Why Should I Go?
It’s no wonder celebs escape from L.A. and head to Scottsdale, Arizona.: Five-star resorts, chic art galleries, a burgeoning restaurant scene and the magical Sonoran Desert are enough to entice the most pampered travel. Scottsdale may be a golfer’s mecca, with more than 50 courses to its name, but come Feb. 3, football will be the biggest game I n town. This year, Super Bowl XLII descends up on the University of Phoenix Stadium (located in nearby Glendale), and some 120,000 visitors, including celebrities such as Jamie Foxx and Carmen Electra, are headed to the area to join in the fun.
Never one to rest on its laurels, the city of Scottsdale continues to expand, and downtown is in the midst of a makeover; roughly $3.4 billion dollars will be spent on the two-mile area. One finished phase is the Scottsdale Waterfront and SouthBridge development, a pedestrian-friendly shopping and dining complex along downtown’s Arizona Canal, which draws visitors and residents alike.
Where Should I Stay:
There’s no shortage of full-service resorts in the Scottsdale area, but two stand out from the pack in terms of service, food and location: The Phoenician and the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. It’s worth it to pack your bags and hotel hop.
Although it technically straddles the border between Phoenix and Scottsdale, The Phoenician could be a city unto itself. Situated on 250 acres at the base of Camelback Mountain, the 647-room resort offers something for everyone: a $25 million private art collection, nine pools and 27 holes of championship golf. Book a lesson on the range with pro Michael Lamanna––and get a videotape of your swing to take home.
Enjoy all-day dining in The Terrace (The Phoenician Cobb Salad is to die for) before experiencing Mary Elaine’s, where guests dine on dishes such as Maine lobster cassoulet and veal loin with wild burgundy snails. Impeccable service and stunning Valley views bring the experience over the top.
After your stay a The Phoenician, leave the city and head for the rustic Sonoran Desert, and the elegant Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. (Note: The resort is approximately 30 minutes from downtown, so do your shopping and bar-hopping while you stay at The Phoenician.) Nearly finished with a $15 million makeover to both rooms and public spaces, this 210 room, low-lying property seamlessly blends into its surroundings. All rooms feature gas-burning fireplaces, while suites come equipped with telescopes and outdoor plunge pools. For casual meals, Crescent Moon serves scrumptious wood-oven pizzas for lunch and hearty, Southwestern-inspired fare for dinner. Golfers should book the Ladies Lunch and Links Package, which includes lunch at Crescent Moon, nine holes of golf at the acclaimed Troon North course, and margaritas and manicures in the salon. (The Four Seasons’ other restaurant, Talavera, and lounge, Onyx, are slated to open this month.
Both resorts have excellent spas. The Phoenician’s Center for Well-Being offers a range of unique treatments, including the Myoxy Caviar Facial and Chocolate Manicures and Pedicures in the Salon. At the Four Seasons, try the Desert Nectar Facial or the Sedona Earth Clay Body Masque.
What Should I Do?
Spend a night or two in downtown, exploring the shops, art galleries and restaurants. On Thursdays, galleries participate in the Scottsdale Art Walk, when stores along Main Street and Marshall Way open from 7 to 9 pm. Old Town Scottsdale is full of cowboy charm and is the place to go for Southwestern-style souvenirs. Two fun, funky hotels worth checking out: The Hotel Valley Ho and the Mondrian Scottsdale. Once a celeb hangout in the 1950s, the Hotel Valley Ho reopened in 2005, keeping its retro vibe throughout with brightly colored mid-century modern furniture and a Trader Vic’s restaurant. The nearby Mondrian Scottsdale is a sleek interpretation of a desert resort. Its Red Bar is the place to grab a drink and perhaps spot a celebrity.
The downtown dining scene has never been more upscale. SouthBridge hot spot Canal 9which comes complete with a runway if you decide to brave the catwalk) serves up delicious comfort foods that are perfect for sharing. Try Executive Chef Justin Beckett’s samosa and corn cakes, and if you’re truly hungry, the $30 lobster sandwich. Also don’t miss Chef Nobuo Fukuda’s artful concoctions at Sea Saw, owned by restaurateur Peter Kasperski. The eight-course tasting menu with wine pairings at this intimate Japanese restaurant is worth every bit of the $125; fish is flown in from Tokyo and dishes only incorporate the freshest of local ingredients. Four new Kasperski restaurants are set to open in SouthBridge in early 2008––a