We grabbed a cab at Phoenix Sky Harbour airport and headed north through Scottsdale for about 30 miles.
The Four Seasons Hotel Scottsdale nestles on the edge of the Sonoran desert. It is surrounded by mountain peaks, statuesque cactuses with many spiky arms reaching for the sky, and rocks and boulders of interesting shapes and sizes. The buildings are authentic to their American Indian origins, decorated in warm reds and oranges. A slight burning smell wafts through the resort from the many blazing chiminea fireplaces.
The view from the sundeck in the cocktail bar literally takes the breath away. 35 miles of unbroken horizon right back down to the Camelback Mountain in downtown. Whilst the resort contains all the amenities that you would find in a normal seaside resort, this amazing vista is more than adequate compensation for the obvious lack of sea.
The weather was pleasantly hot, never quite rising above 80° each day. Most of the American guests would not appear until after lunch leaving the poolside relatively empty until then. The poolside staff are attentive, but not intrusive, and always happy to help and talk.
Liv who works there set up our sunbeds each day with fluffy towels and supplied us with an endless supply of Bud Lights, nibbles, sundaes, smoothies and of course lunch. Try the spicy chicken skewers with hot green dip. You need the cold beer to cool your mouth down.
The guest rooms are luxurious, the beds gigantic and soft enough to sink into. Fortunately for us we also had that astonishing view down towards the Camelback. A huge shower, a separate bath and double sink filled the bathroom which was suitably replenished daily with a range of lotions and potions. There was even a fireplace in the room should the temperature drop too much, and although not a real log fire, it was a great fake gas one.
Breakfast was in the Mexican themed Crescent Moon restaurant. Isn’t it just fantastic to have breakfast made order? No cold congealed buffet sludge here. Great fresh food cooked as you like it. Eggs over easy. Eggs sunny side up. Muffins with sharply sour but refreshing grapefruit juice.
The Talavera restaurant was much posher and somewhere to spend a pleasant evening. Although chilly in the evening, the patio has fire-pits which keep you toasted and warm. Fine dining, great steaks, great chicken again with a Mexican and American Indian twist. And what a great bottle of Ravenswood Barricia Zinfandel.
The on-site spa is simply lovely. They have the steamiest steam room I’ve ever seen in any spa anywhere in the world.
I can’t fault the service in this resort, always efficient and delivered with a smile, especially the concierge who keeps you fully updated on all arrangements they make. There is golf nearby with two 18-hole courses. If you want to see the desert on horseback, they’ll arrange for Cave Creek Outfitters (here’s a review of a desert horseback riding trip) to come and collect you.
You can walk to Pinnacle Peak Park and take a gentle pleasant hike of about 4 miles up to a summit another fifteen hundred foot above the resort. From here again the views are stunning. You can see 50 miles in every direction and the peaks merge into the horizon and into the light wispy clouds which gather as the sun goes down.
Over to you: I love this part of the world.Have you ever been? Do you live there or do you visit? Please leave a comment and let me know.
Here are some more hotel reviews: