Tag Archives: The Phoenician


Where will you be sitting at the 5th annual Polo Championships?

Grass, bleacher, blanket, picnic table, VIP Tent, sideline parking – there is no shortage of unusual and high-end seating at the 5th Annual Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses and Horsepower on Saturday, October 24th.

jpeg-1Set up against the backdrop of the McDowell Mountains on the Polo Field at WestWorld of Scottsdale, the field-side seating is prime real estate. Polo fans can score great seats anywhere from $17.50 to $4,000 for a table of ten in an exclusive VIP section.

From an All Access Pass that gets you into every tented experience, to a Sideline Parking spot where you can pull your car up to the field, to a table for two in the High Tea Tent, presented by The Phoenician, to the field-side tables for ten in the Molina Fine Jewelers Drivers and Players VIP Lounge, the seating options are endless and can be tailored to fit everyone’s budget.

Choose your seat:

Molina Fine Jewelers Drivers & Players VIP Lounge – Includes complimentary food and cocktails. VIP parking. Exclusive access to drivers and players.  Entry: $180 with tables up to $4,025.

The Barrett-Jackson Champagne & Jazz Lounge – The only champagne bar on-site. Includes covered tent near mid-field seating and (1) complimentary mimosa. Entry starts at $70 and tables go up to $1,225.

jpegThe Picasso Pavilion & Larsen LIVE Art Auction Lounge -Includes covered tent field-side seating and exclusive access to the Valley’s largest live contemporary and fine art auction, including this year’s Picasso painting. No-host food and beverage service.  Tickets start at $50.

High-Tea: Presented by The Phoenician – Experience High Tea like never before, by the people who do it best in Arizona, The Phoenician. Ticket provides shaded, field-side tent seating as well as Tea Service. Price ranges from $125 – $1,500.

Shaded Picnic Table Seating – Reserved umbrella-shaded picnic table along the end zones. Includes 4 entry tickets. $160.

Sideline Parking, previously known as Tailgating – Presented by Turf Paradise. Drive your car field side and enjoy the matches. Spots range from $115 per vehicle to $435.

RV Day Pass – Roll in, hook up along an elevated road, and enjoy the day’s festivities! $105 – per RV

General Admission – Grass, bleacher, blanket and picnic table seating available. Access to the Saguaro Hotel Hospitality Tent, Ballroom Dancing tent and the Heineken Party Pavilion. $17.50.

To ensure the best seats and tables, reserve tickets now at www.ThePoloParty.com.

Summer Spa Events and Specials

Phoenician takes heat out of summer with spa special

The Forbes Four-Star Centre for Well-Being at The Phoenician is making the intense temperatures more manageable this summer with refreshing savings on its spa menu.  Between now and September 3, 2015, guests, local visitors and residents can purchase one treatment and receive a second of equal or lesser value for 50 percent off.

Showcasing more than 75 specialized experiences, The Centre for Well-Being features such signature services as the Phoenician’s Finest Facial – a highly advanced skin care treatment that begins with a natural, pharmaceutical-grade Vitamin-C enzyme peel, preparing the skin for an oxygen infusion of hyaluronic acid and antioxidants.  The 80-minute service leaves skin renewed and rehydrated while diminishing fine lines.   The 50-minute Organic Ginger Lime Sugar Scrub features a 100 percent natural body-smoothing exfoliation, complemented by a fragrant application of coconut-argan oil. For those searching for focus and direction, Illumination through Tarot helps to find answers to pressing questions. This offer is available Monday-Thursday and excludes both holidays and salon services.

In addition to their services of choice, spa-goers also have access to The Centre for Well-Being’s locker rooms, saunas, whirlpools, steam rooms, fitness studio, refreshment bar and meditation atrium, where a complimentary group session is held daily at 12 p.m.  Use of the Oasis Pool Complex at The Phoenician is also provided.

JW Marriott Desert Ridge Wildfire Pool.

Arizona’s best resorts offer summer staycation deals

Need a summer getaway? Stay home and save money.

Arizona is home to some of the world’s most fantastic pools, luxurious spas, romantic retreats, spectacular golf courses and best restaurants. So you can forget about flight delays and rental cars because many of Arizona’s award-winning hotels and resorts offer summer deals that are designed specifically for local residents who want a staycation to get away from it all. The best part about experiencing Arizona’s best resorts in the summer is that many offer great deals and low rates.

The Boulders Resort

The deal: The Boulders’ summer rates begin at only $99, which is more than a 70 percent discount from its current rates. The Boulders’ “Two by Fore” package includes private luxury casita accommodations, one round of golf per paying adult with same day replay, a 20 percent spa discount at The Boulders Spa, complimentary access to spa facilities and unlimited fitness classes for $189 per night.

To book: 480-488-9009 or theboulders.com

Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River

The deal: Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River offers a refreshing way to unwind. Book its Sleep In & Save Package and stay 2 nights, save 20 percent and sleep in with a 2 p.m. late check out. It’s your weekend to hit the snooze button and catch extra pool time.

To book: 888-236-2427 or courtyardscottsdalesaltriver.com

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

The deal: The sky lights up this summer at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess with fireworks every Saturday night, Dive In movies and the Techno Glo party after dark, a zip line across the lagoons, the SplashRider X-treme water ride, dining, spa golf and more activities for the entire family.  The summer “Sip, Savor & Splash” package starts at $169 per night with a $50 daily resort credit.

To book: 480-585-4848 or scottsdaleprincess.com

FireSky Resort & Spa

The deals: FireSky has four opportunities for locals to enjoy a much-deserved staycation:

• Fast Forward to Summer: Book early and save up to 20 percent off the best available rate, Must book 4 weeks in advance to receive this rate. Mention rate code FAST when booking.

• Tequila and Tanlines: Includes one welcome pitcher of margaritas from Taggia Bar, morning coffee and tea service in the living room and hosted evening wine reception in the living room. Mention rate code PTAN when booking.

• Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Includes welcome signature cocktail for each person from Taggia bar, transportation to Old Town bars, $10 “Raid the Mini Bar card” for after hours, Westcor shopping and dining incentive guide and more. Mention rate code PGRL when booking.

• Bros and Brews Package: Includes welcome round of four beers, appetizer in Taggia Bar and more. Mention rate code PBRO when booking.

To book: 800-528-7867 or fireskyresort.com

Graduate Tempe

The deals: Graduate Tempe offers two staycation options that appeal to very both risktakers and the more reserved:

• Round up your comrades for the ultimate test in fortitude and sport with the Weekend Warrior Package. Spend an afternoon with your buddies settling old scores at Tempe Paintball. One night stay over Friday or Saturday only comes with a $50 restaurant credit for The Normal or Tapacubo and two Passes to Tempe Paintball with transportation included.

• What better way to cultivate your intellectual curiosity than with a night at the theatre? You pick up the tickets and Graduate Tempe will take care of the rest with our Gammage Theater Package. One night stay includes $50 a restaurant credit for The Normal or Tapacubo and transportation to the theater.

To book: graduatetempe.com

The Hermosa Inn

The deals: Artist for a Day Summer Package, available May 1 – September 7, 2015Amateurs and experienced artists alike are invited to escape the heat and channel their inner Monet, Van Gogh and O’Keefe by booking The Hermosa Inn’s Artist for a Day summer package. Available May 1 through September 7, the artful package includes a stay in one of the 34 luxury casitas, two drink tickets and a one and a half hour private painting lesson (for one person) with on-property artists from Carrie Curran Art Studios at the Inn’s Blue Door Art Studio & Gallery. Twenty-four hour notice is required to schedule the class and the lesson includes all supplies, with acrylic, watercolor, pencil or oils on canvas ($30 fee for additional person to attend the class). Rates starting from $355 per night.

To book: www.hermosainn.com or 800.241.1210

Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock

The deal: With a recent multi-million dollar renovation,Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock is offering summer rates from $168 per night for stays May 26-Sept. 8. Splash into the red rocks with three pools, enjoy indigenous spa treatments at eforea: spa and take a swing at 18 holes of golf at the adjacent Sedona Golf Resort.

To book: hiltonsedonaresort.com

JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort

The deal: Escape the hustle, bustle and day-to-day responsibilities with the Fling & Swing package, an amenity-rich package starting at $149. The summer package, available through Sept. 7, includes a daily $50 resort credit, free golf on Faldo and Palmer championship golf courses, free meals for kids 12 and under, free access to the Family Escape Center and no resort fee.

To book: jwdesertridge.com

JW Marriott Starr Pass Tucson Resort & Spa

The deal: The Play Your Way package allows you to escape to cool and comfortable elegance, exciting adventure and delicious dining. From $199 per night — including a $50 or $100 daily resort credit, depending on package booked — you can make a splash at the Starr Pass Water Collection, relax and rejuvenate at Hashani Spa, swing into action at the Starr Pass Golf Club or indulge in fresh and flavorful fare of one of the facility’s five restaurants.

To book: 800-721-6996 or jwmarriottstarrpass.com, use promo code ES7

Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix

The deal: Hotel Palomar in the heart of downtown Phoenix is ready for some summer fun in the sun with its “Fast Forward to Summer” Staycation Package, starting at $119 per night. The package includes 20 percent off the best available rate, deluxe accommodations, 50 percent off valet parking, hosted wine reception in the living room and morning coffee and tea service in the living room.

To book: 602-253-6633 or hotelpalomar-phoenix.com

The Phoenician

The deal: Dive into summer at Arizona’s premier AAA Five Diamond resort with SunSational Summer at The Phoenician with starting rates of $159. Enjoy luxurious accommodations, signature amenities and incomparable service.

To book: 800-888-8234 (ask for rate plan SUMMER) or thephoenician.com/offers

L’Auberge de Sedona

The deal: For the past four summers L’Auberge has had a “Drop it Like it’s Hot” deal that is geared towards Phoenix residents. As the temperatures heat up in Phoenix, Phoenician can escape the heat and drive North to Sedona and “Drop it Like it’s Hot.” At 4 p.m., L’Auberge takes the temperature on Oak Creek and compares it with the temperature at Sky Harbor. The difference will be the discount on your rate.

To book: (928) 282-1661 or lauberge.com

Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort

The deal: Round-up the family for The Great American Summer at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, the ultra-family friendly resort with four acres of pools, waterslide, lazy river and more. With rates from $109 per night for stays May 26-Sept. 8, 2015, each summer weekend celebrates America’s favorite summertime experiences with beach parties, luaus, carnivals and more.

To book: squawpeakhilton.com, use promo code SUNSP

Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort

The deal: Leave the kids at home and escape to Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, where stunning views and a dramatic mountainside location meet luxe amenities, including all-suite accommodations, eight refreshing pools, golf, spa and romantic dining overlooking the city lights. Rates from $89 are available for Sunday-Thursday stays from July 6-Sept. 8.

To book: tapatiocliffshilton.com, use promo code TAPRM

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

The deal: Summer Returns Package, starting at $239 per night, includes luxury accommodations and a $50 resort credit per night. Summer Fun Package, starting at $249 per night, includes luxury accommodations and a $100 resort credit per night. Summer Fun Package (multi-night) is $999 for a four-night stay and includes luxury accommodations and a $600 resort credit per package. Resort credits may be used for dining, spa or recreational experiences — excluding golf.

To book: 800-241-3333 or ritzcarlton.com/dovemountain

Royal Palms Resort and Spa

The deal: The Royal Palms Resort and Spa, at the base of Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, is offering guests the “Luxe Lounging” Staycation Package, starting at $149 per night. The package features more than $135 of value, including an upgraded room, complimentary cocktails, $25 dinner credit to the renowned T. Cook’s and two $40 Alvadora Spa credits.

To book: 602-840-3610 or royalpalmshotel.com, use promo code PLL

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

The deals: Sanctuary offers a variety of staycation options to suit any interest or occasion:

• Couples looking to indulge in a quick, romantic escape can enjoy Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain’s Romance in Paradise package, which provides one night’s accommodations, dinner at elements, chocolate-covered strawberries and a rose petal turndown. Rates start at $410.

Friends seeking a sweet staycation can enjoy Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain’s BFF Retreat which includes three nights’ accommodations, daily breakfast, a guided hike, bento box lunch, and “build-a-martini” in-room kit. Rates start at $1,386.

Athletes can hone their skills during Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain’s Triathlon Training package, which offers swimming workouts with Olympic Gold Medalist, Misty Hyman, tandem runs, and guided biking excursions with the resort’s staff of fitness experts. The package includes three nights’ accommodations, three days of training, daily breakfast and three spa treatments, designed to soothe the muscles after a hard day of workouts. Rates start at $1,797

To book: 855-245-2051

Talking Stick Resort

The deal: Talking Stick Resort is the perfect playground for your ideal summer getaway. Enjoy the Summer Playcation Package from just $119 per night. This exclusive package includes a daily $25 food and beverage credit with a minimum of a two-night stay. Valid for stays May 3-Sept. 30.

To book: 866-877-9897

We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center

The deal: For $129 per room, per nigh, the Summer Splash package includes a $50 food and beverage credit for the Ahnala Mesquite Room, room service or Pool Bar & Grill; $10 casino slot play for new Fortune Club members; and $5 casino slot play for existing Fortune Club members.

To book: 480-789-5320

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

Phoenician offers ‘Culinary Countdown’ summer dining series

The Phoenician, Arizona’s premier AAA Five Diamond destination, is making dining out even more appetizing this summer with its signature “Culinary Countdown” series.  From Monday, June 1, through Monday, August 31, 2015, three resort restaurants will offer select multi-course menus at exceptional prices:

• J&G Steakhouse ($40 per person) – The three-course dinner menu includes a choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert, featuring Cold Corn and Lemongrass Soup, Steamed Shrimp Salad or Heirloom Tomatoes; slowly cooked Salmon, Roasted Chicken or Prime Flat Iron Steak; as well as Raspberry and Rose Pavlova, Warm Chocolate Cake with Caramel Ice Cream, or an assortment of Sorbets and Ice Cream.  From 5-7 p.m. nightly, the restaurant will also offer 50 percent off all bottles of wine under $100.

• Il Terrazzo ($30 per person) – The three-course dinner menu offers a choice of Chilled Tomato & Crab Soup, Kale & Arugula Salad or Asparagus & Prosciutto for an appetizer; Eggplant Caponata, Olive Oil Poached Halibut or Pork Bistecca for an entrée; and a Cherry Torte, Vanilla Panna Cotta or Sorbets & Ice Cream for dessert.  Half-priced specialty cocktails complement each meal.

• Relish Burger Bistro ($20 per person) – The two-course lunch and dinner menu features a number of gourmet, American Kobe Burgers with crispy Tater Tots; followed by a Cookie Cup with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream or Apple Cobbler à la mode.  Special savings on draft beers and old-fashioned milkshakes are also offered.

For restaurant hours of operation and reservations, please call (480) 423-2530.

Located at the base of Camelback Mountain, the 250-acre Phoenician offers two exquisite experiences – a 583-room AAA Five Diamond luxury resort hotel and a 60-room, Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond hotel, The Canyon Suites — at one magnificent destination.  Both The Phoenician and The Canyon Suites are owned and operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., as part of The Luxury Collection. For additional information, please call (480) 941-8200; (800) 888-8234 or visit thephoenician.com and canyonsuites.com.

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

The Phoenician offers family-friendly summer luxury

The Phoenician, Arizona’s premier AAA Five Diamond resort destination, and its boutique hotel, The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician, are welcoming summer with sizzling rates and signature activities.

Beginning Monday, May 25 through Monday, September 7, 2015, guests of the 250-acre Phoenician can take advantage of the best rates of the year, starting from just $159 per night.  At The Canyon Suites — Arizona’s only Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond hotel — a more personalized, intimate experience is available, with guestrooms starting at $219 and suites at $329 per night.  

Visitors to both properties will discover a diverse collection of activities, including Smartphone photography classes, special wine tastings with Arizona’s only Master Sommelier, dive-in movies, Glo at the Pho neon pool parties, Pop! Up movies, animal encounters and the Flight of the Phoenix, a mythological bird of prey show.  Exclusive Canyon Suites offerings are highlighted by culinary and cocktail demonstrations, complimentary Electra bicycles for touring the resort grounds or nearby communities, and a library presenting the latest New York Times best sellers.  

In addition, the two properties combined feature a total of eight spacious pools, full-service cabanas, a 165-foot water slide, the interactive “sprayground,” SURGE, a championship golf course, renowned spa and numerous award-winning restaurants offering select dining specials.

For more information and to make reservations, please call (800) 888-8234 and mention rate plan SUMMER, or visit www.thephoenician.com/offers  or www.canyonsuites.com/offers.

“We had a tremendous response to our summer programming last year, which has translated into even more events, activities and special offerings for 2015,” said Mark Vinciguerra, managing director.  “We look forward to sharing these many memorable experiences with staycationers and visitors alike in the coming months.”

During the summer holiday weekends, entertaining, themed programming and activities will be offered, sponsored by Infiniti on Camelback.   Memorial Day Weekend kicks things off with a Surf’s Up!  Block Party featuring the band Southwest Surfers; along with face painting; a sidewalk chalk art competition; and a Hawaiian shirt contest.  Following a Father’s Day “Weekend Off” event showcasing all things Dads like to do, the Independence Weekend gets under way with – IGNITE.  On Friday, July 3, fireworks on the Casita Lawn will be preceded by a live performance from the band Young Country.   An indoor carnival featuring a Shock Wave Obstacle Course, mechanical bull, a basketball shootout and football throw skill game will highlight the Saturday, July 4, activities.  To wrap up the season, The Phoenician will host “On the Boardwalk” during the Labor Day Weekend with food trucks, rides, a magician and a special concert.
The Phoenician resort is nestled in the Sonoran Desert, with the breathtaking Camelback Mountain its backdrop. Photo: The Phoenician

U.S. Tennis Association honors The Phoenician

The Phoenician’s renowned Tennis Complex, one of the largest resort facilities in the Southwest, has been recognized as the 2014 Member Organization of Year by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) of Central Arizona.  The honor is awarded to the establishment that best exemplifies service to the community and to its members through USTA youth and adult tennis programs.

Nestled between two fairways along the eastern edge of the AAA Five Diamond resort, the premier tennis facility is the only one of its kind in the region to offer four playing surfaces on 11 outdoor courts, including a Wimbledon championship grass court, seven Plexipave hard-surface courts, two courts with the revolutionary Rebound Ace surface from Australia, and a Prestige Plexicushion surface on center court, which also features spectator seating.   The Tennis Complex, with 10 of its 11 courts lit for evening play, is available for USTA league competition, tournaments and special events, and is open to resort guests as well as the general public.

In addition to private and semi-private lessons with its nationally recognized and certified staff of professionals, The Phoenician also offers an extensive range of programming that varies depending upon age and skill level.  Custom-designed training and team packages are available and include video instruction/analysis and performance work.
For a complete list of tennis offerings, please visitthephoenician.com/tennis-courts.
real estate - expanding to california

ULI Arizona’s 10th annual Trends Day

January 2015 is an important time as Arizona hosts the Pro Bowl, the Phoenix Open, and the Super Bowl – all in one week!

Leveraging this energy, The Urban Land Institute Arizona District Council (ULI) 10th Annual Trends Day Conference will be held on January 28, 2015 at The Phoenician in Scottsdale.

This one-day deep dive into the most current state and national land use and real estate trends focuses on what to expect in the future, where the best opportunities can be found and how these components affect public and private sector partners.

Trends Day brings together more than 25 top industry experts and will feature panel discussions on infill development and redevelopment; Phoenix Open and the Super Bowl; employer and site selection; and land and residential. Additionally, the day will feature quick hit discussions on crowdfunding; retail; capital markets; Tucson; and office and industrial.  New in 2015 is the Trends Debate with two teams exploring the topic of Incentives – Are they Crony Capitalism or Necessary Tools for Promoting and Attaining Strategic Economic Goals?

“The 10th Annual Trends Day is not to be missed,” said Heidi Kimball, ULI Trends Day Chair. “Over the past 10 years, ULI Arizona has built a reputation through Trends Day for assembling the industry’s best at Trends Day to accurately and comprehensively forecast what trends will impact land use patterns and real estate in the coming year.”

In just one day, attendees learn about major trends, hot projects, key players and critical issues shaping real estate development in the future. The event provides  the opportunity to network with thought-leaders and change-agents representing public and private sector perspectives.  Last year more than 900 individuals attended Trends Day.

Heidi Kimball, Senior Vice President, Sunbelt Holdings, and Charley Freericks, President, DMB, and Stan Shafer, Chief Operating Officer, Holualoa Companies, are Trends Day 2015 Co-Chairs.


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

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


What: 2015 ULI Arizona Trends Day

When: Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Where: The Phoenician in Scottsdale

Continuing education credits available are 6 AZDRE, 6 AICP and 6 AIA.

For More Information: Arizona.uli.org. Sponsorship packages are available.

Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails' Prime Flat Iron Steak, served with whipped potatoes, crispy frites and a garlic cherry glaze.

Blue Hound’s new menu is a culinary masterpiece

Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails Executive Chef Sean Currid's Deviled Fried Oysters.

Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails Executive Chef Sean Currid’s Deviled Fried Oysters.

If you really want to give yourself a gift this holiday season, check out the new menu at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails at Hotel Palomar Phoenix.

Newly appointed Executive Chef Sean Currid, who joined the restaurant in September, has created a new winter dinner menu and the results are a culinary masterpiece like you’ve never experienced.

Currid came to Blue Hound from Elements at Sanctuary Resort & Spa, where he served as executive catering chef. He has also worked at Michael’s at the Citadel, Mary Elaine’s at The Phoenician and Cafe ZuZu at The Hotel Valley Ho.

But Currid’s new winter menu at Blue Hound distinguishes him as perhaps the Valley’s best chef.

While Currid has kept some old favorites — charred pork belly sliders, Hickman’s Farm deviled eggs, short ribs — on the menu, he has added some new additions that should not be missed.

During a recent visit, these are the dishes we sampled that will keep us going back time after time:

• Currid’s Deviled Fried Oysters are served with grits, Meyer lemon and pickled shallots. They come in servings of two or four, but if they came by the gross, we’d have ordered a gross. That’s how incredible the dish tastes. The oysters are breaded are cooked to a perfect crisp. Currid’s decision to serve them over the best grits you will ever taste is a stroke of genius. This goes down as this writer’s favorite appetizer in all of Phoenix. No contest.
• Currid’s Prime Flat Iron Steak is served with whipped potatoes and crispy frites, but his garlic cherry glaze is what what took this dish from “Wow!” to “Holy cow!” because each bite was a religious experience. If you can imagine a piece of steak that is exquisitely cooked, with a cherry glaze that complements it so perfectly that it melts in your mouth like cotton candy, you might be able to imagine the deliciousness of Blue Hound’s Prime Flat Iron Steak.

Some of Currid’s personal favorites, and we cannot disagree, are:

• Hamachi: Ginger, pomegranate, pickled fresno peppers, extra virgin olive oil.
• Corvina Sea Bass: White beans, kale, clams, smoked bacon.
• Prime Flat Iron Steak: Whipped potatoes, crispy frites, garlic cherry glaze.
• Kale Salad: Pomegranate, pine nuts, shaved apple, parmesan.
Roasted Beet Salad: Medjool dates, arugula, clementine.

Do yourself a favor and check out Blue Hound’s new menu before the college football bowl crowds and Super Bowl crowds descend on the Valley and realize we have a dining diamond at Hotel Palomar Phoenix and make it more difficult to get a table.

And I didn’t even mention the Foodist Award-winning mixologists who create signature drinks that are out of the world and the S’more in a cup that was served as dessert.

Does it get any better than a S’more in a cup? Currid’s Deviled Fried Oysters might give it a run for its money.

Ice skaters at Fairmont Princess

There is still time to book a memorable holiday party

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for a party. With the economic downturn slowly starting to appear in the rearview mirror, the office holiday party might be something that slipped your mind because it hasn’t been in the budget in years past. So if you still need to place to host your happening, here are a variety of options to create a memorable holiday event for employees.

Bar North at the Kierland Commons
With a gorgeous view of the main Kierland Commons courtyard, Bar North can host up to 60 guests reception style. The inside dining area is perfect for cocktail parties or lavish business dinners for up to 50 people.
How to book: 480-905-3278 or email asomers@foxrc.net

Blanco Tacos + Tequila at The Biltmore Fashion Park
Blanco’s private dining has the perfect spot for your fiesta. The private dining space is a hacienda style and comes complete with its own bar. Guest can mingle reception style up to 75, or sit down family style for up to 60 guests.
How to book: 480-905-3278 or email asomers@foxrc.net

The Clubhouse at Tonto Verde
The Clubhouse is just minutes from North Scottsdale and offers both indoor and outdoor event venues. Its experienced staff and culinary team will customize and handle every detail of your holiday party to assure that it is worry free.
How to book: 480-471-2582 or tontoverde.org

Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row
You will enjoy a one-of-a-kind, high-energy experience in our warm and inviting space. Guests are welcomed to savor Whiskey Row’s award-winning, made from scratch menu. Features also include: live bands and DJs, karaoke, liquor and beer tasting, personal beer taps, decorations, games and more.
How to book: 928-710-8985 or email tinapeterson@riothg.com

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
With two 23,000 square-foot ballrooms, outdoor courtyards and three distinctive restaurants (Michael Mina’s Bourbon  Steak, La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval and the new Toro Latin Restaurant opening at the TPC Scottsdale) plus The Plaza Bar in the main plaza, there are endless possibilities for holiday parties, from intimate gatherings to grand galas.
How to book: 480-585-4848 or scottsdaleprincess.com

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria Old Town
With Frank Sinatra crooning in the background and the tantalizing aromas of over 100 years of pizza-making tradition in the air, Grimaldi’s combines classic pizzeria charm with a modern, stylish, loft-like atmosphere. Grimaldi’s is an excellent cost effective way to feed large parties and intimate gatherings, alike.
How to book: 480-874-8209 or email events@grimaldispizzeria.com

The Henry   
From the large private room with industrial touches, to a private kitchen that feels like the best home chef’s kitchen, The Henry is set to accommodate 10 to 100 guests. Like any seasoned host, The Henry offers reception menus or limited coursed menus of its tried and true favorites.
How to book: 480-751-2934 or email lbyke@foxrc.net

Hotel Valley Ho
Downtown Scottsdale’s historic icon offers fabulous fare for holiday parties and hip venues like the panoramic Sky Line Rooftop, high-tech SoHo Ballroom, and Sands, a private indoor-outdoor event space. Hotel Valley Ho has you covered, whether you’re hosting 50 guests or 500.
How to book: 480-248-2017 or hotelvalleyho.com

Kelly’s at SouthBridge
Located on Sixth Avenue in downtown Scottsdale, the 8,000-square-foot swanky pub offers traditional pub classics mixed with exceptional modern cuisine. Their private and semi-private dining spaces and patios offer a variety of options for any event. They can accommodate groups between 10 and 300 people.
How to book: 480-393-3205 or email events@kellysatsouthbridge

Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix
Savor holiday fare and craft cocktails at this Downtown Phoenix boutique hotel. Choose from three different party packages to create a custom event including a holiday mixer, a festive buffet or the fare with flair package. Invite your guests to take the elevator home and spend the night while enjoying 20 percent off the best available rate when you book an event.
How to book: 480-478-1730 or email catering@hotelpalomar-phoenix.com

North in Arcadia
North has turned a modern lens on Italian cooking. Transport your guests to what feels like a charming Italian side street culinary gem with a patio event that seats up to 55, or can accommodate 70 guests reception style. The warm glow of the fireplace with set the mood and heaters will keep guests warm throughout the winter months.
How to book: 480-905-3278 or email asomers@foxrc.net

Octane Raceway
Octane Raceway offers the 45 mph Sodi-RTX karts, a Segway obstacle course, rock wall, video games and billiards. Octane also offers state of the art conference rooms with full A/V hookups, as well as a full kitchen and bar.
How to book: 602-302-7223

Olive & Ivy
At Olive & Ivy, discover an enticing selection of unexpected and familiar dishes in a rich, elegant, laid-back atmosphere. For special occasions or business meetings, the restaurant offers two private dining areas and beautiful patio space accommodating a varying number of guests.
How to book: 480-905-3273 or email nlasker@foxrc.net

The Phoenician
From grand ballrooms to intimate salons to a variety of signature dining venues, The Phoenician designs elegant holiday events for gatherings of all sizes.
How to book: 480-423-2722

Rawhide Western Town & Steakhouse
Rawhide Western Town promises to deliver up a true western experience with 14 unique venues within town to host your private events perfectly along with multiple Wild West attractions and shops. Features include live action stunt shows, stagecoach rides and mechanical bull rides.
How to book: 480-705-2946 or email toni.mennuti@rawhide.com

Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy
Forget about Ho! Ho! Ho! and say Ha! Ha! Ha! Join Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy and make this holiday the merriest yet. They can accommodate groups of 10-300 and do it all — drink, dine and laughs. They will even pick on the boss for you!
How to book: 480-420-3553 or email az@houseofcomedy.net

The Rocket
Let the party come to you. The Rocket, the food truck brought to you by North Italia, is a 700-degree wood burning pizza oven on wheels. It’s built to turn fresh ingredients and hand-stretched dough into a piping hot pizza pie in less than eight minutes. With five different signature pizzas, fresh salads, charcuterie and bruschetta, you can proudly cater a private party or corporate event for up to 300 people.
How to book: 480-751-2202  or email kmahoney@foxrc.net

Royal Palms Resort & Spa
For 12-18 people, the historic resort offers a variety of venues including the Delos room at T. Cook’s, The Study at The Mix Up Bar or the architecturally rich Vernadero boardroom overlooking the lawn and reflecting pool. The resort, built in 1929 as a private mansion, has cobblestone pathways, tucked-away courtyards with fountains and an enchanting atmosphere.
How to book: 602-808-3206 or email wstark@destinationhotels.com

SOL Mexican Cocina
Add a little Baja flavor to your holiday festivities. From sit-down, coursed meals to family style sharing or the more informal cocktail style party, SOL Mexican Cocina in Scottsdale Quarter can cater any holiday event to your needs. Available for private events are the patio and the private dining rooms.
How to book: 480-245-6708 or email scottsdaleevents@solcocina.com

Stand Up Live
The downtown Phoenix comedy club offers all-inclusive holiday packages to fit any budget that include show ticket, plated three-course dinner or appetizer, one top-shelf cocktail, tax, and gratuity. Stand Up Live can accommodate groups ranging from 20-500 guests with no waiting in line, waived service fees and all-inclusive pricing.
How to book: 480-467-3162 or email justine@standuplive.com

Taco Guild
Taco Guild’s Key Room holds 24 people, offers full kitchen, bar and wait staff. The innovative tacos at the celebrated restaurant in North Central Phoenix were recently named by Travel + Leisure Magazine as among the best in the United States.
How to book: 602-264-4143 or tacoguild.com

Talking Stick Resort
Talking Stick Resort invites guests to end the year in style when it hosts its Fire and Ice New Year’s Eve Party on Dec. 31. Kicking off at 6:30 p.m. in the Salt River Grand Ballroom, the two-day celebration will feature an all-you-can-eat buffet, cocktail specials and live performances by the legendary Sam Moore and Boogie Knights.
How to book: 480-850-7734 or talkingstickresort.com.

Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill
Whether your group’s small or large, Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill can provide a great experience and value for any holiday event. They feature multiple options including a private event room and bar. Enjoy your choice of their 52 local, craft, import and domestic beers on draft or one of their unique specialty cocktails.
How to book: email ashelton@ceghospitality.com

Uptown Alley
Uptown Alley has 60,000 square feet of fun for everyone including 40 lanes of state-of-the-art bowling, an upscale, casual full service restaurant, two high-energy bars, a sports theater, billiards, laser tag, over 80 video and prize games, live entertainment, private party rooms and much more. Special packages that include game play, rock and bowl, holiday menu and laser tag are available.
How to book: email kjovic@uptownalleysurprise.com

Wrigley Mansion
The Wrigley Mansion Venue and Restaurant, a landmark building constructed between 1929 and 1931 by chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr., offers breathtaking views of the Valley and can accommodate private events ranging in size from 10 to 1,200.
How to book: 602-553-7295 or wrigleymansion.com


Blue Hound Hires New Executive Chef

Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix has hired Sean Currid as Executive Chef. Chef Currid comes from Elements at Sanctuary Resort & Spa where he served as Executive Catering Chef. Currid has been in the Valley for nearly 20 years and has also worked at Michael’s at the Citadel, Mary Elaine’s at The Phoenician and Cafe ZuZu at The Hotel Valley Ho.

Blue Hound guests will get a taste of Chef Currid’s cuisine when he releases a variety of new dishes on the new fall menu in late October.


For nearly 20 years, Sean Currid has honed his skills in the Culinary Industry in the Valley. His food style falls under contemporary American cuisine, complimented with classic French cooking techniques.

Sean was born and raised in Thousand Oaks, California. In his teens, his family moved to El Paso, Texas. One of his first jobs in Texas was in a restaurant as a dishwasher and short order cook. It was at this job, his interest in food and cooking grew. Shortly after graduating from high school, he decided that he would take cooking seriously. Sean relocated to Phoenix to attend Scottsdale Culinary Institute and graduated in 1997.

Currid started his professional career at JW Marriott’s Camelback Inn while attending Culinary School. Upon completion of school, he continued working there for the next four years. He moved through the ranks of the restaurants at Camelback Inn and finally promoted to Banquet Chef. He moved on to work at Michael’s at the Citadel and was asked once again to join the team at JW Marriott’s Camelback Inn overseeing banquets. Currid was then offered a position at Mary Elaine’s at The Phoenician and worked with James Beard Award winner, Chef Bradford Thompson. Over the next two years, he immersed himself in the restaurant and refined his cooking techniques. In 2005, Sean went to go with Chef Charles Wiley, another James Beard winner, to re-open The Hotel Valley Ho. His most recent position was working with Chef Beau MacMillan as Executive Catering Chef at Sanctuary Camelback Resort and Spa.

Under his direction as Banquet Chef, at JW Marriott’s Camelback Inn, the resort received the Gold Platter Award by Meeting and Conventions magazine. In 2010, Sean was named one of “The Valley’s Top Five Sous Chefs” in AZ Magazine. He was also named one of “The Valley’s Seven Top Chefs” AZ Foothills Magazine. Sean was on Food Network’s show “Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell.

Sean continues to participate in charity fundraisers, and team with local farmers to create his menus. Currid has also had the privilege of assisting Chef Charles Wiley in New York at The James Beard House, as they represented Café ZuZu.

Perched on the third-floor pool deck at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix, LUSTRE is an oasis in the heart of Downtown Phoenix with sweeping views of the city skyline, fresh cocktails and seasonal menu items perfect for enjoying poolside.

Some of the best staycations for the holiday weekend

You don’t need to go away for the holiday weekend when we have the world’s most fantastic pools, luxurious spas, romantic retreats, spectacular golf courses and best restaurants right in our backyard.

You can forget about the flight delays and rental cars because many of Arizona’s award-winning hotels and resorts offer summer deals that are designed specifically for local residents who want a staycation to get away from it all. The best part about it getting to experience the best Arizona has to offer? During the summer, the rates are very low.

Hotel Palomar Phoenix
The deals: “Night on the Town” includes accommodations and $25 gift card to Copper Blues starting at $129. “$102 and a Round of Brew” includes accommodations and a round of four beers at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. “Sweet Dreams” features accommodations, “Some Day, Some Night” children’s book by local author Jack Guinan, milk and cookies starting at $129. “Summer Getaway” offers accommodations, $10 iTunes gift card and two welcome cocktails at LUSTRE Rooftop Garden starting from $129.
To book: (602) 253-6633 or hotelpalomar-phoenix.com

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch
The deal: The Splash Into Summer package is available May 21-Sept. 3. From just $169 per night, guests get a deluxe room (50 percent off second room), free dinner in SWB for one child with each paying adult, free golf for kids ages 15 and under, 50 percent off Camp Hyatt each day for up to two children per room, and access to the resort’s 2.5-acre water extravaganza complete with 10 pools and three-story, high-speed waterslide.
To book: (480) 444-1234 or scottsdale.hyatt.com and reference rate code SSPLSH

JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
The deal: The “Fling & Swing” package starting at $169 is available May 22 through Sept. 2. The summer package includes a daily $50 resort credit, free golf on Faldo and Palmer championship golf courses (after 3 p.m. day of arrival, 11 a.m. on for remainder of stay), free meals for kids 12 and under, free access to the Family Escape Center, free in-room Wi-Fi, complimentary appetizer or dessert daily with an entree and free tennis.
To book: familyflingandswing.com/

Kimpton’s Amara Resort & Spa
The deals: Amara offers two summer packages. “Rise & Dine” includes deluxe accommodations and a $25 daily dining credit starting from $339 per night. “Relax & Recharge” features deluxe accommodations and $100 daily spa credit starting from $339 per night. Packages valid now through December 31.
To book: (928) 282-4828 or amararesort.com

L’Auberge de Sedona
The deal: For the past 3 summers L’Auberge has had a “Drop it Like it’s Hot” deal that is geared towards Phoenix residents. As the temperatures heat up in Phoenix, Phoenician can escape the heat and drive North to Sedona and “Drop it Like it’s Hot.” At 4 p.m., L’Auberge takes the temperature on Oak Creek and compares it with the temperature at Sky Harbor. The difference will be the discount on your rate.
To book: (928) 282-1661 or lauberge.com

Lodge on the Desert
The deal: From May 27-Aug. 14, guests can get deluxe accommodations at $99 per night with breakfast for two (plus tax). Based on availability.
To book: (520) 320-2000

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
The deal: Dive into Summer Savings with Loews Best Rate. Rates start from $99 per night, May 21-Sept. 4, and some restrictions apply. Rates are also based on availability.
To book: (800) 235-6397 or loewshotels.com

Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort
The deal: Discover refreshing pools, water slides, complimentary kid’s meals, poolside activities, dive-in movies, all-suite accommodations, themed restaurants, children’s programs, championship golf and relaxing spa services for the ultimate in summer chill time. Rates starting from $89 per room, per night.
To book: (602) 943-7752 or pointehiltontapatiocliffs.com

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain
The deal: Sanctuary offers the “For Arizonans Only” deal, which gives local residents 20 percent off the resort’s best available rate for a two-night stay or more. Guests must present a valid Arizona ID at check-in. Offer is valid June 1-Aug. 27. In addition, Sanctuary’s starting rates drop 45 percent — from $529 to $289 per night — beginning May 16.
To book: (800) 245-2051 or sanctuaryaz.com

Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center
The deal: Rates from $89, guests choose from the resort’s Stay Scottsdale, Play Scottsdale or Summer Seclusions “Kid Free Zone” packages. Available May 23-Sept. 1.
To book: (480) 991-9000 or TheScottsdaleResort.com

Talking Stick Resort
The deal: This summer, Talking Stick Resort is offering discounted hotel rates starting from $119 per night plus applicable taxes.
To book: (480) 850-7777 or talkingstickresort.com

The Boulders, a Waldorf Astoria Resort
The deal: The Boulders beckons travelers to the “cool side of the desert,” where temperatures are typically10 degrees cooler than in the valley. Seasonal rates dip to $99 per night. When booking a stay, request the “Best of Waldorf Astoria Package” and receive $50 resort reward for each night of the stay. The Truly Boulders Package includes luxury Casita accommodations, daily $15/adult breakfast credit, 20 percent off spa services, complimentary parking and golf club/tennis racquet rentals for just $159 per night, double occupancy.
To book: (480) 488-9009 or theboulders.com

The Phoenician
The deal: Book and stay between May 30 and September 1 and be entered to win a two-night New Year’s Eve stay at The Canyon Suites, Arizona’s only Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond hotel. Summer rates start at $159 per night.
To book: (480) 941-8200 or thephoenician.com/offers and reference rate code SUMMER

The Scottsdale Plaza Resort
The deal: At The Plaza, enjoy luxury accommodations from $99 per night plus a $50 food & beverage credit for any resort bar, poolside café or restaurant.
To book: (480) 948-5000 or scottsdaleplaza.com

The Scottsdale Resort
The deals: “Stay Scottsdale, Play Scottsdale Summer Package” offers rates from $89 weekdays and $99 weekends and includes accommodations, $50 food and beverage credit and weekend movie showings in the Pueblo Theater. The “Kid Free Zone” package offers rates from $89 weekdays and $119 weekends and includes accommodations, $50 food and beverage credit and Saturday and Sunday full breakfast buffet for two in the clubhouse. Casita suites available starting from $149 weekday and $179 on weekends. Summer deals available May 23-Sept. 1.
To book: (800) 540-0727 or thescottsdaleresort.com

W Scottsdale Hotel
The deal: The W lets you kick back and take it easy with two special summer packages. The Vitamin W comes with sunglasses, sunblock, beach bag, a poolside pitcher of Vitamin W and a room. The Road Trip includes a $25 gas card, overnight valet parking, a USB car charger and a room. Rates are from $160 per night and available for stays May 11-Sept. 6
To book: (877) 782-0104 or wscottsdalehotel.com/specialoffers

Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa
The deal: Get Baja Bound starting at $99, Your tropical staycation includes a discount “passport book” with savings on all restaurants, spa, tennis, horseback riding and more.
To book: (520) 297-1151 or westwardlook.com

Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino and Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino
The deal: Gila River Casinos is a great place to stay and play! From June 1-Sept. 25, guests can stay at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino and Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino for rates starting as low as $69. The best gaming, dining and night life in the valley, Gila River Casinos offers all the hottest slots and best entertainment destination all under one roof.
To book: WinGilaRiver.com


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!


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

[cjtoolbox name=’Experience AZ Top5′]

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
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
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
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
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
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.


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


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

5 C's of Credit

ASBA addresses issues facing small business in 2013

January 7, 2013 – The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) will offer a forum for Arizona small business owners and supporters of the small business community to discuss the critical issues facing small businesses this year at the 2013 Small Business Outlook.  ASBA’s annual event will be highlighted by a panel of industry leaders who will delve into important topics such as public policy, sales tax, healthcare in Arizona and access to capital.  The event will be held Thursday, Jan. 17at The Phoenician in Scottsdale.

Panelists for the 2013 Small Business Outlook include:

  • Jerry Bustamante, Senior V.P. of Public Policy + Southern Arizona, ASBA
  • Michael Hunter, Director of Legislative Affairs and Special Advisor on Tax Policy & Reform, Office of the Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer
  • Don Hughes, Policy Advisor for Health Care, Office of the Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer
  • Craig Jordan, Lender Relations Specialist, Arizona District Office
  • John Oates, Head of State Government Affairs, Cigna

Rick Murray, CEO of ASBA, states, “At our Small Business Outlook, our expert panel will explore the main issues expected to rule the headlines and dominate the dialogue this year.”

One such topic is public policy. Panelist Jerry Bustamante, senior vice president of public policy for ASBA, will discuss why he predicts there will be more cooperation across party lines. He comments, “We are entering Arizona’s Legislative session with more clarity this year, in comparison to the many questions left unanswered at this time last year.”

Michael Hunter, director of legislative affairs and special advisor on tax policy and reform for the Office of the Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer, can explain, for example, how the Fiscal Cliff being averted affects Arizonans and what the new tax bill means to small business owners. Also from the Office of the Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer, Don Hughes, policy advisor for health care, can speak about new health care policies.

Cigna Head of State Government Affairs John Oates will discuss health care policy as well. He is responsible for legislative and regulatory advocacy in the states, and formerly served as a legislative aide in the Texas House of Representatives, a health policy analyst in the Texas Senate, a health policy advisor in the Governor’s office and as the Committee Director for the Senate Health Services.

Arizona District Office Lender Relations Specialist Craig Jordan will cover the topic of access to capital. Jordan will comment on the Small Business Association’s role in providing capital access to small businesses, loan production information, and the enhancements to programs and loan programs that currently exist.

The 2013 Small Business Outlook will commence at 7:30am and conclude at 10:00am on Thursday, Jan. 17.  The Phoenician is located at 6000 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. To register for the event, please visit asba.com/outlook or call (602) 306-4000.

The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) is the largest trade association in the state representing 11,000+ member businesses, and over ½ million employees in all 15 counties. ASBA members enjoy access to significant group discounts, countless opportunities to do business with each other, a wide array of insurance products, and active advocacy efforts on public policy issues to protect their businesses. Discover more at www.asba.com or by calling 602.306.4000 or 520.327.0222. Join ASBA. Be amAZed®

Glamping, Photo: Wolwedans

Worldwide Trend, Glamping, Arrives To Scottsdale

When one thinks of camping, the phrase “roughing it” typically comes to mind. Flashbacks of faulty supplies, mystery food, bug attacks and the process of “using nature as your bathroom,” tend to prevent people from giving camping a second chance. However, a new trend has emerged that not only accommodate all of your camping needs, but also your luxury needs. and luxury needs. Ladies, meet glamping.

Glamping, originating from such exotic destinations as Africa and Thailand, is a more luxurious way to enjoy the great outdoors by providing glamorous amenities and services. Tents, for example, are often built with an electrical power source, offering appliances, lighting and climate control for guests. As if that isn’t luxurious enough, ditch your sleeping bag and upgrade to either an air mattress or king-sized spring mattress, sheathed in Egyptian cotton sheets. The best part? Camp is set up prior to your arrival, so all that’s left for you to do is to simply enjoy.

The royal treatment doesn’t stop there; full-course meals, laundered clothing, comfortable transportation and on-location spas come standard. Don’t let all this glitz fool you, though; glamping is very much about enjoying and respecting nature. Guests will still embark on river rafting adventures, safaris, go rock climbing and spelunking. The biggest difference being at the end of the day, instead of coming home to a crooked, wet tent, a wait staff and a toasty fire will greet you. Do we have your attention yet?

As this fad’s popularity soars, several resorts and outdoor adventure groups offer glamping escapades, as well as the chance to design your own custom camping adventure. And this includes local Arizona Outback Adventures, which offers a large variety of outdoor adventures, supplying meals and snacks, transportation and all of your camping supplies. Another local option is The Phoenician, a luxury resort and hotel in Scottsdale, which offers its own interpretation of glamping, per request.

“Here at The Phoenician, we can create a glamping experience by providing such luxurious offerings as AAA Five Diamond accommodations, award-winning restaurants and a world-renowned spa (The Centre for Well-Being), all combined with a variety of outdoor endeavors,” says Denise Seomin, director of public relations for The Phoenician.

“The Centre for Well-Being actually offers guided hikes at Camelback Mountain,” she adds. “The resort also has bikes available to guests to explore the 250-acre grounds, or nearby communities. In addition, the concierge staff can arrange a diverse number of active pursuits to add to the glamping trip, from horseback riding to river rafting.”

If your glamping craving takes you beyond the limits of Arizona, Seomin suggests you do plenty of research online and consider seeking assistance from a travel agent.

“Its all depends on the exact type or style of glamping trip in which the travelers are interested,” Seomin says. “Glamping, or the degree of such travel, is really at the discretion of the individuals, who can truly customize the experience to meet their expectations.”

Overall, if you’re interested in pursuing outdoor activities without sacrificing comfort and present-day amenities, glamping is screaming your name.

For more information about glamping at/with The Phoenician or Arizona Outback Adventures, visit thephoenician.com or aoa-adventures.com, respectively.

Glamping at the Phoenician

“Glamping” Photo Shoot Special Thanks To:

Location: The Phoenician in Scottsdale
Clothes and shoes: Barneys, Scottsdale Fashion Square
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Photographers: Cory Bergquist and Glory Shim

glamping at the phoenician

Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2012

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
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
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
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
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
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

Drinking & Diving: 5 Best Pool Bars

Drinking & Diving: 5 Best Pool Bars

Here they are — the best five pool bars in Scottsdale to show off, cool down, and drink up.

Talking Stick Resort Pool Bar

What Guests Love Most

Talking Stick Resort, Pool Bar

Guests love the entire pool experience that we offer at Talking Stick Resort. Guests can soak up rays in one of many lounge chairs surrounding the pool, or they can rent one of our 11 private cabanas. In addition to exclusive seating for parties, some of our cabanas offer enhanced services and amenities, such as a poolside massage. Each cabana is also assigned a personal attendant to meet guests’ needs, ensuring that the AAA Four Diamond Service Talking Stick Resort is known for extends beyond our hotel tower.

Guests can also dine poolside or go to the grill, which has bar seating for 12, as well as table seating for 30.

Signature Drinks

We have two delicious drinks that are huge sellers for guests relaxing poolside. They are our seasonal Fruit Mojito and the Stoli Ginger Lemonade – Stolichnaya Vodka and Cointreau, shaken with fresh lemonade and topped with a float of Ginger de Canton Ginger Liqueur, garnished with a lemon wedge.

Recipe: Fruit Mojito

Fruit Mojito, Photo: M. Allan SchanbacherIngredients:
½ oz. of simple syrup
1 ½ oz. Bacardi Silver or choose from one of the Bacardi Rums
Fruit flavors: Bacardi Torched Cherry, Bacardi Artic Grape
or Bacardi Dragon Berry
Fresh mint and lime wedge
First pour ½ oz. of simple syrup in a tall glass, add sprig of fresh mint, and muddle with a plastic or wooden muddler.
Then add Bacardi Silver (or one of the fruit flavors). Add ice, and top with Club soda. Garnish with a lime and a mint sprig.

Upcoming Events

We are so excited to announce the launch our new pool party series called RELEASE!, which will feature amazing drink specials and some of the region’s hottest DJs. The RELEASE parties will take place every Saturday and Sunday this summer beginning May 28 and 29, Memorial Day weekend until Sept. 1 and 2, Labor Day weekend. They’ll run from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. The DJs will preform from 1 – 5 p.m.

This is the perfect pool bar to … relax and rejuvenate while having your every need attended to.

Talking Stick Resort
9800 E. Indian Bend Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
(480) 850-7777

Hotel Valley Ho
OH Pool Bar + Cabanas

What Guests Love Most

Hotel Valley Ho, OH Pool Bar

People who come to the pool love the fun atmosphere — whether it’s a laid-back weekday or a weekend in the summer with live music.

Signature Drink

Miami Vice: People love the frozen, fruity blend of strawberry daiquiri and pina colada. It’s so refreshing!

Recipe: Miami Vice

Miami Vice, Hotel Valley HoStrawberry Daiquiri Ingredients:
2 oz. Cruzan Light Rum
3 oz. Daily’s Strawberry Daiquiri mix
Splash of fresh pineapple juice
Directions: Blend all ingredients with ice until slushy.

Pina Colada Ingredients:

2 oz. Cruzan Light Rum
3 oz. Daily’s Pina Colada mix
Splash of fresh pineapple juice
Directions: Blend all ingredients with ice until slushy.

Pour the Pina Colada into a 16-oz glass, then pour the Strawberry Daiquiri on top. Garnish with an orange wheel and a cherry.

Upcoming Events

Live music poolside from Matthew Thornton on Friday, July 6. DJ Mr. P-Body spins every Saturday July through September, plus Sunday, July 8 (Fourth of July weekend) and Sunday, September 2 (Labor Day weekend).

This is the perfect pool bar to … unwind at.

Hotel Valley Ho OH Pool Bar + Cabanas
6850 E. Main St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 248-2000

Spanish Fly Mexican Beach Club

Spanish Fly Mexican Beach Club, poolWhat Guests Love Most

The uniqueness of the venue. We are a small oasis in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. Where else can you kick off your heels and dip your feet in the pool while sipping a frosty margarita with friends?(Without having to pay for a hotel room.)

Signature Drink

People love pitchers of the Chinito. The combination of fresh fruit, ginger and vodka in an iced pitcher seems to cool people off in the summer heat.

Recipe: Chinito

Chinito Pitcher, Spanish Fly


Canton Ginger Liqueur
Ginger beer

Mix ingredients together, and serve!

Upcoming Events

Every weekend is an event at Spanish Fly Mexican Beach Club. We do happy hour Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with two-for-one drinks and half-priced appetizers. We have our weekend pool parties every Saturday and Sunday.

This is the perfect pool bar to … meet all of your friends and have a great time.

Spanish Fly Mexican Beach Club
4341 N. 75th St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 949-8454

Scottsdale Resort Palapas Pool Bar

Scottsdale Resort Palapas Pool BarWhat Guests Love Most

Palapas covered bar with misters and the games on TV. There is plenty of comfy seating in our new lounge chairs and outdoor sofas and fire pits.

Signature Drink

Our Premium Strawberry Collins is a great, hot-day treat. The drink features No. Ten by Tanquery with strawberry puree, premium organic agave nectar and fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

Recipe: Premium Strawberry Collins

Premium Strawberry Collins, Photo: M. Allan Schanbacher

1.5 oz No. 10 by Tanquerey
.5 oz Strawberry puree
1 oz lemon juice
.5 oz agave nectar

Shake and strain over ice. Add 1 oz of soda water and give light stir to incorporate.
Garnish with mint and lemon twist.

Upcoming Events

We have a daily happy hour featuring $4, 100% agave margaritas and $3 Bud Light drafts from 3 – 6 p.m., seven days a week.

This is the perfect pool bar to … enjoy the sunshine with a local brew or a premium hand-made cocktail in hand.

Scottsdale Resort Palapas Pool Bar
7700 E. McCormick Pkwy.
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
(480) 991-9000

The Phoenician Oasis Pool Bar

The Phoenician Oasis Pool BarWhat Guests Love Most

It is exclusive to resort guests, providing the centerpiece to the expansive, eight-pool complex, while serving as an iconic destination within The Phoenician.

Signature Drink

Prickly Pear Margarita, made with Herradura Anejo Tequila, Cointreau, and Prickly Pear Puree; sweetened with lemon and lime juices. It offers an indigenous twist on the classic cocktail and can be served frozen or on the rocks with a salted rim, if preferred, and a lime garnish.

Recipe: Prickly Pear Margarita

Prickly Pear Margarita, The Phoenician

2 oz. Herradura Anejo Tequila
1 oz. Cointreau
1 tbsp. Prickly Pear Puree
To the top: lemon and lime juice (sweet and sour mix)
Lime garnish

Can be served frozen or on the rocks.

Upcoming Events

Live entertainment featuring a solo guitarist will be offered on select weekends (Exact Dates: July 1 and July 7; September 1 and September 2).

This is the perfect pool bar to … experience AAA Five Diamond luxury within a lush tropical setting, nestled at the base of sun-capped Camelback Mountain.

The Phoenician Oasis Pool Bar & Grille
6000 E. Camelback Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 941-8200

Scottsdale Living Magazine Summer 2012