What's new in Scottsdale, Ariz. Spring 2018
Scottsdale Springs Forward with New Resort Offerings and Renovations,
Additions to the Culinary Scene, Interactive Art, and Updates out on the Green
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Jan. 16, 2018) – New Year, new things to do.
Downtown Scottsdale is seeing an influx of restaurants, activities and attractions – just in time for the perfect weather. Dorian opened its doors in December 2017 and Blue Clover Distillery will follow suit later this month, adding to the eclectic Downtown culinary scene. The dynamic duo of Skylanes and Casa Amigos will also debut in the neighborhood in January, mixing stylish, spicy dining with a music-centric boutique bowling club in its two-story, $4 million entertainment destination next to the popular Bottled Blonde Pizzeria + Beer Garden.
The cherry on top is the recent arrival of LimeBike and ofo – dockless, subsidy-free bike-share services – making it even easier for visitors to cruise through Downtown to eat, shop and sightsee to their hearts’ content. Read on for more of what’s new in this desert destination, perfect for escaping the cold this season.
IN THE LAP OF LUXURY
Scottsdale added a stylish new boutique hotel to its roster of accommodations this month and has yet another luxury resort closely on the horizon – plus some new resort living to be coveted.
In January, the 4.5-acre contemporary urban retreat, Hotel Adeline, debuted 213 guestrooms – including five spacious 600-square-foot king suites – and nearly 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor private event space. Features of this contemporary meets bohemian hotel include a 3,000-square-foot, zero edge pool with a pool bar, surrounded by cabanas and courtyards with lawn games and hanging loungers, a 2,200-square-foot pool deck (available for event buy-out), a full-service Mediterranean-American restaurant, and fast casual breakfast and lunch café. Menus will focus on fresh ingredients, seasonal dishes and locally inspired items, complete with creative cocktails and craft brews. The rooms include modern wood furniture with a retro flair, built-in, live edge work desks, walk-in rainfall showers, RFID keyless room entry and 50-inch LG Smart TVs. Guests can also utilize the fitness center as well as a convenient hotel transport providing service within a two-mile radius surrounding the property. For meetings and events, the 1,700-square-foot Hayden Ballroom accommodates up to 120 guests, while those hosting more intimate gatherings can book the 345-square-foot boardroom for a dozen people, or find an unexpected venue option in the hotel’s whisky bar and lounge, accommodating up to 30 guests.
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.
Breaking ground next door is The Palmeraie, with 160,000 square feet of mixed-use space carved out for 60 luxury and specialty boutiques, plus restaurants from local, national and international celebrity chefs. Plans for a future phase also include high-end residences, a gourmet grocery store and a boutique hotel. Phase one for The Palmeraie is slated for completion in early 2019.
Mountain Shadows, a modern rebirth of the original luxury resort built in 1959 – with its official grand opening held in 2017 – will celebrate completion of the entire property early this year with the opening of its luxury wing resort condominiums. The 42-unit Mountain Shadows Resort Condominiums complex is designed for those seeking “lock and leave” resort-style living. Direct access to the entire resort encourages owners to take advantage of benefits such as home meal delivery, housekeeping, valet and concierge services, plus access to the Citizens Club wellness center, restaurant Hearth ’61, from the creative mastermind of renowned Chef Charles Wiley, and Arizona’s only 18-hole, par-3 golf course. The Condominiums offer studio, one- and two-bedroom floor plans, ranging from 1,000 to 3,410 square feet.
LATEST & GREATEST
Read on for the inside track on new looks and new offerings found at nearly a dozen Scottsdale resorts.
2017 brought the final “out with the old and in with the new” at The Scottsdale Plaza Resort. The hotel’s three-year property improvement plan started in 2015 with a makeover of the Standard Rooms, continued in 2016 with Suite renovations, and was finished in fall 2017 with upgrades on all common areas, including the ball rooms, front desk, lobby and meeting spaces. Situated on 40 lush acres with over 40,000 square feet of flexible and function event space, five pools, a full-service spa, and on-site tennis courts, the resort offers the perfect retreat for business travelers, conventions and special events.
A 250-acre desert jewel at the base of Camelback Mountain, The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale, began its third phase of major enhancements in August 2017 that is set to conclude this year. The new Phoenician Spa will open this season, debuting a three-story facility with a rooftop pool, V.I.P. Suite, Drybar, full-service nail salon and 24 treatment rooms. Renovations also include the construction of a new Fitness Center and Movement Studio (in the Spa building), and a 10-month redesign of the golf course, which will be reconfigured from 27 to 18 holes beginning in January 2018 and concluding for re-opening in the fall.
Unforgettable experiences are the name of the game at Boulders Resort & Spa. Guests can now “Wine & Recline” with an 80-minute spa service – like the new Illuminating Peptide or Desert Rose Radiance skin treatments – followed by sitting back with a glass of wine, poolside. Those more interested in working on their swing can attend the “Mental Game of Golf” class with PGA Golf Instructors at the Boulders Golf Club or try out the “Put Down Your Racket” session at the Boulders Tennis Gardens, to unlock the mental secrets to playing a better game. Also new this year, Stargazing led by the resort’s resident astronomer allows guests to take advantage of the desert hideaway’s off-the-beaten-path location, with the sky above acting as the planetarium. Using a high-powered telescope, planets, stars, constellations and the lunar surface are all right at guests’ fingertips.
There’s no shortage of things to do for meetings guests, either, with new meeting activities designed to combat “all work and no play.” The Boulders Golf Academy offers groups one-on-one instruction while Dine & Dash mixes fine dining and a discovery hunt out on the green. New wellness activities designed by the Boulders spa gurus such as Brain Fitness Neurobics and Balance and Mobility Training stretch meeting-goers’ noggins and Mixer Mixology allows guests to let loose by creating their own craft cocktails. The Boulders offers more than 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, including the new 5,500 square-foot Latilla Ballroom.
Following suit on the meetings and event space front, JW Marriott Camelback Inn is set to reveal a new state-of-the-art conference center in June. The space will include the new 15,000 square-foot Paradise Ballroom and an additional 20,000 square feet of outdoor and pre-function spaces, bringing the award-winning resort’s event facilities to a total of 95,000 square feet.
Baseball fans have new reason to flock to Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa with special offerings just in time for spring training. The resort has partnered with the San Francisco Giants to offer a Suite Package including a stay at the Albers House or Girard House – the two largest suites at the resort – two tickets to a Giants home game, a $50 Uber gift card for transportation to and from the stadium, and a spring training “prep kit,” with essentials like peanuts and Cracker Jack, and sunscreen. To hit it all out of the park, Andaz Scottsdale’s on-site restaurant, Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen will also be serving Giants fan favorites like Anchor Steam beer on tap and a play on its signature garlic fries, renamed “Gilroy California Garlic Fries.”
Visitors to Downtown for Spring Training can also take advantage of W Scottsdale’s new “Be-Spoke” bike program, new this year. The fleet of bikes is complimentary to hotel guests and joins the local bike movement, with the launch of LimeBike in fall 2017. Guests of W Scottsdale can also party like a Rockstar with Drunken Donuts. For this new experience, a glam bar cart is wheeled into the guest’s room containing a freshly baked dozen from The Local Donut and flavored injectable vodka shooters.
Over at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, libations and live music take Center Stage. Travelers looking to kick back and relax can delight in happy hour specials at Center Stage Bar Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m. and Hyatt Untapped will also continue at the popular hotel hangout in 2018, with performances from local artists the third Monday of each month. Notably, March 24 will mark the return of world-famous classical guitarist, Esteban, performing with his full band, including daughter Teresa Joy on violin.
OUT & ABOUT
SIGHTSEE & SHOP
New to the $200 million OdySea in the Desert complex as of fall 2017 is Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs. The $3 million exhibit combines the thrills of a dinosaur era-themed concept with educational elements to allow families to learn more about these mysterious creatures, right here in Scottsdale. Visitors can find more than 50 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs roaming the facility as well as interactive activities such as fossil excavations, sluicing – which allows to children to pan for dinosaur fossils, face painting, and balloon art to bring the prehistoric world to life. Guests can even come face-to-face with some of the most terrifying and fascinating creatures to ever walk the Earth with virtual reality experiences, and take a ride through lifelike habitats with stationary and walking dinosaur rides.
Launching in February at the OdySea Aquarium is OdySea Voyager, an engineering marvel and interactive experience for visitors of all ages. As the world’s only revolving aquarium experience, OdySea Voyager will take guests through a narrated storytelling adventure through various colored submarines, exploring the fascinating aspects of the deep blue sea. OdySea in the Desert is a hotbed of family-friendly activity, with the 16-acre OdySea Aquarium and attractions Butterfly Wonderland, OdySea Mirror Maze and Polar Play.
For a land and water adventure of another kind, look no further than the new Land and Lake Excursion offered by Desert Belle Cruises and Stellar Adventures. The two companies have collaborated to offer a half-day outing that offers visitors an up-close and personal look at the Sonoran Desert, followed by an unforgettable cruise on the waters of Saguaro Lake. The day begins with Stellar Adventures taking riders into the desert in their signature H1 Hummer for a one-hour, high-energy off-road adventure. Then, guests board the Desert Belle, a two-level boat that takes passengers on a breathtaking Lake cruise where wild horses and bighorn sheep roam the craggy cliffs surrounding the water. And, bonus – there’s beer and wine on-board for toasting to the day’s experiences.
Scottsdale is also the perfect home base for venturing out to explore Arizona’s scenic wonders like the Apache Trail, Verde Valley Steam Railway, Sedona, Tombstone and the Grand Canyon with DETOURS of Arizona. The adventure outfitter has recently launched an Antelope Canyon tour from Scottsdale, one of the most iconic destinations in the desert Southwest. The tour features Lee’s Ferry, Navajo Bridge, Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon with a Navajo guide. DETOURS Native America has teamed up with Donovan Hanley, formerly of the Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise, to also introduce private, single- and multi-day tours from Scottsdale into the Navajo and Hopi Nations.
Switching gears to sightseeing of the window shopping variety, Scottsdale Fashion Square began a multi-dimensional renovation in September 2017. The first phase of renovation is scheduled to debut in fall 2018. The renovation includes a two-story luxury wing entrance, a grand promenade featuring new outdoor restaurants, more luxury and first-to-market brands, and the introduction of innovative services and amenities – such as personal shopping experts and style consultants, and platinum-level concierge – that will elevate the luxury shopping and dining experience. With four anchor department stores and more than 200 shops and restaurants, Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of the premier shopping destinations in the country with total annual sales exceeding $650 million.
Artists from all walks of life have been inspired by the breathtaking beauty of Scottsdale and subsequently left their mark around town. Some of the newest offerings available at these artistic attractions are not to be missed.
Art meets the outdoors once again with new installations from Scottsdale Public Art. Suspended above the canal at Scottsdale Waterfront, “Reflection Rising” – a colorful kinetic sculpture by Poetic Kinetics – serves as a reminder of nature’s continuous movement around us as it captivates passersby and sets the stage for the interactive art experience, Canal Convergence. The two spring Canal Convergence events take place over the weekends of Feb. 23-24 and March 2-3, and will feature six large-scale art installations, live music, two unique outdoor dance performances, artist-led workshops and talks, and an extended beer, wine and food garden.
Scottsdale Public Art is also partnering with the City of Scottsdale to present a new, long-term temporary public art piece starting in February at Scottsdale Civic Center Mall in Downtown Scottsdale. “Sun Lanterns” by Eli Richard consists of roughly 25 solar-powered, multi-color lanterns of varying sizes that let light shine through during the day, casting colorful shadows, and at night, illuminate to create a soft, colorful glow on the plaza.
Just a few blocks away at the Noriega Stable Livery Space, local artist Erika Lynne Hanson is beginning a six-month Scottsdale Creates Residency program to engage artists, art and community with a focus on textiles, crocheting and stitching. The residency will also be home for crochet volunteers of “ARIZONA!” a large-scale public art crochet project by Boston’s Choi + Shine for November 2018’s Canal Convergence. The works of the 2016-2017 Scottsdale Public Art artists-in-residence program featuring David Emitt Adams, Ron Carlos and Christopher Jagmin go on display at the Gallery at the Library in Scottsdale Civic Center in the “Interactions through Art: Scottsdale Artists-in-Residence” exhibition Jan. 25-March 30.
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West continues to reach new heights as it enters its fourth year of celebrating the art, history and unique stories of the American West, and the bordering provinces of Canada and states of Mexico. Current exhibitions include “The Art of Joe Beeler: A Western Original,” spotlighting one of the giants of Western art through a contemporary twist on western subjects and “Canvas of Clay: Hopi Pottery Masterworks from The Allen and Judith Cooke Collection.” Spanning six centuries and showcasing more than 65 of the finest examples of Hopi pottery on exhibit for the first time, the “Canvas of Clay” exhibition takes a deep dive into the history and stylistic traditions of the Hopi. Included in the collection are 18 ceramics by Nampeyo of Hano, the most famous of the Hopi potters.
Opening February 13 at Western Spirit, “A Spotlight on Contemporary Hopi Ceramicists and Kachina Doll Carvers,” an ongoing exhibit, features more than 55 ceramics and nearly a dozen kachina dolls.
THE GREEN SCENE
HITTING THE LINKS
Cruise the course at The Westin Kierland Golf Club – a Troon-managed course – in yet another fun way to play its 27 holes with the recent launch of Kierland TurfRiders scooters. Since it first introduced Segway golf in 2002, fitness, fun and speed of play have been top of mind at The Westin Kierland Golf Club. These new light weight, turf-friendly scooters can go as fast as 24 mph on larger hills and allow golfers to scoot on and off the cart path, continuing the brand’s tradition of creating a unique golf experience. The TurfRiders join the Club’s fleet of golf vehicles that includes the golf bike, GolfBoard – for “surfing the earth,” climate-controlled golf carts with misters – for the summer months, and four-seater golf carts. For those craving an even more unique experience, Kierland Golf Club offers a Scottish golf program, in which golfers play in a traditional Scottish kilt.
In addition to The Westin Kierland Golf Club, three other Troon Golf-managed clubs in Scottsdale now offer guests the opportunity to play with caddies: The Boulders Resort & Spa, The Phoenician Golf Club, and Troon North Golf Club. Guests who opt to use the caddie service may choose to have a single forecaddie for their group, a single-bag carry caddie, or a double-bag carry caddie (available only at Boulders, The Phoenician or Westin Kierland). Caddie services at the properties range from $30 per player for a forecaddie up to $100 per player for a single-bag carry caddie.
This month, the Phoenician Golf Club is undergoing a complete redesign and rerouting under the direction of golf course architect Phil Smith, to transform the club from a 27-hole facility to an 18-hole course, in conjunction with the third phase of major enhancements at The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale. The rerouting of the golf course will last 10 months and ultimately 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 will showcase the unique beauty of the Sonoran Desert.
DELECTABLE WINING & DINING
VACATION NEVER TASTED SO GOOD
“Bon Appetit” takes on new meaning in Scottsdale, the foodie capital of the Southwest. After years of flying under the radar, this culinary oasis is finally getting the recognition it deserves with accolades from Esquire, Food & Wine, the James Beard Foundation and AAA, just to name a few. Check out a few of the new culinary innovations just opened and closely on the horizon:
Famous 48, a new American tavern-style restaurant joined Square One Concepts’ Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers, The Funky Monk and Wasted Grain when it opened its doors in Downtown Scottsdale in late 2017. A hop, skip and a jump away, Dorian restaurant and bar also made its Downtown debut Dec. 29, 2017. The spot is inspired by Oscar Wilde’s classic 1891 novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Dorian is a modern restaurant that combines California cuisine with Asian flavors and textures. Located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, the intimate space is a mix of modern and Old World Victorian. The Dorian features a seasonal menu of flavorful and bold dishes seared in a mesquite wood oven, craft cocktails and an extensive champagne, wine and beer list.
New to the craft beer, wine and cocktail scene is Bitters bar inside the ASU SkySong Campus focusing on promoting “craft culture” with local, fresh ingredient dishes, artisanal cocktails and small-batch beer and wine. Guests began bellying up to the bar at Bitters in October 2017. Locally owned and operated Blue Clover Distillery will pop onto scene soon as well, opening at the end of the month in Downtown Scottsdale and serving locally inspired food and hand-crafted modern spirits.
Set to open Jan. 26 in central Scottsdale is the Blind Dragon, an Asian-themed restaurant and lounge from Los Angeles-based The H. Wood Group. The 8,500-square-foot location will be the third for the concept and will offer six private karaoke suites.
Next in line, Ocean 44 – from Mike and Jeff Mastro, owners and brothers of popular steakhouses Steak 44 and Dominick’s – is slated to arrive in Scottsdale mid to late 2018. The brand new, coastal concept will take over the former Harkin’s Camelview space across from the upcoming new luxury wing of Scottsdale Fashion Square and will serve up a vast seafood menu as well as the great steaks fans of the restaurant group have come to know and love.
Scottsdale resorts are cooking up new delights for travelers as well. The Scott Resort & Spa has just announced its new signature restaurant, bar and lounge concept, The Canal Club, as part of its property-wide renovations. Specializing in modern Cuban-American cuisine and Caribbean-inspired cocktails, the menu is delivered in an atmosphere reminiscent of the colors and comforts of 1930s Havana. The restaurant and lounge serve three meals per day in the dining room, in addition to a selection of tapas and libations at the lobby bar, and hosts a weekend Sangria Brunch, bi-weekly vinyl DJ and monthly live jazz nights. Menu items offer unexpected flavors and pairings infused with the ingredients of old Havana, such as plantains, tender smoked meats and indigenous spices.
In November 2017, JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa introduced Lincoln, a JW Steakhouse with floor to ceiling windows to offer diners spectacular views of Camelback Mountain and the colors of an Arizona sunset. The modern American steakhouse’s culinary team is led by Executive Chef Paul Millist and provides guests with a menu boasting hand-cut Prime and Wagyu butcher’s steaks, as well as dishes to satisfy vegans and vegetarians alike.
Down the road, Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia has just released its Chef’s Secret Garden Dinner Series; an experience showcasing visiting distilleries and winemakers from across the country paired with family-style, three-course dinners prepared by Executive Chef Marcos Seville. The events take place monthly in the indoor/outdoor Chef’s Kitchen space and offer a different theme each time, such as the “Plant-Based Earth Day Inspired Menu” in April, or the “Dia De Los Muertos Celebration” in October.
Further proving Scottsdale is a hotbed for culinary expression, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival will be celebrating 40 years of food, wine, and entertainment April 14-15, 2018 at Scottsdale Civic Center Park. Event highlights include 40 local restaurants, 30 craft breweries, 20 bands, a teen cooking challenge, chef demos, family zone, and a wine garden. All event net proceeds benefit the Scottsdale League for the Arts who distributes grants to Arizona art and art education non-profits.
The food festivities continue the following week at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa in Paradise Valley, which will host its second annual Nirvana Food & Wine Festival April 19-22. Nirvana will draw international talent four a four-day extravaganza dotted with star chefs and Sanctuary’s own Executive Chef, Beau MacMillan. From a Bourbon Street Blues event at Sanctuary’s famous infinity-edge pool to a Birds & Bubbles dinner, guests will experience a true taste of paradise.
ZuZu inside Hotel Valley Ho – meanwhile – is giving those with a serious sweet tooth a run for their money. The retro-chic resort in Downtown Scottsdale is serving up highly Instagrammable milkshakes perfect for sharing. Pastry Chef Audrey Enriquez debuts a different “Show Stopper” shake every month with a delicious combination of milkshake, toppings and homemade desserts piled on top. Red Velvet will debut just in time for Valentine’s Day in February and Cookies & Cream will take over taste buds in March.
WANDER THE WINE TRAIL
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 four 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. The four wineries – Aridus Wine Company, Carlson Creek Vineyard, LDV Wine Gallery, and Salvatore Vineyards – are now launching the Wine Passport allowing visitors to purchase a Passport and receive reduced wine tasting experiences. Valentine’s Day will bring a “Chocolate Paired Wine Tasting” excursion to the Scottsdale Wine Trail, followed by a “Shamrocks & Shenanigans”-themed scavenger hunt in March, and the ever-popular “Santa Wine-Around” is already in the works to return for its third year this winter.
In April, LDV Winery will celebrate its 10th Anniversary since its first grapes were planted in Southeastern Arizona. The LDV Winery Gallery in Downtown Scottsdale will be hosting a variety of special events such as monthly Supper Club and wine release parties, Blending Seminars, Library Wine Tastings and more from April – December, culminating for the release of a special production 10th Anniversary wine.
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.