WHAT’S NEW IN SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. SUMMER 2018
Scottsdale Heats Up with Summer Resort Deals and Renovations, New Restaurants, and Interactive Art and Attractions
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (May 16, 2018) – There’s no hiding it; summers in Scottsdale are hot, but so is this season’s to-do list for visitors, with new offerings and amenities at luxury resorts, cool pools, exciting activities and plenty of places to treat the taste buds. Read on for details of what’s new in this desert destination, prime for a summer vacation.
LATEST & GREATEST
Scottsdale added a stylish new boutique hotel to its roster of accommodations earlier this year and continues to sizzle with ritzy renovations and invigorating amenities.
March brought the opening of CIVANA Carefree, formerly the Carefree Resort & Conference Center and 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, as well as improving energy efficiency and the introduction of solar energy in its new spa building, which will open by the end of 2018.
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, a full-service Mediterranean-American restaurant, Selfmade; a fast-casual café, Good & Proper; and a speakeasy-style whisky bar, Straight Up.
The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale – a 250-acre desert jewel at the base of Camelback Mountain – has just opened its new Phoenician Spa, 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 opened in April, debuting a three-story, 24-treatment-room-facility, with a rooftop pool, V.I.P. Suite, Drybar salon, full-service nail salon, and a fitness center for personal training and movement studio, known as The Phoenician Athletic Club. The latter boasts 4,600 square feet, including a game room, tennis court, pickleball court and half-court basketball area.
Also newly renovated is Sanctuary Spa at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, which 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. The tranquil retreat found at Sanctuary Spa features separate women’s and men’s spas, with a total of 12 indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, and a private, stone-walled outdoor treatment room. The addition of the Women’s Quiet Room and doubling of the original steam room’s size has expanded the Women’s Spa by 1,200 square feet.
At the nine-acre, historic Royal Palms Resort & Spa – originally built in 1929 as a private residence at the base of Camelback Mountain – a multi-million-dollar renovation touching all 119 guest rooms and the pool area is now complete. Lightening and brightening the rooms, refreshing the landscaping and updating the pool deck has revitalized this resort which combines the graciousness and sophistication of a storied Mediterranean villa, with the intimacy and privacy of a secluded retreat.
At Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa, guests can take the resort’s 1962 Cadillac, Nora – aptly named after the Sonoran Desert – for an “Instagrammable” spin with a personal chauffer, stopping at a handful of Scottsdale’s most photo-worthy spots. Priced at $75/hour, this camera-ready ride is one to be remembered.
Visitors can also put the pedal to the metal with W Scottsdale’s new “Be-Spoke” cycling 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 Scottsdale in the fall of 2017. This program provides self-led and organized group rides, allowing visitors to explore Scottsdale’s sights at their own speed. The program also includes custom itineraries, from a food-driven “Spin & Savor” restaurant route, to a “Bike & Hike” itinerary that takes guests to local hiking trails.
As the heat rises during Scottsdale summers, the resort rates go down. The Hermosa Inn, for example – a AAA Four Diamond hotel nestled in the heart of Paradise Valley – is offering guests a “Summer in Paradise Getaway” with rates starting from $149 per night in a luxury casita at this boutique hideaway. Minutes down the road at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, the “Fee Free Summer Getaway” allows guests to take advantage of rooms starting at $135 with no added parking or resort fees, May 25 – Sept. 30. Visitors can even find rates as low as $89 per night and groove along to poolside live music at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, a Destination Hotel. Discover additional reasons to stay and play in Scottsdale in the summer and more information on the season's unbeatable rates.
EVENTS & ATTRACTIONS
New to the $200 million OdySea in the Desert complex as of 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 takes guests on 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 located in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC).
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament has announced its 10th North American Castle will soon be coming to Scottsdale, opening in the SRPMIC’s Talking Stick Entertainment District, directly behind Salt River Fields stadium. The dinner-and-a-swordfight concept will open early 2019.
For those who like to “rosé all day,” the first annual BLUSH International Rosé Festival is coming to new venue, The Clayton House, in Old Town Scottsdale on June 9 – National Rosé Day. BLUSH guests can sip away in the cool indoors with unlimited tastings from over 75 Rosé varieties and choose from three tasting sessions offered throughout the day.
A week later, a true spectacle that can only be found in the desert is the Scottsdale Fahrenheit Festival: Arms, Legs and Kegs at WestWorld of Scottsdale. The June 16 event – dubbed “the Hottest Race on Earth” – includes a 10.2K and 5K race, to be run in the peak heat of the day, as well as an arm wrestling competition and jalapeño eating contest. Runners and spectators can also visit The Arizona Ales & Cocktails Festival inside the Scottsdale Fahrenheit Festival, featuring mixologists, culinary delights by M Culinary Concepts and brews from the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild.
For something a little less extreme and a little more scenic, DETOURS of Arizona’s newly expanded Grand Canyon South Rim tour, departing daily from Scottsdale, now includes a stop to experience Route 66, plus more time than ever to explore inside the iconic Grand Canyon National Park. Journey through the Sonoran Desert, filled with the native saguaro cacti, into the Ponderosa Pine Forest, to your final destination: one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Walk the rim, shop, snap the iconic photo, or enjoy lunch with the best seat in the house.
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.
Scottsdale Arts will present “DEEP TIME: Imagining the Ancient Inland Sea” this summer, an immersive, family-friendly experience that takes visitors on a journey to the prehistoric ocean that once covered our Sonoran Desert, as imagined through the eyes of Tucson-based artists Lex Gjurasic and Rachel Slick. “DEEP TIME” will be on display in the gallery at Scottsdale Civic Center Library May 26 – August 24.
Additionally, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) will present three exhibitions this summer aimed at captivating and engaging visitors of all ages. From a playful exhibition about animals with over 130 artists, to a focused survey of one artist’s dynamic installations, to an immersive experience that incorporates light, sound and technology, there will be something for everyone. Step into artist Refik Anadol’s Infinity Room May 26 – Sept. 30 for a three-dimensional adventure through a constantly changing virtual landscape (and reality).
Visitors can also “tune out” to a little live music with The MIM Music Theater’s Summer 2018 Concert Series, offering more than 50 concerts May – September, spanning genres across the globe and including artists like Grammy-nominated Madeleine Peyroux, and Blues Traveler front man, John Popper.
TO SIP AND TO SAVOR
As the foodie capital of the Southwest, “Bon Appetit” takes on new meaning in Scottsdale. 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. Plus, the scene is attracting some new kids to the block.
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 the freshly opened PNPK Craft Sliders + Wine Bar. Both opened this spring.
Next up is Riot House, a new concept opening in Old Town Scottsdale this month by Riot Hospitality Group, responsible for local favorites El Hefe, Farm & Craft, Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row. Riot House will invite guests to enjoy a breezy cocktail and culinary paradise, with an open-air atmosphere complete with lawn games, lush foliage and bright furnishings.
Locally owned and operated Blue Clover Distillery opened in January in Oldtown Scottsdale, serving Arizona-inspired food and hand-crafted modern spirits, and was closely followed by the local launch of Blind Dragon, an Asian-themed restaurant and karaoke lounge from Los Angeles-based The H. Wood Group.
On the resorts front, Talavera, the signature restaurant of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, has unveiled an all-new menu and contemporary design with its launch as a Spanish steakhouse. Created by Chef Samantha Sanz, lauded as one the Phoenix area’s up-and-coming star chefs, Talavera’s new menu focuses on traditional Latin ingredients and specialties such as paella, dry-aged steak, jamón ibérico, fresh seafood and a flavorful selection of tapas.
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 – have now launched the Wine Passport allowing visitors to purchase a Passport and receive reduced wine tasting experiences throughout the year, like the ever-popular “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.