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staying in scottsdale

March 2, 2018

For some reason, I keep heading to Scottsdale! I actually know why- the weather is very consistent, its a quick flight from Denver and there are some great resorts and restaurants- along with some awesome hikes!

So many of us travel here and I wanted to put my favorites in one place-

I have stayed in a lot of resorts here- hard to say which is my favorite- so I’ll go through some I have been at recently:

Hyatt at Gainey Ranch– my friend Heather and I took our kids here 2 summers ago- and it was HOT. The rate was sweet (because it was so HOT!) and we had a three bedroom suite with access to the Regency Club which was key as the we ate there all. day. long. Heather and I joked that we possibly made money going there as our flights were so cheap and the room was reasonable- but we fed the kids for FREE almost everyday. I would say this was just average- our room wasn’t very updated and nothing was extraordinary here.  The pool is cool with half sand and half pool. Kids loved the slides. We tried to rent the bikes offered there but that was when service really failed- no one could help us and all tires were deflated, etc. Made for a funny memory with the kids as they laugh at the terrible experience.


The kids happy in the pool AGAIN on a very hot June day, Hyatt Gainey Ranch

The Fairmont Princess– a friend of mine stays here annually with her family so Tom and I checked it out for one night. We were pleasantly surprised as I usually don’t like huge resorts! Our room was great and the pools were huge and many- I could see us going back here with our kids. We loved eating at Hacienda – the Mexican restaurant on property- we have been back on other trips too. Our breakfast was one of our favorite here- an egg white burrito with quinoa, black bean and avocado!  Seems like a great family spot.

Canyon Suites at the Phoenician– went here with my mom and sisters for a girls weekend. Our room was enormous with a beautiful view. The suites is set off from the other part of the Phoenician- a little more private and it’s own pool. Service was great and breakfasts were really amazing. Workout center was good too! We played tennis here and the hotel van will drive you most places for hikes or shopping. We loved our visit here.

The Four Seasons at Troon North– just stayed here last month as Tom and I had seen it when we drove out to Tom’s Thumb. It’s definitely set out a ways, which has it’s own appeal. Hiking is right out your door- literally- Pinnacle Peak was right out our window and a great morning hike for my sister and me. Just loved it! The views and setting are quiet and beautiful. Pools are smaller but it’s a small resort. Service was GREAT. Loved loved the workout room and spa was incredible. If you go there, request Art for a massage!


Four Seasons


Pool view at Four Seasons

Arizona Biltmore – Tom and I stayed here last April. I wanted to stay here for the architecture and we had a ton of Hilton points! We got upgraded which made for a beautiful room and a private pool. There were about 4 other people at the pool on any of the 4 days we spent at the Hilton. We didn’t eat a meal there- but loved the proximity to all the restaurants we like. Seemed like such a fast drive to anywhere we wanted to go except hiking.

The Sanctuary Camelback Mountain– Tom and I stayed here 3 years ago and had so much fun. One of my favorite restaurants anywhere is Elements so I had been to the resort for dinner many times but not stayed. Well, it’s very cool. I would not bring kids here as it;s not kid friendly and the pool is miniature. Loved playing tennis on the courts that overlook the whole valley! And, our room was nice and big- but I think they were updating shortly after we left which would have been good. The spa and workout rooms were totally awesome. They are known as a wellness spa so they have classes all day long- very fun to do a fitness weekend. Plus, any of the food you eat is EXCELLENT.

praying monk

View of Praying Monk from Sanctuary


I really get into researching before a trip so I have been to some great restaurants here. When I go with my parents and sisters, they let me make all the reservations as does Tom, so I am lucky that way!

Here are some great spots:

Elements– I referenced this above- this is a sexy restaurant. My sister and I felt that part of this restaurant could be on a movie set- and the food is SOOOO good. Oddly enough, the last three times I have eaten there- the servers have been seriously strange and kind of annoying. Hope that is just my experience and will be different next time.

Cafe Monarch– beautiful! stunning! romantic! all of these describe this very small restaurant. We ate outside under the lights and one of my sisters said this is one of the most memorable meals she’s had.


Cafe Monarch

Chelsea’s Kitchen – YUM! We were told to go here from a friend of Tom’s for the short ribs- and he was RIGHT. We ate outside on the back patio and had awesome cocktails and delicious short ribs and ceviche. We went here twice in 4 days. AND, fresh chocolate chip cookies at the door on your way out. Lots of families eating here.

La Grande Orange– another rec from a friend of Tom’s – I was so so on the name so I was so so on going there. I was wrong. Loved this great place of delicious breakfasts and lunch! I had an awesome lemon prosciutto pizza my first time and Tom had breakfast burrito. The NEXT day, we had a rotisserie chicken sandwich and their cookies- all so good. The gift store inside is cool too- I like the whole vibe and could see Ft Collins pulling this off.

Blanco Tacos + Tequila– I found this place through positive reviews online. Tom and I wanted something easy and simple this one night after we’d hiked one day.  We thought the tacos were really good and the skinny marg was tasty! Awesome service.

True Food Kitchen– We have this in Denver and I love it. Fun to eat here with or without kids. Fresh and delicious.

The Gladly– My sister never asks to go anywhere in particular on a trip. This was her one ask last month and so we went! They are famous for their Gladly salad- which she really enjoyed. We went for lunch- it was great service and a great menu. We all liked our meals.

The Mission–  My friend Jeff told me about this place- and Heather and I took our kids which may have been a mistake. Beautiful restaurant but very sophisticated menu. Our kids struggled. Heather and I didn’t! Would go back with adults only.


So, for years and years, we did Camelback. Frankly, tough on my knees and grinding! I thought it was the only thing to do. WRONG! Tom and I loved Tom’s Thumb and Wendy and I loved Pinnacle Peak. I can’t wait to explore more with Tom on our next visit. It’s so beautiful to get out when a park opens and get our workout in!


Tom’s Thumb

That’s all at this point. Please tell me any of your favorite spots- I plan on continuing to visit!






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