-to-ceiling windows, and maintains the property’s intimate, southwestern charm.

In December, CIVANA Carefree will celebrate the opening of its new spa, complete with increased energy efficiency and the introduction of solar power. Formerly the Carefree Resort & Conference Center, CIVANA began welcoming guests in March and is the inaugural property in the portfolio of CIVANA, a hospitality and real estate company grounded in sustainable wellness. The resort is centered around four pillars: Healthy Cuisine, Movement, Healing Arts/Spa and Discovery & Enrichment Arts, and is the first sustainable wellness resort to open in Greater Phoenix. Features include state-of-the-art fitness, yoga, energy, movement and enrichment studios – offering everything from aerial yoga and belly dancing to cycling and TRX – as well as Café Meto, with menu selections vetted for calorie and nutrition content. The property began its transformation in August 2017 with a multi-phase, multi-million-dollar renovation that included guest rooms, public space and the conversion of conference space to wellness programming space.

Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley – a 200-room, new-build opening spring 2019 – will have it all; exemplary service, spectacular views of Camelback Mountain, modern and sleek interiors, and a location just minutes from downtown Scottsdale. Perfect for a cool-off in the desert heat, Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley will boast North America’s longest pool, at more than 400 feet. Other attributes of the 122-acre, master-planned resort include a 14,000-square-foot world-class spa with indoor and outdoor treatment areas, a garden with a citrus orchard, and the Ritz-Carlton Residences. The Villas range from 1,700 to more than 4,500 square feet, while the Estate Homes range from 4,500 to 10,000 square feet.

The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale – a 250-acre desert jewel at the base of Camelback Mountain – opened its new Phoenician Spa in April, as part of its third phase of major enhancements set to conclude this fall, with the re-opening of the golf course. The new Phoenician Spa boasts a three-story, 24-treatment-room-facility, with a rooftop pool, V.I.P. Suite, Drybar salon and full-service nail salon, plus a fitness center and movement studio for spa-goers. Also new to the property is The Phoenician Athletic Club, a 4,600-plus square-foot fitness center with a Game Room, seven tennis courts, two pickleball courts and a half-court basketball area, available to all resort guests.

The resort’s landmark restaurant, J&G Steakhouse, has closed for renovations as it prepares to celebrate its 10-year anniversary later this fall in style, with new flooring and furnishings, updated décor, enhanced seating for the best of al fresco dining and a modernized kitchen. J&G will re-open, refreshed and with a seasonal menu spotlighting fall flavors, in early September.

Sanctuary Spa at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, completed a top-to-bottom refurbishment and expansion in April, introducing a fresh new look throughout and a brand new feature, the Women’s Quiet Room. Destination wedding guests of Sanctuary this year and into 2019 can delight in a complimentary special treat at the spa with the new Bridal Balance package, including a two-hour wellness experience of their choice from the Sanctuary Spa menu.

Over at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, mothers-to-be can enjoy some well-deserved moments of relaxation and celebration with the new Sweet Beginnings Babymoon and Bundle of Joya packages. The former includes sweet treats, a Signature Joya Pedicure and 15 percent off a 50-minute spa service at Joya Spa, while the latter boasts a 50-minute Expectant Mother Massage, 50-minute You’ve Got the Glow Facial and Signature Joya Pedicure.

The pampering continues at Embassy Suites by Hilton Scottsdale Resort, where the Girls Getaway package will start with a complimentary bottle of bubbly and continue with a chauffeured visit to Sephora at Scottsdale Fashion Square for a complimentary, custom makeover and swag bag of beauty products. In September, Agave, The Arizona Spa at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, will roll out its first Beauty Balance Bag and delivery service offering subscribers a quarterly, rotating beauty and wellness bag filled to the brim with a collection of high-end spa products specially curated by Agave Spa.

The summer months kept the Boulders Resort & Spa busy, as the resort is soon to reveal a new Spa Café menu featuring seasonal bounty from the spa’s Organic Garden, an authentic new Tipi, and spa services that focus on healing and renewing skin damaged by the summer sun, like the Bindi Balancing treatment. “Bindi” translates to “rebirth” and the service utilizes exfoliation with fresh herbs from the garden, light massage incorporating oils selected based on Ayurvedic medicine, and a warm cocoon wrap and facial cleanse. The resort draws deeply on its Sonoran Desert surroundings and its Native American legacy both in its design and its offerings, and will debut the new Tipi this fall. Standing 26 feet high and accommodating up to 10 spa guests at a time, the Tipi will be used for private meditation and Native American-derived services that incorporate a variety of healing traditions using ancient and traditional modalities, presented with a modern twist.


Troon North Golf Club’s award-winning, 18-hole Pinnacle Course began a four-month course enhancement project in early June which is expected to reach completion in October. Ron Despain, Troon’s Senior Vice President of Golf Course Development, is overseeing the Pinnacle project, which includes updating green complexes to their original shape, size and contours of Tom Weiskopf’s original design, resurfacing greens and bunker renovations.

Under the direction of golf course architect Phil Smith, The Phoenician Golf Club is undergoing a complete redesign and rerouting, to transform the club from a 27-hole facility to an 18-hole course. The rerouting of the golf course will allow for a more contiguous pattern of play, tightened up distances from greens to the next tees and an even more enjoyable experience for players. Using consistent bunker styling, the overall theme of the landscape design at the new course, opening this fall, will showcase the unique beauty of the Sonoran Desert.

Travelers looking to up their game can take advantage of golf-oriented fitness programming such as Golf Yoga, Corefit Fore Golf and Golf Reflexology, or the “Half Day Learn & Play” class at the Boulders Golf Club, taught by Director of Instruction, Donald Crawley. The half-day program – built for two to four players – includes one-hour sessions of hands-on, full swing diagnosis and correction, a one-hour short game lesson and a 3 p.m. tee time for nine holes of golf (on own).




Oct. 21-Nov. 21 marks the inaugural Scottsdale Contemporary Month, when the city becomes a hotbed of art, design and architecture events.

The Scottsdale Waterfront along the historic Arizona Canal in Old Town Scottsdale will come to life Nov. 9-18 with nine large-scale public art installations, curated from artists around the globe, as well as community programming, including artist talks, public art bike tours and craft making for Canal Convergence. Featured artist, Choi + Shine Architects – most known for their floating, crocheted sea urchins installed in Marina Bay in Singapore in 2017 – will install a 650-foot long hand-crocheted lace ribbon that will weave in and around the canal.

Opening Oct. 12 at Desert Botanical Garden is Electric Desert | A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective. Using projection mapping, cactus and desert become a living canvas in this nighttime experience, taking visitors on an immersive journey through the Garden using light and original music.

Brazilian-born artist Lydia Okumura has taken over two galleries at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) with “Situations,” an exhibit running through Oct. 14 which showcases her dynamic installations, outdoor sculptures and works on paper dating 1971 to present day. Using simple materials such as string, glass and paint, her artworks balance line, plane and shadow and challenge viewers to question their perception of space, with blurred lines between two and three dimensions.

Over at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, “The Art of Joe Beeler: A Western Original,” spotlights one of the giants of Western art through a contemporary twist on western subjects, through Oct. 28, while “A Spotlight on Contemporary Hopi Ceramicists and Katsina Doll Carvers” is on display through Nov. 25. On exhibit for the first time, this exhibition showcases the remarkable artistry detailed in 59 ceramics and 11 katsina dolls by some of the most outstanding contemporary Hopi artists.

Finally, art connoisseurs shouldn’t miss the Larsen Art Auction Oct. 27 for modern and contemporary consignment pieces and film buffs will want to make time for the Scottsdale International Film Festival Nov. 2-11.


Depart from Scottsdale for a limited-time-only tour of the Verde Valley, including the historic ghost town Jerome and stunning night time views from a first-class seat on the Verde Canyon Railroad with DETOURS of Arizona. Departing just before sunset Aug. 25 and Sept. 15, the train will roll through the Canyon in time to watch the golden sun fall behind the mountains and offer a glimpse at the nocturnal wildlife underneath the light of the night sky on the way back.

Those looking to take wheels of a different kind for a spin can find their own adventure with new Gravel Bikes to be added to Arizona Outback Adventures’ fleet this fall. Or, visitors can gear up for a longer trek and let the AOA crew be the guide with a new, three-day Aravaipa Canyon backpacking trip, starting and ending in Scottsdale. The scenic trip showcases one of Arizona’s most unique hiking destinations with opportunities for swimming in Aravaipa Creek and camping in the lush canyon.


The Arizona Restaurant Association’s Fall Arizona Restaurant Week returns for its 11th year Sept. 21-30, with several Scottsdale restaurants offering dining specials that showcase their chefs’ culinary artistry with many off-the-menu dishes presented in a three-course, pre-fixe format. Participating resort restaurants include ZuZu, elements, Hearth ’61, J&G Steakhouse, LON’s, Prado, T. Cook’s and The Canal Club, along with other local favorites, El Chorro and Second Story Liquor Bar.

Visitors can get a taste for local beer at the Arizona Barrels, Bottles and Brews festival at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Nov. 3, exclusively featuring beer produced in Arizona. Scottsdale brewers McFate Brewing Company and Scottsdale Beer Company are among the roster of breweries, as are local distilleries, and local wineries to be announced.

The countdown is on for the Eighth Annual Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, to be held at WestWorld Nov. 10-11, with world-famous polo player, Nacho Figueras joining the event for the first time. New elements of the event include romantic “Couples Cabanas” providing a private viewing tent and complimentary bottle of champagne, an expanded champagne tasting in the Barrett-Jackson Champagne and Jazz Lounge, and an all-new fashion, art and beauty (“F.A.B.”) tent with pop-up clothing displays and sideline manicures.

The signature holiday extravaganza, Scottsdazzle returns to the City with a Holiday Tree Lighting and Sing-Along kick-off event at the Scottsdale Waterfront’s Soleri Bridge Nov. 24. Scottsdazzle will keep the area buzzing with holiday cheer through Dec. 22, with events like the inaugural Feliz Navidad Fiesta in Historic Old Town on Dec. 1, the Thursday night Gold Palette ArtWalk series offering ice sculptor demonstrations and carolers Dec. 13, and the Santa Wine Around and Ale Trail event rewarding those dressed in their Mr. and Mrs. Claus best, on Dec. 15. In addition, live music will take over Soleri Bridge for the Canal Concert Series every Saturday evening Nov. 24-Dec. 22, with the festive sounds of the season performed by local ensembles and musicians.


Wander into Straight Up, Hotel Adeline’s almost-secret whisky bar – if you can find the entrance. Guests who score the password can wet their whistles with curated flights, specialty cocktails and an extensive list of premium and rare whisky.

Whether you fancy smoked, spicy or sweet, new Scottsdale restaurant Starlite BBQ brings the special sauce, with all the barbecue dishes and craft cocktails a heart can desire, while lovers of small bites and wine find their spot at PNPK Craft Sliders + Wine Bar. Both opened this spring.

May brought the opening of Riot House, a new concept in Old Town Scottsdale by Riot Hospitality Group, credited with popular Scottsdale spots El Hefe, Farm & Craft, Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row. Riot House draws guests in to enjoy a breezy cocktail and culinary paradise, with an open-air atmosphere complete with games, lush foliage and bright furnishings.

Guests of Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa can now try their hand at making traditional Native American fry bread with new “In the Kitchen with Chef Brandon” classes, offered at the resort three times per week. Brandon Park, sous chef at Andaz, was born and raised in Paradise Valley, Arizona and is of Winnebago decent. Fry bread is traditionally served at powwows and ceremonies, and Chef Brandon is now passing along his great grandmother’s tricks of the trade for preparing this delicious, honeyed dessert to his guests.


While farm-to-table is all the rage in the culinary world, Scottsdale has taken the concept one step further – from vine-to-table – by introducing five Arizona wine tasting rooms in Downtown. These tasting rooms tell the story of the state’s nearly 100 award-winning wineries, many of which boast 90-point wines as recognized by Wine Spectator.

Now in its second full year, the Scottsdale Wine Trail continues to attract visitors from around the globe. This year, four wineries – Aridus Wine Company, Carlson Creek Vineyard, LDV Wine Gallery, and Salvatore Vineyards – launched the Wine Passport, allowing visitors to purchase a Passport and receive reduced wine tasting experiences throughout the year, like the “Santa Wine-Around,” returning for its third year this winter.

Get to tasting with the Scottsdale Wine Trail map.


Step into the wild, untamed Sonoran Desert. Unexpected vibrancy and uncommon ease make Scottsdale unlike any other destination. World-class resorts, spas and golf are always on the horizon, but rooftop pool parties, inventive bars and authentic restaurants bring an energetic urban landscape to life. So come, get away, and see what blooms in the desert.