Tag Archives: fairmont scottsdale princess

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Summer at the Princess packs fun

Summer at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess includes cool rides down waterslides, zooming across a zip line and fireworks lighting up the night. This AAA Five Diamond resort is a play-cation paradise, from a new water ride to a world-class spa, signature restaurants and new Posh Paws program just for the pups. Best of all, summer vacations benefit Valley schools and charities.

Poolside is the place to be at the new SplashRider X-treme, a thrilling, spinning water adventure. Nearby, 200-foot waterslides are lined by shady cabanas with all the luxuries, with Dive In Movies and the Techno Glo Party taking center stage weekend nights. During the day, The Zipper zip line offers a 240-foot thrill ride across the lagoons and catch-and-release fishing is a family favorite. Meanwhile, grown-ups can sample any of 240 tequilas at La Hacienda, escape for a day to Well & Being Spa or savor an exquisite summer menu at the AAA Four Diamond Bourbon Steak.

Then, as the sun sets at the Princess, fireworks light up the sky every Saturday night, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, May 24 – August 30, 2014. The summer celebration crescendos during the Fourth of July Freedom Fest, July 4-6, with all-American picnics, concerts, vintage airplane shows and salutes to the military. Labor Day says bon voyage to summer with a “Dreamcation” cruise ship themed weekend. Every week in between, all summer long, the resort has added activities for the whole family to enjoy:

Summer Weekend Fun, Poolside

New this summer is the SplashRider X-treme, a rolling water pipe for both kids and adults on weekends at the Sonoran Splash Pool. The attraction, lasting three to five minutes, creates a constant wave which allows four to five riders at a time to body surf, while boogie boarders and those on inner tubes ride solo. Tickets can be purchased individually or packaged with The Zipper zip line for unlimited rides.

Then, it’s a disco down the slides with the after dark Techno Glo Party at Sonoran Splash. Black lights, lasers, fog, LED hula hooping, glow-in-the-dark bubbles, drinks and a DJ pulsating techno music rock the pool 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights for families this summer. Or, over at the South Pool, families can just chill at the Dive In Movies also offered complimentary Friday and Saturday nights. Movie-watchers float on inner tubes, or enjoy movie snacks, Sabrett hot dogs and a taco cart poolside, as the family flick begins at approximately 8 p.m., with an intermission for fireworks at 9 p.m.

Every weekend, the Fairmont Fun Team leads dancing games, tie dye t-shirt making, limbo and underwater bingo. Other daily activities include giant bubble making, wooden turtle races, badminton, volleyball and bocce ball.

Sonoran Splash, the resort’s 6,000 square-foot water oasis is perfect for families, with two twisting waterslides, pop-jet fountains, cabanas and games. For tots, there is a zero-entry deck area as well as a large, shaded sandbox complete with Tonka trucks and beach toys, sure to keep the little ones entertained for hours.

Whether delivering refreshing fruit water or frozen grapes to sun seekers, the resort’s pool attendants are on deck to ensure every day at the pool is one to remember. One of the cool drinks is the Parrot Punch, named after the resort’s colorful, feathery friends (Rosy-Faced Lovebirds) who now nest in the palm trees above the pools. Parrot Punch is made with coconut rum, citrus rum and spiced rum with pineapple juice, Midori and orange juice made from the orange trees on property.

Sonoran Splash is one of three pools that offer luxurious cabanas for rental, with amenities such as a flat-screen TV, ceiling fan, sofas, reserved chaise lounges, refrigerator, bottled waters and fresh fruit. The resort has five pools in total throughout the 65-acre property.

When (and if) parents do get the kids out of the pool, two other hot spots are Ironwood American Kitchen by the South Pool, which is cool, classic and comfortably residential with home-cooked favorites, an exhibition kitchen and InnoTab computer learning tablets for the kids. The Princess Shop and Coffee Market, on the main level, has grab ‘n’ go sandwiches, gelato, Starbucks coffee and an iPad lab.

Lagoon Adventures

Resort guests can soar a speedy 25 mph, 240-feet across the lagoons on The Zipper, a 37-foot-high zip line, available weekends, all summer long. There are prices for individual rides or packaged for unlimited rides, combined with the new SplashRider X-treme.

For more adventure, kids of any age cast a reel for bluegill at the new fishing derbies, steer ships in remote-control boat races or observe any of the waterfowl who make the lagoons their home.

Trailblazers Family Adventure Center & Kids Club

Trailblazers is a fun-filled program for ages 5-12 where kids pan for real gold, learn to solar cook, play sports, swim and even meet a reptilian friend or two. Themed days such as Wildlife, Wild West, Sports and Nature rotate, so youngsters may attend more than once and still discover something new each day. Half-day and full-day sessions are available year-round for overnight guests. A la carte pricing is $35 for a half-day or $60 for a full-day session. Included in the hotel’s daily resort fee of $29, up to three children per family receive half-day admission to the Kids Club, which is a savings of more than $100 per day. (Lunch is additional for $12.) Kids Club reservations are recommended 24-hours in advance.

The Trailblazers Family Adventure Center is now open 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. nightly, complimentary, year-round for resort guests to play Ping Pong, foosball, basketball, air hockey, shuffle board, videos and board games.

More for the Little Ones, Just Ask!

To ensure families have the comforts of home, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess covers all of the bases with an assortment of in-room amenities for children. Full-size cribs complete with bedding, high chairs, strollers, night lights, safety outlet covers, portable playpens, humidifiers, baby monitors, baby bathtubs, baby shampoo, kid’s robes and step stools are available for resort guests upon request, complimentary.

Dog Days of Summer? Posh Paws!

Posh Paws, the resort’s pet program, keeps with its Five-Diamond reputation for being dedicated to the guests and creating countless memories that even man’s best friend will remember. For an additional $35 per night, dogs can experience the ultimate luxury pet resort experience. Owner and pet stay in a room that comes complete with a “Woofer” gift set featuring a plush pet bed, food and water bowl, a food mat, pet toys and of course…treats. For the crème de la crème dog experience, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Executive Chef David Morris has created a doggie menu, “Lou’s Barkery,” available through In-Room Dining as well as recipes for take-home gifts. The Princess is partnering with nearby pet retailer for doggie day care or grooming needs and Fairmont staff is available to assist with dog walking.

Well & Being Spa

Here’s a way to spend a cool summer day, sure to inspire. Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has all-new “Live it Well” programs, sizzling specials and soothing spa treatments to keep spa-goers refreshed and energized all summer long.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, every summer spa weekend kicks off with “Feel Good Fridays,” offering the new “Lunch & Enlighten”: a healthy spa lunch with a fun, informative talk from the spa’s “Good Life” team of fitness, nutrition and beauty experts. This includes access to the spa facility, pool and exercise classes for the entire day, all for just $50. Add to that a 45-minute treatment such as a facial, manicure and pedicure or massage for $99. Each week, Facebook fans can check for the spa’s “Play Well Rx,” a prescription of spa offers and feel good tips.

Well & Being Spa is a sanctuary situated on three levels with a rooftop pool, waterfall grotto, steam rooms, saunas, salon, boutique and café. Spa guests can also reserve a posh cabana package at Quench, the spa’s rooftop pool, serving spa-inspired cocktails and brimming with luxurious amenities Fridays through Sundays.

Summer Dining

La Hacienda is celebrating summer with the return of its popular “Guacamole Fest” sampler of various guacamoles, from pork belly to seafood and pomegranate, as well as Fresca Floats made with traditional Mexican sodas. (Prices of these a la carte items vary.)

Bourbon Steak offers a Post-Pool Prix-Fixe Menu, with three courses and choices of summer salads, chilled soups, market-fresh fish, Jidori chicken, mesquite grilled C.A.B. skirt steak, chef’s selection of sides and topped off with vanilla crème brulee, warm nutmeg beignet or a trio of house-made sorbet. Bourbon Steak’s summer menu is $55 and includes a wine pairing with the main course. The restaurant’s regular menu is also available.

The summer Kids Resort Dining Passport is a super deal for families for $35 per day that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner at resort dining outlets such as Ironwood American Kitchen, Trailblazers Kids Club, the pools and La Hacienda, plus a kid’s snack at the South Pool during the Dive-In Movie. These meals are from the children’s menus and are exclusive to overnight resort guests. Passports are available for purchase upon arrival at the Leisure Services Desk in the main lobby.

Day Guests, Overnight Guests
Most of the resort activities mentioned are exclusive for overnight guests. Day visitors are invited to enjoy a treatment at Well & Being Spa, take a lesson from the resort’s tennis pro or dine in any of the resort’s award-winning restaurants. Saturday nights throughout the summer are a terrific time to dine in the restaurants, which includes an after-dinner fireworks show over the lagoons at 9 p.m.

Vacation Packages

The popular Sip, Savor & Splash Package returns, starting from $149 per room, per night Sunday through Thursday and $169 weekends and includes a $50 daily credit for dining, spa, tennis or kids club.

Taking it one step further with the new Stay, Play & Pay It Forward Package, families make memories and give back to the school or charity of their choice from a list of participating organizations in the resort’s annual Sleepover for a Better Tomorrow program. This summer package also starts from $149/ $169 per night with a $50 daily resort credit and 10 percent of every dollar charged to the room folio is donated to the guest’s chosen charity. This program is year-round and is free for any non-profit organization to join. For more information, visit: http://www.scottsdaleprincess.com/special-offers/sleepover-for-a-better-tomorrow.

Also new is the Play Well Rx Spa Package, where spa-goers enjoy overnight accommodations, with a choice of one 45-minute treatment: a Body Reboot Massage, a Rejuvenating Facial or an Energizing Manicure & Pedicure, plus full-use of the 44,000 square-foot spa, exercise classes and rooftop pool. Prices of this package start at $269 single/$379 double, per night plus spa gratuities.
Summer package dates are based upon space availability, May 26-September 2, 2014. Taxes and daily resort fees are additional.

For Memorial Day weekend specifically, rates are starting at $199 with a $50 dining credit and $149 a night with a $50 dining credit for a three-night stay.

For reservations or more information on summer programs at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, please dial (800) 908-9370 or visit www.scottsdaleprincess.com. The resort is located at 7575 East Princess Drive in Scottsdale.

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Get down and ‘derby’ deals in the Valley

If you are looking for something other than Cinco de Mayo celebrations this weekend, maybe the Kentucky Derby is more your style. Saturday, May 3, presents the 140th Kentucky Derby, which some describe as the most exciting two minutes in sports. There are several Kentucky Derby parties for women to dress up in spring dresses and giant hats and men to dress in their best seersuckers suits.

    Turf Paradise: This huge, spring party has all the Kentucky Derby musts including mint juleps and a fashion judging of traditional Derby clothes of bonnets, sundresses and suits. There are a variety of choices, depending on your budget, including a “Top of the Park” suite that encompasses a view of the infield lakes and two racetracks, a Turf Club Buffet that includes private televisions for viewing, a Clubhouse and Players’ Buffet that get you closer to the horses and the cheering crowd and finally, a Party on the Rail that lets you get up close to the race. All areas include Kentucky Derby food and drinks. Don’t forget to stay for the Hat and Ensemble contest!
    Bourbon Steak at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: This party is comprised of a Kentucky Derby Brunch and Lawn Party. Live blues music will accompany the mint juleps, bourbon tastings, buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, crab Louie, shrimp and grits and truffled mac ‘n’ cheese. If you haven’t divulged enough, then continue on to dessert with lemon meringue tarts, red velvet cupcakes and chocolate bourbon pecan pies. You can also try signature cocktails including a “Seersucker” cocktail with bourbon, peach and mint, “The Derby” with bourbon, sweet vermouth, orange curaçao and lime or the “Kentucky Cousin” with Know Creek Bourbon Cherry Herring, lemon and black tea. Once you have eaten your fill, you can play horseshoes and lawn games, take pictures with four-time National Champion racehorse, Saul, or enjoy the women in their stylish hats and men in their suits.
    The Phoenician in Scottsdale: Like the other two events, The Phoenician will host a Kentucky Derby Party with a special viewing party on the Orchid Lawn. The party will include flat screen TVs covering the pre-race festivities and the race itself. Women can compete in the best hat contest and men can win the best Southern fashion contest. Festivities will also include a Winner’s Circle raffle and a delicious Southern menu.

If you want a more low-key atmosphere to watch the race, visit one of these local restaurants to try a Kentucky Derby-inspired cocktail:
    Phoenix Public Market Café: The TNT, $8, contains Arizona Distilling Company Copper City Bourbon, tamarind paste, pequin chili simple syrup and fresh-squeezed lemon
    J&G Steakhouse: Whiskey Passion Fruit Fizz, $13, is composed of Passion Fruit Chili Bar syrup, bourbon and ginger ale
    Crudo: No Name, $12, is made of Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon, Montenegro, Bonal, St. Elizabeth allspice Dram and Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters, served in a chilled coupe
    Central Bistro: Old Fashioned, $10, has Wild Turkey Rye, Demerara syrup and old fashion bitters
    Del Frisco’s Grille: Tennessee Peach, $5, mixes Jack Daniel’s, fresh peaches, honey and fresh lime juice
    American TapHouse: Mint Julep, $3, is a classic drink that can be paired with a delicious BBQ pulled pork sandwich

So whether you are watching the races or just want to try something new, check out these local events and specials this weekend!

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Top 5 Accommodations Scottsdale: Large (Spring-Summer 2014)

Get ready to experience Arizona’s spring/summer 2014 Top 5 Accommodations in Scottsdale, Large (300 or more rooms)! And use Experience AZ to guide you toward a visit that will make you want to come back time after time to keep crossing the must see hot spots off your Top 5 lists.



Top 5 Accommodations: Scottsdale, Large (300 or more rooms)

Camelback Inn, A JW Marriott Resort & Spa
5402 E. Lincoln Dr. Scottsdale, AZ 85253

(480) 948-1700
Website
An enchanting haven of AAA Five-Diamond hospitality and Southwestern charm is yours to rediscover: the hacienda-style entry and lobby, spectacular new restaurants, grand courtyard and the all new 20,000-square-foot Arizona Ballroom await. Experience Scottsdale’s most celebrated Spa Camelback Inn or challenge your game on 36 holes of championship Arizona golf.

Carefree Resort & Conference Center
37220 N. Mule Train Rd. Carefree, AZ 85377

(480) 488-5300
Website
Embrace the Southwestern lifestyle in total relaxation at a place filled with soothing and simple spaces with uncluttered panoramic views of the Continental Mountains. Play tennis, enjoy the spa or simply relax at the pool with a margarita.

FireSky Resort
4925 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85251

(480) 945-7666
Website
At FireSky Resort, pamper yourself at Jurlique Spa, enjoy fine Italian dining at Taggia and take in its breathtaking Scottsdale location. At FireSky, fire, water, earth and air sumptuously blend to create a magical world of comfort and beauty.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
7575 E. Princess Dr. Scottsdale, AZ 85255

(480) 585-4848
Website
This hotel has one of the best spas in North America, two award-winning restaurants, meeting facilities and two 18-hole championship golf courses — one of which is home to the Annual PGA Tour Waste Management Phoenix Open (formerly the FBR Open).

The Phoenician
6000 E. Camelback Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85251

(480) 941-8200
Website
This AAA Five Diamond award-winning property offers luxurious casitas, suites and guest rooms; one of America’s best resort golf courses; The Centre for Well-Being spa; a tennis complex; nine swimming pools and elegant dining venues.

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Arizona hoteliers earn national awards

Arizona took center stage and took home two national awards at the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s (AH&LA) annual Stars of the Industry awards ceremony held this week in Washington, DC.

The “Outstanding Manager of the Year, Large Property” was awarded to Thomas Williams, Director of Guest Services at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Williams has been providing a welcoming experience for guests entering his property for the past 21 years. As the Director of Guest Services, he has put in place many new procedures to improve and enhance the arrival and departure experience, transportation, guest safety and much more. But he also cares about the internal guest and is truly devoted to the resort’s employees. He and his family cater an annual holiday feast and invite employees and even hotel guests who have no family in town.

Winning the Special Events, One-time Only, Medium Property, was the W Scottsdale for their CHILL event. CHILL at the W Scottsdale transforms the WET pool deck from November to January with Scottsdale’s first and only hybrid and eco-friendly outdoor ice skating rink. This event also includes live music performances, DJs, drink specials and special resort packages.

“I’m so proud to represent an industry in our state with so much talent and passion for excellence,” said AzLTA President & CEO, Debbie Johnson. “It’s wonderful that the hard work and dedication of these lodging professionals and properties is being recognized on a national level and I truly commend them for their accomplishments.”

Winners from the Arizona Stars of the Industry Awards luncheon hosted in December by the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association were then submitted to the AH&LA for national judging.

The Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association (AzLTA) is the leading public policy advocate for Arizona’s Lodging and Tourism Industries. Representing almost 40,000 rooms statewide and nearly 500 members, including hotels, resorts, attractions, destination marketing organizations, B&B’s and related Industry partners, AzLTA’s mission is to unify, protect, educate and promote the interests of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Industries.

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AzLTA honors 'Stars of the Industry'

The shining stars of the hospitality and tourism industry were celebrated at the annual Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association’s (AzLTA) Stars of the Industry awards luncheon, held last week at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort.

The Stars of the Industry award was created more than 40 years ago by the American Hotel & Lodging Association to recognize outstanding accomplishments in the lodging industry. While the categories have evolved over the years, the concept is still the same: to honor lodging and tourism employees who best symbolize the quality service of the industry.

The 2013 Stars of the Industry Winners

Outstanding Employee of the Year: Jarrod Voeller, Door Captain, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Outstanding Manager of the Year: Michael Cairns, Executive Chef and Director of F&B, Montelucia Resort & Spa

Front of the House Manager of the Year, Small Property: Kim Cole, Director of Public Relations, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale

Front of the House Manager of the Year, Large Property: Thomas Williams, Director of Guest Services, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Heart of the House Manager of the Year, Small Property: Robin Younger, Director of Housekeeping, Royal Palms Resort and Spa

Heart of the House Manager of the Year, Large Property: Eddie Zrimsek, Assistant Spa Director, Montelucia Resort & Spa

Food & Beverage Employee of the Year, Small Property: Dusty Cox, Server, The Hotel Congress

Food & Beverage Employee of the Year, Large Property: Peter Genovese, In-room Dining and Pool Server, The Phoenix Marriott Tempe at the Buttes

Guest Service Employee of the Year, Small Property: Jason Kennedy, Bellman, The Boulders

Guest Service Employee of the Year, Large Property; Otto Valdez, Guest Services Supervisor, Tempe Mission Palms

Housekeeping Employee of the Year, Small Property: Lucas Alonzo, Houseperson, Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas

Housekeeping Employee of the Year, Large Property: Nilda Staniscia, Uniform Attendant and Seamstress, Montelucia Resort & Spa

Property Achievement awards in five categories were also announced at the event. These awards highlight programs that showcase the involvement of multiple employees and departments which go above and beyond to build a better community internally and externally.

Community Service: Arizona Biltmore

Guest Relations, Lodging: The Boulders, “True Waldorf Committee”

Guest Relations, Tourism: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, “The Navigator Program”

Special Event, One Time: W Scottsdale, “CHILL”

Special Event, Ongoing: The Phoenician, “Discover the Phoenician with Phoe-Phoe and Friends”

Special Event Ongoing, Tourism: Phoenix Chapter of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association, “Chinese Auction”

Good Earthkeeping Award: Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

AZ Wine Dine Logo

SECOND ANNUAL AZ WINE & DINE SIZZLES IN SCOTTSDALE THIS SPRING

The Valley’s stars of the culinary scene will gather for a high-energy celebration of food and wine at the second annual AZ Wine & Dine, hosted by the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association, to be held at the hip, urban setting of Scottsdale Quarter on April 4, 2013.

AZ Wine & Dine night imageAZ Wine & Dine targets executive foodies and is designed to highlight the distinct variety of culinary outlets at Arizona hotels and resorts, as well as showcase several Scottsdale Quarter restaurants and a wide variety of wines and craft beers. Additionally, much of the proceeds benefit the educational efforts of the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association.

The lush and luxe setting of Scottsdale Quarter provides the perfect setting for attendees to experience culinary delights from hotel and resort participants including: The Phoenician, The Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, T. Cook’s at Royal Palms, Westin Kierland, Montelucia, TK’s Urban Tavern, District American Kitchen & Wine Bar and many more.

AZ Wine & Dine dusk image“It is important for us to produce a culinary event where local foodies and business executives can be a tourist in their own town, enjoying samples from top resorts and restaurants in a fun and festive atmosphere,” said Arizona Lodging & Tourism President & CEO Debbie Johnson. “AZ Wine & Dine’s inaugural year sold out, so it’s clear that the Valley’s finest chefs combined with this venue is a recipe for success.”

AZ Wine & Dine will feature 20 booths offering culinary samples paired with fine wines and craft beers, live music from the Shining Star Band and a silent auction with amazing deals on vacation getaways and gift certificates from Scottsdale Quarter’s eclectically rich mix of specialty shops.

When: Thursday, April 4, 2013 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 pm.

Where: Scottsdale Quarter (Scottsdale Road and Greenway)

Tickets: $75 in advance; $100 day of the event (includes all food and beverage)

Advance purchase is strongly recommended as the event sold out last year.

*No one under 21 years of age will be admitted. AZ Wine & Dine will be held rain or shine.

AZWineandDine.com, Twitter: @azwineanddine, Facebook: AZ Wine & Dine

Mexican Restaurants - EAZ Fall-Winter 2012

Top 5: Mexican Restaurants (Fall-Winter 2012)

The Top 5 Mexican Restaurants — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Los Dos Molinos

8684 S. Central Ave.,
Phoenix, AZ 85210
(602) 243-9113
losdosmolinosaz.com
Dig in to hot Mexican fare such as stacked enchiladas, tacos, burros and flautas at this casual eatery. The prices at Los Dos Molinos are reasonable and the food — a specialty is the adovada ribs — is amazing.


Aunt Chilada’s

7330 N. Dreamy Draw Dr.,
Phoenix, AZ 85020
(602) 944-1286
auntchiladas.com
Nestled in the shadow of Squaw Peak Mountain, Aunt Chilada’s is truly an historic landmark with a personality all its own. Constructed in the 1890s from desert stone and railroad ties, the original building served as a supply depot and general store for the mercury miners passing through the Dreamy Draw.


Barrio Cafe

2814 N. 16th St.,
Phoenix, AZ 85006
(602) 636-0240
barriocafe.com
Established in 2002 by partners Wendy Gruber and chef Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio was a dream come true for the duo — a little neighborhood eatery providing authentic southern-Mexico cuisine and chef’s original creations in a unpretentious atmosphere.


La Hacienda at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

7575 E. Princess Dr.,
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(480) 585-4848
fairmont.com
Richard Sandoval brings the vibrant flavors and ingredients of Mexico into the culinary spotlight, combining the bold taste of classic Mexican cuisine with timeless European cooking techniques.


Rancho de Tia Rosa

3129 E. McKellips Rd.,
Mesa, AZ 85213
(480) 659-8787
ranchodetiarosa.com
Rancho de Tia Rosa aims to provide guests with a unique experience that allows guests to feel as though they are in the heart of Guadalajara, Mexico.

Experience AZ Fall-Winter 2012

 

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Grant Thornton Give Back Day

On Thursday, Nov. 15, nearly 800 current and retired partners and managing directors from Grant Thornton LLP offices across the globe gathered in the Valley during their annual meeting, which was held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, to help give back to the local area community. During the day, the firm made a check presentation of $12,000 to Kitchen on the Street, a non-profit organization that provides food for children who are not guaranteed a meal during weekends. In addition, the partners supplied and assembled emergency food kits for 500 local families in need this holiday season, also through Kitchen on the Street.

“Hunger is a growing crisis for 17 million children in the United States,” said Ralph Nefdt, Grant Thornton’s local office managing partner. “One in four American children struggles with food insecurity, which results in academic developmental issues that present both immediate and long-term challenges. These issues not only affect the child experiencing food insecurity, but the entire community.”

A leader in this community, events like this are just some of the many outreach programs supported through Grant Thornton C.A.R.E.S. (Community Awareness and Responsibility Expressed through Service), a program designed to demonstrate leadership not only in its industry, but also in its community. Through the program, nicknamed GT CARES, employees contribute time, money and expertise to local civic organizations, charities, universities and professional associations.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Lagoon Lights

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Brings Holiday Cheer With “Christmas At The Princess”

As the warm, desert air begins to cool with the fresh, crisp fall breeze, signaling the end of the long Arizona summer, the anticipation for the holiday season begins to grow as winter slowly approaches Arizona’s doorstep.

And what an exciting holiday season this will be as the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort celebrates another magical and enchanting season during the annual “Christmas at the Princess” festival. The festival, which runs from Nov. 27 – Jan. 6, 2013, will transform the Fairmont Princess into a winter wonderland with some new and exciting activities and treats.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Christmas Lobby 2011Kicking off the festivities, guests and visitors can attend the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony and Grand Opening of the Desert Ice Holiday Rink on November 27. The special ceremony will take place in the Princess Plaza at 6:30 p.m. and the centerpiece of the night will be the grand, four-story musical Christmas tree as it springs to life with Christmas music. The special tree contains 65,000 LED lights, which all twinkle and dance to 10 different holiday songs and are sprinkled with beautiful, glistening snowflake decorations.Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Accompanying the tree lighting will be the debut of the Desert Ice Holiday Rink. Nestled in the quaint Cactus Garden, the ice skating rink will make its debut with professional performers demonstrating cool ice tricks before it opens to the public. The price per skating session is $15 for adults, $10 for children 12 years old and younger, and $5 for skate rentals. A portion of the skating proceeds will benefit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The evening will also include musical performances, Fairmont Scottsdale Princesscarolers, sugar cookies and spiced cider, which all will surely invigorate the holiday spirit for anyone who attends.

To top off the splendor of the evening, the Princess Express Train will open, offering guests a chance to take a journey through a winter wonderland landscape and Lagoon Lights. While exploring the lagoons, visitors can see swans floating on the water, a buccaneer pirate ship and 14-foot poinsettias, among other fanciful displays.

Another important aspect of the evening will be the start of the Fairmont Princess’s toy drive for Toys for Tots. The Scottsdale Fire Department will be present to accept gifts and donations on opening night, and the resort will hold a drop-off location through Dec. 20 in its lobby.

And, of course, the Christmas season would be incomplete if Santa weren’t at the party! People of all ages can have a visit with Santa as he joins the Fairmont Princess on Friday and Saturday nights to make all wishes and dreams come true. Patrons can take a photo with Santa as a keepsake of the visit and can whisper to Santa what they’d wish to see underneath their Christmas tree.

Whether its marshmallow roasting, drinking hot cocoa, decorating stockings or making dreidels, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has something for everyone to enjoy. So bring the family down this holiday season to experience all the magic that the resort has to offer.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

7575 E. Princess Dr., Scottsdale
(480) 585-4848
scottsdaleprincess.com

 

The Phoenician resort is nestled in the Sonoran Desert, with the breathtaking Camelback Mountain its backdrop. Photo: The Phoenician

Top 5: Scottsdale Accommodations, Large (Fall-Winter 2012)

The Top 5 Scottsdale Accommodations, Large — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Scottsdale Accommodations, Large: 300 or more rooms

 

Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

6902 E. Greenway Pkwy.,
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
(480) 624-1000
kierlandresort.com
Come wander the groups of this desert oasis. Explore its hidden corners. Discover its intimate treasures. Enjoy desert-inspired treatments at Agave, The Arizona Spa, 27 holes of championship golf, waterpark, award-winning dining and nearby upscale shopping.


The Phoenician

6000 E. Camelback Rd.,
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 941-8200
thephoenician.com
This AAA 5 Diamond award-winning property offers luxurious casitas, suites and guest rooms; one of America’s best resort golf courses; The Centre for Well-Being spa; tennis complex; nine swimming pools and elegant dining venues.


Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch

7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd.,
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
(800) 233-1234
scottsdale.hyatt.com
Discover your own perfect hotel stay with championship golf, Spa Avania, a water playground or Camp Hyatt Kachina. Expansive meeting facilities are just minutes away from the area’s major attractions.


Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

7575 E. Princess Dr.,
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(480) 585-4848
scottsdaleprincess.com
Offering one of the best spas in North America, two award-winning restaurants, meeting facilities and two 18-hole championship golf courses — one of which is home to the Annual PGA Tour Waste Management Phoenix Open (formerly the FBR Open).


Camelback Inn, A JW Marriott Resort & Spa

5402 E. Lincoln Dr.,
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
(480) 948-1700
camelbackinn.com
An enchanting haven of AAA Five-diamond hospitality and Southwestern charm is yours to rediscover: the hacienda-style entry and lobby, spectacular new restaurants, grand courtyard and the all new 20,000-square-foot Arizona Ballroom await. Experience Scottsdale’s most celebrated Spa Camelback Inn or challenge your game on 36-holes of championship Arizona golf.

Experience AZ Fall-Winter 2012

Willow Stream Spa in Scottsdale

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess To Launch Well & Being At Willow Stream Spa

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is partnering with Trilogy Spa Holdings to launch an innovative spa program and concept, Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa, which will open on January 1, 2013. Willow Stream Spa will also expand its spa menu of services, its fitness facilities and its spa boutique.

Combining health, nutrition, fitness, advanced skincare, integrative medicine and mind-body programs, the Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa program will be medically-guided and fully-customized. Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is the first luxury resort in the nation to implement this experience to its spa.

“The introduction of Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa is a strategic addition to the experiences we offer guests at the resort,” said Jack Miller, general manager of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, in a press release.

Meditation at Willow Stream Spa. “It was important that we find a partner to build upon the luxurious Willow Stream Spa experience and expand our services into the wellness/intentional living arena,” Miller said. “Well & Being’s extensive staff of experts will provide a comprehensive, holistic approach to personal health.”

This personal and sustainable wellness program will take a physical, natural and mindful approach, to inspire guests to live a more healthy, balanced and energized life both during their vacations and well after.

“Guests may take advantage of as much or as little of the menu of wellness tools and experiences as they choose,” Miller said.

Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa will offer an array of services, from Woman at Willow Stream Spa pool.diagnostic health tests and targeted skincare treatments — including the HydraFacial, acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy and traditional Eastern therapies — to cooking classes, guest lectures and fitness programs, such as multiple mind-body offerings, encompassing traditional and cutting-edge yoga, Pilates and movement classes.

“It won’t be a restrictive, cookie-cutter, wellness experience, but a personal experience that provides tools, resources and philosophy for our guests to take home into their daily lives,” Miller said.

Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa will be under the direction of world-renowned expert in Integrative Medicine, Tieraona Low Dog, MD, who will be Willow Stream Spautilizing state-of-the-art diagnostics. Guests will have exclusive access to a team of experts specializing in various fields of complementary and alternative medicine.

“Resort guests will benefit from having easy access to services during their stay and online support long after they leave the property,” said Dr. Low Dog, chief medical officer of Well & Being. “It’s this on-going relationship that distinguishes the Well & Being program, creating a progressive wellness experience unlike any other, allowing guests to maintain their desired health/fitness plan and goals outside the resort, receiving motivation through community engagement and year-round online and local support from leading practitioners and providers.”

Guest will create their personalized profile with an iPad, and once they return back home, this online experience will include a socially-interactive, tailored e-magazine, featuring a team of wellness professionals, spa resources and personalized customer service, continuing the education, inspiration and conversation with guests year-round. The e-magazine will be available by subscription (or complimentary with select wellness packages or memberships) and delivered via computer, tablet or mobile device.

Other Willow Stream Spa Expansions, Additions

Fitness Facilities
Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa will also expand its fitness facilities, dedicating several studio spaces to yoga, meditation, tai chi and breath work. The facility will also offer a wide range of fitness equipment and programs, such as TRX Suspension Training, CrossFit, Crank Cycle and immersive Rip Surfer Classes; state-of-the art exercise technology, including Virtual Active forward-motion videos designed to diversify cardio workouts using Matrix fitness equipment; top-tier personal trainers to guide guests through a tailored fitness routine and to assist with goal-setting; and interactive, group studio sessions, which will offer an exciting selection of fitness classes for all levels.

The Boutique
As guests are heading out from a day of wellness and fitness programs, they can stop by the spa boutique, which will expand, adding a “lifestyle” shopping experience. To create the ultimate experience in skin-care pampering and maintenance, exclusive, performance-based product lines will be available, including Radical Skincare, Naturopathica, Body Bliss and Willow Stream Ener-G.

The Salon
Additionally, the spa’s salon will become a stand-alone, easily-accessible facility, directly adjacent to the spa, with a dedicated nail and pedicure lounge, and hair and makeup services. In the spa, plans also include the installation of new mud-scrub bars and rain showers in four private treatment patios.

For more information about Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, visit scottsdaleprincess.com or call (480) 585-2732.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Where: 7575 E. Princess Dr., Scottsdale
Contact: (480) 585-4848
Online: scottsdaleprincess.com
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AZ Wine & Dine

AZ Wine & Dine Makes Use Of Forks, Corks [PHOTOS]

The mission of first-ever AZ Wine & Dine on April 12 at Scottsdale Quarter, which took the place of the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association’s long-running culinary event Forks & Corks, was to highlight the distinct variety of culinary outlets at Arizona hotels, resorts and restaurants while offering a variety of wines and craft beers designed to satisfy any palette.

Judging by the more than 750 guests who enjoyed tantalizing tastes from the renowned chefs at the Four Seasons Troon North, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Montelucia, Arizona Grand Resort and many more, as well as the sumptuous sips provided by Hensley, Young’s Market Company and others, it was a mission well-accomplished.

And then some.

While the final numbers are still being tallied, organizers estimate that the event raised about $20,000 to support the Arizona tourism industry.

Arizona tourism’s impact, by the numbers:

  • 36.9 Million: Number of domestic and international overnight visitors who experienced Arizona as a travel destination.
  • $48 Million: Amount of direct traveler spending being contributed to our state’s economy every single day.
  • $2.5 Billion: Amount of local, state and federal tax revenues generated as a result of direct traveler spending.
  • $1,040: Tax revenue generated by the tourism industry lessens the tax burden by $1,040 for every Arizona household.
  • No. 1: Where the travel and tourism industry ranks among Arizona’s export-oriented industries.

According to guest feedback, among the biggest and brightest highlights of the event:

  • Live music, which was provided by The Shining Star Band
  • Silent auction, which offered amazing vacation packages from the state’s top resorts, restaurants and spas
  • “Foodie” food, including short ribs from Westin Kierland, Kobe sliders from the Phoenician, and cioppino from the Montelucia
  • Libation innovations, including Moet Champagne from Narcisse, flaming coffee drinks from La Hacienda, and sangria from New Age Winery

Based on the event’s overwhelming success, plans are already underway for next year.

For more information about AZ Wine & Dine, please visit azwineanddine.com.


AZ Wine & Dine

Photos: Cory Bergquist

 

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Conference Center - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Hospitality: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Conference Center

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Conference Center

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Conference Center - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Developer: Strategic Hotels & Resorts
General contractor: Howard S. Wright Construction
Architect: kollin altomare architects
Location: E. Princess Blvd. and Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
Size: 60,267 SF

A new, $25M building will provide 24,000 SF of ballroom space, 9,000 SF of meeting space and 14,223 SF of pre-function space with an additional 2,658 SF of restrooms, a 2,000 SF kitchen and 2,458 SF of BOH areas. Expected completion is 4Q 2011.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Bourbon Steak, AB Magazine November/December 2011

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’s Bourbon Steak Impresses

If you’re superstitious, you might believe bad things happen in sets of three. If you’re an optimist, you might believe “the third time’s a charm.” Well, Bourbon Steak debunks both well-known expressions. At Bourbon Steak, each dish presented in a trio is nothing short of mouthwatering, and patrons are willing to spend the triple digits for the lavish — but well-worth-the-price — meals.

Located on the grounds of the AAA Five-Diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Bourbon Steak’s dining area is engulfed with rays of natural light beaming from the floor-to-ceiling windows, exposing the outdoor patio with its sleek, steel and leather-bound décor — the interior boasting a similar industrial design. The lit candles flickering throughout, both inside and out, as well as the genuinely courteous and friendly staff gave the restaurant a warm, inviting touch.

My dinner companions and I started off the night with a trio of seasoned fries (herb-sprinkled, onion-scented and cheddar-dusted), cooked in duck fat. The fries arrived with three different dipping sauces (pickle-infused ketchup, BBQ sauce and an onion dip). Little did I know this trend of trios would become the dominant theme of the night.

We continued our meal with lemon-drizzled poached prawns; the Bibb wedge salad, with subdued Point Reyes blue cheese and touches of sprinkled bacon, avocado, croutons, tomato and onions; and the table favorite, the Foie Gras Sliders — with the liver so moist and tender, juices were not only flowing from the sliders, but also from our mouths.

However, the feast had only begun, and we realized this once our surf and turf dinner entrees began making their appearances. First up, the Tasting Trio of Beef — three types of beef perfectly paired with its individual side dish. The cast included the wood-grilled rib-eye flat with sweet, creamed corn; the flat iron steak made with American Wagyu beef, paired with soy-glazed shiitakes mushrooms; and the New York strip, also wood-grill, with smoked-onion sauteed spinach.

What makes the mesquite-grilled steaks so distinct? As our waiter Chris informed us, Bourbon Steak always cooks with natural, organic and hormone-free beef, slow-poached and cooked over a wood-fired grill. And with such attentive, patient care invested into the cuisine, it’s no wonder Bourbon Steak was the critics’ pick for best steakhouse on azcentral.com’s Best of 2011 list.

The surf portion of our dinner included the tapioca-crusted snapper, with a clean presentation and comprised of basmati, an almond crunch and a touch of sesame vinaigrette. Shortly after, the true show-stopper rolled up to the table — the Maine Lobster Pot Pie.

The lobster was tucked away beneath the crust, and as the waiter sliced open the pie, the aromas of the concoction intoxicated us, the billowing steam momentarily blinded us. We sat salivating, teased, as the waiter reassembled the lobster before us, thoroughly enjoying the presentation — especially when the green beans were delicately and playfully placed as the antennas, as the reconstructed lobster swam in a concoction of carrots, potatoes, brandied lobster cream and various other fall vegetables. Needless to say, the dish was incredible.

To round out our night, it was only fitting to order the beignets, a trio of desserts, including homemade vanilla crème brulèe, Macallan 18-year butterscotch pudding and Valrhona dark chocolate pot de crème. My personal favorite? The Valrhona chocolate custard, a red velvet cake with pecans and topped with a feather-light mousse.

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If You Go: Bourbon Steak

7575 E. Princess Dr., Scottsdale
(480) 585-4848
www.scottsdaleprincess.com/dining/bourbon-steak

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Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011