Here’s an authentic Mediterranean themed resort right in the middle of downtown, The Royal Palms Hotel Scottsdale, in the shadow of the stunning Camelback mountain. When you arrive at this resort you leave the city behind and discover a sanctuary of charm, beauty and culture.
As you enter the property through giant mahogany and iron double doors the atmosphere is that of a lavish private residence. Each hotel room is resplendent in old world charm, many filled with a breathtaking collection of European antiques, tiles and artifacts.
Strolling around the grounds you can find hidden places to sit by beautiful fountains, or orange groves or in warm meadows. Mediterranean arches, walkways and staircases give this place the feel of a mountain village.
The sky overhead was constantly blue, and the grounds were alive with the splashes of colour from many flowers and trees.
The very famous T Cook’s restaurant buzzes each evening, its reputation drawing visitors from afar. In truth the service here is a little stilted as if the staff don’t need to go the extra mile for hotel guests because they have so many attending just for the food. Everywhere else in the resort the staff are exceptional. Being able to learn and remember the name of every guest must be a condition of employment here.
Have a cocktail before dinner in the lovely Italian courtyard, served with a smile by Kala, who also seems happy to share interesting stories of Phoenix life. The wine list is extensive and you can have a three glass tasting flight before you settle on a bottle you like. For lighter fare eat at the poolside bar. They serve amazing slow roasted pulled beef with crispy fries and flat breads.
The Jacuzzi by the pool is hot and strong jets massage away any tension you might have in your muscles. Upstairs above the gym is an open air yoga studio. It was lovely to practice here with a cool breeze wafting down from the Camelback mountain.
Afterwards spend an afternoon in the Alvadora Spa, worth a visit simply for the steam rooms and plunge pool, or linger for a hot stone deep tissue massage with the smell of orange blossom relaxing your senses.
Then just lie by the pool, relax with a beer or cocktail and comfort yourself that the city buzzing away literally yards beyond the wall cannot be heard or seen. You may as well be in the middle of nowhere. But if you do get itchy feet, the expansive Fashion Square Mall is only a five minute cab ride away.
Over to you: This is the last of my Phoenix/Scottsdale 2012 blogs. If I was to return where else should I stay? I would love to hear of your visits to this fabulous city and the desert that surrounds it.
Here are some more hotel reviews: