El Dorado is Scottsdale’s newest boutique-style vacation hot spot — or is it? It’s certainly a hot spot, but not entirely new.
El Dorado in Scottsdale has been a vacation rental since the 1960s and is located in a back pocket of Scottsdale that was known as a vacation destination at the time. The suites are set up much more like personal condos opposed to the typical hotel room or even villa.
While the vacation property did remain open, it began to lose popularity as the decades passed — until Franco Calabrese, current owner and designer of El Dorado in Scottsdale, decided to give it a facelift.
“I’m in the apartment business,” Calabrese says. “So the apartment deals I’m used to doing are not furnished and really not this kind of thing, but when I saw this, (El Dorado in Scottsdale) I loved it. It had a really good energy, and I got a feel for it from the first sight.”
Calabrese acquired the property last November and says his vision was to remodel while at the same time preserving the original vacation property as much as he could.
He says it needed paint and flooring, but for the most part it was in good condition. He kept the bones of the property, including the pool, countertops, doors and cabinets, as is.
“We could have torn down all the drywall and make it completely crisp, but everything is brand new in Scottsdale,” Calabrese says. “We want to be different. You go to places like New York, and you see redone items, and they have character. Everything we’re doing we want to have character.”
This can be seen in the suites themselves. Each suite is furnished completely differently with décor that mixes modern with retro.
“We didn’t know exactly what each room was going to feel like before we got into it,” Calabrese says. “We just found ourselves starting to say, ‘Wow, I really like that chair.’ And from that chair it grew into this sort of goes with that chair.”
Calabrese says having all the rooms furnished differently allows the vacation property to appeal to a much broader audience. From the couture suite and Frank Sinatra suite to something simply more modern or historic, El Dorado has something for everyone.
Not only are the suites vastly different from a standard hotel, but Calabrese says he also strives to make the experience vastly different.
“We want people to feel like they can go pick a lemon off the lemon tree, walk out in their bare feet to the pool and just do whatever,” Calabrese says. “We don’t have hours at the pool and stuff like that. And that’s what we’re going for — more relaxed.”
He says this atmosphere is perfect for local residents as well those who just want a change of scenery or want to get away for the weekend.
The vacation property offers one- and two-bedroom suites along with one three-bedroom suite. Most are two-bedroom suites and include a common room and fully functioning kitchen that can be stocked upon request.
Calabrese says the great thing about the two-bedroom suites is most are two king suites, and each has its own bathroom. He says it’s much more private that way and is perfect for couples traveling together or any sort of get together for that matter.
“It’ll be better for local people who want to do parties and stuff,” Calabrese says. “I had a couple birthday parties, and they want to go to a place where they feel like they are taking over the place, like they’re in their backyard and can use the barbeque or whatever. Guests can do that here.”
Calabrese says the main theme of El Dorado in Scottsdale is different.
“We wanted to do something, just to be different,” Calabrese says. “It’s as plain and simple as that. The building and the location itself is already unique as it sits.”
For more information about El Dorado in Scottsdale, visit eldoradoscottsdale.com.
El Dorado in Scottsdale
6825 E. 4th street, Scottsdale