The Crown Jewel of The Desert
Author(s): Robin Roth
Photos: Robin Roth
Editor: Mark Lewis
Published: March 14, 2012

   Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center

       Old World charm meets the spirit of the Southwest!

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By: Robin Roth

After a long day of traveling whether for business or pleasure, I know that all I can think about is getting to my hotel, grabbing a bite to eat, jumping into bed, and getting a good night sleep. When I arrived at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center, I repeated my ritual (as I have done on hundreds of business trips before), only to hear the sound of my own voice purring a resounding, "AHHH"! I soon realized that everything about the warm and inviting Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center from its rich Spanish architecture, to its quiet luxury, to its attractive rooms, spectacular food, unparalleled service, numerous activities, to the hotel's amenities were all simply one big, "AHHHH"!  The resort's inspirational surroundings automatically inspire an ambiance of escape and renewal to its guests.

To begin with, every member of the hotel's staff showed me great respect. They were amazingly professional, utterly friendly and eager to please in every possible way. The staff even added the special touch of acknowledging me by name as I walked the property at every turn.

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I immensely enjoyed simply strolling through the lush, manicured grounds of this well deserved AAA Four Diamond Scottsdale resort. In this secluded, tranquil environment I felt worlds away from the hustle, bustle and heart of the busy Scottsdale, Arizona center. I felt a sense of well being my entire stay. The hotel's many activities kept me quite busy. However, whether I was lying peaceful by the pool, sitting on my lovely patio sipping a glass of wine and being mesmerized by the sun-washed mountains, one cannot help but feel a sense of inner peace. Furthermore, the dazzling desert sunset and blue gorgeous skies, working out in the gym, playing tennis, riding on a bike and getting a fabulous spa treatment, I felt invigorated and rejuvenated. This resort is, without a doubt, one of Scottsdale's best-kept secrets.

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Luxury Suites, Casitas and Guest Rooms at the Scottsdale Resort:

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The Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center, no doubt, respects the time-honored traditions of true hospitality. The hotel's classic, rich, earthy and traditional décor offers modern accommodations. There are several choices where you can stay at the resort such as the Presidential suites, Casita Executive suites as well as the lovely guest rooms. All the rooms include beautiful amenities and are decorated in the elegance of historic haciendas of the past.

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The resort has 326 spacious guest rooms, casitas, private haciendas and suites, each with a unique, elegant style of rich woods and exquisite furnishings and a cozy tasteful atmosphere. I have to say that the bed (Sealy Posture-Pedic Encore 720 plush pillow top mattress) was so luxurious and out of this world comfortable that I slept like a baby. Many of the rooms do offer spectacular views of fairways, gardens and pools. This was indeed a home away from home!

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All the rooms in the hotel are non smoking. Each one of the rooms has wireless internet access, in-room safes, marble baths, double vanities, dual phase showerhead, Gilchrist and Soames toiletries from London, hairdryer, lighted make-up mirror, iron/full size ironing board, custom dresser/TV enclosure, refreshment center, coffee maker, dual-line phones with voicemail,  37-inch flat screen HDTV's with in-room movies, pillow top mattresses and pet-friendly.

Palm Court Restaurant:  


The elegant, award winning, AAA Four Diamond restaurant, Palm Court is known as one of Scottsdale's best and provides the highest standards in culinary excellence. The candle-lit atmosphere of the dining room is stunning, the menu is superb and diverse, the cuisine is extraordinary and the service is unsurpassed. I must admit, that I Indulged (OK perhaps overly indulged) at all of the resort's decadent restaurants. Who could possibly blame me?

At the Palm Court I found that fine dining is elevated to an art form with impressive tableside au flambé preparation and a creatively lavish dinner menu. The breathtaking views made for a most relaxing and perfect dinner.

The internationally acclaimed, chic Palm Court is a must while in Scottsdale. I know that I for one savored each delectable bite. The elegant and charismatic Maître-D, Kwan H. Won and his outstanding assistant Ahdy Youssef, guided me with every house specialty and all my final dinner choices. Allow me to share some of the exceptional menu selections:


Burgundy Escargots:  Delicate, with a touch of sweetness, elegant, savory with a burst of flavors. This is an outstanding recreation of the classic escargot.

Chilled Guaymas Shrimp: One of the most delicious, delectable, fresh and plump shrimp I have had in a very long time.

Maryland Blue Crab Cakes: I must just say YUM! Lots of crab with little cake, this is a delicious blend of mouth watering flavors. A treat for my taste buds.

Palm Court Lobster Bisque: Delicious, unique, light and one of the best bisques ever.

Classic Caesar Salad prepared tableside:

Maître-D Kwan H nailed this salad. He mixed all the classic ingredients to perfection!

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Maple Seared Atlantic Salmon: Excellent, cooked perfectly and cradled with amazing flavors. Superb!

Sautéed Maine Lobster Tail: Cooked to perfection, sweet, flavorful and flawless. Food candy!

Aged Angus Beef Tenderloin: Tender and light with a unique, tasty, out-of-this-world sauce to make for an extraordinary meat entrée! Delicious...

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Flambéed Banana Foster: Ok, this was seriously sinful and decadent and totally worth every scrumptious calorie!

Flowerless Chocolate Cake: Simply said... YES!!!

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Major recognition to Chef Ray Anderson (who grew up in Arizona), for his brilliance, technique and uncanny excellence in transforming fish, chicken, meats and sauces into memorable and wickedly good, food works of art! Bravo Chef!

Do not miss out on this magical, memorable, dining experience. Even the most experienced foodies and wine connoisseurs will remember the Palm Court with great respect and admiration.

Vista Verde Restaurant:

Here is where I enjoyed breakfast, lunch, and dinner in this bright open dining room that overlooks distant mountains and the18th green. Vista Verde with its Southwestern setting is casual, comfortable, yet a lovely dining room. The resort's brilliant chefs create sumptuous and tasty menus for the Vista Verde. With its elegant setting and majestic desert views, I was able to enjoy (OK devour) the restaurant's abundant choices and impeccable service. Well, who wouldn't?

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Palm Court or Vista Verde restaurants:

Don't forget to attend the famous and outrageously beautiful Sunday Champagne Brunch at these two locations. Word to the wise, be very hungry!

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Sangria's Lounge:

At the end of a very long business day, this is the ideal spot where I hung out to enjoy conversation, cocktails and a quick bite.

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In-Room Dining:

This was truly one of the best room service meals I have ever had. The selection was fabulous, the food was excellent, served hot and the service was outstanding. You can order room service from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Here are a few of my classic room service selection: They were superb and yummy! I can still taste the tang of the chicken wings!

Fiesta Nachos, Buffalo Chicken Wings, Vista Verde Burger,  Chicken Caesar, Vanilla Cheesecake with strawberries...

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Amansala Spa/Salon:  Ahhh... the calm, the serenity, the tranquility, the bliss!

Here, at the resort's amazing spa is where I found a totally welcomed escape from reality. The spa has quite a large variety of outstanding treatments. You can arrange for spa packages, numerous varieties of massages, facial treatments, specialty treatments, body treatments, hair styling, waxing services, nail services and face add-ons. I joyfully experienced the traditional Swedish massage. My expert masseuse, Les Langlois, custom tailored my massage for my needs and preferences. He was excellent and caring just as all the trained Amansala Spa specialists are. I left with a sense of well being and renewed spirit...This is a spa not to be missed!

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Championship golf:

Right outside the hotel doors are the challenging, famous fairways, Valley of the Sun championship golf courses, as well as other prominent Scottsdale courses very close by.

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Also, available at the resort, are masterful, gifted chefs and talented planners who create amazing weddings and theme parties for any occasion. The advanced technology, 50,000 square feet of meeting space and the 10,000 square foot conference suite provides for great  business meetings and conferences. This resort is ideal for business meetings, conventions and conferences.

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Resort Pool:

There are two refreshing heated outdoor pools, the main pool and the pool at the casita patio along the golf course. In addition, there is an outdoor whirlpool.

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I had the best time with friends on the four lighted tennis courts and of course I didn't miss the opportunity to take a lesson with the resident pro. Racquets and tennis balls may be rented at the fitness center.

Very close to the resort, guests can take advantage of the surrounding desert adventures such as mountain foothills with mountain biking, desert jeep tours and horseback riding. At the Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center there are a variety of activities including the fitness workout room, tennis, and outdoor recreation options, which all make for an unforgettable stay.

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With a blend of modern accommodations with amenities that capture the exclusiveness of historic haciendas of the past, the intimate and inviting resort is both a luxury and comfortable vacation retreat for families, singles, honeymooners or just a wonderful get away. The resort is also an extraordinary Phoenix-area meeting destination. The Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center has an amazing location, for it is just minutes from the culture, restaurants, malls and nightlife that make Scottsdale famous. The resort is currently working on their summer, "Seclusions at Scottsdale Resort" adult getaway program... So stay tuned.

I want to thank and send major kudos to two gentlemen who made this article possible. Bob Smith the stellar and classy hotels marketing manager goes beyond his job description for each and every guest and makes this hotel run with immense ease, finesse and style. I also, want to thank Chris Deegan, the charming and hospitable concierge (wearing the best ties in the land), for all his help and assistance. Chris never stops helping out around the hotel. He loves and cares about the resort and it shows. Thank you gentlemen!

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I give a huge Bravo to all associated in running this flawless A+ resort!

7700 East McCormick Parkway  
Scottsdale, AZ 85258  
Main: (480) 991-9000