Destinations: The Phoenician Resort (Scottsdale, AZ)

My husband and I stayed at the Phoenician for four nights as a getaway trip and had an relaxing and elegant experience. It was our first stay in a Starwood Luxury Collection resort and I hope will not be our last.
We were thrilled that the resort was just a short cab drive from the Phoenix Skyport airport. We received a complimentary upgrade to a casita separate from the main building, which was really nice. The room was comfortable, clean and spacious (as was the bathroom) and had an in-room safe. It had slight wear and tear but nothing of great concern.
Its location resulted in peace and quiet and afforded a spectacular view of the Mother of Pearl Pool and up Camelback Mountain.
The hotel grounds were lush and lovely and every staff member we met was hospitable. My husband golfed one day and thought the course was beautiful. I had intended to go to the spa, but instead headed to one of the pools on the upper-Ievel and literally spent hours walking back and forth and staring up the mountain. It was that beautiful. Each pool that we visited was clean and well-serviced.  Because we visited in August, there were fewer guests than normal, so we never had an issue finding chairs. And yes, it was hot, but when you’re planning to do nothing more than sit at the pool, that is no problem.
We chose to spend our entire vacation there (dining included) and didn’t venture out into very nearby Scottsdale. I know we missed a lot by doing that, but at the time, long hours and frequent travel for work made us just want to stay put!
We visited each of the resort’s restaurants, and were most impressed with the elegant J&G Steakhouse, where we ate twice. Created by world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, their menu is current and creative, filled with fresh ingredients and fun flavors. It was a fairly pricey meal but on our second visit, we ate from a prix fixe menu and found it to be just as enjoyable. Of note were their steaks (as you would expect) and accompanying sauces, and our favorite side – a creamed corn with jalepeno, lime, and cilantro. The steaks were perfectly prepared and didn’t need a sauce, but with all the options available to us, we had to try a few. Our favorites were a soy miso-mustard, a smoked chili glaze, and a champagne beurre blanc.
We also really enjoyed Relish Burger Bistro for a casual dinner one evening — with fantastic free chips and salsa and a fun menu. We found the Italian Il Terrazzo to be average for dinner, but were disappointed in how expensive it was for breakfast. After the first day, and an almost $40 breakfast bill, including $6 coffee, we saved our money for fantastic dinners at J&G, instead stopping by the Cafe and Ice Cream Corner for croissants and then by Il Terrazzo for free coffee (free coffee to go for all hotel guests). I was frustrated that coffee that was free next to the hostess station, was $6 on my breakfast bill, despite being a hotel guest.
We did lunch at the Cafe a couple of times and were pleased with our meals, and the ice cream! Lunch at the Oasis Poolside Bar & Grill was fine but unremarkable. It is a poolside grill, after all, and sadly, I never expect much from them.
We absolutely can’t wait to return and also to visit other hotels in the Luxury Collection. It was a fantastic experience.