WHAT’S NEW IN SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. WINTER 2018-19
Resort Renovations, Interactive Art, Holiday Happenings and a Jam-Packed Events Calendar
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Oct. 30, 2018) – While much of the world pulls out the heavy winter jackets and snow boots, Scottsdale offers up the sunshine for a perfect winter getaway. Check out what’s new for staying and playing under the cool, crisp air and abundant rays in this Sonoran Desert destination.
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. CIVANA aims to make wellness accessible to a wide audience through its variety of dining outlets, fitness classes and spa offerings which meet guests wherever they are in their respective wellness journeys.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North completed a $13-million renovation in September, unveiling contemporary new casitas, suites and public spaces, and enhancements to the spa. The resort also debuted its new Spanish steakhouse concept at well-known dining outlet, Talavera.
The Royal Palms Resort and Spa has just added 3,956 square feet of meeting and event space encompassed within two new outdoor venues, just in time for Arizona’s ideal weather. The 119-room resort is reminiscent of a Mediterranean-style retreat with original design details like rustic doors, winding stone paths, hand-painted tile, tucked-away courtyards and lush gardens.
As part of the continued enhancement efforts to The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, A Destination Hotel – which started with an $11-million renovation in September 2015 that transformed the property – the resort recently completed an entire architectural, décor and soft goods renovation to three Presidential Suites. The sophisticated 1,375-foot accommodations received a large-scale design refresh totaling $150,000, to convert the spaces into an open concept with a modern Spanish design inspiration.
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.
ALL ABOUT ART & ARCHITECTURE
Oct. 21 marked the inaugural Scottsdale Contemporary Month, turning the city into a hotbed of art, design and architecture events (through Nov. 21).
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 such as 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.
The Scottsdale Gallery Association’s Gold Palette ArtWalk on Nov. 15 will follow suit with its theme: Contemporary Focus, honoring Scottsdale Contemporary Month. During this special event, multiple galleries will be hosting contemporary artists including: River Trading Post, On the Edge Gallery, Xanadu Gallery, Carstens Fine Art Studio & Gallery, French Designer Jewelry Gallery, and Wilde Meyer Annex. These participating galleries welcome guests to not only peruse their works, but also express their own creativity on large community canvases at the Creative Vortexes that will be placed along Main Street in the Old Town Arts District. The Gold Palette ArtWalk brings together the finest art in Scottsdale, including a total of 28 galleries and two museums, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) and Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.
Also complementing Canal Convergence is Local Light, an additional initiative by Scottsdale Public Art, which began Oct. 25. Light-based installations by local artists have been placed along the streets of Scottsdale’s Gallery District to create a path of art and light between the surrounding businesses and the canal. For the program’s first year, Scottsdale Public Art commissioned the artists to enhance eight different Old Town sites using light, which includes stores, wine tasting rooms and more, and the displays will remain active through Dec. 31.
Civic Center Plaza will become home to the 25th Annual ArtFest of Scottsdale Nov. 17-18. The event celebrates the local artists’ community and features more than 120 artists selling original paintings, sculpture art, jewelry, metal art, ceramics and glass works, as well as authors and visual artists.
New to Desert Botanical Garden this autumn and running through May 12, 2019 is Electric Desert | A Light and Sound Experience by Klip Collective. Using projection mapping, cactus and desert have become a living canvas in this nighttime experience, taking visitors on an immersive journey through the Garden using light and original music.
One Saturday per month, November – May 2019, “Mimosas & Monet” art classes will invite aspiring artists to enjoy mimosas and self-made masterpieces on the patio at The Hermosa Inn. The sessions are led by the Inn’s Artist-in-Residence, Carrie Curran, and will teach guests how to paint various desert scenes using acrylic on canvas.
Mid-century modern architecture fans can get an in-depth look at some of the city’s best examples of this classic style with the Insider Mid-Century Tour of Scottsdale – just launched by the iconic Hotel Valley Ho – showcasing incredible buildings by the famed Frank Lloyd Wright and other notable Valley architects. Local expert Ace Bailey of Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours leads the half-day (three-hour) and full-day (six-hour) tours, with the latter including lunch and a glass of wine, to close out the experience.
The historic Arizona Biltmore, designed by Wright and Albert Chase McArthur, has also launched a new weekly historian-led tour. The 45-minute Happy Hour History Tour explores the art, architecture and glamorous history of the resort – including U.S. presidential guests and old Hollwood glitterati – and includes two specialty cocktails, like the Catalina Spritz, Marilyn Monroe’s beverage of choice while sun bathing at the property’s Catalina Pool.
Visitors to Scottsdale have a new reason to visit Taliesin West, too. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has unearthed a rarely seen original photography collection from one of the most well-known architectural photographers of all time, Pedro E. Guerrero. This special collection on display through Nov. 14 is a work of 14 original, signed photographs taken by Guerrero at Taliesin West in the 1940s and 1950s, when he served as Wright’s official photographer. The prints are on display in situ, meaning within the places where they were taken, at Wright’s winter home, which is also celebrating its 80th anniversary this year.
MORE SPECIAL EVENTS
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.
As if the perfect weather and lack of snow shoveling isn’t enough reason to head to Scottsdale for the holidays, resorts roll out the red carpet with special Santa sightings, menus and other holiday cheer, not to mention all of the light shows and other special attractions to see around town. A warm winter escape awaits!
TO SIP AND TO SAVOR
In the spirit of celebrating Scottsdale’s endlessly sunny weather, W Scottsdale has launched a new, modern-meets-retro Tiki cocktail menu to keep visitors feeling warm through the winter season. Try a “Tequila Colada” with Dulce de Leche Tequila, coconut rum, coconut water and nitrogen-infused pineapple juice, or get your seasonal pumpkin fix with the “Tiki Tea,” featuring pumpkin-infused bourbon, three-day steeped Earl Grey tea, egg white, Aguafaba and a reverse dry shake. Bottoms up!
Over at The Phoenician, the resort’s landmark restaurant, J&G Steakhouse has re-opened for its 10-year anniversary with new flooring and furnishings, updated décor, enhanced seating for the best of al fresco dining, and a modernized kitchen.
Join Mountain Shadows on select Saturdays at Hearth ’61 for Spirited Sipping Seminars – a tasting and history lesson that takes guests on a journey through the wonderful world of wine, beer and spirits. Upcoming December themes include Holiday Cocktails, Ales vs. Lagers: Finding Your Style and A Bit of Bubbly: France vs. USA.
As the holiday season nears, Marcellino Ristorante is planning several December events centered around Italian tradition, delicious cuisine, romantic wines and a sense of gratitude for family and friends. Owners Chef Marcellino Verzino and his wife, Sima, will first host a Heritage Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 4, which was first presented at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City in October 2017. As Chef Marcellino cooks from his wood burning oven at the intimate Chef’s Island that seats 16, he will share stories from his childhood and describe his inspiration behind each dinner course served.
The Chef’s Island is also where guests can participate in the “Lunch and Learn: Christmas Eve in Italy” cooking class on Saturday, Dec. 15, in which Chef Marcellino will teach participants how to cook Scialatielli alle Vongole, which is handcrafted, long, robust pasta with Manila clams.
Guests of Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa can 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 descent. 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.
SCOTTSDALE BY THE GLASS
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 Old Town. 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.
This month, LDV Winery announced the opening of its new tasting room in Old Town Scottsdale’s popular SouthBridge center and celebrated its 10th year of winemaking with the debut of DECADE, a Rhone-style blend combination of Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah. New menu offerings include noshing boards featuring local products such as cheese from Crow’s Dairy, Green Valley Pecans, dates from Sphinx Date Co., bread from Noble bakery, and more.
HITTING THE LINKS
Troon North Golf Club’s award-winning Pinnacle Course reopened for daily-fee play on Oct. 5 following a four-month enhancement project. The renovation – overseen by Ron Despain, Troon’s Senior Vice President of Golf Course Development – included updating green complexes to their original shape, size and contours of Tom Weiskopf’s original design, resurfacing greens and bunker renovations. Troon North features two 18-hole golf courses, Pinnacle and Monument.
The redesigned and rerouted Phoenician Golf Club will open for public and resort play on Nov. 1. Over the last 10 months, under the direction of golf course architect Phil Smith, the facility has been transformed 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 showcases the unique beauty of the Sonoran Desert.
Starfire Golf Club is set to reveal a $750,000 renovation Nov. 10, with the new course featuring a 9-hole, par 28 Mulligan course, intended to attract younger and novice golfers, and a King 18-hole, par 70 course. Other enhancements to the Arnold Palmer-designed course include improved practice and teaching facilities, and an expanded driving range.
Boasting breathtaking views and competitive play, The Mountain Shadows Golf Open will return Dec. 19 to Arizona’s only 18-hole, par-3 golf course, The Short Course. Originally designed by architect Arthur Jack Snyder in 1961, the golf course at Mountain Shadows quickly became a favorite among Hollywood celebrities and socialites. As the new Mountain Shadows rose from the dust, architect Forrest Richardson (who worked with Snyder) redesigned the course by combining its storied heritage with modern features.
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.